Standing Pat

elvis
The Texas Rangers are in a streak of bad luck that could be described as “unfortunate” or part of some curse.  But it isn’t. It’s just baseball.  Let’s examine the team from last year to this year.

Last year at this time, the Rangers were 37-25. Today they are 31-33. Last year the Rangers at this time of the season were about to start a six game skid at the hands of the Indians and the Blue Jays but the fans weren’t panicking. Why, because they had pitching coming back from injuries. They just had to wait until we got back Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando, and other injured arms back.  We just had to wait till the pitching arrived. The arms never came and we still won 90+ games.

The problem last year wasn’t just the arms; it was the inability of the Rangers to hit which was the crying shame of 2013.

The 2013 Rangers slugging percentage was miserable, .412 which was the lowest since 1995.  You might think that slugging .412 isn’t bad.  But in 2014 the Rangers are slugging just 0.391. When your opponents are slugging 0.428 against you, there is a problem.   Last year teams slugged at a percentage of 0.387. So last year, arms hurt. This year, arms hurt. Last year, bats slowing down. This year, the bats are being held down by anchors.

How about aggressiveness on the base paths? 2013 the Rangers stole 149 bases the most since 2009 only getting caught 23.4% of the time. This year the Rangers have swiped 45 bags but getting caught 38.5% of the time. At this rate the team will only steal 113 bases for the season.  The aggressiveness isn’t there because the team doesn’t have the cohesive chemistry. Knowing that Elvis has bats behind him, he could feel free to swipe a bag or two. Now, I’m not sure if anyone feels good attempting a steal when nearly 40% of the time, they get caught.

There is talk about the Rangers making incredibly short sided trades like Gallo, Odor, Perez, and Martinez for Jose Reyes or anybody they want for a decent pitcher.  I don’t think that this is the solution.  I promise to stop singing ‘Suicide is Painless’ when the Rangers hit the field and looking at this year as a tombstone.  Instead I am going to look at it as a new beginning. Right now we need to STAND PAT. We need to rough through this season making corrections as needed.  The team that was 1 strike away is gone.

The future of the Rangers is here. Look at the potential future infield that the team has when they get healthy, “Don’t Touch My Head” at 3rd, “Flying Elvi” at Short, your choice of “Sardine” , “Lil Murph” or  “Orange Roughy” at 2nd and “Darling Nikki” at 1st. What an infield that is.  Look at the outfield of “Ride Da Train”, “ARios” and “Kings of Leon”.  A healthy team would scare everyone out of their high socks (a pet peeve of Mrs. RMN)

While we are waiting for the future, I’ll be playing Rangers Excuse Bingo on twitter  @RangersMagicNum . I’ll meet you there.

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Rangers Magic Number
Who is Rangers Magic Number? Who cares? I could tell you about the ex-girlfriends, ex-wives, managing bands and getting favors from Globe Life Employees parking where I am not ever supposed to be able to but all that would do is make you angry.

RMN is the fan in all of our hearts, the one who brings out the Rangers jersey in March with hope & dreams of a World Series win, carefully packing it away in October with a tear in his eye. RMN believes and loves his team, still having somewhere a Rangers Bat Day bat that he got the year after we broke bleachers banging away as we faced the Royals.

I am a lucky man, married to a Rangers fan who loves me for who I am, a crazy fan. I do have many Ranger memorabilia, but my most treasured is a Nolan Ryan baseball. My son took it out of its case one day to play catch with me before he learned how close to a heart attack a Rangers fan can get when that happens. (We still played catch with a Oddibe McDowell baseball, don't ask.) I've been to Rangers games in Dallas, Houston and will eventually make it to Surprise. I've been working as an managerial consultant for many years and spend too many afternoons in meetings & phone calls but still cheer when I get to say HELLO WIN COLUMN!

I guess I am very lucky because of the people that I have met on this journey. We have drank a lot of whiskey and celebrated more victories than losses. So I look forward to meeting you down the road.

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