Being An Emotional Fan

I constantly get called out for being emotional. I get called out for being too attached to each individual player, to being attached to the team, for being misguided when it comes to my faith in a team. I am a fan, though. Is there really any harm to wanting my team to win?

The Texas Rangers have been playing subpar baseball as of late, and I can fully recognize that. Errors kill, right? Of course. Torrealba not fully blocking the plate tonight caused an erroneous call from the home plate umpire. Yes, I realize that. Elvis throwing a high pitch to Napoli caused an unnecessary baserunner. I see that. I am rational as well as emotional.

The fact is, I am emotionally attached to this team. They made me believe in April that they were unstoppable. Completely unstoppable. And, for whatever it is worth, I still believe they are. The Angels went through a tough slump. Their slump just happened to be at the beginning of the season when the Rangers were hot. Hotter than any team in baseball, for that matter.

I’ve been a fan of the Texas Rangers ever since I can remember being alive. I’ve seen the bad seasons. I’ve seen the good ones. I’ve seen Pudge play. I’ve seen the Rangers lose all but one game in the post season. And, yes, admittedly, there were times when I didn’t pay attention to the Rangers. I was a teenage girl who only cared about cute boys and high school. Sue me. However, I consider myself a Rangers fan for life. Through it all, I’ve been here. I went to 20 plus games in 2009, when the Rangers were not terrible, but not good. When the Rangers missed the playoffs and couldn’t produce when it counts. I’ve been there. I’ve been through it all.

With all that being said, I feel like I deserve to be emotionally attached to this team. I’ve seen what works. I’ve seen what doesn’t. On paper, the team we have now should play enormously better than they have been. Yes, Nelson Cruz’s defense in right field isn’t spectacular, but his arm is superb. Yes, Craig Gentry’s center field skills are better than Josh Hamilton’s, but Josh should be able to produce at the plate. Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus are the best second base/shortstop combination in the game. They are, and I refuse to believe differently. This is my team, and I have faith.

Why is it so bad that fans are emotional? I am frustrated because I know we are better than we have been playing. I am frustrated because I went through the bad stretches with this team. I went through the terrible pitching. I went through the times when no one wanted to be here. I went through the times when Jon Daniels was not around to save the day. Jon Daniels is here now. Jon Daniels and Bob Simpson and Thad Levine are here now. I trust in their judgement. I trust what they have to offer. The Rangers have been to the World Series twice in the past two years. Is there any reason I should not trust what they have on the field at this moment? They lost, yes, but they have the talent to win.

I will always believe that the Rangers have the talent to win. When the Rangers are in last place, I’ll believe that they have the talent to get to the top and win everything. Why, you ask… well, it’s because this is my team. All this complaining about bandwagon fans being here because we’re winning makes me frustrated with everyone. Bandwagon fans bring money. Money brings good players. Good players bring wins, right? Also, if I were to not be emotionally invested in this team, I’d be called a bandwagon fan and ridiculed for my lack of concern, right? If I said everyone sucked and this team isn’t good and I didn’t have faith, I’d be a negative Nancy and a fan that didn’t deserve to be called one. It’s a double standard really.

Basically, if you’re emotional and attached, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I believe in this team. Kinsler may be struggling, but he’ll come through. Michael Young may be a subpar defensive first and third baseman, but he’ll figure it out and he won’t ruin our team. I will always believe he does have leadership skills that cannot be quantified. Elvis may lack focus right now, but he’ll grow. He’ll learn and be the best shortstop in the league. He’s already shown the signs. Beltre is a gold glover. Napoli may be slow right now, but he just hit Frieri for the first time in the American League. Josh may swing at every pitch, but when he strikes, he strikes big time. Mitch Moreland gets time to shine against right-handed pitchers and has proved me completely wrong this year.

Yes, our team has played a frustrating form of baseball recently, but it’s still my team. I believe in them win or lose. Remind me again why that is such a bad thing? Someone has to believe in them, right? Someone has to or they wouldn’t be playing here at all. Someone has to be emotionally attached to players or players would fall apart. Someone has to be a players so-called “number one fan,” or that player would have barely any reason to perform.

Being an emotionally attached fan isn’t always a bad thing. I want to put a stop to the people who make emotional fans the bad guy. I am frustrated because I care about this team, not because I give up.

Emily Cates is a Staff Writer for ShutDownInning. She can reached via email at Emily.Cates@ShutDownInning.com or on Twitter @EmLikesBaseball
Emily Cates

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