Fan Perspective

**ORIGINAL POSTED DATE 9/19/12**

The Texas Rangers are 87-59 (.596) as of September 17, 2012. In 2010, the Rangers claimed the pennant for the first time and went to the World Series. On September 17, 2010, the Rangers were 82-64 (.562). In 2011, the Rangers claimed a second pennant and went back to the World Series. On September 17, 2011, the Rangers were 87-65 (.572). Right now, looking at those numbers the Rangers in 2012 are better than the two previous years. They would have to go just 3-13 down the stretch to tie 2010’s record, and 9-7 to tie 2011. So why do people get so angry and let down when the Rangers lose one out of three to teams like Cleveland and Seattle?

Fan perspective changes when the team is doing well. The need for the great play and the wins to continue seems stronger than the knowledge that no team is going to go 162-0. DFW has an entitled fan base. Maybe that comes from the Cowboys, or maybe it’s just the mentality of Texans, but once winning seasons happen, these fans don’t want to lose anything ever. It makes sense, because losing isn’t the goal, of course. However, winning every game isn’t the goal either. When the Rangers lost more games than they won, fans weren’t near as angry about losses, because it was the norm. The Rangers are now winning more than they’re losing, and fans are angry with every mistake. 

Joe Nathan blew a save last Thursday against Cleveland. Joe Nathan blew just his second save of the entire season. Despite having a 2.83 ERA and a 10.99 K/9 ratio, people booed Joe Nathan. Nearly every time Joe Nathan has gone to the mound this season, he’s recorded those last three outs. He may give up a hit or two, but he rarely lets the base runners score. Booing Joe Nathan is unacceptable. He has been incredible this season. Mistakes are not ideal, but they are allowed. The Rangers still won the series against Cleveland, and two out of three is good. Let’s say the Rangers play 15 3-game series in a season (they play more, I know), if they took two out of three every time, that’d be a 30-15 season at .667 win percentage. It’s time to take a step back and just appreciate that.

Every time the Rangers announce the lineup and Michael Young is on it every day of every week, writers and fans alike get aggravated, myself included. This is Michael Young’s worst career year, and no one can dispute that. Even with Michael Young on the field, the Rangers are winning, especially now that he’s seemed to found a groove. I could pick apart his season and tell you why Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar need playing time, but the Rangers are still winning more games than they are losing. Josh Hamilton had a two month slump where he batted at the .200 line and continued to be in the lineup. It was rough to watch, but the Rangers never lost first place. It’s time to take a step back and just appreciate that.

The Texas Rangers are ranked 1st in the AL in batting average, runs scored, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. They can’t go any higher. They are ranked first not only in the AL West, but in the entire American League. They can’t go any higher. Fans are used to seeing this team succeed, and that is amazing. It truly is. However, think about the fans who have been around for 30-40 years. Seeing a winning season might just be enough for them. Seeing a team that is a postseason contender makes them happy. I’m happy with this team. This could be the best season in Texas Rangers history, but fans might lose it if they Rangers don’t make it to the World Series. Three years in a row is difficult. The season could end with 97 wins. That’s improvement. That’s contention. That’s all I ask for.

The truth is the Texas Rangers have never been this good. They’ve never been consistent at being this good, anyway. Goals are different for every team. This one wants to get back to the World Series and win, but given the fact that no postseason wins are guaranteed no matter how good the team is, just getting better and/or maintaining AL West leading numbers should be something to brag about. This team is good, arguably the best team in the AL. Be proud of what they’ve accomplished. Breathe when they make mistakes because more often than not, they won’t. Take a step back and appreciate just how good this team is.

Emily Cates is a Staff Writer for ShutDownInning. You can reach her at Emily.Cates@ShutDownInning.com or on Twitter at @EmLikesBaseball.
Emily Cates

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