Panic

**ORIGINAL POSTED DATE 7/28/12**

“Never stop just because you feel defeated. The journey to the other side is attainable only after great suffering.”
― Santosh Kalwar
As the Texas Rangers continue to struggle through the month of July, there is a collective feeling among the fans and the media that the end is near. Their reign as AL West leaders is soon ending and tears of sadness and disappointment are all that remain in the 2012 season. The recent booing of Josh Hamilton highlights the anxious feelings of this fan base; anxious to win that elusive World Series title and dismiss the Buffalo Bills comparison forever. The fan base has been left to ask several questions about their team:
How can the Rangers win the AL West after such a horrid month of July?

With Josh Hamilton and the rest of the lineup struggling, there isn’t a chance this team wins in the post-season is there?

Ron Washington is losing this clubhouse, isn’t he? He needs to have a meeting to get this team on the right track!

If we fire Scott Coolbaugh (hitting coach), that will fix the offense won’t it?

These questions and more seem to be the dominant musings of the fans during the past few weeks and with good reason, but has the team really reached unprecedented lows this season compared to the past two playoff years?

In 2010, the Rangers had two months of sub .500 baseball. In April they were 11-12 (.478) and in August they had a record of 13-15 (.464). Two full months of losing baseball, but they held a 9.5 game lead over the second place A’s when September began, so the panic button was far from being pushed.

Last season they only had one month of losing baseball and that was in May (13-15, .464), but it wasn’t until they reeled off an 18-9 July and a 16-12 August did they pull away from the division.

So far this season, the Rangers have had a grand total of zero sub .500 months. April (.739) and June (.679) helped vault them to the large lead they have held since essentially the beginning of the season, but as the rest of the division has improved the Rangers see that lead shrinking. With four games left in July, the Rangers are currently 8-11. Best-case scenario would be winning the remaining four games and finishing the month at 12-11, thus avoiding a losing month yet again. A split over the remaining four games puts them at 10-13 (.435) and obviously if they were swept, they would be 8-15 (.348). The worst winning percentage the Rangers have had in a month is .464 (August 2010 and May 2011), and the chances of them having their worst month since 2009 are a likely possibility.

But, does one month of bad baseball define this team? They have shown over the past two seasons that they are just as capable of reeling off a 17-6 month of August and putting the Angels and Athletics to rest once and for all.

Just as Santosh Kalwar suggests in her quote, now is not the time to give up hope and accept defeat. All teams have that lull during the season, and this team is no different. The difference between 2012 and the previous two seasons is that the teams chasing the Rangers have improved substantially and appear to have the firepower to continue this improvement. But, that doesn’t change the fact that this Rangers team is just as capable of waking up and putting this thing away by late August. As a fan base, stay positive and trust in the franchise that has been the best in baseball over the past two seasons. Enjoy the journey despite the obstacles that are encountered along the way.

Jeff Johnson is a Staff Writer for ShutDownInning. He can be reached at Jeff.Johnson@ShutDownInning.com or on Twitter @Houstonhog.
Jeff Johnson

Leave a Reply