Why Watch Texas Rangers Baseball?

by Ben Dieter on August 20, 2014

Miles Mikolas v4e7hola 1vzeywar Why Watch Texas Rangers Baseball?This season has been a dreadful one for the Texas Rangers baseball club and their fans. It has been hard to watch some nights, and other nights it has been just plain disappointing. There have been the occasional nights where it was fun, but lets face it, those have been few and far between in 2014.

 

Rougned Odor, Leonys Martin, Daniel Robertson, Roman Mendez and others of the young players have been fun to watch grow into major league players right in front of us, while veterans like Colby Lewis and Yu Darvish have been trying to hold down the rotation with the youngsters like Miles Mikolas and Nick Martinez.

 

So why watch Texas Rangers baseball for the rest of the 2014 season? Glad you asked.

1. Because you are a true fan. Most of the 2010 Texas Rangers fans are gone, jumping off the bandwagon as quickly as they jumped on. We need to show that segment of society that there are some of us that watch because we love the Texas Rangers, not just because we love winning.

2. To support the team. I can only imagine after playing in front of 45,000 screaming fans for the last 4 seasons, it is disappointing for the Texas Rangers to show up to a ballpark on a Sunday and have less than 30,000 fans in the stands. We need to show our team that we still care.

3. To watch the youngsters develop. Especially this time of the year, when all of the September call ups are about to invade Arlington and get some playing time at the major league level. It is always fun to watch.

4. So you know more than your work friends. In 2015 your work friends are going to ask you “Who is Phil Irwin?” or “Where did Roman Mendez come from?” and you will be able to tell them that they should have paid attention in 2014 when these guys were becoming stars. It is always fun to rub things like that in co-workers faces.

5. Because it’s Baseball! We love baseball because it’s baseball, plain and simple. We need to keep watching becuase we love baseball. I know that I will watch the rest of the season, why don’t you join me!

 

There are plenty more reasons for you to watch the Texas Rangers, but these are just five to get you started on your way to enjoying the remainder of the 2014 Texas Rangers baseball season!

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The 2014 Rangers

by Jason Huffman on August 15, 2014

 

20131109 102932 The 2014 Rangers Well, what can we say about the 2014 Rangers that attempts to put a positive spin on one of the worst seasons in franchise history, not to mention the most disappointing? After all, this was a season of high hopes, wasn’t it? We technically made the playoffs last year, even if it was a wild card playoff, and with a couple of offseason moves (Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder, namely) this was supposed to be the year to get us back to the October Classic!

But this was a season that just literally added insult to injury as Ian Kinsler showed his true colors when he walked out the door and David Murphy and Nelson Cruz seem to be having breakout years in their new uniforms. And where was the trade-off for those deficits? Well we got thanked when our high-powered future Hall of Fame first baseman, his backup, our #2 starting pitcher, and the best second-year middle infielder in baseball were all placed on the DL, some for the entire season. What was left when the lights of the ambulances faded from sight was the same left side that has been there all along, Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus. So if you’ve already jumped ship, I wouldn’t blame you.

After all, these are not the glory boys of 2010 and 2011. Josh Hamilton, Kinsler, Cruz, Murphy, Benji Molina, Mike Napoli, Craig Gentry…all gone. The only remnants of the pitching staff were Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, and Colby Lewis, all on the DL at the beginning of the season, and Neftali Feliz who just recently got back form AAA as he’s found his arm after surgery. So if you’re the type of baseball fan who gets sentimental with players over teams, this is not the team for you.

Yes, we have Yu Darvish, but even his command has been hit and miss and he was recently placed on the 15-day DL. Besides, what good is one of the best strike-out pitchers in the league when your AAA replacement club can’t put any runs on the board. So where in all this disaster is there something worth holding onto-something that says, “I’m not giving up on this team yet”?

So here is a brief recap of some of the bright spots in the 2014 season.

 

1. Rougned Odor-The surprise of the season that just keeps on giving is Rougned Odor. In 75 games of his rookie season, “Roogie” has managed to hit .258 with a .297 OBP. While those are not stellar numbers, they are not bad for a rookie. By comparison, Jurickson Profar, whom he replaced, only hit .234 in 85 games with a .308 OBP. Profar’s reputation preceded him, as he was touted by some as the next Elvis and was highly regarded as the number one prospect in baseball. Odor was brought in as a replacement without near the fanfare, and has been a reliable mainstay at second base this season. (Stats from Fangraphs)

2. Kevin Kouzmanoff-Another bright spot in this season was the presence of Kevin Kouzmanoff. While his time was very short-lived he made his presence known. Kouzmanoff was hitting .362 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 13 games since replacing Beltre, who was sidelined earlier in the season with a strained left quad muscle. In addition to his offensive production, Kouz was a lot of fun to watch on defense. (source texasrangers.com

3. Robinson Chirinos-While this hasn’t been a great year for the bats, when the pitching isn’t there, defense is sometimes the difference between a loss and the win column. The biggest defensive surprise of the season has been Robinson Chirinos. “Cheerios”,  “Honey Nut” or another derivative of the cereal, as he is often called, has made his presence behind the plate known by becoming one of the best defensive catchers in the league, particularly when it comes to gunning down base stealers. Catcher is such a specialized position that great offensive backstops like Buster Posey or Joe Mauer are the exception to the rule, but at several junctures this season Chirinos has been one of the best at picking off would-be stealers.

 

4. Neftali Feliz-For the Rangers faithful, Neffy’s return to the mound has been emotional for sure. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012, he has spent two years trying to get back to where his former greatness. Prior to injury and subsequent surgery, Feliz was a triple-digit fastballer. He was brought back this year to replace Joakim Soria who was traded mid-season. While it appears the surgery took a few digits off his fastball, Feliz still throws the ball very hard and is finding his way back into his closer role which he filled in back-to-back league championships in 2010 and 2011.

 

5. The Left Side-While the team on the field right now looks nothing like the team Jon Daniels planned to put on the field before spring training, there are a couple of pieces that have been mainstays for the last four years. Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus may arguably be the best tandem between second and third in all of baseball. While Beltre is the anchor of the offense, he is a lot of fun to watch in the field. Elvis is everything you want in a franchise player. While he doesn’t hit for power, he’s a solid bat at the top of the order and consistently delivers day in and day out.

 

So, yes, the wheels have officially come off of the 2014 season. It has been a record-breaking year for things like position players coming into pitch. But the beauty of baseball is that every April, each team has a perfect record. Hopefully the DL that contains most of our salary will actually be on the field in 2015. Hopefully, JD and Wash can make a few moves in the off season. But there’s plenty of pieces this year to look forward to if they can stick around. And even if that all falls apart, hopefully, we still have that left side.

 

 

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Yu Darvish and the End of the World

August 14, 2014

The news came down yesterday that Yu Darvish was going on the DL, and I reacted like most Rangers fans probably reacted: I cried. Everytime we all think “what else can go wrong this season”, something else does. The Texas Rangers are now the team headed for the most injuries and the most pitchers used […]

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What About the Credibility

August 8, 2014

What is credibility and what does it mean to a major league baseball team? As bad as we all hate to admit it the New York Yankees carry a hundred years of history and success.  Maybe not every single year, but over a decade the team will be more successful than many others.  It is […]

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View From The Press Box

August 5, 2014

Saturday I did something that I don’t get to do that often; I covered a Round Rock Express game. As I sat there in the press box high above Dell Diamond field watching batting practice, covering the Jackie Moore ceremony, and watching the game I was reminded of what a great job this is. I love […]

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