Hello friends. I love the Texas Rangers. Admittedly, I do not keep up with them as much as the Dallas Cowboys, but most of that is rooted in my love of Tony Romo and the fact that the Cowboys regular season has 146 FEWER GAMES. But I digress.
This past Sunday, on the 162nd game of the season, the Rangers beat The The Angels Angels of Anaheim to clinch the American League West! What an exciting time! Everyone is a happy person! We can all be stoked! Hooray! But how did we get here?
WE WERE REALLY BAD LAST YEAR
Last year, the Rangers had the worst record in baseball and at the end of the season Dirk Nowitzki was probably put into the rotation along with Vince Young because SO MANY RANGERS GOT HURT.
We also lost our manager.
2015 rolls around. Expectations are somewhat low. Jeff Banister is hired as manager and before the season can start, our magnificent ace, Yu Darvish, has to undergo Tommy John surgery and is out for the season.
Expectations crash and burn.
The season is lost before it begins.
2015 SEASON STARTS OUT NOT SO GREAT
Derek Holland is the opening day starter. Holland isn’t even out on the mound long enough to say “Hey guys. I think I might do some good things this year,” before he is injured and has to miss at least 75% of the season.
The Rangers proceed to go 7-14 in the month of April. They look bad.
The Houston Astros start off really hot and will remain in the drivers seat in the AL West for the majority of the season.
All is lost.
OH MY GOSH HAMILTON
In 2013, Josh Hamilton said Arlington wasn’t a baseball town and left for The The Angels Angels of Anaheim. He was my favorite player and he left for my least liked team. He was supposed to bring balance to the force, but instead he just left it in darkness. Everyone got mad. Everyone cried.
But the marriage between Hamilton and The The Angels Angels of Anaheim never feels right. And by the beginning of the 2015 season, the Angels were ready to get rid of him.
Enter John Daniels.
Daniels pulls some strings and before you know it, Hamilton is back with the Rangers.
But this time it’s good.
WAIT WE ARE KIND OF GOOD AGAIN
The Rangers start winning. And they start winning against good teams! They sweep the Yankees! The Yankees! They take two out of three against the Royals and the Dodgers! The Royals! They Dodgers! They drop two out of three against the White Sox!
They drop two out of three against San Diego.
They get swept by the A’s!
Oh no no no no no nononononononono
They get swept by the the angels angels of anaheim
Wait we were doing so good.
The go into the All Star break posting a 42-46 record.
TRADE DEADLINE IS HERE PLEASE SELL EVERYTHING.
The first half of July was not great. All the sports stations say that Texas needs to be sellers at the trade deadline and start the rebuilding process. Some suggest getting rid of Beltre. Some say we need to get rid of Elvis. Some say we need to get rid of ROMO BUT THEY’RE WRONG. ROMO WILL LEAD US TO THE SUPERBOWL. YOU GUYS JUST DON’T GET IT.
John Daniels says, “No thank you. I will not sell. I will get you Cole Hamels.”
Nice try John but I don’t thin-
And then he brings back…
WAIT HOW IS THAT. WHY ARE.
WHAT IS HAPPENING.
The Rangers start winning again.
The band is back together.
Nothing can stop us.
WAIT. WE CAN ACTUALLY DO THIS.
The Rangers started playing really really well.
During April, no one thought they would be good. But by late July the Rangers found themselves in the thick of the Wild card race.
Suddenly they were the second place wild card team.
Suddenly they were only two games back of Houston.
Then they swept Houston in four games.
Suddenly they were LEADING THE DIVISION. WAIT HOW DID WE GET HERE.
Everyone is crying.
But again. It is happy tears. We are good.
THE THE ANGELS ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
The Rangers go into the last series of the season against the the angels angels.
The Ranger’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot was 1. The Magic Number to clinch the division was 2.
Texas won the first game and CLINCHED A PLAYOFF SPOT.
After that, Texas only needed one win or a Houston loss in order to clinch the division.
They lose the second game 2-1 and Houston beats Arizona 21-2.
They lead the third game 10-6 in the top of the ninth, but lose the game 11-10. The Astros beat Arizona 6-2.
They leading 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh in final game of the season
Cole Hamels has been money in the bank.
Rangers got 6 runs in the seventh and never looked back.
Final: Ranger 9 Angels 2.
THE AL WEST IS OURS!
WE ARE THE CHAMPS!
ON TO TORONTO!
I put on the Hamilton jersey I never thought I’d be able to wear again.
I am crying.
Everything is good.
The division championship shirt comes out!
It is charcoal gray and has the Dallas skyline!
Here is a picture!
It looks great!
“But Texas plays in Arlington”
When I first saw the shirt, the first thoughts that went through my mind were, “I am so proud of where this team was and where they ended up. I am so ready for postseason baseball. I cannot wait to see what happens in October. Plus, that is the coolest design I’ve seen on a division championship t-shirt.”
But some people did not share my sentiments. Actually, some folks down right hated the shirt. They said that the MLB was incredibly disrespectful for using the Dallas skyline on Texas Rangers apparel despite the fact that they play in Arlington. A lot of Tarrant County citizens became vocally angry at the fact that they were in the shadow of Dallas. And people from Fort Worth became strangely pompous enough to start saying things like “It’s not D-FW, it’s FW-D. Dallas is bad. Dallas stinks. Dallas is the worst. We love the Rangers more than anyone. The Dallas Skyline should never be on any shirt ever.”
First of all, saying, “It’s FW-D, not D-FW,” is like saying “TU” instead of “UT.” You’re not really making any sort of statement, you’re just switching some letters around. Secondly, I’m not exactly sure why Fort Worth-ers are getting butt hurt about this situation because the Rangers play just as much baseball inside the city of Fort Worth as they do in the city of Dallas.
Honestly, it’s just a shirt with a really slick design. It really doesn’t mean anything. The MLB isn’t making some sweeping declartive statement about the Rangers. They aren’t suggesting that they need to play in Dallas. Some promotional folks just got frustrated when the only image they found when they looked up “Arlington Skyline” was this:
Every team that made the post season got a t-shirt with a skyline in the background. They needed a skyline for the Texas Rangers, and decided to go 20 minutes east to find it.
But if you really want your dang Arlington skyline, then look no further!
Credit Garret Heinrich of CBS Houston. You can read his full write up here
Don’t Undermine Success
4 months ago, no one could have ever predicted that Rangers fans would be upset about their 2015 division champs t-shirt because 4 months ago no one thought any such shirt would ever exist. That’s how far the Rangers have come. They went from the worst team in baseball, to division champs. That doesn’t happen all the time. That type of redemption is not something that people get rewarded with every season. It’s not a luxury you get to exploit or experience. Rangers fans know better than anyone that for the most part, the drought between success and failure can be excruciatingly long.
This season we got to witness a team that overcame an awful start. Maybe we’ll get to see them become world champs or maybe we’ll watch them get swept by a group of Canadian birds. I really don’t know. But I do know that we shouldn’t let these fleeting moments of the postseason become mired in the pettiest conflict on the face of the planet. People in Dallas like the Rangers. People in McKinney like the Rangers. People in Plano, the Highlands, Grand Prairie, Coppell, Irving, Fort Worth, Allen, and Euless like the Rangers. So why do we have to be so upset over a skyline? Why does this have to overshadow the phenomenal finish to the 2015 season?
Arlington, I understand that you want to be a different entity than Dallas. Really, I do. I totally get that you are the true owners of the Texas Rangers and everyone who has ever lived in the D-FW area knows that the Rangers play in
Globe Life Park The Ball Park in Arlington. Yes, I’ve heard the rumors, along with everyone else, that there could be a push in the future to move the Rangers from Arlington to Dallas. And I know you want to keep them right where they are. I’m not suggesting that you don’t have any right to try and make a name for yourself, or keep a team that you love.
But at this point it doesn’t appear like you’re a group of individuals fighting to keep the Rangers or attempting to expand your identity as a city. This argument just sounds like you’re saying “We are the only people entitled to like the Rangers. If you aren’t from Arlington, you can’t like them. You can’t root for them. You can’t pull for them. You’re not allowed to watch them on TV. You’re not allowed to know any of the players on the roster. You are not allowed to buy tickets, or come to the game, or wear the color red, or watch Walker, Texas Ranger (which could quite possibly be the best TV show of all time). Please go away and never watch baseball.”
That’s no fun.
You know what is fun?
- Crushing the the angles angels of anaheim in game 162.
- Watching Josh Hamilton get a walk off RBI in the extra innings.
- Watching Elvis Andrus touch Adrian Beltre’s head.
- Actually, Elvis Andrus in general.
- And for that matter, Adrian Beltre in general.
- Hearing the NAP-O-LI chant.
- Having Cole Hamels on contract for the foreseeable future.
- Noticing that a bat looks like a toothpick in hands of Prince Fielder. Seriously. Wow.
- Getting to listen to the Canadian anthem every game this series and being reminded of how inferior it is compared to the American National Anthem. (Sorry Canadians.)
- Postseason Baseball.
- Striking out A-Rod to send us to the World Series.
Stop getting mad at people WHO ARE ON YOUR SIDE. We all love the Rangers. We all want them to win. And no t-shirt should change that fact.
So let’s put this behind us and just go have some fun. Let’s watch some October baseball. And let’s Never Ever Quit.
Go Texas. Go Rangers.
“Clear eyes. Full hearts. Not Canadian. Can’t lose. Texas Forever.” -Josh Jackson, 2015.