Texas Rangers

It’s quittin’ time in Texas: The Rangers need to trade Minor, Pence, Choo and more

Elvis Andrus describes becoming a U.S. citizen

Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, a native of Venezuela, became a U.S. citizen Friday morning.
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Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, a native of Venezuela, became a U.S. citizen Friday morning.

A dear reader, Frank, emailed with the innocent question about his Texas Rangers: “Is help on the way from anywhere.”

The truth is in the following answer I provided, “Yes. A roof and an air conditioner are on the way.”

That’s all I’ve got, because “The 162” is exposing our “Little Ball Club That Can’t on Randol Mill Road.”

Nothing reveals a team more than 162 regular season games.

Two months remain in “The 162” and the junior Rangers are now doing their best to avoid last place in the American League West. When there was a players-only meeting earlier this week, it was over.

We are nearing baseball’s trade deadline, and the Rangers have been so bad in July they have forced GM Jon Daniels’ hand in this annual guessing game of stay or deal. There is no decision. Deal.

If he does not trade anyone, Cornell should renounce the degree it awarded him.

We were right from the beginning; JD’s latest creation ain’t that good. The club is now barreling towards its third straight losing season.

Don’t let some wins in Oakland dissuade you from the fact the club is rebuilding.

And, for whatever the reason, fans have given up, seemingly before the year began. Even when the team was winning and proving every naysayer wrong, fans have just not bought the 2019 Texas Rangers.

In this the final year of the Ballpark in Arlington, the club’s home attendance ranks 16th in MLB. More alarming, the Rangers’ TV ratings on its telecasts on Fox Sports Southwest rank 27th in MLB’s local broadcasts.

Per the Sports Business Journal, the Rangers have suffered a 31 percent drop in TV ratings from a year ago. Their local TV ratings have fallen by 76 percent since 2012, the season after they made back-to-back World Series appearances.

Everyone is simply waiting for the new park.

If this current trend of losing holds, the Rangers will have their fourth losing record in six years since Nolan Ryan left the Ballpark in Arlington. Not that any of that matters.

Time to move all of the obvious candidates, from All-Star pitcher Mike Minor to All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence. Throw in a Shin-Soo Choo while you’re at it.

We were all suckered in to thinking the Rangers were better than the roster indicated by their 50-42 record on July 12. We all thought maybe they could keep this up, and remain relevant for a wild card spot.

Hope will make idiots of us all.

Go with your gut, and what you see on the field. The team is just OK. They are better than they were last season, which is to celebrate the plane that doesn’t lose your luggage.

A new manager, an increased commitment to analytics and using a spreadsheet to tell you what time to go to the bathroom can only do so much.

At some point, it’s still about having enough pitching and hitting to win a ball game. The Rangers don’t have enough of those guys. So boring. And just so true.

Opposing teams will want Minor, and he knows it.

He recently told reporters, after being asked about the prospect of being dealt, that he felt like he was signed by the Rangers just to be traded. He’s right.

After a brief time on the disabled list, Pence is up and running again. A contending team will want his bat, and professionalism. As the Rangers have learned, he’s wonderful for a clubhouse.

Even with these guys in the lineup, this current team’s ceiling is to flirt with a wild card game that it would lose.

JD should deal ‘em both and get what he can.

With threatening for a playoff spot evaporating with every strikeout, but four priorities remain before they move out of The Ballpark in Arlington forever: Get Rougned Odor, Nomar Mazara, Joey Gallo and Jose Leclerc all right with ball for 2020, when the roof is closed and the AC is cranked down to 68 degrees.

The roof and the AC are the help that is on the way.

BIG MAC BITES

Amid all of the claims of superiority between the good fans of Texas and Texas A&M, a Twitter follower recently boasted that Bevo needs to at least have a top five finish soon. Out of curiosity, I researched how the teams in Texas have fared over the last decade.

Top 5 finishes by Texas teams in the last 10 years:

2: TCU

1: Texas, Texas A&M (Aggies tied with Georgia for fifth in ‘12)

Top 10 finishes by Texas teams in the last 10 years:

5: TCU

2: Texas

1: Houston, Baylor, Texas A&M

Rangers GM Jon Daniels has made plenty of good, and bad, moves but the decision to bring center fielder Carlos Tocci to the club last season to start him immediately should forever rank as one of the worst. You missed it but the Rangers designated Tocci for assignment this week.

His biggest impact as a batter came when he pitched in relief in one game last season and registered two outs without allowing a hit or walk in 2/3 of an inning.

A reader named Dominique emailed with the subject line, “You know nothing.”

She didn’t specify beyond that.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist who has extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams as well as Olympic games and the world of entertainment, too. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement a head of hair that is almost unfair.
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