Mac Engel

Rangers might stink, so their great park is the main draw

Texas Rangers fans packed the ballpark for Opening Day in 2017.
Texas Rangers fans packed the ballpark for Opening Day in 2017. Special to the Star-Telegram

According to the ticket office of the Texas Rangers, the only seats available for Opening Day are standing room only, but after that game against the Houston Astros .... plenty of good seats remain.

Preparing a bachelorette party? Ladies, you can bunch a few sections together to take a few hundred of your closest friends to the Rangers' ballgame before you hit the town.

The day after the season opener, tickets for the Rangers' second game can be found for as low as $15 on Stubhub. A few days later, you can enter the venerable yard for as low as $6. In this case, the price to park your car at the Ballpark will be more than to enter it.

There are many positions in this world no one should envy — garbage collector, press secretary for the White House, etc. — add Ticket Sales Rep for the 2018 Texas Rangers. Throw in the 2019 Texas Rangers, too.

Season ticket sales for the Rangers are off after the team's 78-84 record last season, according to a source. The team has been sending out letters asking (begging?) previous season ticket holders to come back.

To purchase one lower level infield seat for a full season costs approximately $4,000. We all have to help pay Shin Soo Choo to rest on the disabled list.

The Rangers claim they drew 2.5 million fans last season, which ranked 12th in MLB. What a great figure ... if only it was true.

An eyeball test would tell you there was no way the Rangers averaged the 30,960 fans per game it reported last season.

We are entering the twilight of DFW's ancient Roman Coliseum, and the final two years of the "old dump" that is the 24-year-old Ballpark promises to bring back the dark ages to the beginning of the Rangers' arrival to DFW in 1972. This team is going to stink. Next year's team is going to stink, too.

So as we begin the process of saying goodbye to a stadium that is less than a quarter century old — just typing that hurts — we can only hope that by relocating to Tax Hike Friendly Ballpark across the street ends the Curse of Nolan Ryan.

Other than that, the best thing about the 2018 and 2019 Texas Rangers will be the ballpark. The team might not be much, but their stadium is still great.

George W. Bush and Tom Schieffer's creation will never be revered as one of the celebrated shrines of baseball, and while it's future no doubt will be a wrecking ball to create more space to park, a Rangers game is still a good night out.

Thanks to longtime PA man and do-everything promoter Chuck Morgan, the team is exhausting every available possibility to entice you to come out to the park to watch the Rangers.

With a variety of new state fair-like cuisine and countless promotional nights, the franchise is trying everything. They know the on-the-field product ain't enough.

These Rangers are "transitioning." "Transitioning" is the term teams use these days to avoid using the dreaded word "rebuilding."

Having been around the Rangers since 2001, I can't ever recall a spring training quite as flat as this most recent version. They have 75-win potential. Anything more, print a T-shirt.

The last time the Rangers posted consecutive losing seasons was 2007-08. The difference, of course, was that those teams were beginning to show some life. They were building to something. Building to a team that would eventually win division titles, go to the World Series, and become a top contending franchise in baseball.

Those days are gone, and what remains are the remnants of "go for it" moves that simply did not yield the World Series. Guys such as Choo, pitcher Cole Hamels and, to a lesser extent, Adrian Beltre.

The Rangers' payroll is not the problem. Owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson slashed everywhere throughout the organization except the team's payroll.

That's on the GM/president and how the money was spent.

The Rangers are now "transitioning," and back in that stage where they have to be overly-creative to grab your attention and to lure you to spend your hard-earned money on their inferior on-the-field product.

The team might stink, but a night out at our ancient, decaying ballpark never does.

The ballpark is not long for this earth, so enjoy outdoor baseball while you can.

And, remember, plenty of good seats remain.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram