There is no panic in the streets of Arlington; rather than do that, please order me a double and keep the tab open. It’s going to be a long night.
Watching the Texas Rangers this season has required plenty of the hard stuff, and by the looks of it we are all going to need to load up when summer brings its three-digit temperatures.
This team stinks. Like loaded-diaper stink.
And this team stunk it up before Cole Hamels went on the 10-day disabled list for what is expected to be an eight-week stay.
The idea the American League West was going to remain the worst division in baseball for a third straight year has caught up with the local baseball club and its GM/president. When the team was winning the AL West, Jon Daniels gets the credit. As the team’s main baseball guy, he gets the blame, too.
The Houston Astros have returned to the club that it was in 2015, and our Rangers have the second-least good record in the American League. They are just eight games back of first place. But they are only 4 1/2 games back in the wild card standings.
Don’t bother selling the line that things would be different if Adrian Beltre was on the field rather than the disabled list with a bum calf. We bought a $175 million payroll product on the belief it was good when, in fact, it is just highly paid.
They can’t pitch it very well. Their hitting stinks. And they can’t catch it too good, either. Other than that, though ... lot of positives.
Their team batting average of .220 ranks 29th in MLB. But they do rank fifth overall in strikeouts, so that’s something.
Their team ERA is 4.27, good for 17th in MLB. Their bullpen ERA is 5.50, 27th in MLB.
And the team’s fielding percentage of .977 is 26th in the major leagues. Their 24 errors are tied for the second most in baseball.
With a tick under five months of baseball remaining in the season, there is, of course, plenty of time. And there is recent precedent for a reversal of play, too.
In 2015, Yu Darvish was on the shelf for the season when he required Tommy John surgery during spring training. On May 3, 2015, the team dropped to 8-16 and 9 1/2 games out of first place. That team eventually reached .500 on Aug. 4 and went on to finish first in the AL West with 88 wins.
But that club also acquired Cole Hamels on July 31, and then made its push.
This team doesn’t have the type of pieces to make that type of acquisition even if the deal presented itself. And now Hamels is out for two months .... sorry, eight weeks. Big difference.
My feeling before the start of the regular season was that this was, at best, an 85-win team that could contend for a wild card, and that the AL West was going to catch up, which it has.
There is plenty of time and countless games remaining for the Rangers to get their garbage together. We have seen, repeatedly, that how a team starts is not an accurate reflection of how it will finish. But, right now, this club stinks.
Keep the tab open.