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Home News-Telegram Sports All-Star break over, now time to fuss at Rangers

All-Star break over, now time to fuss at Rangers

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By DON WALLACE
Sports Editor

    Gosh, I’ve had a few nice vacation days for my mind and spirit.
    I was in a better mood, I bickered less and I even mowed my yard in the scorching sun with a semi-happy smile on face.
    I took a couple of real nice walks with sweet wife in air conditioned First Baptist Church ROC.
    The reason for my new—found joy and delight - no Texas Ranger games.


    So since they didn’t play, they didn’t lose, and I have been without a reason to cuss or fuss. Man, it has been great.
    To explain my strange addiction to the Rangers would take too long —  it’s just  like this - I love and hate the baseball team.
    They have given me great thrills over the last four decades. Some in person, mostly through my devoted television viewing.
    From the ratty old stadium back in the ‘70s to a near misses in the World Series and everything in between and since, I have been right there with the Rangers.
    To my credit and horror.
    I don’t know which, I think I need to undergo therapy, but instead,  I’ll just write about it. It’s cheaper.
    I don’t just watch Rangers games, I analyze and scrutinize every pitch and at-bat. It’s frustrating.
    Every time  they leave the bases loaded and don’t get a single run from the near rally, I get irked.
    When the Rangers pitchers follow up a good inning bywalking the opponents’  pitiful No. 9 hitter or four pitches, I get irritated.
    The Rangers lead the league in strike outs and are the near the in top in blown saves by the bullpen.
    This Texas squad continues to have hitters who swing for the fences, even with two strikes.
    They don’t consistently move the runners over or have productive outs. For most of the hitters, they swing for themselves and next year’s contract and not for the team. I find fault with that.
    To the average fan that might mean nothing. Or you might expect that due to their lack of consistency they might be a fun team to watch,  because anything can happen. Just the oppositive.
    They are not thrilling like a Tom Clancy novel, they are like reading Field & Stream magazine, a tale of the big fish that got away. It seems like wins are always slipping off the hook for the Rangers, just when they appear to be in the boat.
    They won the first game of the second half last night. Big deal.
    Beltre, one of the oldest players on the team, probably is the best overall. I like the way he plays the game, but still how far can a team going building around an aging and somewhat brittle superstar.
    They have some other statistics for the team that drive me crazy.
    Joey Gallo leads the team with 21 homers and is a fine young player.
    Gallo also is hitting .194 for the year and still can be fooled and overpowered by Major League pitching. Also, you need to decide where to play him for a regular basis.
    Elvis Andrus, I don’t have many complaints about his game. I love the way he plays the game with a smile on his face. But he is the only .300 hitter on the team. That makes me frown.
    The Rangers are hitting .240 as a team, that’s 24th in the big leagues.
    They have struck out more than 800 times so far this season, that averages out to over seven times a game.
    The leading pitcher is Yu Darvish. He has a team-leading six wins with 3.49 earned run average and 125 strikeouts.
    Darvish, like many pitchers the Rangers have been associated with, is a head-case at times. I’d ship him off for future stars if they fall out of the race.
    That comes to the team record 44-45, right at .500. Does that give you a reason to think they are a playoff contender.
    This team is 16.5 games behind an Astros. You have to be realistic about the final 73 games the season.
    The Rangers have not shown me, a longtime fan, enough to have hope they will make the playoffs this year.  I want to wish for a miracle and remain an optimistic fan. But I’m afraid my hopes will fade in the Texas heat. I’ve seen it all before.

 

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