“That’s just how baseball goes.” You’ll hear that quote at a lot of post-game news conferences from the Texas Rangers’ manager, Ron Washington. And in a sense, he’s right. Baseball is just about as unpredictable a sport as there is. Players constantly rotate in and out of hot and cold streaks. You just hope that enough of your favorite team’s players are hot at once to string together some winning streaks.
Which brings us to the 2010 American League champs, the Rangers. They are playing about as inconsistently as it gets. One night they’ll score 15 runs. The next, none. I understand it happens to all teams at times, but I think the expectations are very high for this season. Texas had a taste of the World Series last year, and we liked it. It reignited my love of baseball.
So I have to ask, three quarters of the way through this season if the Rangers are still playing like they are now, is Ron Washington still employed as the general manager? I’m not calling for his head, I’m just wondering, if they keep the same pace, do the cries for his firing grow too loud to ignore? Let him have the All-Star break, where he has to manage the AL team, then give him a month to get the ship righted. If it’s not, I wouldn’t be shocked to start hearing those cries. Someone has to be blamed. Heaven forbid it be the multi-millionaire players. That leaves Wash.
Besides, “that’s just how baseball goes,” the common answer you hear from all the players is “we just have to get back to playing our brand of baseball.” I agree. We love the Rangers’ brand of baseball. That brand is decent pitching (doesn’t even have to be mind-blowing) combined with a ridiculous amount of runs. It’s a blast to watch. But if I didn’t know anything about the Rangers and just started watching this year, I’d think their brand of baseball was mediocre pitching combined with inconsistent bats for a 500-ish team. Seems a far cry from the team that carried us to the World Series last year.
But we’re still in first place you say. In the American League West, that’s not saying much. I’m pretty sure I played for a Little League team when I was nine that could be in first in the AL West right now. If this team is still playing like this come the playoffs, I don’t like their chances. If the schedule happens to hit when they are hot, they can make it deep. If not, well, that’s just how baseball goes.
Again, it’s probably a lot of worrying for a team that’s technically tied for first place. I just don’t see the team winning consistently enough to still be playing in October.