By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
If these were individual, isolated incidents, it wouldn't be so bad. But taken on the whole, it speaks to something bigger. Either the Rangers are oblivious to their missteps (which I doubt) and how they poorly portray the organization, or, more likely, they simply don't think they can screw up enough to keep you away from the park. Maybe they're right. On the first day of individual sales, the club sold the second most tickets in its history (though that easily could be attributed to any number of variables, including more games with the Yankees or interest in series with Houston or St. Louis or such).
Granted, the team has made some strides. They're pretty good--not great--with signing autographs, and they've done some things for the community. But they haven't done nearly enough--not for a last-place team. They need to understand that, until they win, they have to make every effort.
The best move the Rangers have made on the marketing/relations front was allowing a group of 15 loyal fans to attend a scrimmage earlier this week. Security wasn't thrilled about the idea because of a lack of park attendants and insurance concerns, but the Rangers made it happen anyway. The group--led by Cal and Shirley Kost, whom everyone calls "the Cookie Lady" because she bakes for the Rangers--was thrilled. They just wanted to watch their boys; it made their day.
That bit of benevolence was manufactured by Showalter. (He may not like some reporters at times, but he loves the Cookie Lady.) Good thing, too. I doubt the owner would have gone for it. Had it been brought to Hicks' attention, the hunch here is that he might have turned old Cal and Shirley upside down and shaken the loose change out of them.