Silver Linings from the Worst Season in Texas Rangers History
You've got to see this pose in Arlington at least once.
Screencap of MLB.com Video
The 2014 Texas Rangers might not be the worst team in the club's 42 years in Arlington -- the 1972 and '73 Rangers have at least a claim to that title -- but 2014 has certainly been the worst year for the franchise as a whole. It started with the promise of knowing that the team had won at least 90 games in each of the last four season and was willing to remake itself, by way of trading Ian Kinsler to the Tigers for Prince Fielder and signing Shin-Soo Choo to a $130 million free agent contract, to chase a long elusive World Series win. It gave way to a dreadful reality.
Sports are about treating inconsequential games as if they matter, not because they do (they don't) but because they provide an escape, a thing to do, an excuse to drink beer. When losses mount and off-the-field issues overwhelm your ability to care about what's happening on the field, it's easy to wonder if it's worth sticking around.
Here are five reasons to stick with the Rangers:
1. Joey Gallo It'd be a bad idea to the quit the Rangers without watching Gallo take batting practice at least once. Gallo has more raw power than any Rangers prospect since Pete Incaviglia. He'll hit a bunch of home runs, strike out a ton and never not be fun. All signs point to the Frisco infielder getting at least a cup of coffee with the big club next year, an event that shouldn't be missed.
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2. The trappings that come with finishing dead last To the delight of Team Tank, the Rangers are looking more like they are going to finish with the worst record in the league with each passing day. Doing so would come with a bevy of benefits. The club would get the first pick in next June's draft, the first slot on the waiver wire for the whole of the off-season and an increased bonus pool for international free agents. As the Astros have shown over the past few seasons, runs of mediocre season destroy franchises, but truly awful ones allow them to reload quickly.
See also: The Rangers Even Suck at Sucking
3. Cheap tickets As someone who went to more than 125 games between 2009 and 2011, but has been to less than 25 since, I can personally attest to the ruinous effects of bandwagon jumpers on the ability to score bargain tickets from Stubhub. Now that most of those folks have hopped off, perhaps we can return to the days of sub-$20 seats in the lower bowl.
4. The New Guy Either way, following a team with a new manager is fun. If the Rangers are terrible again, you can spew all the hot sports takes you want about the guy without feeling the melancholy that comes with trashing someone who's been around forever. If the team is great, well, they're great which is kind of the point.
5. Jurickson Profar Remember him? Profar, the erstwhile No. 1 prospect in baseball, is still just 21 years old. The Rangers, and their fans, have yet to expierience a full season of regular Profar playing time. Don't you want to find out if he can even come close to living up to his former hype?