Texas Rangers: Fool's Gold or Gritty Perseverance?

While I was gone the Texas Rangers, well, um, let's face it ... they crumbled.

Starters not making it past the fifth inning. Bullpen overworked. Bottom third of the order about as effective as BP's oil spill plans G, H and I. Four consecutive losses. Division lead kaput. Not good.

I keep applauding the Rangers for surviving the early-season storm of injuries (Ian Kinsler, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, etc.), flameouts (Chris Davis) and uncertainty (at this point U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Lynn will rule sometime this month to either hand the team over to Chuck Greenberg or re-boot the entire process and open the sale to bidders.)

But in reality, have they showed guts in withstanding misforturne, or have they merely attempted to duct tape holes in a ship that will eventually, inevitably sink?

At 26-24 the Rangers are only one game out of first place in the mediocre coagulation known as the American League West. But it's a stretch to call them a good team.

They are 19-6 against losing teams; only 7-18 against winners. And consider, at two games above .500 they'd be well behind in every other division:

AL Central - 4.5

AL East - 7

NL West - 4

NL Central - 3

NL East - 3.5

Until - and if - Greenberg and his infusion of cash arrives, just not sure how the Rangers are supposed to improve. With Nelson Cruz on the disabled list and Julio Borbon apparently not ready for Major League pitching, the Rangers' commendable early-season survival might be about to crash into an early-summer disaster.

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