OK, it's time to say this, although it's only April 25--real early April 25--and the season is just barely over 20 games in. The Texas Rangers, my Texas Rangers, are a frigging disaster of a franchise. I am declaring the season officially over for 2008, and I will start praying now for 2009. At this point in the season, they have lost over twice as many games as they've won. Has there been a worse aggregation of ball players in one place at one time? Oh, of course, there have been many worse, but I was not a fan of those teams. I've been suffering with the Rangers ever since 1984. During that time, they have made the playoffs only three times, and they were defeated in the first round three times. Out of the 10 playoff games they have played, the managed to win exactly one. Since 2000, this team has finished last in their division five times and next-to-last the other three times. In the entire history of the franchise, going back to 1961, the Rangers have been able to win over 90 games in a season exactly twice. Here's the whole dismal history.
What brought me to this conclusion about this year? Even if the past were not an indication, last night's game was enough. How about a 19-6 drubbing by what was the worst team in the American League until Texas came to town, Detroit? Lovely. How about some highlights: Texas has a 5-0 lead after an inning and a half. They blow that entire lead in the bottom of the second. They are down a run by the end of the third. In the sixth, they give up 11 runs! I'm told by a Tiger fan that only once before in their history has Detroit scored more runs in an inning. And just for good measure, Texas pitching in the 7th, in this case, Joaquin Benoit, walks four guys in the inning, and walks in a run. Detroit has scored in just about every way conceivable at this point, including an error with the sacks full and a hit batsman with the sacks full.
I've just checked to see how the boys did tonight. Guess what? They lost again. So Detroit has swept the series, and Texas is 7-16. They've lost 7 in a row and 8 of the last 10.
I understand Nolan Ryan, president of the Rangers, doesn't like the idea of pitch counts for his pitchers. Few starters are allowed more than about 110 pitches a game these days--about enough for 6 innings. And of course I agree with the Express; pitch counts have not lessened injuries, which is what they are supposed to be doing . . . but first, I'd like to see a few pitchers on this miserable staff be able to last as long as 100 pitches. Then we can talk about leaving them in beyond that.