What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
I consider this site to consist of some of the most hardcore, intelligent, and devoted Rangers fans in Texas. However, i've noticed a perpetual tone of negativity (i'm guilty as well) due to the current state of the rangers. When you get to the bottom line though, the facts are: We're in 1st place, in the weakest division i've seen in a long LONG time. And we've been injury plagued all year.
So my question is... Was going to the World Series, from a fanstandpoint now and going forward, detremental to the team? Basically all i'm saying is are we being to hard on the Rangers. Are we expecting too much from them. Is it fair to expect them to make the WS every year just cuz we did it one time?
Or the other thing I was thinking, was the acquisition of Cliff Lee what's been the most detremental to us as a fan base? You cant really say he's the reason we made it to the WS, but without how he pitched in game 5 of the ALDS would we have won? our Offense was pretty lights out that game as well. Colby Lewis gets teh credit for the ALCS. My point is we essentially still have the same team as last year, yet we're not performing the same. And its driving as fans bonkers. and we dont know what the solution is to fix it.
Yet in the same breath none of us are truly stopping to realize that hey, we still have a good shot to make the playoffs, and then as in any playoff series.... its a complete reboot, its a new season, and who knows what happens. Say it was our offense that won Game 5 in TB. Then technically we didnt need cliff lee (although he did have a great game in NY as well). But CJ has improved, maybe Colby gets his playoff form back when we get to the playoffs (he seems like a guy that thrives off the added pressure i dunno just my opinion) Ogando has been impressive, and Harrison will most likely be an upgrade over how Hunter threw last year.
I'm just curious as if anyone else thinks we're being too hard on this team, and if we're essentially expecting this team to make the WS every year now (btw theres nothing wrong w that, if your not aiming for the gold, dont play the game), or if by making the Lee deal, we're also expecting moves like that each year to push us over the top.
Bottom line is we're not on par to only winning 20 games.... but it seems like the fanbase is actually even unhappier w the rangers right now than they would be if they were. Are the expectations too much?
A short answer to your questions: No, we are not being too hard on the Rangers and expectations are not too high.Now, a longer explanation.After earning a trip to the World Series last year, expectations were naturally going to be high from the front office all the way down to the fan who goes to one or two games a year.The team proved it could win a playoff series (the Rays) and exorcise demons (the Yankees). It showed a tremendous amount of grit, everyone loved the way the players rallied around the claw and antlers and how C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis came out of nowhere to bolster the rotation.If the Rangers had a lead after the 7th, the bullpen almost always slammed the door.Coming into 2011, the only major piece missing from last year was Cliff Lee and as you said, he didn't do a lot of heavy lifting toward winning the AL West. Third base defense was improved with Adrian Beltre and coming out of spring training, the rotation looked stronger than 2010 as Alexi Ogando was really turning heads.As you said, the Rangers are in first place, and could be favored to make the playoffs again.But under the surface, trouble is boiling.After 79 games last year, the Rangers were 47-32, in first place and were humming along.This year, they are 41-38, still in first place, but haven't shown an inclination toward taking over the division.Too often this season, Texas has received pitching lines such as the one Derek Holland delivered yesterday.The bullpen? Don't get me started on Ol' Bumpy Rhodes, Old Man Oliver and the other assorted arms tossing gasoline onto the fire.Offensively, Kinsler is popping everything up, Nelson Cruz has hit a bunch of homers but still hasn't cracked the .240 barrier, Josh Hamilton is scared of day games, David Murphy is showing he's really a fourth outfielder after all and Elvis Andrus can't seem to get close enough to .300 to justify hitting him so high in the order.Without Mitch Moreland or Michael Young, this team would be five games under .500.Defensively? All you need to know is the team is near the bottom of the American League in defense. That was not the case last year.A true fan can't expect the Rangers to go back to the World Series every year. But a true fan should be able to expect the same type of effort from every player in every game throughout the year.This is why, after 79 games, this team deserves criticism.
I agree with pretty much everything No. 42 said (although I disagree with the defense assessment, as Texas is in the top 1/3 of the AL in UZR according to FanGraphs)
I would like to add an alternate viewpoint here:
Do you think the current Yankees roster is better than the Rangers current roster? With the exception of CC at the top of their rotation and perhaps Cano at 2B, I personally think the Rangers are better at every position. I also think that the Rangers are better as a whole (better outfield, better overall depth of starting rotation, etc.)
Again, the 2011 versions of BOTH of the aforementioned teams are essentially unchanged, and Texas made it pretty obvious in last year's ALCS who the better squad was.
Texas' record as of 6/27/11 :
NY record as of 6/27/11: You get the picture...in a nutshell...WTF?!?!
Additionally, NY has had plenty of injury issues, just liek Texas - so I don’t see that as an equalizer.
Amen to that, 42. I expected improvement from the rest of the West but not this much of a backslide from the Rangers. They're giving away games they should be winning, whether it's the bullpen blowing it, the errors both quanitified and mental or the offense taking games off against beatable pitchers or scoring just enough against them and falling back asleep. This team is not playing with the mental edge, or even the joy, with which they were playing a year ago. Say what you will about Mikey Baseball, but he's one of the only batters on the team I've seen playing just as hard and with just as much intensity as he did a year ago. We may not have a TORP, but our starting five hasn't been that bad. Even Holland, who hasn't been that great, is still doing better than Feldman or Harden did a year ago.The bullpen gets most of the blame, but from where I sit, there are six or seven guys in the regular line-up who need to gut check themselves and start playing like they did last year.
I agree in part with what your saying No. 42 especially about World Series expectations. Yes making the World Series increases the level of expectation going into the following year. The euphoria of an experience like that often blinds fans to reality. Unfortunately for the Rangers and even the Giants we as fans have been blind through most of this year. Not in a bad way mind you just in relation to what our competition actually is.
Last year you can argue that the two worst regular season teams made the World Series. The Giants actually were the worst NL team during the season and the Rangers played in a week division. No one besides Rangers and Giants fans picked those two teams to make it out of the first round much less advance to the WS because they simply weren't the best teams.
Flashforward to the start of this year. The Rangers made some significant additions over the offseason but they still weren't the best team in the AL at the start of the year. Most everyone agreed that that distinction belonged to the Red Sox with the Yankees close on their heels. Detroit and the ChiSox made some pretty solid improvements as well everyone knew the Mariners would be significantly better than they were last year. So that means before the first pitch is through the odds of repeating a WS birth are stacked against the Rangers. The Giants are in a worse situation because they are defending WS Champs and were worse at the start of this year than they were when they won the WS. Meanwhile the oddson favorite to win it all last year out of the NL got Cliff Lee. At the start of the year the Giants were probably the fifth best team in the NL behind Philly, Atlanta, St. Louis and Cincinatti. That's pretty humbling if you ask me.
I don't think it's too much to ask a team to be competitive every game but I do think there is a difference between wanting your team to be competitive and realizing what their limitations are. I believe this team is a playoff caliber team. However I don't think their talent level is enough to get them back to the World Series without another magical run. And lets face it, how likely is it for a team to have a magical playoff run two years in a row.
I think the fans in general are being too hard on the team right now. I think the expectations are too high right now with the way this team is constructed. I think last year has a lot to do with these lofty expectations. With that said, I think that if we are still playing like we are currently playing toward the end of the season, then the higher exceptions and elevated criticism will be warranted. Let's all have some patience and see where the internal call-ups and roster moves prior to the trade deadline takes this roster. We will also see an uptick in play from those that are not producing up to their season averages. (Beltre, Kinsler, Cruz, YT, Elvis, etc...) This team has the ...wait for it... potential (yeah, I said it, and I know that word is what is the basis for much of the angst that fans are feeling) to be a great team this year and for MANY years to come. I chose to sit back and wait for it a few more months for it to grow before losing my hair over it. Even with as bad/inconsistent as we have been, we are still a few games above .500. Always look on the bright side of life. (unless we play ourselves out of the playoffs)
No, I don't believe the Rangers' everyday lineup is better than the Yankees.Teixiera or Moreland at first? Gotta go with Teixiera, even though he's detestable.Cano, yes he's better than Kinsler at second.ARod at third or Beltre? Gotta go with ARod.Granderson or Chavez/Gentry in center? Gotta go with Granderson.Elvis or a healthy Jeter at short? It's close, but even though Elvis is a better defender, Jeter can still hit in the clutch.Hamilton in left or whoever for NY? Hamilton wins that one.Swisher or Nellie Cruz in right? Cruz is .240, Swisher, 245. A tossup.Rotation? This, too, is a tossup, NY's starters are 35-24 with a 3.61 ERA. Rangers, 32-22, 3.62 ERA.Bullpen? Not even close. This is NY's all the way with a 2.11 ERA to the Rangers 3.94. Just so you'll know, I'm a dyed in the wool Yankee hater. Jeter and Granderson are the only guys on that team that are not jerks. But numbers, especially the Yankees' overall record, don't lie.The Rangers won last year because (a) Cliff Lee pitched in the playoffs and the rest of the rotation somehow outpitched the Yankees other starters and (b) Texas' bats didn't go limp as they have too many times this year.
I agree the rangers deserve criticism. They deserve alot of criticism for various things. i'm just wondering if the fan base would recognize this, and react the way we have so far had we not gone to the WS and were the same old rangers of the 2000s.... i was just curious. but I agree with everything ya'llve said. its just funny how things turn out cuz at the beginning of the year we had so much hope. And then the 9-1 start and it was on. now we're hanging by a thread and wondering what the F*** just happened. i tell you what.... i feel like ive been blindsided by the nolan ryan express lol. and not in a good way. This team cant find its identity. and its rough. For the most part the pieces are there. and offensively and defensively we should be a better team. the only question was the rotation. its been the exact opposite. The offense is bipolar as shit, the defense has struggled w basic plays the bullpens been a disaster and we're all sitting here wondering what went wrong. its been a strange strange year folks. A GD perpetual full moon i swear. But i think we make the playoffs. And you get this team fired up, we got a punchers chance of doing something. Especially if we shore up the BP. i'm the most scared that they wont do anything to shore up the BP and we'll be the Rangers of the 90s. make the playoffs. Have a decent close game. and the BP will throw it away. i know Darren Oliver still wakes up with the sweats from 96. such irony how he might subtley pay CJ or Colby back.... i dunno guys other than to just keep telling my self its a long season. and who knows what will happen. i attempted a mini playoff scenario.... it crashed and burned miserably. but you know what it just shows what a punchers chance can do. Just dont F*** w Verlander lol. (FYI that alludeds to the fact that i picked Tex and Det playing in the ALCS...needless to say i dont have us winning)
I had a Mgr once that played the perfect card on a dead team.We had won our division and the Org received a very nice Trophy.The NEXT season, right after the ASB, we were playing sluggish.Sort of as the Rangers are now... frayed rope syndrome, as such
Well, we lost a horrible game one night. He came into our CH space,slammed down a big trophy, right in the middle of our snack table and proceeded to smash the darn thing with a fungo, along with all of our fresh post game food. The CH was a mess and this Trophy was ina thousand pieces. He didn't say a word... just walked off and out to the parking lot and left.
The REAL Trophy, is still in the Orgs trophy area. Only the point was real.We never looked back after that incident and nothing was ever said.Words were not enough... hard play definitely was.Borrow my fungo, RW?
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