“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): The Texas Rangers shouldn’t claim all of Texas

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. This is the Rangers’ entry.

Okay, this is something that, while not the April Fool’s joke of Continuuvideo, is still on the irrelevant side:

Why does the team in the Dallas-Arlington metropolitan area, the “Texas Rangers”, claim all of Texas, when the Houston Astros exist?

To be sure, the act of claiming an entire state even while there are other MLB teams in it isn’t new. It took awhile for the Marlins to stop being the “Florida Marlins” and instead the Miami Marlins, and the Angels renamed themselves the “California Angels” even though multiple other teams had already been in California. And yet, now, the Texas Rangers remain of Texas, even though at no point were they the only MLB team in the Lone Star State.

It’s obvious, of course, why they remain that way: there’s no such thing as a “Dallas Ranger” or “Arlington Ranger”, and the team has been around too long and seen too much success (most of it recent) to go and change it now, there’s too much merchandise and cache attached to it. It’s the same reason why a certain Los Angeles NBA team is named the Lakers even though there are no natural lakes in LA and why Salt Lake City’s NBA team is called the Utah Jazz even though Utah is probably one of the least jazzy states of the union (my apologies to all Utah-based jazz musicians). Or how a certain NFL team has a racial slur for it’s nickname even though every sane person who isn’t actively being paid by that or wasn’t literally raised as a fan of that team knows it is a slur (and even those people know it’s a slur, they just won’t admit it). The inertia of the brand is too much.

But still, c’mon, Rangers. Why are you pretending Houston doesn’t exist? Not cool.


“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2015): The Darvish Lament

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Previous installments can be found here. Today…. the Rangers.

This WOULD have been a post about Yu Darvish, the number one reason to watch the Texas Rangers.

And then he got hurt.

I would have probably posted this GIF.

But then he got hurt.

I would have predicted that Yu Darvish would win the Cy Young Award this season.

But then he got hurt.

So, instead, I’ll talk about how this is the year the Jurickson Profar finally arrives and lives up to the hype.

Oh. Wait.


Tomorrow: The Athletics.

If there is a three-way tie for the American League, then the Rangers are the 2 seed

There is a possibility, however remote, that the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers will all end up with the same record. For example, let’s say the Rangers slump at the end of the season and go 1-2 and the the two AL East teams go 2-1. Then all three teams will have 94-68 records.
Now, in the past, this wouldn’t have mattered. They’d just declare the winner based on whoever held the tiebreaker (probably head-to-head between the teams). However, now that winning the division will mean avoiding the dreaded one-game wild card game, there will be a tiebreaker game between the Yankees and Orioles.

Now, here’s the thing. A tiebreaker game would count in the regular season standings, as will the stats. So, the winner of that tiebreaker game would have a 95-68 record. This would mean that the winner of the tiebreaker game would have a better record (by a half-game) than Texas, and would, unless if I’m missing some sort of rule, be the top seed in the American League. The Rangers, behind that half game, would be the second seed, and would face the third seed (the AL Central winner, probably the Tigers).

So, in short, if there’s a three way tie in the AL, then the AL East Champion will be the top seed in the league.

Weird, huh?

Getting a lay of who is still in it, who isn’t, and who could get back into it

Well, with the Olympics now over, it’s time to return to 100% baseball mode. Okay, 97% baseball mode. You never know when I might decide to go off on a tangent about football or the movies or something.

But right now, all baseball. With the season about to enter it’s last month-and-a-half of madness, it’s time to figure out where all the teams are and who, exactly, still has a shot at reaching the playoffs. With the addition of the second Wild Card, this means more teams than previous years have at least an outside shot at the postseason. Of course, that doesn’t mean every team has an outside shot. So, here are how every team can be classified, in rough order of least to most chance of reaching the playoffs.


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Well, that was weird.

Okay, so yesterday:

  • The Texas Rangers lost to Seattle 21-8. Normally weird stuff like that happens when the Rangers play the Orioles.
  • Matt Kemp is hurt again. I blame the SI Cover Jinx.
  • Hawk Harrelson lost his mind.
  • The Orioles and Rays have done their best to make the AL East even more insane, going 2-8 and 4-6 respectively in the last 10 games. The AL East now has first and last separated by 2.5 games, with all teams above .500. Oh, and the Blue Jays are being accused of stealing signs. Again. I could have sworn this has happened before.
  • All the teams in the NL East are above .500 as well.
  • Pittsburgh’s win brought them back to .500. Which is always notable because, well, they are the Pirates.
  • The Marlins have now won 21 games in May. Well, I’d say April showers bring May flowers, but they have a retractable roof now, so…
  • Carlos Gonzalez had three home runs. Josh Hamilton is unimpressed, I’m sure.
  • Oh, and Justin Verlander hit a home run in batting practice.

East Coast Bias and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Part 3: Who gets ignored

As noted yesterday and the day before, ESPN does indeed have East Coast teams on Sunday Night Baseball more than many teams from other areas. However, it isn’t because ESPN wants teams closer to Bristol, it’s just that teams on the East Coast tend to do well both on the field and in the ratings, so it makes sense to schedule them more.

That said, there are some teams that end up getting the short end of the stick because of this. These are some of those teams.

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Texas + Baltimore= Wackiness

On May 10, 1972, the Texas Rangers (formerly the Washington Senators) faced the Baltimore Orioles for the first time. The game was a tight pitching duel between Dave McNally and Pete Broberg, who both went the distance. In a strange circumstance, the Orioles would win when, in the bottom of the ninth, Merv Rettenmund would score on a error by Rangers’ catcher Ken Suarez. In other words, not a single earned run was scored in the 1-0 Orioles victory.

This set the tone for the future of the two most bizarrely matched teams in baseball. When the Red Sox and Yankees face off, the games go forever. When the Orioles and Rangers face each other, games go to the Twilight Zone. So after that first game, where no earned runs were scored, here are some notable occurrences since then:

Interestingly enough, the weirdness magnet that is Texas-Baltimore did not start when the Rangers moved their from DC. On Sept. 12, 1962, Senators pitcher Tom Cheney went 16 innings and had a record 21 strikeouts.

Know of any other weird Texas-Baltimore games? Let me know.