MLB Playoffs 2011: 5 Reasons Not to Root for the Texas Rangers
In October, MLB fans begin to change their colors.
October begins with only eight teams remaining on the lonely branches of the baseball season. And as the weather cools and the daylight dwindles, baseball fans slowly change their colors too, until eventually only two teams are left dangling.
And that brings us to the Fall Classic.
With each round of the playoffs, certain fans end up losing their favorite teams.
As a result, the World Series features two separate teams’ fanbases, along with additional viewers who now desire to cheer on a team other than their first choices.
Maybe they like a certain player, one league over the other, or even a city or state.
On the flip side, other fans decide on a team to cheer for based on which one they dislike the least.
Not necessarily choosing to have a particular team win, but rather wanting so bad for the other team to lose.
Here are five reasons not to root for those powerful Texas Rangers.
They Are in the American League
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Baseball purists frown at the American League and their adoption of the designated hitter back in 1973.
When the National League collides with the American League—be it in the World Series, interleague play or the All-Star Game—hardcore baseball fans fundamentally will root for the Senior Circuit squad to win every time.
They like to see the basics applied from the NL, as opposed to the mash ‘em and bash ‘em power ball of the AL.
Though the Texas Rangers are a well-rounded team, having placed in the top five in the AL in both stolen bases and sacrifice hits, critics will no doubt point to their video game stats of 210 home runs and .283 team batting average.
They have an insanely powerful lineup, and for that reason, it takes the genuine depth away from the game. There’s less strategy and counter-strategy. It’s just a grip ‘em and rip ‘em mentality.
That’s not the Rangers’ fault, however. You can’t blame them for being as good as they are as hitters. They are who they are.
Still, fans of the National League will perennially cheer on the team that does it the old fashioned way—with the pitchers batting.
They Are Favored
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The Texas Rangers are definitely a confident bunch—especially after reaching the pinnacle last year, only to fall short in the 2010 World Series to the Giants.
This year’s squad has ridden that playoff experience in hopes of taking the next step by winning the title this postseason.
Behind the standard setting of manager Ron Washington, the Rangers as a unit are collected and convinced that this is their year. Their free-spiritedness stems from the fact they are an incredibly talented group of ballplayers.
They've got swagger, yes they do.
As such, the Rangers take their electrifying offense and stifling pitching into the World Series as the favorites to win it all. Most people assume Texas will take that next step, as few teams in the modern era lose consecutive World Series appearances.
But casual sports fans will traditionally opt for the underdog, the team who has most defied the odds and are not expected to win. The St. Louis Cardinals miraculously made their way into the playoffs this year, overcoming a 10-game deficit in the National League wild-card race.
They have experienced quite a magical run so far this postseason, and people are abuzz with the possibility of another Cinderella run.
Because Texas is favored, they won’t win many new fans this World Series.
Dallas Has Already Won
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Most fans are not fond of the idea of a major metropolitan area winning multiple team sports championships in the same year—unless, of course, they live in that particular city.
That’s why the rest of America typically frowns on the Boston Red Sox-Celtics-Bruins-Patriots titles in the past decade—and why nobody especially roots for multiple New York championships, and why everyone’s somewhat glad the Phillies-Eagles dream teams in Philadelphia are having difficulty with their title hopes.
It’s just kinder for the rest of the U.S. to experience the championship parity. Spread the wealth a bit, yes?
Unfortunately, this applies to the Texas Rangers, who shares their neighborhood with fellow sports franchises such as the Dallas Cowboys, Mavericks and NHL’s Stars. As such, it chafes the rest of America to have Texas—specifically Dallas—win another championship after the Mavericks won an NBA title in June.
One can only grimace at the idea of the Cowboys completing the trifecta come the Super Bowl.
Dallas is a metropolis of big bravado and sweltering swagger. That confidence can ruffle non-Texans the wrong way. For the rest of the nation, it’d be best to not have to hear their boasting following this MLB postseason, should the Rangers win a World Series title.
It’s safe to say the “Don’t mess with Texas” campaign has runs its course.
Mascot: Rangers Captain
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The Texas Rangers are a baseball team named after the venerable division law enforcement that patrols the very large state of Texas.
Historically, the Rangers were revered for their bravery and honor in protecting and serving the community since 1823. In fact, the Rangers were heavily involved in high-profile cases, including the killing of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde.
Unlike many police officials, these Texas lawmen are a well-respected outfit in the state, both for their duty and assistance to citizens of Texas.
So why is the mascot of the Texas Rangers' baseball team a cartoon horse?
The team mascot is a horse named Rangers Captain. Maybe he’s more gentle and entertaining for the tots and toddlers—maybe it’s more fun and cuddly when fans take pictures with him.
But wouldn’t it be prestigious, almost honorable, to stand alongside a real rootin’ tootin’ cowboy of a policeman? A real law enforcer. A real man. A real Ranger.
After all, they aren’t the Texas Palominos.
Banning of the Wave
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Peanuts and hot dogs. Bringing a mitt to the park. The seventh inning stretch and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Standing up and doing the wave.
These are all lifelong traditions of attending a baseball game. Unless you’re at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Earlier this season, the Texas Rangers proposed the banning of the American ritual of standing up in unison with your fellow sectioned fans, arms raised in the air, in a metered pattern with the rest of the entire stadium.
Though the prohibition of the wave is lightheartedly sarcastic, it is dishearteningly dispiriting. Banning the wave at baseball stadiums is like banning homemade signs or cotton candy or long bathroom lines.
They might as well outlaw $9 beers. Well, they should.
But the wave, as elementary and inane as it is, provides a joyous five seconds of camaraderie betwixt neighboring fans, people who ordinarily may not know each other but may share a common bond while attending a baseball game.
The wave brings people together. It gives people something to cheer while watching a pitching change.
Who in their right mind would say goodbye to the wave? The fact that The Ballpark forbids the wave is a shame.