The Texas Rangers have done something most of us, if not all of us, thought was impossible when the 2015 season began.
They’re in first place. All by themselves.
After a walk off win on Tuesday night, I’m sure the entire fan base gathered together and began sending as many tweets as they could to Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron to make him finally come out and admit to being wrong. I’m sure some had fun with it while getting blocked by Cameron himself.
Sure he’s not the only one who has continued to say the Rangers weren’t the team of destiny or even a team that would contend for anything that was meaningful.
Yet, here they are.
What’s the one thing that has made the biggest difference with this team? Well, that could be argued and debated for hours and days on end but the one thing that most of this fan base will agree with is the job that first year manager Jeff Banister has done to make this his team.
While there’s no question what Adrian Beltre and Prince Fielder do for this clubhouse, it’s been Banister himself who has set the mindset of the entire team and has them believing that they can finally forget about that fateful day in St. Louis and write a new chapter that no one will forget about for an entirely different reason.
There will still be talk of that day but only because it’s where this franchise came from. Are they bound for a World Series championship? Maybe. It’s one step beyond where I was ever prepared to go a few months, or even a few days, ago but it’s one that has become part of the back of the mind discussion around the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.
The only ones not talking about it are the ones who have been waiting for their team to win anything meaningful in 19 years. Yes I’m speaking of the team that plays down the street from Globe Life Park. If only those who waited ten deep at the door this past Sunday night would take the white and blue off and instead don their red and blue and make the baseball stadium feel like it was hit by an earthquake.
You see, the Texas Rangers aren’t that team that believes the way everyone else does. They believe only what is said amongst themselves inside a clubhouse that we aren’t privy to. Conversations that would fire them up and make us in the stands wonder how this team continues to play the way they do every, single, night.
A series is still yet to be finished and there is still business to take care of over the next two games. The Rangers shouldn’t be, and won’t, be complacent about what they face over the next two nights. They know what needs to be done as they want to be able to control their own destiny.
Win the next two nights and they’ll do exactly that. They’ll send Houston out of town wondering how things went so wrong since the month of July where they had the division firmly in their grasp. How did it come to this?
Fangraphs can continue to call the Rangers whatever they want to call them. That’s their prerogative. But the only thing this team cares about is the way they play on the field and what they believe to be true. With that belief, and that mindset, it will lead this ball club, and the franchise, to the top of the mountain that was within their grasp just a few years ago.
This time, however, it may not come down to one pitch or one out.
But, before then, there’s still business to attend to.
Dallas Keuchel, in the words of that once great wrestler, you’re next.