This is not the way it was supposed to be. Ask any fan of the Texas Rangers and they will tell you that the 2012 regular season was not supposed to turn out this way. This team was supposed to run away with the American League West, have a huge lead, home field advantage locked up well before the last day of the regular season and be primed and ready for the postseason. This team was talented, experienced and full of depth and there was not supposed to be anyone to step in their way of getting that final out this time around. They came blasting out of the gates and looked like 100 wins was a distinct possibility. They were the team to beat and everybody knew it. So it is fair to say that on day 162 they were never expected to be playing the Oakland A's for the division title. Not because the A ' s shouldn ' t be there, but because the Rangers should be that far in front of everyone.
It was never supposed to be this way, but that's the way it is and that is baseball for you. Thank goodness baseball is that way, but hopefully the Rangers can pull out one more regular season win. One more win that might still be able to give them home field advantage up until the World Series. One more win that might give them a bit of breathing room and a little time to get their rotation in order. One more win to remind them that they are the team to beat in the American League.
However one more loss could mean a Wild Card game on Friday, with ALDS games following Saturday and Sunday and no home field advantage throughout the entire postseason. One more loss could mean a rotation with absolutely no rest and important games every single time out. One more loss could be the final blow to a team that seems like it is running on fumes.
Maybe this is the wakeup call, maybe they need one more loss for that call to come or maybe it never will. However, this is still a team that has the talent to win. Jon Daniels has given Ron Washington the tools needed to win and it is up to this team to get the job done. I often say that all you can expect a team to do is get to the postseason and then whatever happens, happens. However this team is causing me to second guess that.
In many ways that is the reality of things, because anybody can get hot and make things happen, especially in October and a hot team should not take away a season full of success. When I look at this team, however, it will be a disappointment if they don't win the West and make a decent run in the postseason. They had the tools at the start of the year and Daniels has continued to improve the team. They may have had more injuries this year than one would have hoped, but the team is still loaded with talent and Daniels has done everything he can to help with those injuries.
Losing six out of eight is definitely not the way you want to finish a season, but things are not over. One more victory gives them a few days to get their head on straight and start playing the type of baseball everyone knows they are capable of, but maybe they need another loss. Maybe they need to be the Wild Card and be playing for their lives every single day.
Who knows what this team needs at this point, but they need something. They definitely need an offensive shot, but more than anything they need a big old dose of "want to." They need to want it. They need to want it bad. They need to want it today in Oakland, Friday against the Yankees or Orioles, or over the weekend against who knows. Simply put, they have to want it more than the other guys. It sure hasn't been that way for the past few days in Oakland, but things can change quickly and hopefully they will. One thing is for sure in the game of baseball; money and talent are not everything. Sometimes you just have to want it more than the other guys. Hopefully today is one of those days.
John Bowman is a lifelong baseball and Texas Rangers fan that loves to ponder the deeper aspects of the game. Some of his first baseball memories involve Arlington Stadium nachos, Charlie Hough's knuckleball, dirt on Pete Incaviglia's uniform and the voices of Mark Holtz and Eric Nadel as he fell asleep.
- Sports & Recreation
- American League West