It has been my long belief that the Texas Rangers are the most irrelevant team in baseball. They're never good enough to capture anyone's imagination outside the Metroplex. They're never bad enough to become the de facto punchline to anyone's bad baseball jokes. They're hardly on television and rarely get discussed in a national context.
Heck, if it weren't for the fact Tom Hicks bidded against himself for A-Rod all those years back, it'd be almost like they haven't existed since Juan Gonzalez was in town and winning MVPs with his Juan Gone ways.
Instead they reside in some sort of weird sports limbo with the NFL's Bills, the NHL's Panthers and the NBA's Raptors, neither here nor there, not triumphant enough to be celebrated, not incompetent enough to be mocked.
Yet that status could change this season if they keep playing this way. Perhaps you've noticed (though you probably haven't) that the Rangers are playing some abysmally bad baseball. After today's 8-2 loss to the extremely-thankful-Texas-came-to-town Tigers, the Rangers are an AL-worst 7-16. They've dropped 12 of 14 games (including seven straight) and there's a good chance Ron Washington could be the first manager fired this season. The above "wow, this really sucks" look from Gerald Laird is about all you need to know about the team's current state.
The stats from the just-completed sweep by Detroit were frightening. The Rangers were outscored 37-10 in the three games, their pitching gave up a total of 10 homers and the batters were unable to take advantage of either Kenny Rogers or Jeremy Bonderman being unable to make it through five innings the past two days.
For Washington's sake, it's worth noting that new team president Nolan Ryan said he's not yet to the point of making "knee-jerk reactions," but you have to think he's close to the point. He was hired back from the Astros to again change the way people see baseball in Arlington and he doesn't have a chance to do so at the Rangers' current clip.
Well, at least not in a good way.