If you’ve been following Puckett’s Pond, you’ve read the arguments about why you should or shouldn’t root for Arizona, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, New York, and Philadelphia. We are running out of playoff teams. If you have not decided who to root for yet, the Texas Rangers may be your last choice (unless the Rays, Giants, or Cardinals somehow sneak into the playoffs, in which case we’ll make the case for each of them).
And that recount I demanded when the Twins were eliminated from the playoffs hasn’t happened. I’m trying to hire a team of theoretical mathemeticians who can come up with a formula that still gives them a chance, but I’m starting to lose hope. So let’s see what the Rangers are up to instead.
Fansided has a Texas Rangers site: Nolan Writin’. If you’re interested in following the boys from Arlington on their postseason run, you should check it out.
Why Should You Root for the Rangers?
The Texas Rangers don’t have the storied history that some other playoff teams do. Unlike the Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox, Braves, and Tigers, the Rangers have not been around for more than a century. And their historical roster of stars is not very deep: Ivan Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, and Kenny Rogers are not at the same level as Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, and Steve Carlton. The only player inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Ranger is current team owner Nolan Ryan, and Ryan only played five of his 27 seasons in Texas. Fellow HOFer Bert Blyleven also spent a few years in Texas, though he sensibly chose to be inducted as a Twin.
In fact, this very lack of historical success is a great reason to root for the Rangers. They are an underdog. Yes, they made it to the World Series last year, but that was the first time in the 50 year history of the franchise that they even reached that final round. The Rangers have been down so long that you’re almost heartless if you don’t want to see them succeed just for once.
Twins fans might consider supporting Texas because the Rangers have a historical connection to the Twins (aside from Blyleven). As you probably know, the Twins moved to Minnesota from Washington D.C. in 1961. As part of the deal allowing them to move, baseball awarded an expansion team to Washington. Coincidentally, just four years later the Twins beat the new Washington Senators to clinch their first ever World Series appearance. And just a couple years after that, the new Senators moved to Texas to become the Rangers. Thus, both the Twins and the Rangers can trace their roots back to our nation’s capital. If the Rangers win the World Series this year, it might be the closest thing possible to a Twins victory, as the Senator legacy will live on.
One more point in the Rangers’ favor: If you’re one of the millions of Chuck Norris fans on the internet, the Rangers are the obvious choice. After all, there was never a TV show called “Walker, Milwaukee Brewer” (Although, come to think of it, that would be a great idea: imagine Norris as a brewmaster defending his secret lager recipe from terrorists and ninjas).
Why Shouldn’t You Root for the Rangers?
Well, for one thing, the Rangers don’t even get top billing in their own home city. Dallas, Texas is a Cowboys town, and nothing the Rangers can do will change that. It’s hard to generate enthusiasm for a team that is always overshadowed like that. Speaking of other Dallas teams, I’m sure there are thousands of Minnesotans who aren’t too happy with the NHL team that Dallas stole from us. If you resent Dallas because of the Stars… well, I guess that’s as good a reason as any to root against a team.
If you watch a Ranger postseason game, you’re likely to catch a glimpse of former owner and former U.S. President George W. Bush in the front row. This could be a point for or a point against the Rangers, depending on which side of the political aisle you’re on, but I thought I’d mention that. If politics is a yardstick for sports, Republicans should cheer on the Rangers while Democrats may prefer Jimmy Carter’s Atlanta Braves.