The Texas Rangers: America’s Team?
The latest MLB All Star voting results came in on Monday and Prince Fielder is the only starter who is not a member of the Yankees, Red Sox, or Rangers. Not too surprising considering that for the better part of the last decade the American League team has always been flooded with players from the Bronx and Boston, but what is surprising is that five out of the eight starters are Texas Rangers. Does this merit a conversation that the Rangers deserve the title of America’s Team? By no means. Am I going to examine the prospect of this anyway? YES I AM.
If you have ever taken the time to watch Lonesome Dove, then you understand just what it means to be a Texas Ranger. Robert Duval beds a 24 year-old smoking hot Diane Lane at the age of 67, and Tommy Lee Jones goes into uncontrollable black out fits of rage that tend to kill anyone in his path. That combined with the fact that the Rangers don the red, white and blue when they hit the field will begin the premise of our argument. The Rangers recent success and unprecedented popularity all starts with Jon Daniels. Six years removed from being a Delta Chi at Cornell, Daniels became the youngest GM in the history of Major League Baseball at the age of 28. Think of Billy Heywood from Little Big League, but the GM version. Daniels made power moves through blockbuster trades and free agency to obtain Nelson Cruz, Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli and Josh Hamilton. All of these players, and Ian Kinsler, are leading the ballots at their respective positions and he has managed to maintain one of the best farm systems in the league the entire time.
Daniels has created a team that has rivaled and surpassed the Braves as the fan favorites of southern America. The Christian demographic sings praises every time Murphy and Hamilton step to the plate and the majority of our lower-rent residents with a television set and a Napoli tee shirt jersey have their own hero on the team, as well. They appeal to the broad spectrum of baseball fans, from the clean cut image of good ole boy Michael Young to the edgier Hamilton. Lets face it, the days have long since passed when I can flip on TBS and see the Braves every single day, no one likes Fredi Gonzalez as much as they did Bobby Cox, and the only reason Chipper Jones is still on my fantasy team is for street cred.
Finally, there is not one manager in the league who demands and receives more respect than the Rangers Ron Washington. His contagious energy and leadership has reserved him a spot in the hearts of all Rangers fans, and he has every quality of an old school legendary baseball manager. Did he test positive for cocaine use? Sure. But he came clean and make the bold claim that it was his first and only time to use the drug. Nobody in the history of cocaine abuse has taken their first bump at the age of 60, but did that deter Washington’s alibi? No, sir. He has his story and he is sticking to it.
So, the next time you tune in to watch the Rangers here in the next few weeks, whether you catch Roy Oswalt’s first start, a Josh Hamilton long ball, or you sneak a peek of President Bush and Nolan Ryan shooting the shit in the front row and it feels a little bit like an iconic organization, that’s because it is. The World Series trophies will come and the loyalty of fans all across this great land will come with it. The Rangers have made their case, so jump on the bandwagon, there is plenty of room, and cheer with us for America’s team.