"Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli are gone? Oh no, what are we going to do? And Mike Adams and Koji Uehara. And Michael Young? Oh no, well wait ..."
"We didn't get Justin Upton, or Zack Greinke? Whatever we will do."
Those were the cries coming from Texas Rangers fans entering the 2013 season after an offseason deemed horribly unsuccessful.
Now, look at all those names again. The one we thought we'd miss most is doing the worst (Hamilton) and Greinke is on the disabled list after trying to shoulder tackle a large man charging at him like a bull.
All of that, and the Rangers are in first place after the first month of the season with a 16-9 record, good for the second-best record in all of baseball, two games behind the white-hot Red Sox and our old friend Mike Napoli, who's leading the world in RBIs.
Matt Harrison had back surgery after two ugly starts and is out until July, causing us all to gasp when Justin Grimm made his return to the bigs. The results so far? 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA. How about that dark-horse fifth starter candidate that only stepped in when top prospect Martin Perez broke his arm after a successful spring? Nick Tepesch is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA and appears set to stay in the Rangers' rotation for quite some time as a serious groundball pitcher — a perfect fit for Rangers Ballpark.
Lance Berkman, the aging full-time DH, is near the top of the league in on-base percentage, and Nelson Cruz, the on-again-off-again slugger is definitely on at the moment.
David Murphy and Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland have all had horrid starts to the season at the plate, and the Rangers are still chugging.
See, folks. Sometimes change is a good thing.