ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 13: Manager Ron Washington #38 of the Texas Rangers looks on as the Texas Rangers take on the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 13, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
It’s been a forgettable 2014 so far for your Texas Rangers.
Countless injuries. Prince Fielder hitting lighter than Prince. Fans trashing fallen father Shannon Stone’s memorial statue. The team misspelling Arlington on Fielder’s bobblehead. Two adult men fought over a bat in the stands.
If this season was a video game, we’d hit reset and start over fresh.
Oh, then there’s between the lines. Just past the quarter-pole of this 162-game race, the Rangers are off to their worst start in seven years. Yep, not since manager Ron Washington’s rookie season have they had a worse record after 44 games.
Though the Rangers are closer to last-place Houston than first-place Oakland in the AL West, I’m not yet pounding the panic button. There are four months and 73 percent of the season remaining. Lotta baseball to be played.
But, um, so far … so bad.
As the Rangers begin a quick two-game series against the Mariners tonight at Globe Life Park they are 21-23. Last time they were under .500 after 44 games was 2007, when Kenny Lofton roamed center field, Sammy Sosa was the designated hitter, Vicente Padilla was in the rotation and Mark Teixeira had yet to be traded for Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Elvis Andrus. That year they were 17-27, en route to 75-87.
Every season since they’ve experienced a better start: 22-22 in ’08, 26-18 in ’09, 25-19 in ’10, 23-21 in ’11, 27-17 in ’12 and 29-15 last season.
They say you can’t win a division in May and the Rangers certainly haven’t played poorly enough to bury themselves and lose it. But if the stumble out of the gate isn’t going to define this season, they better get healthy and productice.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.