As we reflect upon the vanishing hourglass that is 2014, I thought I’d throw some confetti on the Rangers’ Top 5 Positives of the Year. Then, upon further review, I figured maybe I’d better just try to find one.
It was that kind of year for the Rangers, who in 2014 lost 95 games, their manager and all sorts of relevancy. But along the way, if you squint real herd, you can look back and see a couple of highlights:
5. In a sign that they were waving the white flag on a lost season, the Rangers traded closer Joakim Soria in July. The move re-opened the opportunity for Neftali Feliz. You remember him, right? Still recovering from arm surgery, he wasn’t quite as dominating as he was out of the bullpen in 2010-11, but his rise in velocity from 93 mph in July to 97 in September gives the team hope that he can be their closer in 2015.
4. Hard to remember, but the Rangers actually began the season 15-9 and spent three days in first place in the AL West. Turns out a 6-3 win over Felix Hernandez and the Mariners in Seattle on April 26 was the high-water mark. After that it was all downhill.
3. In the big picture it didn’t mean a lot to a last-place team, but playing the spoiler to old friend Josh Hamilton and the Angels sure was fun on Aug. 17. Texas had lost 61 consecutive games when trailing after eight innings before Mike Carp and Adam Rosales had the key hits in a two-run rally that beat the Angels, 3-2, and sent Anaheim spiraling out of the playoff picture.
2. There weren’t many big wins on the field, but Aug. 5 provided the biggest as the Rangers produced season-highs of 18 hits, seven walks and five homers in a 16-0 shellacking of the White Sox in Chicago. And, finally given ample run support, Colby Lewis pitched a complete-game shutout.
1. In the midst of all the horror of 2014 was the rock named Adrian Beltre. Despite having no protection around him, the third baseman hit .324 with 19 homers and was, by far, the Rangers’ best player.
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.