Saturday, May 19, 2012

It's not the Rangers. It's their fans.

Bandwagons are funny things. Name another vehicle that has room for an entire city. I know there are plenty of life-long Rangers fans, I really do. It just seems like there have been a lot more in the last two years, at the height of their success. It happens in Houston, too. The last five home games (prior to last night) at Minute Maid have seen crowds of 15,000, 15,000, 16,000, 14,000, and 16,000, respectively. That's a long way from averaging 38,121 over the course of the whole season in 2004. Bandwagons happen, and of course, we hate people for it. Like this guy. Every day his tires do not have knives sticking out of them is a day that the terrorists win.

Of course there's going to be resentment. From 1998-2008, the Astros were 957-824 (.537) and went to the playoffs four times. The Rangers in the same period were 872-910 (.489), and went to the playoffs twice, in 1998 and 1999, getting swept in the first round both times. That was a fun time for Astros fans. The Rangers didn't even register on our radar, particularly during the 2004-05 seasons.

But now things are different. In 2010/11, the Rangers went to the World Series both times (cue the petty smile slowly sweeping across my face), and went 186-138. The Astros are the polar opposite, going 132-192. The Rangers were one strike away from being the best team in baseball (a few times). The Astros were the worst team in baseball. There's a reason that the Astros have to decide between Mark Appel and Byron Buxton in a few weeks.

Make no mistake. If the roles were reversed, I have no doubt that I would be a complete and utter jacknut, and question whether the Rangers were a Double-A or a Triple-A team. But the roles are not reversed, and every time the Newberg Report tweeted that if the Rangers were facing Feliz last night, they would have run-ruled him and left Feliz sitting on the mound, in tears, with one sock on, and wearing his glove like a shark fin (paraphrasing), I wanted to lash out. Or when our old buddy/whipping boy DMN writer Evan Grant says that Minute Maid Park has the Stupidest In Play Feature in an MLB Park (not paraphrasing. At all.) or that Rhiner Cruz looks stupid and like he doesn't belong in MLB, we can just say that the Red Mist descended over my eyes, and I took the dogs on an angry walk. (By the by, AC lost a decent number of followers on Twitter yesterday - scroll down - with our short fiction piece on George Postolos and Jeff Luhnow vs. Evan Grant. I don't mind it.) Is it petty? Absolutely.

That Rangers fans (and, apparently, even those who cover the Rangers - which seems a touch unprofessional) don't think, even with the randomness of baseball, that it's in the realm of possibility that the Astros can win a game this series...that's what pisses me off. I don't hate the Rangers. I'm starting to hate everyone who likes the Rangers. Especially...

Keep pinching that nipple, sir. It just might be your lucky nipple, and win a World Series someday.