Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Rangers Suck

I don't follow local sports teams. I'm not sure if this makes me an eccentric, an irritation to the locals, or just a fan so loyal to the teams that I do follow that distance is no barrier.

The one exception is in Baseball, where my favorite team is the Rangers. This is a horrible move on my part as the Rangers suck. Though I never realized how bad that they actually sucked until a few days ago when I looked at their record through this decade. It's bad...oh so bad.

It's not that they are horrible at playing baseball. They keep a fairly sturdy offense year to year and they put up plenty of wins, but they never have a chance of a playoff bid. All of Dallas knows it. And we all know it at the beginning of the season. This is why they are so hard to watch. If they would lose consistently we could give up hope early. If they could win with any consistency they would have an easy run to the playoffs. But they do neither, the Rangers are the purgatory of baseball.

Here are some ways that they break our heart from year to year.

The Teaser Year
They start off fairly weak but they make a nice run towards mid-season. Baseball being baseball ("it's a marathon, not a sprint") it doesn't last. They will get above .500 somewhere early during the season, but by the end of it they will be back into losing territory.

The Teaser Year is probably the most disheartening way to go. They are horrible through the first month, so when they first start winning nobody really notices. About the time that we realize their season is turning around and start paying attention is when they get back to losing.

This strategy allows them to keep the maximum number of people interested right at the points in time when they are losing most of their games. As a fan it's like buying high and selling low in the stock market, it feels right at the time but you're just hurting yourself in the end.

The Mediocre Year
Most years the Rangers start out doing not incredibly poorly, but not well enough to make the playoffs. Then they stagnate. Sometimes they start in winning territory, but by the end of the season they are still just as far from the postseason.

During these years all of Dallas watches patiently, waiting for any slight improvement that might get the team headed towards some sort of playoff bid. The Rangers are never out of the running but they make no effort, and they finish the season almost exactly where they started it, in mediocrity.

The Disaster
Straight out of the gates they start losing games as quickly as possible. It doesn't really matter what they do later in the season, as they won't be able to dig out of this hole. During these seasons we can rule out a pennant by June.

The first half of the season looks much like the record of any other team that sucks. The 'Ranger Difference' is that they then start winning games. This way all of the Ranger fans can sit around in September thinking to ourselves "we would be in the playoffs if we just didn't lose so many games in May!"

Note the one winning season in 2004, but finishing at .550 that year still gave us no chance of making the playoffs in the American League. That is one winning season this entire decade. This is how bad my favorite baseball team is.

So how about this year? Right now it is nearly identical to 2005 (a Teaser), I'll let you know at 100-games.

(Charts were made using records at May 1st, June 1st, 100-games into the season, and the finish.)


Jane Dough said...

You and your graphs...

Drew said...

The Teaser Year, all too frequently, hits the down-slope around the time of the All-Star game. I don't have the statistics or graphs handy, but I've got my gut. So I'll stand by that.