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Should Rangers fans take winning for granted?

Should Rangers fans take winning for granted?

With a 10-2 squad which tops in the majors in both runs scored and ERA, It's easy to see why Rangers fans are cocky. With a history so mired in mediocrity, it's easier to see why they take such joy in it (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images).


WFAA Sports Blogger

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Updated Monday, May 14 at 4:57 PM

 Twitter is a strange, strange place. It's a place where The Rock can break the story of Bin Laden's death. It's also probably the greatest avenue for sharing information we as a species have come up with to this day.

The good side to that: information flowing freely is (generally) good for all parties. The bad side to that: some people don't know when to curb that flow. See Jose Canseco's twitter feed for proof of that theory.
(Actually, don't. Canseco has all the sanity and clarity of thought of someone who had a home run bounce off their skull.)
This brings us to Kevin Goldstein. KG is very active on twitter. He's very smart. He's very knowledgeable, and generally forthcoming. He's a writer for ESPN and Baseball Prospectus, and co-host (with the revered Jason Parks) of BP's 'Up and In' podcast. He has good connections with any number of scouts. He's also generally pretty abrasive, and fearless about the reaction he garners. Which leads us to this tweet.
(You can go ahead and look up gauche if you want or need to. I'll be here when you get back).
This simple, twelve-word missive set off an avalanche of responses, mostly because it was (seemingly) aimed at the Rangers' #1 scoreboard-watcher in new media, Jamey Newberg. Newberg responded with an extended report in regards to the tweet today (and if you haven't signed up for The Newberg's mailing list, go ahead and do so now. I'll be here when you get back.).

Jason Parks responded on twitter and on his personal, Rangers-oriented site, Texas Farm Review. Lone Star Ball had over 3200 posts in their nightly post-game thread.
What I'm saying is that it was kind of a big deal.
But, really, it's not that big of a deal. He has a point. Each team, Rangers and Angels, have 149 games to play out. It's very likely that we'll see the Rangers' current 7 game lead whittled down to a number we're far less comfortable with during that timeframe, as the Angels (probably)  aren't as bad as they seem right now and the Rangers aren't as good as they seem right now (because no one is really as good as the Rangers seem right now). With so much season stretching in front of us, paying attention to the race before the field fully develops can be viewed as unwise.
But he also misses the point. To illustrate, an anecdote.
I had to work late last night. I was tied up until 9. I kept up with the game through apps on my phone, and made it to my car to hear Nadel call most of that wondrous top of the 8th. In my mind, I was picturing the Win Expectancy chart, shooting straight down into the 99 percent-range for  a Texas win. I was thinking about the chance to rest Adams and Nathan, and to get work in for Lowe or Koji or Ross for these last six outs.
And during the next inning and a half, I nearly tore my hair out in frustration. Despite the fact that my team had just lapped one of its main competitors, in their home field. I was getting equal parts angry and frustrated, despite the fact that my team had torn through the other squad's bullpen, setting them up well to continue the streak they've been on.
And I was mad because umpire Mike Estabrook maintained his tight strike zone this late in a blowout game.
The reason is got bothered is because I'm a fan, and by definition that means I'm irrational. That means I do irrational things, like spending 12 hours at a game (pre- and post-game tailgates). Or spending my off days blogging about the game. Or spending money on frivolities like Rangers shirts or hats or a $26 hot dog or subscriptions to sites like Goldstein's.
That sounds ominous, and I don't mean it to be. What I do mean to say is there's a pretty simple joy in the ups and downs of fandom. When I put on my analyst cap, I lose a little bit of that, and I can imagine working in the business has made Goldstein and a lot of others like him lose that, too.

There's a line we have to straddle when we're putting a name on our thoughts, be that name Baseball Prospectus or WFAA. I'm happy to have a fan such as Newberg to help with the emotional ups and downs; I'm glad to have the detached opinions and facts Goldstein brings, too. Sometimes the two clash, and the result is twelve words creating several thousand.
Now if only I could get past the existential horror that is the Fox Sports Southwest girls...
If you still think Twitter is an awful place, that's a sign you're not following @thejoeursery on there. His tweets are like light on a dark corner. Well... at least they're funny. Sometimes.