If you monitor a variety of social media sites revolving around the Texas Rangers, you start to recognize something around the middle to end of August. It’s something that only comes out when the baseball season is close to wrapping up its regular season or when the Dallas Cowboys begin, what some might describe as, yet another mediocre season.
What’s that one thing? Panic.
After Texas dropped two of three to a Chicago White Sox team that had won eight of 10 coming into this series, you would have thought the Rangers just lost their division lead in the AL West. You would have thought it was the middle of September — people were biting their fingernails, hoping they wouldn’t see a repeat of what happened in September of 2012.
Why panic right now? Why panic on August 25 when you still have a month left of the season, not to mention an easier schedule than what the Oakland Athletics face the rest of the way?
This is the kind of panic I’m used to seeing with the Cowboys after two or three games into the NFL season, and maybe it’s more acceptable because it’s only a 16-game season.
However, it’s not time to worry about losing a series, on the road, in a ballpark where the Rangers have not had much success. While I will admit it’s understandable for fans to think the Rangers could have gone in and swept all three games against what most might call an inferior team — but, then again, you could have said that in reference to the Seattle Mariners, as well. Although the Mariners are well known for being a thorn in the side of this team, too, so I don’t know why this should be surprise anyone.
I do agree, however, the Rangers can’t continue to lose games and then walk into clubhouse to see if the Oakland A’s lost, too.
The one thing I have yet to see from this Texas Rangers club over the last four years is a team that can take care of business — a team that wins at home and on the road against teams that shouldn’t even be in the same conversation let alone have any chance to match up against them. I know this is Major League Baseball, and I know we can say what some say about the NFL each week, “on any given Sunday …” I think losing against inferior teams has more to do with a lack of execution and a lack of effort than I do a lack of ability to win.
This Texas Rangers club has shown on more than one occasion they can win games they looked to be out of in the late innings. For example, take a look back at the three-game home series against the Los Angeles Angels. The Rangers could have, and should have, lost all three games, putting themselves into an even deeper hole in the AL West than they were already in.
Instead, they found ways to keep scratching, to keep believing they still had a chance to come back and win against a far inferior team. For three straight nights, we saw that conviction, that will to win. And on three straight nights we saw something a lot of us have never seen: One … two … three walk-off home runs to a stunned crowd at Rangers Ballpark, and a stunned broadcast team, as well.
It’s not time to panic. It’s not time to break out a so-called “panic meter.”
The month of August is winding down, and the most important month of the season is upon us. If you want to panic the last week or two of the season, be my guest. For right now, it’s time to look forward, and it’s time for this team to take care of business against the Seattle Mariners and the Minnesota Twins before three crucial games on the road against the team that’s chasing them in the division right now, and the supposed rival that would love to play spoiler.
Show up for these next nine games, Texas, and you won’t have to keep watching what Oakland does night in and night out. Take care of business the next two weeks, and everyone will forget what happened at the end of last season.
It’s not time to panic. Not yet.