October 8, 2009
I had hoped to use this first entry of my new column to relay the happiness of the Texas Rangers reaching the postseason for the first time in 10 years, but since the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim did not want to cooperate I am left with no other alternative but to look back on the 2009 season and wonder what might have been.
I in no means want to bore the rest of the U.S. with my thoughts, hopes, dreams for the Texas Rangers. I am fully aware that the majority of MLB fans, like the national media, have little to no desire to hear about Marlon Byrd potentially becoming a free agent in the offseason. Or whether or not Hank Blalock will return next season. Or if Scott Feldman is worth putting in the front of the pitching rotation next year. Those are things that the rest of the league, and its fans, could care less about.
Especially right now.
There are bigger things to think about in Major League Baseball than the lowly Rangers.Like the one game playoff between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers to finalize the AL Central, in which the winner will face the New York Yankees in the ALDS. I will have to admit that I am somewhat curious of that myself. How about the opportunity the Philadelphia Phillies have to repeat as champions? That would be pretty cool.
My point is, I finally had to come to the understanding that not everyone is as into the Rangers as I am. I'm sure that would be the case in other markets as well. There are probably fans of the Pirates living in Pittsburgh that feel the same way I do. That is just something that small market teams have to deal with. Although I never would have thought of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas as small market, but when it comes to baseball they are.
As I mentioned before, the national media has no interest in the Pirates or the Rangers, because those teams don't attract large numbers of fans. I'm sure the fans of both teams could make an argument for specific players that have come and gone through the years, but for the most part, the fans are local. Unlike the fans of the Yankees or the Red Sox, whose apparel can be seen on baseball fans in all 30 MLB ballparks, not just in New York or Boston, which is something that has become a serious pet peeve of mine, but I'll save that argument for another column.
I'm sure if I were born in the northeast and my favorite team was the Yankees or Red Sox my train of thought might be different. That's a huge rivalry, and the best comparison would probably come from the NFL. We don't have that in Texas. Heck, the other three teams in our division are on the west coast! Sure we play a lot of games against them over the course of a season, but it doesn't compare to NY/Bos. Owners that don't look at price, only names of players they want next. Fans that bleed either red or navy blue, and if you're a fan of the opposing team you are the enemy. In the land of the Texas Rangers our biggest "rival" is 2,000 miles away in California, and even that rivalry is not near as old as the Yankees and Red Sox.
With all of that being said, I am a baseball fan, and if that means I have to watch the playoffs without the Rangers then so be it. As long as there is major league baseball being played and viewable on television, I will be watching.
To me, it doesn't get much better than baseball in October. No matter who's playing.
Brian Powell is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com and also maintains a Blog.