In case you didn’t know, the weather in Texas suffers from multiple personality disorder. Its fickle nature can’t be figured out by merely glancing at your local weather app so Texans usually have to prep to experience all four seasons within a three hour span. And this never usually bodes well for Globe Life Park in Arlington. Don’t believe me?
This photo was taken inside the ballpark during an afternoon game when the county was under a tornado watch. These three shots were taken in a one-hour span, and despite the sky’s breathtaking iridescent tone, it made those of us inside the building feel as if we were extras in a weapons-grade Michael Bay post-apocalyptic movie that ALREADY has a 23 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
If you didn’t already know, the Texas weather is one of the reasons why 2019 is the Texas Rangers final season at Globe Life. As most tax payers in the vicinity sit and seethe in a southern accent, melting Rangers fans eagerly look forward to the day where they won’t feel like they’re on fire while simultaneously wiping the cascading waterfall of sweat flowing down their backs and onto their Mike Napoli jerseys.
The 2020 season will bring a newly branded ballpark (Globe Life Field) along with a RETRACTABLE ROOF AND WAY MORE OVERPRICED MARGARITAS OH YAY!
Despite the constant threat of lightning miraculously striking your half-balding head on a clear Texas day during Globe Life Park’s swan song season, fans still flock to their overheated sticky ballpark seats in order to see their Rangers take to the field because… well, they might actually be more than just a flash in the pan this season.
Either that or they’re just extremely, honest-to-brick-balls entertaining.
Okay, so their bullpen is about as enjoyable as a sandpaper wipe down after a bikini wax, which is something that really can’t be fixed by trading for bigger pieces at this point. But, like most teams during a rebuilding year, chances are they’ll be more focused on nurturing their young talent in the minor league pitching department like Demarcus Evans (RHP, 0.96 ERA) and a slew of others.
Fans have continuously been frustrated by their bullpen, especially reliever Shelby Miller, who has a staggering 10.27 ERA and managed to give up a grand slam during the Rangers narrow 10-9 win over the Seattle Mariners on May 20. It seems that he only lasts a single inning before struggling. The Rangers believe the All-Star pitcher still has gas in the tank, which may be the issue there. Sure, he was excellent in his younger years, but after a slow decline along with going through Tommy John surgery in 2017, his arm is sure as heck not where it used to be.
Pitching aside, LOOK AT THE FUN BAG OF COLORFUL WONDERNESS THAT IS THEIR OFFENSE:
Well, if it isn’t our old friend Hunter Pence. And I’m playing it a little fast and loose with word “old” thanks to the polychromatic Longbottom-glow-up he did to his swing during the offseason. Fantasy baseball owners have no need for Viagra thanks to the performance that the 36-year old Pence has been putting on since his arrival in his hometown of Arlington. He has a career-best 1.015 OPS with, count em, 10 home runs and 31 RBI.
Just a single year ago when the outfielder was with the San Francisco Giants, Pence’s numbers carried weren’t quite as appealing (.226/.258/.332 in 235 at-bats) and everyone assumed the epilogue in his career had been written in permanent marker. But instead of getting a life alert button and looking up casting calls for the third installment of Cocoon, Pence revamped his swing in the Dominican Winter League with Toros del Este. Not only did he adjust his signature swing and raise his exit velocity, but he managed to put a tiny cap on his wacky running style.
That’s right. He no longer looks like a Jack Russell attempting to run away in snow wearing socks for the first time.
Pence isn’t the only one making noise in the offense department for the Rangers. Get a load of this googly-eyed, baby-faced dude:
Whispers are starting to circulate that center fielder Joey Gallo has gone off the rails in a remarkable way and he’s making himself a case for Most Valuable Player (there’s a reason why these are just whispers though, folks – calm the heck down and don’t put a price on my head just yet). Gallo is leading the league in OPS (1.113) and hitting .293/.426/.687. I mean, c’mon – that’s freaking amazing. The dark smudges on his paperwork don’t come from him himself, but from the fact that the Rangers perhaps won’t make the playoffs (I said PERHAPS, leave me alone).
After sweeping the Mariners, there’s a reason why the Rangers and their fans have a sudden burst of optimism and a skip in their step. But don’t forget that they have the pesky Houston Astros in their division and while they’re sitting below them in second place in the AL West, they’re 7.0 games behind with a pretty treacherous road ahead of them.
Listen, the Rangers have suffered through a pretty bleak decade so far. If you bring up the 2011 World Series to anyone within a 300-mile radius of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, you’ll get pummeled with a sea of Whataburger spicy ketchup and freakin’ drown while questioning all your life’s decisions. Not only that, but the fanbase has had that earworm tune “Baby Shark” forced on their sanity this season (though the culprit of that, the beloved Elvis Andrus, sustained a right hamstring strain and was placed on the 10-day injured list. Baby shark be damned!)
So the fanbase who has been through quite a ride will continue to enjoy their entertaining team without an ounce of regret - come rain or tornado shine.