FIRST IN A SERIES OF DIVISIONAL PREVIEWS...
Teams evolve and windows of opportunity open and then they shut.
The slam you heard in September was the window being shut on the Texas Rangers contending for the American League West. The shitcanning of Nolan Ryan was shade being drawn. The trade of Ian Kinsler for Prince Fielder was the light turning off. There is no room at the inn of Arlington, it is chock full of Grade A Losers for the foreseeable future.
How did the much afeared Cowhumpers become also-rans in the AL West without a major Ron Washington coke bust or a mass hari-kari of gritty Michael Young fans despondent that the grandest nothing himself had been traded?
Well... first let's face it - had the Angels signed Joe Nathan two years ago instead of YeeHawville, Anaheim would have won the west. The differences were never to great to begin with of a shaky pen is accounted for.
This season the Ryan-Free Bushbangers picked up Shin Soo Choo via free agency and Prince Fielder by telling Ian Kinsler "Get the F off our field..." SO these are two home run hitters and we are supposed to be scared, but behind them is an aged Adrian Beltre, an overpaid Elvis Andrus, a deer in the headlights Jurickson Profar, and aching Geovany Soto catching, Alex Rios still palying baseball is in the outfield along with Leonys Martin. Oh and Mitch Moreland DHing. No this is not the callback sheet from the auditions for the man to replace Shemp in the Three Stooges - this is the starting lineup.
Done laughing yet.
The pitching staff is headed by Yu Darvish. There are four other pitchers, maybe ten, but the Arlington motto better be "Yu and Four Rainouts" if this thing is going to work. Joe Nathan is gone in the bullpen and Neftali Feliz is backed up by Joakim Sora and a group of fantasy baseball rejects like Jason Frasor and Neil Cotts... if this team finishes with 81 wins it will be due to Fielder (insert buffet table joke here) and Beltre (insert joke about old men sacrificing barnayard animals on virgin altars or something like that) and Ron Washington (go crazy with two cocaine jokes here, and throw in speculation about what kind of hookers he must party with).
The 2014 Texas Rangers ...not even worth worrying about enough to come up with good jokes.