It’s pennant chase fever, except that the only thing really up for debate now is both wild card chases–and even the American League it’s on the soft side. But that’s not the only thing going on around baseball.
You may have missed that Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was in Dallas recently to lobby the locals for a new stadium for the Texas Rangers. Yes, the Rangers want a new stadium a mere 22 years after The Ballpark At Arlington–now, apparently, Globe Life Park–opened their doors. Though I guess when your stadium is in the shadow of Jerry Jones’s giant middle finger to the Lord himself, you might feel a bit sheepish about what you have.
“From a playing perspective, the heat wears you down playing in it game after game,” Manfred said. “And it also makes it harder in getting players to play here.” (Glove tap to Evan Grant and DallasNews.com).
I’m not sure where to begin with this fantastic load of tripe, so maybe we should just start at the top with a tweet from baseball sage Joe Sheehan.
They trail the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels (I know, right?), and the A’s, and they’ll probably catch the A’s sometime next year as they only trail by 12 wins. So the idea they can’t be competitive… the mayor of Blaine, Missouri would term it, “Bull Roar.”
Let’s dig deeper into the muck that Manfred wants us to believe (or spread on our lawns, either way). The Rangers have won the AL West in 21 full seasons, and were in first when the strike canceled out the conclusion to the 1994 season. They’re on course for their seventh division win this season. That’s more division titles in that time than basically everyone, with only the Yankees, Indians (I know, right?), Cardinals, and Dodgers having more.
Seems pretty successful to me, but I’m just a drunk up here in the cold of Chicago so I guess I don’t know.
The Rangers have appeared in two World Series in that time, and were a hilarious Nelson Cruz route away from a World Series title (well, not hilarious to those in Dallas or here in Chicago). That puts them ahead of a host of teams who haven’t appeared in a World Series at all in that time, like the Mariners (must be the rain), A’s, Twins, Cubs, Brewers, Reds, Nationals/Expos, Pirates, Dodgers, Orioles and Blue Jays.
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It’s more World Series appearances than the Angels, Padres, Diamondbacks, Astros, White Sox, Rays and Rockies. It’s the same amount in that time as the Phillies, Marlins, Tigers, and Mets. Again, I spend most of my day bleary-eyed, at least that’s what Manfred thinks, but that sounds pretty good to me. I know a lot of Cubs fans would have taken two World Series appearances in that time, because I’m one of them.
So players don’t want to go there? The Dallas metro area? Texas, which has no state income tax? Alex Rodriguez seemed to find his way there. Cole Hamels was traded there, but decided to stick around. Adrian Beltre, one of the greatest third basemen of all-time, hasn’t felt an urge to leave when he’s had the chance. Rafael Palmeiro and his wagging finger found his way there. Yu Darvish? I’d say the money is green anywhere, not matter how hot it is.
While it’s probably not fair to compare other hot-weather teams because of ownership and other issues, moving into a retractable roof in humid Miami hasn’t exactly done wonders. But they won twice while outside. The Braves aren’t building a dome even though it’s up-yours hot in the summer there.
So yeah, it’s hot in Texas in the summer. If someone had some vision back in the day, they probably would have put a roof on The Ballpark when it was built, for a mere cost of eleventy-billion dollars. And we know the truth here, that Manfred is trying to disguise the swindle that publicly-funded stadiums are. Hey, if the Rangers’ owners want to pay for the thing themselves, go right ahead. But don’t sell crazy here, Commish. We’re all stocked up.