It’s April 11th and the Rangers are in sole possession of 1st place. Not only is the rest of the AL West in the rear-view mirror, but so is the rest of baseball. Even the highly regarded Phillies.
Off to a 9-1 start, there’s not much to criticize about the first 1/16th of the season. Some people are trying, though.
One of the more interesting things about predicting the outcome of a 162 game season is that people get very bent out of shape when teams play better or worse than they thought they would.
The Padres of 2010 are a great example, as no one really predicted them to make much noise and they were in contention until the very last day of the season. In fact, it took a 10-game losing streak before their detractors had any life.
The Rangers of 2011 are in the same boat.
(Never mind that they’re the defending AL Champs. No, don’t worry about that.)
Coming out of Spring Training, the AL West predictions were spread pretty evenly between the A’s and Angels. Since the Rangers have gotten off to a hot start, there’s been a lot of crying about how they’re still more pretenders than contenders.
It’s not that people are defending their predictions that I find ridiculous, but the fact that they feel the need to so fervently remind you that the whole thing is about to crumble around you.
(If the team can come out of New York next weekend with a series win, a lot of those people will have a lot less to say. If not, they’ll be lining up to hand out their told-you-sos en masse.)
I understand that the Rangers aren’t going to have 9 wins for every 1 loss, but I stand by my prediction. They might not go wire-to-wire* in 1st, but they’ll be playing October baseball after game 162.
*Unless Harrison & Ogando keep pitching out of their skulls