The Gravity Situation

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

About Mike Luna

My name is Mike. I am an avid fan of the Texas Rangers. I like reading and jogging, but I don't do either nearly as often as I should. I like writing about more than just baseball. Your opinion is your own, but please be respectful. Everyone is welcome in The Bleacher Seats.
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6 Responses to The Gravity Situation

  1. I’m sad they finally lost, but I am amazed that they made it 9 wins! Amazing!

    How can you knock down a team that has blown up out of the gate? I guess (as you’ve pointed out to me many times) there is a lot of favoritism amongst the “baseball elite” and this is the inevitable outpouring of that.

    Plus no one likes to be wrong.

    • Mike Luna says:

      I have trouble telling the difference between meaningful baseball analysis and laziness.

      In the case of the Phillies, they have an elite starting rotation and some offensive firepower. On top of that, they’ve been building a reputation as winners the last few seasons. They are certainly among the upper tier of NL talent.

      But who’s to say that these so-called experts didn’t look at their acquisition of Cliff Lee and consider an NL Championship a foregone conclusion? Apply your critical thinking skills!

      On that same note, the Rangers lost an elite pitcher. They have a reputation of bashing the ball and winning games 10-9, which has haunted them for almost 20 years. They also have a reputation of being sucky, which has haunted them for 40 years.

      So, who’s to say those “experts” didn’t look at the departure of Cliff Lee, refused to do any actual research on the other guys in the rotation, and wrote the team off as a one-hit wonder? Do your homework!

    • Mike Luna says:

      …and another thing!

      It would be understandable if it were 1986 and the team had lost 99 games a year ago, but they just went to the World Series! Not only that, but the elite pitcher they just lost to Philly hadn’t even joined the team last year until they had all but locked up the division.

      I’m not saying you make them the WS favorites, but give them a little credit. They’re a good team, better than they were last year at this time, and people might know that if they paid even the slightest bit of attention.

  2. I agree. It’ll be an uphill battle if the “unbiased sports reporters” have thier way.

    • Mike Luna says:

      A very fine example of exactly what I’m talking about:
      Last night I was watching SportsCenter and one of the anchors recapped yesterday’s Rangers game.

      As he was wrapping up, he inquired loudly “They lost Cliff Lee, how do they keep winning?!”

      This is not only a gross misevaluational of the talent on this team, but it shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how much impact 1 pitcher has on a 25 man roster.

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