It's been three games so far into the 2015 Major League Baseball season for the Texas Rangers, and through those three games, it's become abundantly clear that it's time. Time to reevaluate where things stand and expectations for the remaining 159 games on the schedule.
No, I'm not referring to my expectations for the 162-game haul that is the baseball season. More specifically, I'm referring to the expectations of fans everywhere; those pesky and unrealistic yearnings for success every single game.
If there's one thing that's been made apparent in recent days, it's that a good portion of the fan base believes this team is doomed. That says nothing of those who already believed that months or even years ago and are now using three games to say, "See? I told you so!"
During last night's 10-0 drubbing at the hands of the division-rival A's, I saw any number of ridiculous statements floating out there. One suggested that Ryan Rua, because of three games, should be sent to Triple-A. Another suggested that a line-drive double by Prince Fielder should have been a home run. Because if we're going to expect something, we'd better expect nothing but the best, right?
Yes, both Yovani Gallardo and Ross Detwiler had rough first outings with the Rangers. The offense hasn't been spectacular just yet. The current runs-scored and runs-allowed pace after three games would have Texas scoring 162 runs on the season while allowing 1,026. If you honestly believe that will end up happening after 162 games, then I just don't think baseball is the right sport for you. You may grab your things and head toward the nearest exit. However, if you've got the stomach for it to stick around, you just might get to see some good baseball from time to time as well.
There will be ugly wins. Ugly losses. Blowout wins. Blowout losses. Every team in baseball will win a third of their games, and lose another third. What they do with that extra third goes a long way toward determining their season. Texas has played only three of them, and have one victory and two losses. On the road.
Yes, Elvis Andrus has four errors in only three games. However, if you saw either of the two he was charged with during last night's game, you should know that both were on balls in which he had to move to his left. Some players don't get to those balls. On the first, he was forced to make a quick jump-throw while still moving to his left. On the second, he was forced to try to make a play from his knees on the backside of 2nd base. They're not "routine" plays for which he has oftentimes been criticized for failing to make. Yeah, you'd like to see Elvis finish those plays off, but if you're ready to see him shipped away after three games because of them, then perhaps you really are expecting a bit too much.
I'm not sure exactly when the sense of entitlement creeped slowly into the fan base, but it did. It probably had something to do with experiencing a four-year period of success -- one in which many still bemoaned the organization for various reasons -- and then having a down year in 2014. With that said, we're still insanely early into 2015 to be throwing around knee-jerk reactions.
There's a better-than-decent chance that Yovani Gallardo and Ross Detwiler are going to have a few more rough outings this season. I'd also be surprised if they don't provide their fair share of innings as well as good outings, especially Gallardo. It's easy to forget that Derek Holland hasn't even made his first start of the season yet. Martin Perez and Matt Harrison could provide some relief around midseason. There might be some other guy that provides some help (Chi Chi Gonzalez, I'm talking about you).
In any case, and regardless of how you feel about the front office, the management, or the overall direction of the organization in recent years, remember that we're only three games into the 2015 campaign. Elvis Andrus won't finish the season with 216 errors. Prince Fielder will most likely play in more than 42 games, and with much better health. I'd also be willing to wager that the Rangers won't lose 2,116 days to the disabled list again, or set any new records for players used in a season.
As sports fans, we're all pulling for our favorite team to win every time out. In football, that goal is a bit more realistic. It's when we finally realize that a 90-win team in baseball translates to a 9-7 team in the NFL that we can appreciate that baseball is a different animal, and we should treat it as such. We're going to endure some more clunkers like last night before the season is over, and if we're constantly hovering over the panic button, none of us will make it to the end having appreciated any of the good that comes along with baseball.
For some added perspective, consider that the Seattle Mariners, who many have predicted to win the AL West this season, has the same 1-2 record as Texas right now. Furthermore, the guy that many have criticized Jon Daniels for not re-signing, Nelson Cruz, has a whopping one hit and an OPS of .182. It's not time to be making sweeping generalizations just yet about where this season is headed.
Finally, since I couldn't sum it up any better myself, Jeff Banister's wife, Karen, did so last night on Twitter for all of us: