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Rangers Battle Reputation Print E-mail
by Norm Hitzges    Wed, Dec 14, 2005, 06:38 PM

Can the Rangers do anything right? I’m wondering if it has gotten to the point where, no matter what the Rangers do, the Dallas sports fan simply will not give them credit. A history of failed moves and bad deals has conditioned Ranger fans to expect disappointment.

It reminds me of the Mavericks of the mid ‘90’s. After several miserable seasons, the Mavericks may have been the worst franchise in all of sports. Maverick fans got to the point where they just expected the Mavs to fail. Every move the team made was criticized. The substance of the move didn’t matter. The fans decided that if the Mavs made the move, the move must be bad.

I think back to the people that couldn’t believe that the Mavericks would draft a German. I spent nearly 6 months talking Mavs fans off the ledge after Dirk was selected in the draft. I think back to the fans at Reunion Arena that jeered a young Steve Nash. The organization had absolutely no credibility.

And that’s where the Rangers are right now. A trail of bad contracts, bad deals and bad PR decisions have left the Rangers with very little or no credibility with a large portion of their fan base.

Good decisions are being made now. The Rangers have apparently developed a decent plan and they are sticking to it. They’ve decided to focus on developing pitching rather than paying for it.

This is a good decision. It’s a decision that should have been made long long ago. But it is also a decision that will not pay off for at least a year or two (or maybe 3-4 years from now). It’s a good decision. But it is not a popular decision.

You see Rangers fans don’t want to hear about how great the farm system is. It’s not that they don’t care about the farm system, it’s just that years and years of being told about great minor league prospects have conditioned Ranger fans to be skeptical.

But, at some point, fans need to stop blaming a franchise for past failures and start looking forward with clear heads. I believe that, if the Rangers stick to the current plan, they will turn things around. It may take some time, but the product on the field will improve.

And improving on the field is the only way for the team to get its credibility back.


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