It used to be an annual tradition: the great fall of the Texas Rangers in the month of August. For several years in a row the team used to be competitive until the All-Star break and then fall apart in the month of August. This year seems to be a repeat performance of that past trend. As of today, the Rangers are 4th in the Wild-Card standing and only 6.5 games back. I believe that they will freefall out of the race by the end of the month. I don’t see any way that the pitchers will be able to keep up their performance in the unbearable heat. It’s inevitable.
That said, the situation that the team is in is a direct result of poor planning by the city of Dallas in the early 90’s. The city had a chance to bid to be the host for the new stadium, but the city council and mayor did not even let the issue go to the public for a vote. The repercussions of that have landed the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington starting next year, too. If the Rangers’ ballpark was just outside of downtown Dallas their attendance would have been significantly higher, which would have given them more money to sign better pitching talent, which would have made them more competitive, which would also have increased attendance, which . . . I think you get the picture.
Last thought on this issue. If the Rangers were in downtown Dallas there would be no question about where to build the Cowboys’ new stadium: downtown. I know many people think that the tax burden on the residents of Arlington has been cited as why it’s bad to have a sports stadium built in your city, but a simple math equation should change that perspective. If I remember correctly, the city is responsible for funding $450 million of the cost of the stadium. The Super Bowl is going to be hosted at the new stadium in a few years and it is projected to bring in over $500 million in revenue to the city THAT WEEKEND ALONE!!! In only one weekend the city will have more than a complete return on investment. That’s good money management.
Of course, now that I’ve said all this, I’m pretty sure Tom Hicks could have found a way to make the Rangers terrible no matter where they were playing.