(Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Like everyone predicted the Rangers made a trade at the deadline but in the process, gained a player that simply will not put this team over the top.
Because of the recent success of the Rangers Franchise, the fan base and even the media view each season as either a title or bust. Ranger fans have become spoiled with the idea that their team is a title contender when realistically the 2013 Rangers are running the risk of missing the playoffs entirely.
Like I said up top, the Rangers traded for Matt Garza who is an aggressive power pitcher that throws hard and throws a lot of strikes. However in the grand scheme of things, Garza is no ace. On most teams hey may not even be a number two guy in the rotation. It is however a step up from who was previously in his spot in the rotation. Looking at the lineup, something needs to be done to bring in a player that can bring fear into the eyes of opposing pitchers.
Look at all the top teams in the American League. All of them have one or even two players that pitchers hate to go up against because with one swing of the bat those players cam change the entire course of the game.
The Detroit Tigers have Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, the Boston Red Sox have David Ortiz, the Tampa Bay Rays have Evan Longoria, the Baltimore Orioles play home to Chris Davis, and the Oakland Athletics have this year’s Home Run Derby Champ, Yeonis Cespedes.
An argument can be made that the Rangers have Adrian Beltre but when compared to the players I listed he doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to sheer power. Other than Beltre, the Rangers have Cruz but right now his eligibility for this season is compromised and along with his inconsistency at the plate and his inability in the field makes him a liability on defense. Cruz plays the way Cruz can play when the Rangers are playing the Houston Astros, but something tells me that they won’t be seeing the ‘Stros in the playoffs this season or any season anytime in the near future.
When Beltre and Cruz combine for anything less than a three hit night the team simply struggles to get anything going offensively.
What this team needs is a Giancarlo Stanton or dare I say a Josh Hamilton.
Hate all you want and argue about his production this season, but with Hamilton in this Rangers lineup the entire team appeared to be more efficient and effective at the plate because teams have to be cautious with Hamilton leaving chances for the batters around him to make a greater impact.
The Rangers are indeed in need of that extra bat, especially if they lose Cruz for the rest of the season.
Where the Rangers of 2010 and 2011 had a certain swag and confidence about themselves, this team appears skittish and timid hoping that something happens for them instead of hitting the field every night looking to make something happen.
Those teams were go getters and quickly became the favorites to take the title. So what if they lost. For two years fans witnessed a form of baseball that has never been seen in North Texas and now all the energy and anticipation of the possibility of the Rangers first title appears to have disappeared as if 2010 and 2011 never happened.
Give the team a bat and you give that can change the outcome of any game; you give the team a pulse. Baseball is underrated as a team sport. On offense everyone feeds of each other. A leadoff double can lead to a multi-run inning, a home run can ignite the crowd and spark a rally. All of this can be started with that one bat that makes an offense whole and that one piece is what this Rangers team is missing. Too bad time is running out.
Perhaps this year is not the year that all Ranger fans have been waiting for since the teams move from Washington DC but knowing that this team is close to getting back to where it was a couple years ago is rather comforting.
It just so happens that this one missing piece is one of the hardest to find in today’s MLB and for a team with a real shot to win its first title in franchise history, it can’t let chances fall by the waste side any longer.
Rangers have been given the chances of a life time to prove itself as an elite team in the league but has failed to take advantage and like previous opportunities to do so.
The Rangers need to become more aggressive. They are a top team in the league, maybe it is about time to act like one.