Boycott the Rangers

It’s Opening Day, and it should be one of my favorite days of the year. Up until a few years ago, I had a great tradition of always going to the Opening Day game.

Not anymore. Nor can I share the zeal of those who are gleeful today.

Three years ago, I wrote this blog about the Texas Rangers. The premise was that I could no longer afford to love the Rangers. They’d let me down too many times.

Every year since, I have repeated the basic premise of the blog with the understand that, subsantively, nothing has changed about their situation, or about my opinion.

So, this year, I am stepping it up a notch. I am calling for an all-out boycott of the Texas Rangers, and I invite you to join me.
The reasons are below…

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting different results.”

The main premise for my boycott is that I simply no longer want to be driven insane every summer. I LOVE the Rangers. I have loved them since the David Clyde days. I have gone to so many games I cannot possibly count them.

Current management continues to say that they have made “improvements,” that this year’s team is better than last years. I might even agree with them, in some theoretical way.

But here are my main questions:

1) Did they find an “Ace” in the off season to anchor the pitching staff? A REAL “a-list” ace?
Answer: No.

2) Is there ANY national publication making pre-season picks (including the Dallas Morning News) who is picking them to win their division?
Answer: No.

3) Do most impartial observers continue to say that the Rangers’ greatest weakness is their pitching?
Answer: Yes.

So, see, it’s the same old problem.

A good friend chided me that I wrote this blog three years ago. A lot has changed in three years, they said.

No, not really. The names have changed. But the names always change. There are always new names, but always the same old problem:

Pitching Pitching, Pitching.

You wanna place your bets, and go “all in” on a Josh Hamilton this year?

I’ll “see” you a Juan Gonzales and raise you a Jeff Burroughs.

And, go ahead, play your next card. Because I’ve got so many other bats in my hand I can’t hold them IN my hand. The problem is not bats. The problem has never been the bats. The problem is not *loving* the bats.

The problem is cheering for them, all the while knowing that they don’t have the teammates to help them out in the bullpen.

The problem for those of you who love Josh Hamilton, there is no next card in YOUR hand. It’s the same old story:

Pitching, Pitching, Pitching.

For these views, I have been called a “fair weather” fan. Nothing makes me angrier than this accusation. I’m not a fair weather fan. I am a fan who is tired of living in the Sahara Desert.

It’s not fair weather to expect that at *sometime* in the now 25-year history of this franchise they would register a playoff series win. Note: I am placing the bar HIGH. Not just *making* the playoffs, but a playoff SERIES win.

That is not asking too much.

Three years ago, when I wrote that initial blog, I believe I tapped into what was a similar frustration with the team at the time. I also believe this frustration was made manifest in the poor attendance figures for last year.

So, there seems to be but one remaining choice for the fan wishing to keep his/her sanity:

Boycott the Rangers.

Current management seems to believe they have a franchise that is beloved enough that they can squeeze the money out, and make just enough changes to tantalize us back for one more year.

No. Not me. I’m done.

I needed to see BIG moves in the off season that had the whole baseball world “abuzz.”

I needed to see some nation media –ANY national media– picking the Rangers to win their Division. Most of them pick them either second or third. Nobody thinks they would do very well in the playoffs.

So, the changes weren’t made, and the only power I have left is the power of the pocketbook.

Join me. Boycott the Rangers until management makes the kind of big, bold moves they need to make to show us that they really want to win.

Until then, any other choice is simply insane.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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