After finishing the season with over 90 wins for multiple seasons, the Texas Rangers unraveled in 2014 and ended the regular season in the basement of the AL West with a mere 67 wins. Entering 2015, the Rangers have a new manager; former Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister and a team comprised of an intriguing mix of aging veterans and a young crop of promising rookies. Banister will have to walk the line of managing the new young players up to their potential while most likely dealing with the injuries that could arise in the veterans.The Rangers will have to improve upon their pitching to be successful in 2015, as their starting rotation finished dead last in quality starts and the rest of the staff combined to end in the bottom end of every pitching category. Three new guys were brought in to enhance the starting rotation: Yovani Gallardo, Ross Detwiler and Anthony Ranaudo. Gallardo had a decent outing in 2014, posting a 3.51 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP and should prove to be a solid mid-rotation starter. Detwiler was moved to the bullpen for the Nationals last season after a rough year but will look to bounce back in 2015 and has a shot at the starting rotation. Ranaudo was a top prospect back in 2011 and put up strong numbers in the minors, however has yet to prove himself in the big leagues. With the back end of the Rangers rotation as cloudy as it currently is, look for him to attempt to crack the lineup.A healthy Prince Fielder at first base in 2015 will do wonders for the Rangers offensively. Rougned Odor, coming off a solid rookie season at second base is only 21 years old and should continue to improve this season. The rest of the veteran guys saw a decline last season and all should hopefully bounce back in 2015 to return the Rangers to the 90 plus win column. While fans and Rangers’ ticket holders were most likely disappointed by the melt down in 2014, don’t be discouraged as the AL West is up for grabs again and 2015 should prove to be an exciting one for Texas.
Globe Life Park in Arlington Texas is the home field of the Major League Baseball team the Texas Rangers. The Park has been known as The Ballpark in Arlington, Ameriquest field, and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. On February 5, 2014, Globe Life and Accident bought the naming rights to it and changed the name to Globe Life Park. The new ballpark opened April 1, 1994 in an exhibition contest between the Rangers and the New York Mets. The first official game was held on April 11 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
This stadium is very unique in the design because the architect chose to incorporate many features from baseball’s Jewel Box parks. The roofed home run porch in right field pays homage to Tiger Stadium, the white steel frieze that encompasses the upper deck is reminiscent from the pre- 1973 Yankee Stadium. The removed out-of-town scoreboard built into the left-field wall- a nod to Fenway Park, and the numerous nooks and crannies in the outfield fence a reminder of Ebbets Field and the arched windows to match Comiskey Park. The overall effect is stunning and a great way to pay tribute to some of the greatest stadiums in history. Globe Life Park has several very distinctive qualities of its own. Several stone carvings are throughout the park and a four-story office building in center field encloses it, with a white steel façade on the roof. The only thing fans and even The Dallas Morning News suggested that may have improved this venue would have been a domed roof because it would have been better suited for the heat Texas gets during baseball season.
Texas Rangers History
The Texas Rangers spent their first 11 seasons playing as the Washington Senators. The nation’s capital simply proved uninhabitable for a professional baseball. So, with only one winning season in D.C. and mounting debt, the club’s owner Bob Short happily accepted a massive financial incentive to move the team to Arlington, Texas.
The first couple of seasons in the northern suburb of Dallas were just as bad as those out east. Eventually, the baseball team began to turn things around. They started by posting winning records in the 1970s. Mike Hargrove and Jeff Burroughs were the featured hitters during the decade. Hargrove was a first baseman, but a contact hitter. Outfielder Burroughs provided the power.
After a decade of poor play in the 1980s, the Texas Rangers bounced back in the early 1990s. The pitching staff featured fireballer Nolan Ryan, knuckleballer Charlie Hough, perennial All Star Kevin Brown, southpaw Kenny Rogers, and the underrated Bobby Witt. The batting order featured slugger Juan Gonzalez, the ageless Ruben Sierra, power-hitting second baseman Julio Franco, and sweet swinging lefty Rafael Palmeiro. This group of players did not deliver division titles, but they did string together a few winning seasons, always threatening to reach the playoffs.
The franchise became contenders in the second half of the decade. Then the team had all but abandoned the idea of putting together a great pitching staff and just focused on hitting. Juan Gonzalez stayed and he was surrounded with Ivan Rodriguez, one of the best offensive catchers in the history of the MLB; power hitter third baseman Dean Palmer; and many more. The batting order had an army of power hitters whose numbers only improved playing in the humid Texas summer air. Those Rangers reached the playoffs three times in four seasons, losing each time to the Yankees in the ALDS.
In recent years the Texas Rangers have been able to build a baseball team around power hitting and power pitching. This resulted in back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. Though the team did win either, the fans are happy that the club finally reached the Fall Classic.