Rangers and Padres

as a lifelong san diego padre fan,  my heart is going out to my texas ranger fan friends these days.   i’m feeling your angst.

padre fans and ranger fans are different.   way different.   even though i have slowly become a ranger fan through the years,  i will never be a true ranger fan.   not because i don’t want to be or because they are not worthy of my fanaticism.    no way.   i’m just saying i’m as much a ranger fan as i am capable of being.

(by the way,  this year finally pushed me over the top.   with the acquisition of vlad and the great benji molina,  i finally drank the koolaid.   who can’t root for a team that signs a catcher with my personal body “type”??)

i see team support through the lens of a padre fan.   it’s totally different.   a completely unique way of cheering for your team,  yet keeping reality in perspective…not to mention the value of being able to keep your health,  sanity,  attitude,  and total enjoyment of the great game.

so from my heart to yours,  o loyal fans of your beloved rangers,   i want to give you some tips for how to have greater enjoyment,  better sleep,   better television watching,  better bowel movements and better marriages down the stretch of this pennant race.

i want to channel my inner padre fan to you.   your life will be better and healthier if you listen carefully.

learn to enjoy the whole experience. for my whole life,  the padre’s represented so much more than winning and losing:  a hoodie and some hot chocolate on a chilly summer night…getting to see great players (from other teams) play in  The Murph every year…the mega-talented peanut vendor…the world famous san diego chicken!   ranger fans, you  are too focused on the performance of your team!  open your eyes,  broaden your perspective,  become a mascot.

have an outlet for your disappointment. in san diego,  if the padres start playing bad,  you go to the beach.   problems seem to fade when you listen to the sound of crashing waves,  the blowing mist of salt water,  and the crispy heat of a 70 degree sunny day.   ranger fans,  after three losses down the stretch,  maybe you need to go hang out at Jerry World or take a drive to abilene or pflugerville. you have to learn to let go of the bad and embrace the beauty of your surroundings.

re-think the  “we’re texas…we’re bigger, better, and badder than everybody” attitude…when it comes to the rangers.   a padre fan never believes the hype about the padres.   mostly because there is never any hype about the padres.   we have fully embraced our small-market reality.   we know the yankees are better.   with that payroll, they’re supposed to be,  for crying out loud!   dear ranger friends,  you need to accept that your beloved rangers might not be as good as you want them to be.   it’s ok.   it doesn’t make you any less loyal.   it doesn’t mean you cheer any less.   it doesn’t mean you don’t continue to hope.   i’m just saying that a padre fan harbors no illusions of superiority.   ( for the record,  i am slowly but surely warming up to the idea of succeeding from the union…starting to make a lot of sense).

embrace and accept your limitations. the rest of the sports world does not care about san diego.   sportscenter doesn’t factor them into the pennant race.   they have predicted their demise since the beginning of the season.   there’s not much love from the sports media for the rangers, either.   it’s ok.   really.   it’s ok.

figure out a rivalry and let that be your world series. no matter how bad the padre’s season is going,  we always get to play the doggers…and the nocal giants.   it makes my year.   it gives me something realistic to cheer for each season.   it’s our world series every year.   and if we lose this year,  we’re back next year.   it’s awesome.   ranger fans, pick something smaller and learn to be happy with it.   it might just be me,  but i would consider adding the kansas city royals to your rivalry list.   it’s a little closer than seattle.   you might even make a road trip once in a while.   there’s nothing like cheering for your homies on the enemy’s turf…

work on your public persona. padre fans never trash talk.   we know better.   we never gloat over a win,  but we quietly enjoy the moment.   we proudly wear our colors in the good and the bad.   we are always optimistic.   we think we can win every game.   we just don’t necessarily expect it.   we always look for the good in our little friars and extol the positives to anyone who asks.    we don’t talk bad about our team to a rival or an enemy.   we are kind of like a family…i can talk bad about my kids,  but you better not.   ranger fans,  stop trashing your own team! love them.   embrace them.   give “wash” a hug.   stop saying michael young sucks as a third baseman.    quit showing love to cliff lee when he does well and harpooning him like a beached seal when he throws a stinker.    they’re your fam.   practice upbuilding encouragement.

finally,  let go of your cynicism. it’s deadly.   it’s toxic.   it gives ulcers and wrinkles.   it makes your friends just want to give you a hug, too.   don’t ever stop hoping.   this is baseball…the greatest game.    this is all about bull durham and the bad news bears and the natural and field of dreams. it’s about believing and cheering and loving your team no matter what.

ranger fans: stop thinking your team is going to throw away this seven-game lead.   stop thinking “wash” is going to leave another pitcher in too long.   stop obsessing over the loss of josh hamilton.    you’ve got julio borbon in center!   quit wishing you still had adrian gonzalez patrolling first base.    you’ve got mitch moreland and his mom is really proud of him.   you should be also.

the padre’s are a half a game out of first place.   i’m ecstatic.   nobody expected them to be there.   but they are.   if they don’t win the west pennant,  it will be okay.   san diego fans will grab a fish taco and start looking forward to next year.   no lost sleep.   no angst.   limited disappointment.   totally loyal.   no spewing of anger,  disgust and despair.   just happy to be baseball fan.

ranger fans,  you are still seven games up.   live it.   breathe it.   enjoy it.   stop with the whole negative nancy thing.

learn from padre fans.   i’m open for counseling most afternoons.

18 thoughts on “Rangers and Padres

  1. Seriously, did you say go to Jerry World??? I might as well go to Yankee stadium as much as I would like to be at Jerry World. The beach sounds much better. That’s where you Padre fans have the advantage. Are there Ranger fans out there that think we are badder than everyone else? If so, they are NEW fans, not long time, 1972 fans… they haven’t gone through the 38 year drought with the rest of us. We KNOW better than to think we are badder than anybody else. Same with the trash talkers.. not real fans. Just got on the band wagon. The TRUE Ranger fan is quietly holding their breath, but not expecting anything to happen.

  2. I see Sports Fan Psychologist as a second career in your future Mike…
    Plus, I believe Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan have a plan to push the Rangers in a consistent winner.
    Only thing about rivalries is that the best ones are created in the postseason. Too Bad the Rangers look like they are facing the Yankees again, as they are 1-9 in club history versus New York in the postseason…

  3. baseballball

    I have no real thoughts on this. I can’t let go of my cynicism because it helps me cope with inexplicable goings on on the field with them. Thank you for posting this in a time where most fans (myself secretly included) are hovering over the panic button with sweaty palms. I just don’t know how I’m going to have enough cynicism to deal with this if they don’t make it to game 163.

    Bengie Molina’s been a joke here. He has a higher catcher ERA than Treanor and virtually the same caught stealing percentage. So much for handling a pitching staff. Don’t get me started on his bat…

    All my Ranger love

  4. Well i wont blame you for trying, but just like its unarguable how much more competitive and demanding football is in the great state, so too are the expectations for baseball. no doubt football is more popular and highly touted BUT fans are fans and we grew up cheering for football a certain way and baseball receives the same treatment. now, im not hovering over the panic button, 7 up with a dozen to go is a hair away from a given. but i am saying, for a team with little playoff experience and a hurt mvp with a powerhouse east team coming first round we might need to cap off a great season with some winning….the “great game” isnt the same in the “great state”…the game here is winning, and if your not, your gonna hear it til you do. wheather its 1 game or ten years.

  5. There is more than one team in the great state. It royally p$$Ed me off when my Astros made it to the world series and the media in Dumptown gave my team No Respect. It was a great season. From then on I will never route for the Rangers. I would have Rooted for the rangers had there been respect for the other Texas team that is not even in the same league.  

    My best memory was watching the Astros win that put them in the world series. My dad called me while standing in line at a Academy waiting for tshirts. For ten solid minutes he yelled into his phone. “we r going to the world series”. He kept repeating and repeating it. It was a long time coming and I’m glad he got to see it.  It is burned into my mind. 

    Unlike the rangers who were usually buying cancun tickets at the end of July, the Astros would fight to the last game of the season. A couple of times it took a playoff game to get in the post season. It caused heartattacks during sept and Aug. 
    I sat in the smokey Astrodome when there were only a few 1000 fans and I have been when it was sold out. 
    I am not going to jump on the ranger band wagon. Just because I live here. 

    Make me mad about it and I will buy the hat of the team who beat them. I have a nice Miami heat finals hat via the mavericks. Wore it into Nellies Bar.  I also have a NYG hat as well. 

    I have had enough of Ryan in the 80’s. I have even shook his hand a couple of times. Big deal. 

    I know in my heart the Astros will live to play another day. I just move on to the NBA faster some seasons. 

  6. Brandon I can loan you a Yankees hat. I’ll clear you a seat on the bus. Last stop New York.

    As usual Mike and I disagree on baseball. You should expect your team to win. As long as they are charging full price for tickets and merchandise you should expect a winner. So many years here the goal is to not finish last in the division. They aren’t playing Tee-ball. You don’t get a participation trophy! If you want to win you have to spend the money. Both on a players and on a manager that has half a freaking clue! Don’t give me this Rangers are a small market them crap either. They are in a Top 5 market and spending money like they are in stinking backwoods Arkansas. Crap or get off the pot. If you don’t want to pony up the money to play then just become a minor league team and hire a chicken mascot.

  7. Well, I too have entered Rangerdom. I have come to know and love the Texas Rangers. From my own volition? Maybe, but I tend to think it’s more out of convenience. It’s easier to root for these boys in blue than it is to support the real boys in blue from a 1000 miles away. Were we still in the first week of September, I would tell Ranger fans to be afraid, be very afraid and stay close to that panic button. I know how quickly wins turn into losses–having experienced the “worst” collaspe in baseball in ’69, the ’84 season against some California team where we only needed one out, and the results after the infamous Bartman catch in ’03). I believe, blue and red kool-aid sippers, we are past the point of no return for clinching regular season. Beyond that, I don’t know, especially with the likely Yankee match-up. If the Rangers do not make it beyond the first round and when the Padres are mathematically eliminated, remember–TANY.

  8. message to the free world: luke and i don’t disagree on baseball. at least not as much as he would like you to believe. he talks tuff, but in reality, he has some “inner padre” in him. sheesh…he’s a washington redskins fan. he’s an over-the-top aggie homer. he knows how to embrace loveable losers. he knows disappointment. he still goes into every game optimistic there will be a W, but deep down, he knows the chances are not always great. don’t let him fool you, get close enough to him and you’ll smell a little fish taco and see some surfboard wax in his back pocket.

  9. vicki…i can’t believe you traded in your beloved cubbies for the rangers. i had no idea. i would have been trying harder to pass on some of my “inner padre” to you. glad we’re still friends in spite of steve garvey’s blast over the right-center field wall in the bottom of ninth to give the little friars the win back in ’84.

    1. At least you didn’t say “sold out.’ But trade my cubbies, nah, don’t think so. And jumping on the band wagon, won’t say that either. Winning is fun. After twenty years, just plain ol’ immersion is more likely. Friends? Now that might be taking it a little too far–obviously, you don’t recall the glaring stare and akward silence directed at you once you mention “the old men from california?”

  10. No that smell coming from my back pocket is the stinch of crap that those 2 teams have been putting out for the past 5+ years. I am by no means satisfied with them and while I support them I bang the hell out of my pot wanting the coaches tarred and feathered.

    I am a really bad loser! That being said I don’t rub it in other’s face’s when my teams do win. Lord knows I catch enough crap when they lose though.

  11. I can’t believe I didn’t see this sooner. I don’t necessarily disagree with your concept here, but a few factors have to be considered:

    1. The Padres have been to The Series
    2. It’s 95+ degrees for most games here
    3. The Rangers have won ONE playoff game

    Our cynicism is rightly placed because this team has typically teased us with good starts only to completely implode come late July. We also had a front office for most of the aughts that didn’t seem to know what a good baseball decision was.

    I’m all for enjoying the broader experience, but around here, the broader experience is all we’ve been able to enjoy with all of 2 or 3 winning teams in a decade (all due respect to Pittsburgh fans).

    Enjoying the Great Game is a given, but these last couple weeks have been brutal. I don’t want a spectacular, dramatic finish. I want this thing sealed asap and to watch every October pitch I can until the fat lady sings.

    And Brandon: The media in this town don’t give BASEBALL any respect after mid-August. It had nothing to do with the Astros.

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