A Texas Rangers Midseason Report: It's Time to Go All In
With the baseball season at the symbolic halfway point, we asked former Unfair Parker Sam Merten to root around in his beard and see if he could come up with anything to say. He obliged ... and obliged ... and ...
Mike Mezeul It's Yu-tastic at the Ballpark this year.
Sports are unpredictable. That's why we watch. And there's no greater evidence than the first half of this year's baseball season.
Imagine, if you will, what you would have said at the beginning of the year had I told you 37-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who posted a dreadful 5.72 ERA with the Rangers from 2001 through 2006, would be an All-Star and among the best pitchers in either league, while, despite no apparent injury, two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum would be among the worst. Or had I told you the Detroit Tigers would be in third place in the weak AL Central and the Philadelphia Phillies would be 14 games back in the NL East, while the Pittsburgh Pirates would be atop the NL Central.
Better yet: How devastated would you have been if I told you Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, Alexi Ogando and Mitch Moreland would all spend time on the disabled list; Yu Darvish would be third in the AL in walks allowed; and Michael Young would be on his way to his worst season since 2002?
Of course, that devastation would have been quickly erased when I casually mentioned that Texas would be tied with the New York Yankees for the most wins in the majors (52), with a four-game lead in the AL West over the Angels.
So, yes, it's been a crazy year. When so many things seemingly go so wrong, yet things are ultimately turn out so right, it's hard to get a feel for what to expect in the second half. But before I attempt to do just that, let's talk more about what we've already seen from the back-to-back AL champs and their AL West counterparts.
Next: breaking down the lineup.