Texas Rangers are building a paper bag head fanbase

Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

Fandom in professional sports is unavoidably an up-and-down endeavor. Any fan who’s old enough to rent a car has no doubt felt the agony of defeat and the pain of disappointment. But very few get the privilege (?)  of testing their allegiance like Texas Rangers fans get to right now.

The Texas Rangers aren’t just bad. They aren’t just disappointing. They are historically bad and as such, embarrassing to a degree not yet felt before.

It’s never been more embarrassing to be a Texas Rangers fan than it is right now.

On the heels of another loss, the Texas Rangers now stand 35-65 for the season. Being roughly midway through their rebuilding process, we expected some struggles this season but we didn’t expect this.

By “this” I’m referring to being 30 games under .500 AND the current 12-game losing streak. The losing streak that has featured team-wide impotence at the plate and setting MLB records for their inability to score. We’ve even seen some value-losing play from the Rangers most tradeable commodity, Kyle Gibson.

Typically in situations such as these we point to the trade deadline as something to look forward to. A losing streak could act as a wake-up call to a front office contemplating standing pat at the deadline. But Gibson giving up 22 hits, 12 walks, and 16 runs over the last three (17 1/3 innings) is salt in the wound and counterproductive to the task at hand – trading him.

Gibson’s stock has no doubt soured in this current slump. Texas probably needs to rethink their demands because teams are losing confidence in him. He’s still going to be worth something since there are so few viable starters on the market, but his stock is just not what it used to be.

Gallo is a different story. His pre All-Star hot streak has come to and end. The face of the franchise has gone 2-for-30 since the break. Is it a regression to the mean, a slump, or something else? The unknown around Gallo should temper excitement and bring on a more realistic contract negotiation this winter (The Rangers still want to re-sign him). That could actually be good news in the long-term.

But back to the fans. Fans have served their time. They’ve wandered in the desert. They should be reaping the rewards for their loyalty this year, not getting…this.

The paper bag heads have long been the sign of utter embarrassment. Historically poor teams in US professional sports have seemingly embraced the embarrassment of patheticness. Once that shift is made, it’s hard to ever get them back they way they were before.

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These fans are the first to offer criticism and hardest to win over. The trust has been broken and it may never come back. The paper bags are injuries. Even if the bags are one day removed, the scars remain. We’ve reached that point in Arlington.

This isn’t what we signed up for this season. A new building is worthless if the product is bad. You cold have the fanciest movie theater in the world but if it’s only showing “Good Burger”, no one is going to go (Good Burger is arguably the worst movie I’ve seen).

Things could be trending up. On Sunday, Texas managed to lose only by a margin of two. They technically ended their streak of innings without a lead at 99. A pure technicality.

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We’re at a tipping point here in Rangers’ Nation and depending how the next couple weeks unfold, it could have permanent damage on the fanbase.

  • Published on 07/27/2021 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 07/26/2021 at 15:57 PM