Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Want To Believe

Anybody remember the “X-Files”?

I wasn’t a member of their legion of fanatics – but I did watch it everyone once in a while – it was different and I’m a fan of different.

Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) had a poster of a UFO in his office that read “I Want To Believe”. I’d like to get a team photo of the 2009 Rangers and write that same phrase on it.

This fan is conflicted.

Before the season started, I wrote that I felt this was still a developmental year. I still try to hold onto that thought – but I feel like I am being assaulted with those who think this is the year the Rangers should be handling the team as if it’s playoff bound.

There are miles of bandwidth and airwaves proposing that the Rangers should be re-aligning their batting order and talking trades for middle relievers and big bats. I want to make that leap of faith with those kinds of fans. But 30 years of being a disappointed Rangers fan makes me hesitant to embrace that kind of belief.

Trying to explain my reluctance I recalled a recurring character on the X-Files known as The Cigarette Smoking Man. He was a clandestine agent with far reaching powers to change world events. During one episode when he going through a to-do list of those events he remarked that he made sure “the Buffalo Bills will never win the Super Bowl”. I sometimes wonder if there isn’t a Cigarette Smoking Man among the baseball gods who says “the Texas Rangers will never make it to the World Series”.

The irrational little girl waving the pom-poms is just dying for another season like ’96, ’98 or ’99 – I long to have the swagger of one of those AL East team fans who know that their team is consistently good. I want to believe that the young players on this Rangers team have sped past the learning curve, that pitching is going to hold on and that the injuries will finally catch up with the Angels.

On the other hand, the logical long - suffering fan has that nagging little voice in the back of my head reminding me that a 5-7 record against four of the better teams in MLB is not a passing grade, it’s still just June and for heaven’s sakes how many June Swoons have you seen, how many times have those high hopes evaporated in the hot Texas sun, how often have the Rangers broken your heart?

Am I only a lone voice in the wilderness crying out: patience!...stick with the plan!... first place is great, but it’s not the goal this season.

Or am I just a curmudgeon whose beliefs are simply beyond changing?

The intriguing thing about the X-Files was that most episodes left you with more questions than answers which is how I feel about the Rangers today.

I'm still trying to decide which kind of fan I ought to be. Like Mulder and Scully - still searching for an answer - and I know, as the show slogan says "the truth is out there".

Hi Aunt Rita! – Marla Hooch