Nothing signals baseball’s Opening Day quite like hot dogs, a bag of peanuts, and playing hooky from school or work. That’s the case Monday afternoon at Globe Life Park in Arlington, where the Texas Rangers are playing the Seattle Mariners to start the new season.
Last year, the Rangers exceeded fans’ expectations by making the playoffs, and this year those fans do not want to be let down.
Scores of Texas Rangers fans headed into Globe Life Park for a preseason game over the weekend. And fans like Christie Tomlinson were pumped.
"Winning!" she said as she talked about her expectations for the season. "Going to the playoffs!"
Not long ago, there were lots of doubts about the Rangers. The team had a new manager and lost their ace pitcher. Suggest that the Rangers would win the American League West Division, and even die-hard fans would have probably laughed at you.
Now, the Rangers are predicted to go toe-to-toe once again with their rivals, the Houston Astros, for the division title.
Lifetime fan Sam Grey wants to keep the good times rolling.
“I’m looking forward to them carrying over the run they had last year in postseason,” Grey said. “Think they have a pretty strong team this year, manager of the year last season. They should continue on and go further this year.”
As a rookie, Jeff Bannister won the Manager of the Year award last season after replacing longtime manager Ron Washington. In his first year, Bannister’s team won the AL West Division, the respect of the players and fans like Grey.
“Couldn’t be happier, love the guy,” Grey said. “Love his integrity, love his mottos, good guy.”
Bannister isn’t the only one getting a lot of attention. Many predict 22-year-old second baseman Rougned Odor will have a good year. He made a name for himself in the second half of last season to help the Rangers make the playoffs.
In the end, it might just be better to keep expectations from getting out of hand. Consider this advice from one fan, Alexis Gaona.
“You always have high hopes,” Goana said. “But it’s always better to keep your goals low so if you surpass your goals, you automatically met your goal.”
Some perspective for Texas Rangers fans: With 162 games on the schedule, don’t be dreaming about a World Series appearance just yet.