Reminds me of another epic Rangers collapse. No, the other one.

Chip Stewart
4 min readAug 23, 2023

Last night, as the Texas Rangers were in the middle of yet another exercise in inventing ways to lose ballgames— give them this, they are creative! — I was distracted by a comment from the local beat writer.

Bless his heart, Evan Grant tries. I generally like the guy, though he tends to punch down when the Rangers are losing and fans are begging for a little sympathy as we helplessly witness another season go down the tubes. So when a fan xeeted at him that this was like 2013 all over again, his dismissive response did not sit well with me:

I don’t do the birdsite any more, so I saw this on Mastodon, where Grant has a bot account that reposts his whatever they’re calling things that used to be tweets

Bad memory! Indeed there was a collapse in 2012, a meltdown involving a blown 3-game lead in the season’s final weekend at Oakland with Josh Hamilton dropping a fly ball in the finale. But there was ALSO a collapse in 2013. And as we’re on the tin or aluminum anniversary of that, which began exactly 10 years ago today, let’s look back.

Because this is what I do. When the Rangers get on a losing streak, I blog it out. It beats firing microblog posts at unsympathetic beat writers.

On Aug. 23, 2013, the Rangers beat the White Sox 11–5 to improve to 73–53. That was tied for the best record in the American League with Detroit, and good enough for a 3.5-game lead over Oakland both atop the AL West or, alternatively, for the second Wild Card spot. They had added starter Matt Garza and outfielder Alex Rios for the stretch run and were in terrific position to, at a minimum, make it to the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

American League standings at the end of the day on Aug. 23, 2013. Good times.

Then, as most Rangers fans remember — ugh. Fast forward 30 days and the Rangers trailed Oakland by 8.5 games in the AL West, thanks to a 9–18 run including 5 losses in 6 games against the A’s. Not only that, the collapse pushed the Rangers out of the Wild Card spots as well, as both Tampa and Cleveland passed them to put Texas 1.5 games out of the playoffs with 7 games remaining.

The standings on Sept. 22, 2013. Woof.

A minor miracle followed, almost saving the season — the Rangers won their last 7 games, sweeping moribund Anaheim and Houston at home to tie with Tampa for the final Wild Card spot. The play-in, featuring David Price vs. rookie Martin Perez, went about as expected, with Texas losing 5–2 in a game featuring the lackluster return of Nelson Cruz after a 50-game suspension for steroid use.

And that was pretty much it for that iteration of the Rangers. By the next spring, Cruz and Ian Kinsler and Joe Nathan and David Murphy were gone, and Ron Washington didn’t make it through the dismal 95-loss season either.

During the last miserable Rangers stretch back in July, I wrote about the 1983 collapse, a foundational one for me as a Rangers fan here 40 years later. But it’s just one of so, so many. I understand why beat writers might get confused.

But not us.

Nobody remembers pain and heartbreak like a fan

Final point: As I mentioned back at the All Star break, the Rangers are just not a very good team. They haven’t been for months. They started 40–20, riding the high of being able to run Jacob deGrom out there every five or six days. Once it was announced he was done for this year and next, Texas turned back into a pumpkin. They’re 32–34 since and have frittered away a 5-game division lead.

That’s a fact that even a local beat writer can’t deny.

A xeet that has been true for 52 years of Texas Rangers baseball, and counting

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Chip Stewart

Lawyer. Journalist. TCU professor. Viewer discretion is advised.