The Rangers drew several thousand fans to a rally outside the Ballpark in Arlington a few days after last season’s World Series loss to the Giants.
Despite that strong turnout, the organization is not going to host a similar event this time around.
According to Eva-Marie Ayala of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers higher-ups asked Arlington mayor Robert Chuck to not set schedule a fan rally to celebrate the club’s second straight trip to the World Series. Here’s the explanation from Rangers VP of communications John Blake:
“We just felt last year was a special time because we were going for the first time in the history of the franchise. We felt that making it for the second year in a row, unless we won, we wouldn’t have a celebration. Our expectations are higher now, so that’s the way we felt was the most appropriate way to handle it. While going to World Series back to back is something we’ll cherish, we felt we should only celebrate if there was a Series win.”
Gotta dig the honesty, and the acknowledgment that expectations have been raised. The Rangers are a first-class organization with a bright future. They’re no longer content with simply reaching the Fall Classic.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.