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Could The Rangers Rack Up Olympic Medals?

The Winter Olympics Aren’t Ready For This Team.

Olympics: Pre-Olympics features Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball players are, by and large, still enjoying their last few off-season days before the long season gets going. Some players are probably traveling. A few players are probably finishing (or in some cases just starting on) household to-do items they promised their wives they’d get done.

No matter what the ball players are doing in their last remaining off-season days, two things are virtual certainties: they are working out and they are watching all, or parts of, the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and probably thinking “I could do that easy” (pro athletes, THEY’RE JUST LIKE US!)

So that got me to thinking (this is usually a bad thing but here we are): which Texas Rangers players could compete and dominate at the Winter Olympic Games?

To make this exercise in off-season head-in-clouds theory seem somewhat plausible, I selected just 3 current Winter Olympic events.

Olympic event #1: Speed skating

Speed skating in the Winter Olympics has been a staple event since 1924. As the event name aptly suggests, you skate --on ice-- as fast as possible. Pretty simple, if you ask me. The event is further broken down by distance but in the interest of time I won’t delve into all the different distance events.

Texas Rangers representative: Delino DeShields, Jr.

In 2015, Statcast tracked several MLB baserunners throughout the season, and the 21-mph mark was selected as the cutoff point for top-of-the-line speed. You’d think notable, high-profile speedsters like Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon would’ve easily run away with this but DeShields actually got to that threshold more. DeShields was clocked at 22mph on at least TWENTY occasions that season.

DeShields’s speed has been documented, but we have no documentation regarding what, if any, experience DeShields may have using ice skates so that’s a bit of an unknown variable. But the science must go on!

Conclusion: Delino DeShields, Jr. competes in the 500M event and wins gold with a time of 00:01:08.21. Team USA is fined $5,000 because DeShields’s blazing speed melted a good portion of the event ice and re-icing the event space is evidently costly.

Olympic event #2: Bobsleigh

Right off the bat let me just put this out there: there was discussion on Twitter recently about how the 1993 American comedy “Cool Runnings” was (1) not good and (2) not a cult classic. If you’re reading this part and agree with either of those two preposterous assertions, how dare you. HOW DARE YOU.

The Bobsleigh event has been featured in the Winter Olympics since 1924 and, just like any other Olympic event, is divided into several sub-events. For this section, we’re going to focus on the four-man event.

Texas Rangers representatives: Ryan Rua, Rougned Odor, Elvis Andrus, Willie Calhoun

Something I did not know is that a bobsled crew can be an interesting mixture of athletes from all athletic backgrounds. The driver position is the quarterback of the crew and it helps if the driver is someone who is well acclimated to snow and ice. Ryan Rua, a native of Amherst, OH, is the driver for this crew. Rua knows snow and ice. He was born in it, molded by it. He didn’t see unfrozen tundra until he was already a man.

The remaining crew bring speed, strength (have you seen Willie Calhoun’s tree trunk legs?), and a desire to hurl their bodies in a metal container blindly down a steep, icy chute at speeds in excess of 90 m.p.h.

Conclusion: The Texas Rangers’ Bobsleigh four-man crew wins the silver medal by a fraction of a second. The replay shows a fraction of hesitation by the number #3 runner, Rougned Odor but what distracted him isn’t clear. So we zoom in. Enhance the image. There it is, Rougie saw an Olympic official on horseback and, well, Rougie loves horses so a silver medal it is.

Olympic Event #3: Figure skating

A staple in the Winter Olympics since 1924, figure skating is undoubtedly the more refined and classy side of the Olympics. It’s the caviar of the Olympics. Figure skaters are super-driven athletes who practice for hours each and every day. They know that any miscue on the ice can completely undo the careful synchronization they have with their selected music. It’s a lot of pressure and they are basically superhuman, in my opinion.

Texas Rangers representative: Nomar Mazara

First of all, his nickname is THE BIG CHILL. He was born to compete here. Nomar Shamir Mazara is 6’4, 215lbs of graceful limbs mixed with a smooth, calm demeanor that can explode when the situation calls for it.

The best evidence of The Big Chill’s icy calmness that can suddenly erupt was when he hit his first grand slam (along with a career-high six RBIs) in an April 2017 win vs. divisional foe Oakland. Rangers fans leaving the ballpark in Arlington that night were in awe and more than a few of them murmured “Nomar could be a gold medalist figure skater”. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Conclusion: Nomar Mazara wins a gold medal in Olympic figure skating. He performs a 4-minute routine to John Cena’s ring entrance music (“The Time Is Now”) and the puts up a perfect score across the board. Later, during the medaling ceremony, a faint “you can’t see me” chant is heard from the crowd. Nomar Mazara is the people’s champ.

The Texas Rangers have world-class athletes on the roster. And while the 2018 PECOTA projections don’t favor the team this season (77 wins), rest assured that these Olympic Gods could very well combine their superpowers and put together a PECOTA-defying run to the postseason. For context, take the Kansas City Royals. For five straight seasons, PECOTA projected that the Royals wouldn’t win more than 80-games. The Royals did just that in each of those five seasons, including a 95-win World Series championship 2015 season.

So there’s that.

Last note: There was one familiar face in the crowd of all three events the Rangers were competing in. Prince Fielder was there all along, supporting his guys.