I fully expect the Rangers to be sold within the next ten years.
The franchise’s current development path mimics that which would indicate a sale is coming sooner rather than later. Brand new stadium payed for with public money? Check. Stripping down of the payroll in the name of “rebuilding” while also becoming attractive for a potential buyer? Check.
Then Tuesday, the official Rangers Twitter account sent this out.
Could it be that Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara were picking out new clothes, with the Rangers social media team playing the role of a borderline creepy voyeur? Sure. The more likely scenario is the team’s teasing a re-brand in time for the new stadium in 2020. It also coincides with new Nike uniforms coming next season, after original provider Under Armour bowed out.
For all intents and purposes, the franchise is dressing up for an open house. They’ll gussy up the place with nice looks and cheap labor, which appeals to your modern day profit hungry billionaire baseball owner. Look no further than Miami, who went from a parasitic owner in Jeffrey Loria to cheap and incompetent owners in Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. They also got their new stadium, stripped the thing for parts, and got new uniforms.
They also changed their name, from Florida to Miami.
Which is something the Rangers should also do.
The name Texas Rangers is outdated for many reasons. One being they’re not the only team in Texas. They weren’t even the FIRST team in Texas, as the then Houston Colt .45s first played in 1962, ten years before the Senators were dropped in Arlington. Laying claim to the Texas name seems presumptuous.
Consider also that only three other teams(Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado) carry the name of a state as their geographic identifier. All three are the only team in their state, so it makes more sense. With two teams in Texas, and now both Texas teams in the same division, making a change feels worth doing.
Two, it creates a prevalent yet outdated image. Whenever you say Texas, it calls forth scenes of cattle and the Stockyards. The stadium still plays a slew of yokel pleasing tunes, overdosing the fans on an abundance of country fried “charm.”
It’s not accurate, hasn’t been for years. The Metroplex is one of the most modern areas in the country, not just the state. Portraying the people who live, work, and fan here as horse riding cowpokes is outdated and insulting. A name change would allow for a brand change, the opportunity to update what is now an embarrassingly crude image of Texans in modern times.
And third, a fresh start would do this franchise good. While there have been highs, certain things have dogged the team. Most recently Game 6 haunts the Rangers, acting as the most prominent ghost. There are others also: a stereotype of PED powered home run hitters, a continued legacy of being unable to develop pitchers, and the ever-looming specter of big heat. A new name won’t eradicate history, nor would that be desirable. What would be nice is a clean slate, a new era, and the chance to make new memories with a new name in a new stadium. Sometimes change is good, and for a team soon transitioning in many ways it seems worth the effort to go all the way.
Some thoughts as to what a new name might look like:
The cleanest change possible. The team plays in Arlington, and if you’re into the Rangers name enough keeping it isn’t objectionable. The city would love it, as they would get the name recognition for which they have long looked. Plus, you took $500 million in their money. The least you could do is name the team after the city.
Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs
If you want to go historical, this would be the natural choice. Before the Rangers played in Turnpike, the DFW Spurs did from 1965 to 1971. They were a Double A team, eradicated when the Rangers showed up. It does have a bit too much Cowboy/Western type feel for my liking, but a nod to the past makes up for that in a certain way. One issue you might run into is with San Antonio’s basketball Spurs, but that could all be figured out if so desired.
Rangers Baseball Club/Rangers BC
This is largely a takeoff on the soccer naming convention, seen in Frisco with FC Dallas. It’s a nod to the actual name of the club, the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. It would become the most unique name in MLB, with potential crossover type merchandising available. It also creates a location neutral name, which is appealing.
This isn’t an actual suggestion, but more to see if Levi Weaver is reading this. After his campaign to name the Down East team(and subsequently any other team who is going through a name change) this, it would be unfair if I didn’t at least bring it up as a possibility.
I’m not holding my breath that we will see any of these or any other name change. This is the time to do it, with so much else in flux already. At first it would be unpopular, but people would get used to it. Even if they didn’t, it’s not likely this ownership group will be around long enough to really worry about it.