Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Not So Much A Baseball Town

Presumably not interested in Adrian Beltre's OPS+
There is only one conceivable response to freshly minted Los Angeles Angel of Anaheim Except When The Traffic Backs Up On The 5 In Which Case You Want To Be A Los Angeles Angel Of Taking 91 Maybe As A Bypass Josh Hamilton's comment that Dallas is not a baseball city.


Yes, Texans play a lot of baseball. Yes, Texas has produced a lot of great talent - some guy named "Ryan" springs to mind. And yes, the Rangers are currently riding high with a monstrous lineup, a strong pitching staff, and a ballpark that would not drive former Arlington beat writer Mike Shropshire to drink (more).


It's Dallas. Home of the Dallas Cowboys, the most football-crazed city in the most football-crazed state in the country. Never mind that since the turn of the millennium, the Cowboys have been the worst of the four major sports teams in the DFW area - worse than the Rangers, definitely, but also worse than the Stars and the Mavericks. Maybe owner antics both positive (Mark Cuban's resurrection of the Mavs) and negative (Tom Hicks' greedhead shenanigans with the Stars and Rangers) obscured that fact, but it doesn't matter. Dallas is the Cowboys is Dallas. Maybe that would change if the 'boys Romoed their way to a couple of consecutive 0-16 seasons, but I doubt it. Denying this - or being horrified that someone said it - is shove-your-head-in-the-sand stupid, a willful denial of the obvious and the factual.

And really, it's unnecessary. Football's number one? Sure, but that doesn't mean that the Rangers are sitting out by the Gas'n'Sip at 2 AM waiting for John Cusack to show up. They ranked 3rd in baseball in attendance last year. They pulled 3.4 million people through the turnstiles. In a town where they're not the priority, they still seem to be doing all right.

Which points us, I suppose, at the real issue here, which is to say the half-assed Manicheanism of the sorts of folks who aggressively stir up trouble in the interests of a loud - not good - narrative. Dallas is primarily a football town? Big freaking deal. Until they park life-sized statues of Leon Lett in front of every stadium entrance in Arlington to keep people from seeing Rangers games, it has precisely zero impact on whether people in Dallas can enjoy baseball, too.

On second thought, forget I said anything about those statues. I don't want to give Jerry Jones any ideas.
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