Team camaraderie is almost impossible to measure in any sport. Analysts can’t determine a player’s heart and determination at any given point. They can’t measure the trust guys have with their ball club. You may come across certain instances where a team releases a player, despite good numbers, simply because they don’t have their teammate’s backs, but those are only dire circumstances. I bring this up because the 2021 Rangers have the chemistry that works like a successful marriage, the Harlem Globetrotters, or the Jonas Brothers. The Rangers clubhouse fills with guys that live, breathe, die, flourish, succeed, and fail together. It’s rubbing off on one another.
“I enjoy my family, I love my family so much, but coming to the ballpark every day it’s so fun. It’s a great group of dudes,” Jose Trevino said after Sunday’s 1-0 win over the Orioles.
— Alex Plinck ️ (@aplinckTX) April 18, 2021
First, I can’t determine my personal opinion based on clubhouse interaction, but each of these players has a different positive side than those that didn’t show as much the previous years. Even though the 2021 start isn’t to this team’s full potential, it’s a group that shares everything, the positives, and negatives.
“These guys in the clubhouse feed off of each other,” Nate Lowe said after Sunday’s game. “Unfortunately, we go through a slow stretch as a team, and we can go through hot stretches as a team.” While the offense struggled to score runs against the Orioles, pitching is flourishing for the Rangers. Starting pitching ranks tenth in baseball for Texas (3.63), and this includes an Opening Day start where Kyle Gibson recorded one out and allowed five earned runs.
For Willie Calhoun, he attests that many Rangers’ players went through the system and played with each other. Now, he has the chance in the big leagues with those same guys. “We are all a pretty close group, [and] all are within the same age group of each other [where] we all came up with each other,” Willie said Sunday. “It’s pretty cool that we had the chemistry in the minor leagues and then bring it up to the big leagues. You’ve been playing with them for years, [and] having that comfort zone is something we’re going to benefit in the long run.” Calhoun rejoined the club on Friday after a groin injury forced him to miss the first half of April.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) April 18, 2021
The Cowboy hat tradition is surfacing to Rangers fans. Who will get it next is a question that I ponder after every win. It brings life to guys in the clubhouse. It’s also remarkable that the previous winner passes it along. Whether it’s a pitcher handing it to a hitter or vice versa, it gets the entire team involved. It’s not twenty-six individuals playing for themselves, it’s playing together as one, and it’s what Chris Woodward wants to see. “The fight is what’s most important to me,” Woodward said after Sunday’s game. “To see these guys continue to fight for each other is everything.”
記念球も貰いました^ ^ pic.twitter.com/wmAbDprmRv
— 有原航平 / KOHEI ARIHARA (@aripay_35) April 15, 2021
One thing about recent years regarding up-and-coming teams is how much fun they show in the dugout. Take the San Diego Padres, for example, the delight of seeing them celebrate big hits, the energy they bring, all together. “Everyone is playing for each other,” Joey Gallo said on Saturday. “Everyone just wants to compete and win games. It’s really special.” There’s no quit in these guys, and while strategies and approaches are questioned, the grind and grit of this team isn’t disputable.
For a leader on the team like Jose Trevino, he senses where this team is heading, and it’s in the right direction. “We are very close to where we can take that next step, and it’s within us from top to bottom. Everybody pulling their part, if one guy is struggling, another guy will pick him up,” Jose said with a smile on his face Sunday. “We trust that. We believe that. It’s not fake, we’re not putting on a show, this is true, and we care about each other in the clubhouse.”
The Rangers’ camaraderie is genuine and it’s an attribute that translates to success. These guys love playing together, and if I were to analogize this group to the end of a Jonas Brothers’ song, they’re going to ride it until the wheels fall off and until they run out of the road.