There was an interesting discussion recently in Dallas Culture Map as to whether something called the Curse of Nolan Ryan is hovering over the Texas Rangers baseball team this season as the team has plummeted into the American League West cellar. And there have been other conversations in the area comparing the alleged Curse of Babe Ruth against the Boston Red Sox to the Rangers' current fate.
The Bosox fortunes on the baseball diamond evaporated after they sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in the early 20th Century. With Babe Ruth smashing home runs at a record-setting pace, the previously undistinguished Yankees went on to become the dominant force in major league baseball.
The legend spread over the decades following that trade which so dramatically affected the fortunes of each team, that the reason the Red Sox were no longer great was because the Bambino had cursed them. Now, since Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has become known as the "man who ran Nolan Ryan out of Arlington", fans and articles alike have speculated. Have Daniels' actions in forcing Nolan Ryan out as CEO of the Rangers ignited a curse against the Rangers every bit as potent as the one that enveloped the Red Sox?
While Ranger tickets were a prized commodity during Nolan Ryan's six-year stint in Arlington, they are now the subject of jokes circulating North Texas. Common comments by fans include that the worst investment possible is a purchase of Ranger season tickets.
One fan who before the season started purchased a "special package of tickets to 20 Ranger games" lamented the fact he will have to attend those games or completely lose the money he invested. Another fan said he didn't even recognize the names of the players who wore Ranger uniforms this year.
He said, "Let's see, I can name Beltre', Yu Darvish, Elvis Andrus and........"
And there he faltered.
Has the Nolan Ryan curse attached itself to Daniels forcing him to let Nelson Cruz, the American League home run leader, go to the Baltimore Orioles? And did the curse inspire Daniels to trade Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers? And maybe the curse caused Daniels to not require Prince Fielder to take a physical before he traded Kinsler for him. Hopefully the curse will allow Fielder to recover from neck surgery before the end of Fielder's seven-year contract.
Fielder has distinguished himself since becoming a Ranger by taking off his uniform and posing nude for the cover of ESPN the Magazine.
The Rangers are fortunate to have the most loyal fans in baseball. The stands still are packed even as management trades the best players away. The author of the article in Dallas Culture Map said he didn't believe in curses. At least not before now.
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