Don't blame Yu Darvish
Fan frustration toward the Rangers' ace is misguided and misinformed
It's not particularly difficult to understand why Rangers fans are so agitated right now, because for the second season in a row, their team is collapsing down the stretch and ceding control of a division they once dominated to the rival Oakland Athletics. After consecutive World Series defeats in 2010 and 2011, the 2012 Rangers squandered a season-long run in first place by succumbing to a sweep in Oakland in the final series of the season.
This year, they spent 95 days atop the West and were within a half-game of first as recently as Sept. 6, but after dropping nine of 12 -- including another sweep at the hands of Oakland -- Ron Washington's team now finds itself 6 1/2 games behind the Athletics and on the verge of being knocked out of a playoff spot entirely.
There's no shortage of places to put that blame, but the bulk of the frustration seems to be landing on Darvish, mainly because the Texas ace hasn't pitched the Rangers to a win in any of his past six starts dating back to early August -- including two painful losses against Oakland. So Darvish, as the narrative goes, doesn't have "the will to win" and isn't living up to his ace billing, right? Well, not quite.
To see why Yu Darvish's toughness is not Texas' problem -- become an Insider today.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Balfour's deal with O's could be in jeopardy
- Source: Ibanez, Angels nearing 1-year deal
- Axford, Indians finalize 1-year, $4.5M deal
- Braves get catcher Doumit in Twins trade
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
MLB ON ESPN.COM
The Red Sox rebounded from a tough loss to clinch a spot in the ALCS.
- Majestic Triple Peak Men's Texas Rangers Yu Darvish Royal T-Shirt