In the This Is My Nightmare series, we'll take a look at what the absolute worst case scenario for each team would be in 2013. Think of it as the negative complement to our You May Say I'm A Dreamer series that we'll be running during our preview series.
For a team that lost two consecutive World Series, including one where they were one strike away from winning it all twice and coming off a season in which they gagged away a division crown in one month because their best player dropped a routine flyball and then washed out in the Wild Card game, finding a nightmare scenario that can trump all of that is a tall order.
The obvious place to start is with the departed Josh Hamilton, a man that took the lion's share of the blame for the Rangers' late-season collapse. Fans will start the 2013 season being glad to see him gone, but oh my how that will change. Not only will a freshly motivated Hamilton lay waste to the AL West in the uniform of the rival Angels, but the man that functionally replaced him in Texas, Lance Berkman, will play just like Hamilton. Only he won't play like the normal Hamilton, but rather the version of Hamilton that barely hit over .200 in June and July of last season. Oops!
But Berkman is only part of the problem. For the last few years Texas has thrived because of their powerful offense. Not so much in 2013. David Murphy failed to capitalize on his breakout 2012 as becoming a full-time player overexposes him. Meanwhile Nelson Cruz turns in one of the worst seasons of his career as he spend the first month of the season fretting over a looming suspension stemming from the Bosch mess in Florida. That suspension of course comes in May, wiping out 50 games of Cruz's season. The net effect is a the Rangers lineup, while still solid, just can't step up to carry the team like it used to.