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Baker Mayfield Provided Sorely Needed Positive Rangers Vibes. (Yes, That Baker Mayfield.)

He may be from Austin, played college ball in Oklahoma, and work in Tampa, but the self-stated Ranger fan knows that Astros jokes land.
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The Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback apparently has an affinity for North Texas' favorite baseball team. Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

You’re probably aware by now of the exceedingly miserable experience this Texas Rangers season is becoming.

Sean Bass has written about it.

Jamey Newberg and I chatted about it.

If you’ve tuned in at all over the last month, you had to have seen it.

And just when the campaign appeared to be getting back on track—Texas has won five in a row, the most recent three of which have been against fellow wild-card hopeful Toronto—general manager Chris Young announced yesterday that newly acquired ace/endearing maniac Max Scherzer will be out for the rest of the regular season and mostly likely the playoffs, too, should Texas get there. Not great!

So color me shocked to find the only recent Rangers development worth laughing about—in a good way—comes by way of Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield, who grew up in Austin and spent the best years of his legendary college career at Oklahoma. Not the sort of dossier that typically lends itself to being a Texas Ranger fan—except Mayfield apparently is. (We’ll ignore, for a moment, that he turned up at a Rangers-Rays game in Tampa this summer in a Rays cap.)

And I learned that fact thanks to a now-viral clip of him being asked by an enterprising media member whether he was picking up on the Minnesota Vikings’ signals in Tampa’s season-opening victory on Sunday. The punchline?

“I know I’m in Tampa but I’m a Texas Rangers fan, not a Houston Astros fan. So we’re not going to condone that.”

This man knows his constituency.

Because, yes, the season may be spiraling, and the games may be an emotional biohazard, and members of the roster may be stacking up IL stints like cordwood.

But Astros jokes? No matter the reason or the season, Astros jokes always land.


Mike Piellucci

Mike Piellucci

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Mike Piellucci is D Magazine's sports editor. He is a former staffer at The Athletic and VICE, and his freelance…

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