ARLINGTON, Texas — It was never the ballpark’s fault, it’s always been the ball club.

Thursday afternoon’s game between the Texas Rangers and the Oakland A’s was the reason why our team had to have a new stadium with a roof and AC, and needed Arlington tax payers' money to complete the dream.

The gametime temperature outside was in excess of 91 degrees, with a heat index of “Just Move to Maine.”

Day games after April were one of the primary reasons the Rangers lobbied passionately for a new venue. They said they lost an estimated 300,000 fans per season to our painfully hot day games.

Now we know that figure is probably closer to 300.

Globe Life Mall were so cool and comfortable during the Rangers’ 5-1 loss to the A’s Thursday, ERCOT executives were likely preparing to sue the Rangers.

There was nary a drop of sweat to be felt, and the BO barometer reading was 0.3. The stadium is nice, and on Thursday it looked to be half full, with dozens of empty suites.

Because it was never the stadium, it’s always been the team.

With a shoutout to the great Rangers PA man Chuck Morgan, who will soon join the Rangers Hall of Fame with Adrian Beltre, this is baseball time in Texas.

No one should expect a sellout for a Thursday afternoon game, but the reported crowd of 20,432 in a pretty new venue that seats 40,300 is revealing.

Thanks to COVID-19, the last-place Texas Rangers are in first place in MLB in attendance at a little more than 27,000 fans per game.

This is the first season The Mall is allowed to be open for Rangers games with fans, and 27,000 is not the dream.

In 2019, the last MLB season where teams had no obstacles for full stadiums, 27,000 would have ranked 16th out of 30 clubs.

That happened to be the last season of the Ballpark in Arlington, where the team averaged 26,333 fans per home game.

Air conditioning can solve a lot of life’s problems, but a roof and 72 degrees inside a new park was never going to cure what ails the Rangers.

Jump into the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s 1978 Ford Pinto time machine (our DeLorean is in the shop) to see exactly how much of a difference the new stadium has made.

On Sunday, June 10, 2018, the Rangers hosted the Houston Astros at The Ballpark in Arlington with a 2:08 p.m. first pitch. The gametime temperature was 92 degrees.

The reported attendance was 30,251.

Now, let’s go back to Sunday, June 26, 2016, when the Rangers hosted the Boston Red Sox with a 2:09 p.m. first pitch. The gametime temperature was 93 degrees.

The reported attendance of that game was 36,312.

The difference:

On that 2018 date, the Rangers were 13 games under .500. That 2016 date, the team was 21 games over .500.

From our own weight to our nation’s economy, we can blame COVID-19 for a long list of items these days. The Rangers’ inability to draw bigger numbers at a park that is cooler than your living room is not one of them.

The place is allowed to be at full capacity. Masks are optional, which is a cute way of saying no one is wearing them.

People go to Rangers games in larger numbers when they win.

On the plus side, tickets for Thursday’s game could be found on StubHub for as low as $6. And because the place is bit smaller than the Ballpark in Arlington, there is not a bad seat in The Mall.

As we learned in the ownership era of Tom Hicks with the Rangers, when you don’t come, the owners don’t spend.

Not sure how owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson can spend less money on the Rangers, but you should feel optimistic Ray Ray can get it done.

The really great ones can always shed more costs.

The club’s payroll is currently $93 million, which ranks 20th in MLB.

The current team is so bad the earliest anyone should expect the Rangers to flirt with above .500 is 2023, but 2024 feels more realistic.

Also, that is the best case.

Maybe they should build a new stadium.

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