or the season in a nutshell
Bart Giamatti had it right when he said that "the game is designed to break
your heart". It's been breaking my heart since the middle 70's. Only a head
shrinker could figure out why I keep coming back for more. Why should I
root for a team that has never won a playoff series. Maybe suicide
is a better option than putting up with all of the following:
1. Prior to the start of the 2009 season, the Yankees spent 23% of the
Gross National Domestic Product on C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and
2. Closer to home, the Oakland A's got Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi.
The Mariners signed old friend Ken Griffey. The Angels got a real
bargain in Bobby Abreu. While all of this was going down the Rangers
were taking a nap.
3. Wait, check that. The Rangers signed a top of the rotation starter. Two
days later, during a routine physical, his pitching arm fell off of his shoulder.
His name is Ben Sheets.
4. Prior to the beginning of the season, just to reinforce the perception
that the Rangers will never have any pitching, one of our starting pitchers
suffered an injury that would require missing the entire 2009 campaign. A
couple of hard throwing bullpen hurlers go down a bit later. Their names are
Eric Hurley, Joaquin Benoit, and Dustin Nippert.
5. The Rangers spent the entire off season looking for a replacement
to Hank Blalock at third base, since he couldn't make the throw to first
base any longer. The brilliant idea was to move their gold glove
winning SS over to third. He demanded a trade just to spoil the plan.
His contract was unmovable. His name is FOTF.
6. Rumors abounded that the Rangers would send a catcher
to the Red Sox for a starting pitcher. Never happened.
7. Perhaps because of budget restraints, the Rangers looked to fill out
their roster with a few retreads. Derrick Turnbow and Brendan Donnelly
didn't pan out. There were others too.
8. The Rangers lost 7 of 8 games in early April. Fan cries of, "Here we go
again", were the common refrain.
9. Ron Washington came under direct fire. Daniels and Ryan both gave
lukewarm support to their mananger. True support would entail a new
contract. Who knows how close he came to really getting canned?
10. Our utility man is 42 years old. He admitted that shortstops can't
really play after the age of 37. His name is Vizquel.
11. The Rangers finished the season 0 for Detroit.
12. Our best power hitter decided to retool his swing with Rudy's help.
The new swing mechanics didn't succeed. His name is Josh Hamilton.
Lately, we hear that he has gone down to a stomach muscle injury.
13. Since Michael Young was playing third, we had to give the shortstop
position to an inexperienced young kid from Venezuela. The consensus
was that there would be significant growing pains. Elvis is his name.
14. Our first sacker has been striking out at a breakneck pace. You can
only expect him to make contact if he trades his bat for a sequoia.
His name is Davis.
15. Nobody, and I mean nobody, picked the Rangers to finish first in
the American League West Division.
16. The scariest news of quite some time was the announcement, by owner
Tom Hicks, that he would be interested in selling controlling interest in
the club. If you know anything about our history of ownership, your ears
starting burning and your brain began spinning when you read or heard
that story. Just when it appeared that the stars were aligning for our team,
we received this hard kick to the groin.
17. Vicente Padilla was recently placed on waivers.
The Rangers have completed 54 games now. That is exactly 1/3 of the
season. My list of 50 items is about 1/3 complete also. Who knows what
the rest of the season will bring. I can't predict the future. I do know this
though, there will be both ups and downs. Certainly our club has not
garnered as much national attention as it should, but you could safely say
the same thing with regards to our entire history of playing the game. We
all get tired of the Yanks and Red Sox. Furthermore, I believe every dog
should have his day. Perhaps Jon Daniels will have something up his sleeve
before we reach the trading deadline in early July. Maybe a starting pitcher,
or a bullpen piece. I don't think that Bob Dylan is much of a baseball fan,
but I'll use his words to describe the final part of the 2009 campaign.
Hey, do you want to make a deal?
How does it feel?
How does it feel?
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
Like a rolling stone
Hold your index finger up high and repeat after me. We are in first place.
WE ARE IN FIRST PLACE, BABY!