Well hello there, baseball fanatics. It's me, ghostofErikThompson. You might place me from those series previews I did all of last season or maybe from that time the San Francisco Chronicle wanted to know what it was like to be a Rangers fan. Perhaps you're new around here and in the past year you were linked to the current guide which initiated you into the zany madcap world that is Lone Star Ball. Perhaps you've signed up for the site, on this, the eve of the baseball season and are curious about who we are. You'll need the guide most of all.
Every year I say, "A lot has changed in the last year here at LSB" but this year it is true more than ever. Since the last guide launched, we've seen the user-base explode to numbers once thought uncountable. We've seen new posters by the applecart full try to make their way in our unforgiving terrain. We've seen appearances by our TV play-by-play man and CEO and then a hasty return on their way to newly unwanted vacations no longer our TV play-by-play man or CEO. And while the original posters are as curmudgeonly as ever, a spring is in step of their once creaking, aching bones. For you see, the Texas Rangers return to us now as defending American League Champions.
Where once there was only darkly battles and Hank Blalock disputes to greet each new poster; there is good again. There is light. But within this shiny era of unprecedented Rangers success comes a harsh reality of expectations. The hounds have been released. We are the hunted. Your wiles and your wits will only get you so far. So it is with that that I present to you the next volume of the Guide to Lone Star Ball.
We can stave off unrelenting pursuit of those that want to dent our crown by taking time to read this signpost of our absurdity.
As always, please comment to this manual with any of the things that I surely missed as I am but one of the many that make up LSB. So, if you notice anything that needs to be added, altered, adjusted, or expunged, please let me know. The goal with this guide is to bring our new members up to The Show faster than Michael Kirkman after a Matt Harrison implosion. We have plenty of baseball luminaries wandering the halls of our campus with immense talents so if I forget to credit your work, please make sure to note it, and I'll give you your due for your efforts.
Like every good Monarchism there is a hierarchy of our grand blog. Many rings to kiss, many autocrats to subvert:
King of The Angry Dome = Adam J. Morris (AKA Meno71, Meno, AJM, von Marriage Smasher) - Adam Morris is a Ranger loving divorce lawyer currently residing in Houston, TX. He loves Gerald Laird, dropping random knowledge of 80s/90s hip hop culture unexpectedly, and singing on his podcast. Be sure to ask him about "jarring."
Prince = Benjamin Morris (AKA Benmor78, Adam's Brother, Ballpark Concessionaire) - Ben Morris is to Adam Morris as Nelson de la Rosa is to Pedro Martinez. He loves John Danks' mom, Kameron Low, and avoiding updating the community projections. Be sure to ask him about his beer store idea.
Viceroy = Sam Morris (AKA The forgotten and absent Morris Brother) - Presumably, he exists and is excellent at eating contests.
Court Jester = Me, ghostofErikThompson (AKA Christopher Fittz, goat, goET) - The reasons should be fairly obvious as you read this.
- Following these stately Czars are members that followed Adam from when he was known as Meno71 at the ESPN boards. These users are known, to themselves mostly, as the ESPN Boardies. You can bow them as Dukes or you can ignore their claims of "I was here when Jeffrey Loria was still the angel of death!"
- A small contingent of current users made their way over from Adam's old Blogspot blog that started in the wake of an uprising called the Wufdog Initiative that wiped out the majority of the ESPN Board with many war crimes. Those that survived are the LSB Knights.
- Most of the community is made up of those that joined after finding the blog as it is now, these are the LSBers commoners. These users include those that came over from the Newberg Report forum, and those whom searched for Danielle Fishel + boobs.
- Then there are the Peasantly Noobs, welcome to The Angry Dome. In no time you'll know the difference between emo LSJ and regular, anti-social LSJ.
The Last Dragon - Tom Hicks (Though he was was slain by Pope Chuck Greenberg, himself slain by Emperor Nolan Ryan)
The Village Idiot: Seth, AKA steal home, save us, stevoo
You know where you fall in line.
Things to know at LSB:
A Visual Representation of This Thing:
Let's say the Rangers trade a 0.1 WAR backup catcher to the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations. To perhaps any normal, rational-thinking human being, this doesn't even register as an event worth pondering. But not to a user at Lone Star Ball. If it can be argued, it will be. If it can be debated, it will be. If it can be worried over, anguished about or doubted, hashed, rehashed, or twice rehashed, bickered, refuted, or rebutted, presupposed, surmised or assumed, it will be. Loudly. If you aren't prepared to defend your every opinion until your last dying breath, this might not be the place for you.
The Spanish Beltre Thread:
If you're still unclear on what it is exactly we do around here, allow me to direct you to the Spanish Beltre Thread. A seemingly innocuous thread about rumors that Adrian Beltre was close to signing with the Texas Rangers became a 3,000+ comment epic that seems, in retrospect, to sum us up pretty well. In your stay at Lone Star Ball, may you be so lucky to be in a thread as grand as the Spanish Beltre Thread was.
When the Rangers win, we say:
Ballgame! Hello Win Column! Or Yay! (Note: We do not say, "There ya go, boys!")
The 40 Trumps All:
Wish the Rangers would bring up a Tanner Scheppers because you're tired of Dave Bush's unheralded inherited runners scored streak? Tough luck, Scheppers is not on the 40 man roster and perhaps will be Longoria'd and the 40 Trumps All! Think we should DFA Andres Blanco because he booted a ball on a tailor made double play ball? Oh well, The 40 Trumps All! Besides, that's silly. He's the only back-up middle infielder. Stop being silly. Just ask thedirkatron, if he wasn't too busy probably being in prison making finger paintings of pears. Speaking of...
A most delicious fruit.
Beware the Second Game Day Thread:
Maybe it's because by the time the second GDT has been posted the day's starter is now venturing into his second time through the order. Maybe it's because you touch yourself at night. But probably it is because the second Game Day Thread is cursed. This is no longer a small sample of data. We're going off of half a decade of GDT2 misery. Pray we go one or three deep but never two. If it is a tight game and we are still in thread two, it's over and it's YOUR fault. Comment more to avoid the GDT2 beast. It hungers for blown saves and failed rallies.
The "Hi, I'm new here..." FanPost:
You're new here. You want to make a grand introduction. We've seen it a million times. You bust out with an awkward, poorly formatted, bereft of content, long winded FanPost that is immediately mocked and scorned. You have two choices new poster, go the path of least resistance and apologize for your noobishness, promise to learn the ropes, and grow and mature as you become a valued poster here at Lone Star Ball. Or, option two, strike back defensively while explaining that it is everyone else that isn't getting your genius first foray into our hearts and collective consciousness. This way leads to an end you will not like. Do not do it. It cannot be stated enough that your first few opinions will be derided here. That's just the way the Angrydome go. But do not let that deter you, new poster. Odds are your trade proposal WAS terrible and if you stick around past your baptism by fire, you'll come to realize that and be a better fan and regular around here in no time
What was thought of as only a disgusting, horrifying breakfast sandwich can indeed derail an entire baseball team's month of April.
Adam and the Eccentric Features:
Be it his random Birthday wishes to obscure baseball players or his quickly dismissed "What Does This Guy Look Like?" feature, Adam painstakingly tries to keep us entertained. Sure we often thread-jack these entries with gifs of ladies in various states of undress. Certainly we haven't had a more polarizing subject than Mr. Show skits during the Friday Afternoon Video since Ron Washington was batting Nelson Cruz 6th favor of Michael Young in the 5 hole. Adam's Top 50 Rangers of All Time is going to include ghettobear's unborn child by the time he is through with it. (A sneak peak at #1: Matt Treanor.)
Prepare yourself for battle and come forth not lightly shall you choose to participate in the Game Day Thread:
It takes a certain breed of LSBer to survive the Game Day Thread. [WTF BORBON HOW CAN YOU FUCKING SWING AT THAT?! DFA HIS ASS!] Look, it's no secret; we all love the Texas Rangers. We live or die by every pitch. Every game is a must win. [WASH IS BRINGING IN MARK FUCKING LOWE?! FUCK YOU WASH! GAME OVER.] Imagine that fire, that passion that you display at home or at the game, now imagine it with the anonymity of the Internet. [THROW A FUCKING STRIKE YOU ASSBAG!!!] It is fast and it is not for the faint of heart...andOMG!!!!!OMG! MOTHERFUCKING CRUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!1 NO WAY! BALLGAME!!!!!!!!!
If blind rage and unbridled enthusiasm are not your thing, perhaps you'd like to try our recently implemented Off Topic thread. Born out of frustration and boredom over the off-season, where every thread had become something like a chatroom, the OT threads are put up daily by LSJ to give you a place to share your taste in music, television, aviation stalking, views on becoming a parent or not, and anything else that isn't about the Rangers that you want to share with the Internet. Of course, if you don't want to visit the OT thread and want to talk about music, television, aviation stalking, views on becoming a parent or not, and anything else that isn't about the Rangers that you want to share with the Internet, in any other thread, you're welcome to still do that but we just might ignore you.
The Reply button is your friend:
To those that are new, please remember, the Reply button is your friend. If you follow this, chances are, we won't even notice that this is your third comment ever. Well, unless it is about a Blanco for Utley trade proposal. If you don't follow this, there will be images posted with the intent to shame you and oc would like to have a word with you about your ability to participate.
Athletes are Douches:
If you have a favorite player on the Texas Rangers, chances are, unless he is Elvis Andrus, we'll call him a douche bag or worse from time to time. We're all rooting for laundry, folks; let's not take it personal. Personally, I think Brandon Webb looks like he could be a bit of a prick. (Disclaimer: Please do not ever make fun of, call names, or deride Darren O'Day. He's infallible.)
Beware of Small Sample Sizes:
Brandon Boggs was hitting like .600 his first week and a half in the big leagues. He even had his mom booing at umps for calling her baby boy out. The nerve! This is Brandon Freakin' Boggs! And then, he went one for his next 30 something ABs. And suddenly, his mom was booing him. (Probably. I would have been.) You know why? Because Beware of Small Sample Sizes, that's why.
Our God-king. Stare lightly, for your gaze might find a soul mate. (Sorry LSJ. You lose! GOOD DAY SIR!)
Beware of Medusa:
Our Cautionary Tale. Stare lightly, for your gaze might find the depths of hell.
The Mailbag Impulse:
It is customary, when TR Sullivan is preparing for a mailbag entry, to wonder out loud:
"When is Brandon Webb going to be ready?"
"How much would it cost for the Rangers to install a roof on the Ballpark? I think they should look into that. It's hot outside in July and I think the team would benefit from a roof."
"What's Pete O'Brien up to these days?"
"Could we get Felix Hernandez for Mike Napoli? The Mariners need hitting and we need pitching. I think it works out for both teams!"
Why would you trade pitching for hitting?! When are we going to get some pitching up in here?!"
Don't worry about these impulses, they're normal. Just don't talk about them with anyone else.
We're probably a good 4,500 person strong on this site, so, be prepared to have 4,500 people give their 5,000 word thesis on why signing Adrian Beltre was a bad idea. We talk, a lot. There really isn't a topic that we can't drive into the ground faster than the body of the latest shocking celebrity death. Be it about the possibility of the team carrying an 8-man bullpen to start the season or (inexplicably) pages and pages of talk about Rebecca Black. We've got it covered from every angle imagined. This isn't much different than when you shoot the shit with your pals at a bar. However, since this is the Internet, we can call you a moron without fear of getting punched in the face.
Stats and You:
Baseball stats are a good thing. Advanced baseball stats are an even better thing. Learning them and their proper uses is perhaps the best thing. I promise you that if you find out how to properly use WAR, BABIP, wOBA, or UZR ratings in your scathing comments about why picking up Gabe Gross off of the Left-For-Dead wire is a bad idea, we won't assume that you're in your parent's basement. I mean, do we look like we're Dan Shaughnessy? I rather hope not. In fact, some of us even, in addition to having jobs and our own place to live, actually have had intercourse with the opposite sex, despite what you may have heard about the sabermetrically inclined. I mean, Adam has proof he's done it at least twice! Sure, we're not a community of stat-suckling self-congratulators like Mariners fans, but we're not a bunch of Team Chemistry, Luck-Lovin', allergic to numbers Angels fans, either. Learn how to use stats to enhance your argument and dominate.
This epic get together of members of LSB at the Ballpark unfortunately hasn't happened yet. However, when it finally happens, expect to find your favorite LSB personalities as they stalk Jim Knox. Perhaps there will be t-shirts involved. Mirth will be had as we march throughout the park following Knox as he tries to find fans to talk to during his segments in the stands that often border on creepy and always seem to happen when Elvis makes an amazing play at short. Expect laughs, love, and some arrests.
P.S. Why haven't we done this yet? We're going to do this this year, right?
Do you eat chili? I'll assume that you do. Do you have an opinion on what is better: chili with beans or chili without beans? You do. Don't lie. Whether you like "spicy meat water" or "stew" to be a member of Lone Star Ball requires you to make a choice. Bean or no beans? Seal your fate. (The answer is with beans, by the way.)
Double Play Dinosaur:
So, you’ve got a runner on first, less than two outs, and a lead that is vanishing faster than Charlie Sheen's legacy. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO!? Herald the call for the Double Play Dinosaur, of course. This dino is something even Carl Everett can believe in.
Results? Instant Double Play.
In 2008, it was the Rally Turtle. Deep in the hearts of the Texas Rangers Ball Club resides an Aesop's Fable-esque desire to win the race, not lead in laps. Down one run, two, SEVEN? Fear not. We had Turtle Power on our side.
In 2009, we had the Rally Taco.
A come from behind victory will never be as savory. The Rally Taco was the crispy, crunchy shell of patience. The sheer will of moist, seasoned beef. The gooey richness of our ability to stick together through the tough battles. The Rally Taco always left us with a satisfied feeling of victory.
In 2010, we did it up Not-Safe-Work style with Rally [Insert Hot Lady].
Be it Claudia, Salma, or Gina, these ladies never let us down. Physiologically. (Warning: No Katy Perry)
What will we rally around in 2011? Only the baseball gods know for sure but Rally Blogger might be leading the pack.
This was our Claw and Antlers.
Joaquin Benoit - "Jack Benny" "Benny" (I miss you, JB!)
Scott Feldman - "Feldman...From Across the Hall" "The Swan" "Scooter"
Colby Lewis - "Cobra" "Colbyashi"
Darren Oliver - "DO" "Grandpa"
Mike Napoli - "Naps"
Doug Mathis - "Asian Kid" "Do-Math"
Darren O'Day - "Kason Gabbard" "O'DAY O'DAY O'DAY O'DAY, O'DAY O'DAY"
Frank Francisco - "Frankie" "Frank Frank" "Frankie Frank" "F2" "FX2" "2 Frank" "Tu Frank"
Kevin Millwood - "Milly" "In the Best Shape of My Life"
Pedro Strop - "The Audacity of Strop"
Matt Harrison - "Member of the 4H Club" "Bucky O’Harrison" "Harry"
Eric Hurley - "Member of the 4H Club" "High Definition"
Tommy Hunter - "Member of the 4H Club" "Big Game"
Derek Holland - "Member of the 4H Club" "Dutch" "Der-Hol" "Dutch Oven"
Neftali Feliz - "Neftali Perez" "King Feliz" "Happy" "Happy Happy" "Neffy" "Cheddar"
C.J. Wilson - "BlueGloveLefty" "Ceej"
Jamey Wright - "The Electrician"
Gerald Laird - "One Man, Five Tools" "OMFT" "Superstar" "One Man, Five Scoops"
Jarrod Saltalamacchia - "Salty" "Johnny Douchebag" "Saltalphabet" "Mach 5" "Salts McGee"
Nelson Cruz - "Nellie" "Cruz Missile" "NC-17" "Boomstick"
Vladimir Guerrero - "Vlad" "Vladdy" "The Impaler"
Elvis Andrus - "Tiny E"
Mitch Moreland - "Bunk" "Luckiest guy of that night"
Andres Blanco - "Mr. White"
Chris Davis - "Crush Davis" "Crush" "CD" "Beasticon"
Hank Blalock - "The Hammer" "Hank The Bank" "Zombie Hank Blalock" "Batlak"
Ian Kinsler - "Kins"
Jurickson Profar - "Son of Judeska and Chesmond"
Michael Kirkman - "Captain"
Richard Bleier - "Dick" "King Richard" "The Bleierhearted"
Martin Perez - "Santana"
Marcus Lemon - "Lil' Lemon"
Leonel de los Santos - "Macumba"
Tommy Mendonca - "Mendonca-donk"
Michael Young - "Face of the Franchise" "FOTF" "The Face"
Taylor Teagarden - "Tea" "TT" "Teabags"
Josh Hamilton - "Roy Hobbs" "The Natural" "Hammy" "Hambone"
David Murphy - "Murphy" "The Murphinator" "Doublely Doo Right" "Baby Rusty" "The Clutch"
Blake Beavan - "Captain Wonderful" "C-Wun"
Greg Golson - "The Tool Shed"
Joaquin Arias - "The Human Rorschach Test" "Spider-Man" "Cockroach"
Justin Smoak - "Smoak Monster" "Smoak on the Water"
Fabio Castillo - "Blow Rider"
Rod Barajas - "Popup"
Mark DeRosa - "Dumpmaster D"
Mark Teixeira - "Tex" "Douche"
Tom Grieve - "TAG" "Don't Tweet"
Buck Showalter - "Buckles"
Ron Washington - "The Gut" "The Gutfather"
John Hart - "The Empty Golf Shirt" "EGS"
Tim MacMahon - "Poochie"
Kevin Mench - "Shrek"
Trolls and You: Is It Normal to Feel Rage "Down There?"
Yes, let's talk about our trolls for a moment. As with any other collection of online minds, trolls, we have 'em. They range from invaders from rival teams to get in generic digs about the state of our pitching to the peskier, overly obnoxious board regulars that everyone loves to hate. That said, along with some hilarious people, we also have some pretty strong trolls. They deftly rouse up the masses with their unrelenting shtick and multiple sock puppet usernames.
However, if you entirely want to avoid these bastard monsters, you can always employ ab03 and matchst1ck's troll script. Now you can weed out the bad seeds and enhance your LSB experience by not giving the people that are out to ruin your good time your time of day. This is especially useful when people start posting pictures of diseased penises.
Getting to know us:
-bigsteve math is 2+2=Dave Bush. Wait, what? Yep. Exactly.
-Julio Borbon just broke in clubhouse record for most sunflower seeds in one mouth at a single time. And you know how you know about this? Because Judy'sLewinsky nee Kinslerhomer was there with a link 15 minutes before it even happened. I'm pretty sure he isn't real and is instead a web-crawling Rangers News Bot.
-DSheppard is a wizard. No, not Ozzie Smith or Merlin, he's a wizard with Photoshop. DShep has littered GDTs with classic images and gifs, from the Cruz Missile to his marvelous custom Rangers commercials to the H-Bomb. Just don't disappear again because we will find you.
-Do not feed the Sharky.
-Miles is perpetually 16 years old. He is like LSB's resident younger brother. Make sure to tussle his hair a bit and tell him how much Rudy Yan sucked. However, keep in mind always Miles' status. (Editor's Note: Miles doesn't post here anymore and is a Cleveland Indians fan now. But this is here as a reminder so we never forget.)
-Somewhere, in a dark corner of a long forgotten DARPA facility, one of the first defense computers meant to further America's stranglehold on sophisticated technology and war time communications, the Micro IP Kiosk Efficiency-Engine became aware. After decades of idling, Mike E as he was called, stumbled his way onto the Internet and while looking for Language Simulation Banks, he found LSB. Now he tries desperately to hide his true identity while fitting in with us humans one word at a time.
-LSJ nee lonestarJon is an emo. There's nothing he can't make depressing simply by bringing his rain cloud to your sub-thread. He also has 58,166 comments as of 3:18 PM PT 3/30/11. That's over 21K+ more than the last time I wrote this guide. I'd wager of those over 58K posts, 56K of them were complaining about Ron Washington or Elvis Andrus.
-Aquaman is hard charging at LSJ's reign with 44,003 comments. In addition to being a champion of the sea and probably Joe Blanton, Aquaman has the title of Esquire, so he himself claims. That means he's better than you.
-Tired of your boring shitty life? Now you can live through Philkid3's! Join him for his Poli-Sci class updates featuring the adventures of "Ohpeedoh" and "The Tweed Suit." Grab his metaphorical Internet hand and fly away as he takes you to heights of baseball stats and tales of butts and Nintendos you never before dared to dream. Alternatively, if you're happy with your life and don't care about Philkid3's, that's fine too. After all, he's a Philadelphia Eagles fan.
-Brett Perryman knows everything about every player in every league that has ever played. Ever. Even if they are 9. ESPECIALLY if they are 9. And luckily for us, Shroomer has the video clips and pictures to back him up. Perryman used to go by Zywica so we called him Zebra Cakes. Then he went by his real name and ruined the fun for the rest of us.
-t ball is secretly a stand-up comedian. I know this because he tries out his material on each and every one of his comments. Sure, he'll throw in a well reasoned baseball comment, but, if you take the first letter for each sentence, it spells a dick joke. I'm on to you t ball...or should I say, stand-up comedian Tim Ball?
- Josh Garoon banished a luck dragon named Snark to the LSB ether only to be eaten by that very same dragon after he was warned of its return. We all found this to be very ironic. It's okay though, because Josh Garoon doesn't really exist except for on the Lone Star Ball supplement BBTIA.
-DJCahill is the blog's token curmudgeon, that is, unless JBImaknee happens to be in the same thread, then they battle to see who can get the most people off of their lawn. JBImaknee likes one thing: Matt Harrison. He is in the driver's seat of the Matt Harrison bandwagon even though it lost a wheel and LSJ shoved a potato in the tailpipe. Cahill, however, likes two things: Steroid use and Sammy Sosa. Which, I guess, is mostly just one thing.
-Josey "The Outlaw" Wales is the resident front office and board contrarian. If you see him write something like: "This year is going to be another Rancid Pile, but if Boy Blunder can get some decent guys in The Show, we might pull off 65 games this season." you'll understand. If you are unsure on how to handle a Josey onslaught, simply Dazzle My Ass.
-Somewhere, oc is not amused.
-And now a few words from Longhorn. Longhorn, take it away. Longhorn: "weak." Thanks, Longhorn. Always a man of brevity.
-Fuck Brett Gardner.