This is Sebatian Bueimi. He's a Swiss race car driver. But I think he looks like a hyped up Jon Daniels. - Paul Gilham
A minor league writer's take on a major league kerfuffle.
I unleashed a set of tweets yesterday. They went like this: “Swear to GAWD, Ima 'bout to round up the entire Rangers FO. Ima give 'em 8 cases of beer, 50 cigars, some pot, a portable propane grill,... some Bisquick, 8lbs of bacon, 10 loaves of bread, 11 dozen eggs, 40 collapsible chairs (with cupholders), 100 hot dogs, 80 hot dog buns... 1 docking station(with no backup battery!), 2 acoustic guitars, 8ct 4-man tents, 1 burro (cuz that's funny), 32 sleeping bags, 25 pillows... and 1 person knowledgeable of the terrain. And I'm gonna drop 'em all in the Grand Canyon for 3 days, 2 nights. Come back to us when you got this shit figured out. Folks love this team, the team is good, and y'all are bein' ridiculous. Love Ya!”
I would now like to expand on this in longshort-form. I’m also going to include one of those giant metal loops and a gallon of bubbles. Making really big ass bubbles is always funny and a good way to pass time. And yes, some of these fine gentlemen are going to have to ball up their jeans inside a t-shirt to make a pillow. Some of them will not have a sleeping bag. I also realized that I forgot some of the harder stuff. I’ll be in contact with Makers Mark and Woodford Reserve, as I hear they have an interest in sponsoring campouts. I’m also including 6 Red Rider BB guns, 10,000 biodegrable BBs, and 6 Marksman Original slingshots. They’ll have to use rocks with the slingshots, I’m not buying those expensive ball-bearing-looking things. I’ve taken the liberty of contacting the fine folks at Nokona and I’ve ordered 28 fielders gloves, 2 catchers mitts, and 1 left-handed first baseman’s glove. Somebody up there is left handed right? A dozen baseballs have been secured, but not Official Major League Baseballs. Those things are expensive and that’s exactly the kind of snobbery that got us in this pickle in the first place. They got one (1) wood bat. Just one. Break it and the game’s over. But I have a backup plan. 2 wiffleballs and 1 wiffleball bat. Then you don’t even need the gloves. (but since the gloves are made by Nokona right here in the good ol’ state of Texas, might as well use ‘em anyway [smile, accompanied by background "ding"])
And most importantly, I’m giving the crew 3(ct) 300 sheet, ringed notebooks and 30 Bic Ultra Round Stic Grip pens. That’s for writin’ down ideas. They’re gonna have ideas, and they’ll need to be written down or else they’ll be washed away in a river of Coors Light and Makers Mark. And once the ideas start flowin’ they’ll all realize how different they are, but, oddly enough, they all have the exact same goal. They were close, but so were the Buffalo Bills.
And if at the end of the weekend, the CEO decides he wants to ride off into the sunset, they better figure out a way to do it gracefully. He deserves that, and his fans deserve that. He’s been a unique public figure for 50 years. He’s got grand kids and family businesses that can occupy his time. I can’t imagine he’d want to give up an equity stake that could potentially bring a huge return a couple of decades from now, so they gotta figure that out too. He’s always struck me as the type of gentleman that genuinely cares about taking care of his family and subsequent generations. I truly hope he doesn't, but if he gots to go, go gracefully.
And as for the crew that is left. Figure it out. You’re as smart a group as has ever been assembled in baseball. I watched about 30 Frisco games in person last season and thought countless times about how awesome a collection of amalgamated talent they were. Some draft picks, some Latin America signings, some trade returns. And as everyone knows, there’s some more on the way. (Piney woods of North Carolina—I’m lookin’ in your direction this summer). The “other side” of the front office has used their paws to build that up. We know it, and we’re both thankful and impressed.
But this nonsense is nonsensical. Everyone has an ego. The CEO is humble, but he has an ego. Frankly, he probably has a huge one, ‘cause I’ve never seen an ace who doesn’t. The Ivy Leaguers have egos. Frankly, they probably have huge ones, ‘cause I’ve never seen an Ivy Leaguer who doesn’t. What neither side appears to be seeing is that they are both part of the fabric of this club and this community. I’m not naive, everything changes, change is inevitable. I’m usually a big proponent of change, especially when things don’t work. But does this NOT work? I don’t know, because a. I’m not in the room and b. I mostly watch ridiculous single-A and Dominican winter games. But the results on the field and in the community seem to indicate this group has been wildly successful. Except for that one exception. That one goal that remains for the ace and the Ivy Leaguers. But sometimes relationships just run their course. It's up to them to tell us if this thing is broken beyond repair.
So go camping. Or use a damn conference room at the Holiday Inn, I don’t care. But figure it out. If this is kaput, and you just can’t stand each other, fine, we’ll get over it, but end this gracefully. Spring Training, we’ve learned, includes cocaine, whipped cream, hordes of (polite)Japanese media, and now school-girl gossip. The fans spent more than three and a half decades rooting for the name of the front of the jersey and now they root for some of the names on the back too. They also root for the front office. Because they know that even when the names on the back of the jersey change addresses, the current front office mob will try to ensure that the name on the front still means something. So while they're listening to Josh Boyd butcher “Friends in Low Places”, or criticizing Jim Sundberg’s pancake making abilities, or still laughing at AJ Preller’s futile, whiskey-induced attempts to climb the side of the canyon at 1AM , I hope they think about the folks back in Midlothian, and Frisco, and Colleyville, and Burleson, and Ft. Worth, and Lake Dallas, and Murphy. I usually don't think a team owes it's fans anything other than an effort to win championships and a safe experience at the park. This time feels different. Many folks out there now completely understand the need for the front office to succeed and in some cases, they have a genuine, heartfelt, emotional investment in the guys themselves.
And on the off chance any of them are reading this; the fanbase loves ya, and they've (generally) got your back, but sheesh fellas, y'all are just kinda embarrassing everybody right now. So load the trucks with gear and get outta town if you have to. Just hurry up and figure out how to put this thing to bed. After all, it's almost baseball season.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to my single-tiered stadiums, and wild pitches, and SpongeBob singalongs, and worrying about that guy's mechanics. I, literally, have no idea why I wrote this, but thanks for your time. Sorry I yelled.
Enjoy baseball! Love Ya!
(Writer’s note: Yesterday was Townes Van Zandt’s birthday and I was listening to him and got a little worked up. Also, when you’re listening to Townes camping always sounds better than it actually is.)