It's not. Baseball isn't an untimely muse. It's not a bastard that hopelessly grinds you into submission. It's an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. It will knock you down with tragic losses, but it will pick you up with majestic moments. That's why we watch. You can't predict it, but you'll try. You can't marry it, but you'll try. You'll try...and so will baseball.
The game will try your patience and your #want. A season like the Rangers have had borders on the comical. If I'd written it as a piece of fiction, you'd have dismissed it halfway through as a very crappy and unrealistic story. But despite the losses and the piles of injuries and the drama and the resignations, you keep paying attention. Maybe not as fully vested as you were during the last few Septembers, but you've still got an eye trained on the ballpark. You do that because of the moments. Not because of the record, or the specific players on the field, but because of the moments. At this point you're watching for Ryan Rua's first big league home run, and Nick Martinez's developing fastball command. You're watching because you're genuinely curious if Tomas Telis can catch big league pitching, and because you know he can hit big league pitching. You're watching because...Roogie...fuck, man...Roogie. That little shit can't even buy a beer on the road and here he is playing every game like it's his last...and his first! You're watching because Nick Tepesch is earning a spot in next year's rotation. You're watching because, is Sardi the utility player on the 2015 Rangers?
And now you're watching to see Guilder. (pronounced "WHEEL-dair") No active player in minor league baseball has played more games without seeing a single minute on a big league roster than Guilder. He's a utility man's utility man. He's played every position except catcher. He's pitched in 5 games. He's shown up and busted his ass every day for 13 seasons. He's Crash Davis, except Crash had been to the show. There isn't an odometer in the world that can touch the number of miles Guilder has logged on a bus, usually in the middle of the night. 13 seasons. He's now a husband and a father to two little girls, and that's just a portion of what drives him. Guilder has always been a professional. As a matter of fact, last season, I asked him what the one thing was he wanted Roogie and Sardi to learn from him. "Be professional. Always, everywhere." Guilder has never hidden his desire to go into coaching. He'll have no shortage of offers once his achy knees finally give out. He even threw batting practice in Frisco last week. Coaching might be where Guilder has been most important over the last few years.
He's a smart guy too. I've always gotten the impression G-Rod realized a few years ago the dream of being a big league star had passed him by. That happens to most minor leaguers. At that point, many turn away from the game and carom their lives in another direction. Not G-Rod. His passion for the game burns too bright. He can't let it go, and he never will. The mental transition he made a couple years ago to be a mentor while still helping the team win games is rare, and it is awesome. Roogie and Sardi might not be big leaguers right now were it not for G-Rod. Martin Perez learned how to absorb the wicked bounces and ups and downs of the game from G-Rod. Jurickson Profar was at the park last week chewing Guilder's ear about, well, stuff. Pat Cantwell and Jake Skole both recently told me, they make sure to look at G-Rod when setting up the infield and outfield defenses. He's been a coaching player for a few years now, and he's been a leader, and he's been a mentor, and a big brother.
Guilder deserves this. I have no idea if this would've happened had the Rangers been in the thick of a pennant chase. Frankly, I doubt it. But it is happening and I don't care about the reasons anymore. The reasons are inconsequential to me, and I bet they are to you too. You watch the game for the moments. The moments of magic that mean more to a die hard fan than they do to a passer-by. You're a die hard fan, and I know you're about to have a moment. Guilder Rodriguez is about to make his big league debut.
As always, enjoy baseball. Love Ya!