Lone Star Ball will turn ten years old this year. We're surely transforming from a precocious child to a tween filled with wonder and confusing hormones. So, in honor of that fateful day in mid-April, we'll toot our own horn by highlighting some of the more memorable moments in LSB history. This thing ain't just gonna toot itself.
The Spanish Beltre Thread - Jan. 02, 2011
Forget ten years, can you believe it's already been four years ago today that Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes announced in Spanish that the Rangers were going to sign Adrian Beltre? Or, well, that they were "estan cerca de completar," at least.
Signing Adrian Beltre was, in and of itself, a cause for celebration. Texas had whiffed on bringing back Cliff Lee in the winter following the franchise's first appearance in the World Series. They then failed to land Zack Greinke when he was dealt to Milwaukee. By New Year's day, the only moves the Rangers had made were signing Yoshinori Tateyama and Yorvit Torrealba. Folks were getting restless.
Early in the offseason that year, Oakland had gone hard after Beltre. But, you know, it's Oakland. No one signs with Oakland. Rumor has it, Beltre wanted to be an Anaheim Angel due to their close vicinity to his home in Southern California. Arte Moreno and team gave Beltre one of their then-patented take-it-or-leave it offers with a time limit to accept. That's not how you sign a Scott Boras client. Instead, Beltre waited it out and ended up in Texas. Thank the dang holy baseball gods that it worked out this way.
Sure, at the time, there was consternation. No baseball signing is without the warts of worry. "Beltre only does well in contract years!" "Beltre sucked in Seattle!" "Beltre's over the age of 30 and six years is too long!" "$96 million?! That's outrageous!" "The Rangers already have a third baseman!" "When are we going to get some pitching up in here?" Etc. Beltre's been worth every penny and then some. I love Adrian Beltre. You love Adrian Beltre. Signing Adrian Beltre is certainly tops on Jon Daniels' free agency resume.
So that's where the thread began. The tasty rumor that the Rangers were close to signing a future Hall of Famer. But that's not where the story with this post ends. In the comment section, fueled by the adrenaline of the igniting of the Hot Stove in Arlington, we embarked on a journey that spanned a CPU-crashing 3,173 comments.
I believe, to this day, only one other post on LSB has garnered more comments. I can't remember the exact post but it was just a SBT poser. The Spanish Beltre Thread became like a communal fever dream. Where we began humbly debating the merits of signing Adrian Beltre, the whole mess evolved into discussion of the Star Wars prequels, zany Katy Perry, whether or not Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins were buggering on the way to Mordor (No, they weren't, you perverts), and the harrowing effects giving birth has on one's perineum.
Here's a word cloud I made to visually demonstrate what happened that night:
At one point, local mischief-maker MonkeyEpoxy began posting full-sized Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff comics in the thread. Several sub-threads were deleted because they were making it impossible to even open the post anymore. That's right, 3,173 comments wasn't even the SBT's true final form.
Sure, it was kind of silly. Sure, you probably had to have been there. But if you were there, you remember The Spanish Beltre Thread fondly. In many ways, this post was the precursor to what became the OT Threads. Perhaps the spirit of the Spanish Beltre Thread lives on in the Fanposts section every day.
One more time, for old time's sake: