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Thursday Morning Links

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Amber Harding has a write-up on Surprise Stadium, where we learn about all the fine features and benefits of the Rangers' and Royals' spring training home.  As a teetotaler, I now watch drink trends ebb and flow as an outsider.  Surprise Stadium concessionaires will drop a Fireball shot in your beer for $5.  Because it makes appearances in "bro-country" songs, I assumed this was just a douchebag fad, but apparently everyone north of the "extremely casual drinker" latitude drinks Fireball.

The Rangers are anxiously awaiting the results of Shawn Tolleson's MRI, with Thad Levine saying "it has not progressed the way we would like, so we want to find out what's going on."  My guess?  A whole metric pantsload of human botflies.

Like every good pair of frienemies, Corporan and Chirinos are talking up the depth and quality of their friendship.

Evan Grant discusses Shawn Tolleson's MRI and asks, "does the DL loom?"  Ha ha, Evan, of course it doesn't.  We all know that only an open grave lurks at the end of Ian Kinsler's curse.

Team doctor Kenny Bania asks "what's the deal with backs?"  And just like that Antoan Richardson needs back surgery.

If you work with a 501c3 that promotes youth baseball or softball, Evan Grant has the instructions for requesting grants from the Rangers Baseball Foundation for 2015.

Grant says that today's lineup might be a preview of the Opening Day lineup, assuming the worst (as we should) and that Choo won't be able to play in the field.

Evan also has the recap of the Rangers 5-0 loss to Cinc.

And, finally, one year ago today the only woman I've ever lived with for longer than a couple of months was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the art studio in her house.

In the following weeks, I thought I wanted to know everything about it, about what happened, about the scene.  I thought I wanted to know if she was wearing her glasses or contacts (she was wearing her glasses), I thought I wanted to know if she shut her dogs out of the room where she did it (she didn't), I thought I wanted to know the caliber of the gun (.45 so I guess she wasn't messing around).  I thought I wanted to know if her hair was up or down (it was up).  I thought I wanted to know if she was crying when she did it.  I won't ever know the answer to that one, but she was a crier so the smart money is on "yes."  Everything I thought I wanted to know just made me sick when I learned it.  I'd never known grief and, I assure you, I was sick when I learned it.

I've told this story before in the comments, but in the final innings of the 2010 ALCS she somehow got absolutely furious with me.  I mean, she got furious with me all the time, I'm an infuriating person to be around, so I'm told.  I don't even remember what we were arguing about.  But she took my laptop, the power cord from the tv, the mouse from my desktop, basically every means I had to monitor the game or watch the final outs, and she hid them.  She laughed at me, and I smoldered.  When I think of it now, I laugh.  There's happiness in anger, too, but maybe not in the moment.  Anyone who's ever sat up to the wee hours playing their 80's country playlist on Spotify knows there's sometimes happiness in sadness, too, the same way there's that stinging satisfaction as you pick at a scab.

We were arguing about the movie Mama Mia once and she left the room and squirted lotion all over my side of the bed.  I slept in it anyway.  I mean, what are you going to do?  And I think about that and see a smoothie of anger and wheatgrass and laughter and sobs.

When Robin Williams took the same way out last year, David Wong took a stab at answering the question of why funny people kill themselves, or, at least, that was the headline.  The text of the article leans more towards answering the question "why doesn't anyone ever see it coming?"  And the answer is: the people that complete have a lifetime of practice in hiding that aspect of themselves.  The truly self-destructive are well aware that no one wants to hang out with a ticking time bomb and even future suicides need human congress.  I would tell you, though, that those of us that are closest to them are generally more shocked than surprised.

As David Foster Wallace described the self-destructive impulse:

Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.

This is the Morning Links post.  I don't pretend that what I'm writing here is going to be some sort of transformative thing.  But every day I think about the things I said to her, the things that I did, and I wonder which of those things was the grain of sand that became the pearl of her death.  The things I thought I wanted to know made me sick when I learned them.  And I learned there's a point at which you can't say you're sorry, and it's like a knife in my guts.

Every day we go about our lives walking on a precipice.  Just a slip or a tumble and we're gone.  I think we're all afraid sometimes that we might fall, and we wouldn't be human if we weren't.  But it's worth remembering that there are likely plenty of people in your life that are much more afraid that they might jump.