You might be from Texas if you hear the term “Texas Tea” and immediately associate that with crude oil. That’s because for decades now, oil has been Texas’ thing, the source of countless success stories, movie plots, TV show storylines, oil and Texas have gone hand-in-hand.
But that might be changing. No, this piece isn’t a look into the shift we’re making from one energy source to another, no, this piece is about gold. Much like the newer energy sources that are trying to prove themselves to society, this piece is about how gold (in the form of chains worn by players) is helping to bind a young team together — a young team that’s working to prove itself to everyone.
Sports history has done a good job of documenting professional athletes who wear expensive jewelry on the field of play. We’ve seen the pro football player who can’t seem to find his $50,000 diamond earring somewhere between the 40-yard line and the sideline, or the pro baseball player who slides into a base so hard his $75,000 diamond encrusted chain disintegrates, or the professional sprinter who sets a World Record while his/her $25,000 chain around the neck moves in perfect symmetry with the runner’s strides. The visual of pro athletes wearing jewelry while in competition is very much a part of the theatre of sports today.
In that vein, the Texas Rangers are no exception. In fact, it would appear a bunch of the Rangers are big time proponents of this wave. A good number of this 2018 team have been spotted with gold chains, some big chains and some not so big — much like the actual makeup of the team. Gold chains evidently come in Rougned Odor size as well as in Ronald Guzman size, too.
Now, I don’t have any anecdotal evidence or scientific data to prove that wearing gold chains has helped the Rangers bond together, but I also don’t have evidence to say that wearing the gold chains has not helped the team bond together. Since gold chains are fun and watching the development of these young players is fun, I’m saying the gold chains are a bonding tool and that’s that.
Gold Chain 1: Rougned Odor
I first took note of Rougned Odor’s gold chain during the infamous Jose Bautista punch when Odor’s chain made a perfect arc around his neck as Odor delivered The Punch.
Gold Chain 2: Nomar Mazara
After seeing Odor’s gold chain as it danced around during The Punch, Nomar Mazara (in a trance) ordered one for himself and now every time he wears it, he feels like he can punch a baseball into another dimension — something he did quite frequently in May.
Gold Chain 3: Jose Leclerc
“Gold chains aren’t just for the hitters”, shouted pitcher Jose Leclerc as he slid his credit card over to the team jeweler. Jose was now in the gold chain club, also he probably didn’t need to shout.
Gold Chains 4 & 5: Jurickson Profar and Robinson Chirinos
Profar and Robby were headed to Chipotle when they noticed Leclerc showing off his new gold chain to Rougned Odor.
Profar: “Well, you know what we need, right?”
Robby: “Not the queso at Chipotle, that’s for sure.”
Profar: “Oh, God no, definitely not. No. Absolutely not. I was talking about—”
[They both say “Gold Chain” in unison]
Gold Chain 6: Ronald Guzman
Condor lands on the big league roster and as he’s walking around the locker room, he gazes around in amazement at his new reality. He’s done it. He’s a big leaguer now. But there’s something missing, a piece of the big-league experience seems to be off a bit. Condor surveys the guys in the locker room one more time and immediately sees what’s missing: a gold chain. He needs a gold chain but one that’s commensurate with his frame.
Yes, now it’s complete. He’s part of the squad.
Gold Chain 7: Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Turns out that Isiah had already purchased a gold chain but since he likes to keep it well hidden under his undershirt, nobody had noticed. But Condor noticed it because Condor is very tall and he has a birds-eye view.
Condor: “I’m going to wear mine and you should, too.”
IKF: “Sounds like a plan. We should do things at the same time more often.”
Condor: “You got it, little buddy.”
[Condor and IKF go on to have their first MLB hits together in the same game]
Gold Chain 8: Keone Kela
Whatever Keone Kela wants, Keone Kela gets. He observed the gold chain squad showing off their hardware and he made it known around the locker room that he wanted a gold chain as well. The very next day, 19 gold chains were in his locker. Keone now has a gold chain available in every room of his house, 4 in his car and 7 in and around his locker.
Gold Chain 9: Carlos Tocci
Nobody knows how Tocci got a gold chain but everybody knows it’s not a gold chain from the team jeweler. Sure, Tocci’s gold chain is here right now, but you never know when it could get yanked never to be seen again around these parts.
There may be more members of the gold chain squad within this 2018 Texas Rangers team but my investigative tools are not quite what they used to be. If you see new members of the gold chain squad, let me know.
At 25-36 as of this writing, one could say the gold chains aren’t really helping the overall team in securing wins, and I would counter that by saying “yeah, you’re 100% right”.
But it’s fun to see the young guys developing and having fun as they bond, right? If you’re only interested in Wins Right Now (WRN is a brand new stat I just invented — analytics!), then yeah, you’re not having fun. But if you’re interested in seeing how today’s young core is learning to bond together as they develop into the players of the future, then this gold chain wearin’ squad is your squad.