(45, 44, 43) Days Until Opening Day

Pictorial countdown to Opening Day 2011, starring various Dallas/Foat Wuth sports stars past and present.
(I meant to start this on Monday, but got distracted by a shiny object)

45_holland.jpg45 Days (Monday)

Derek Holland, he of the eleven straight balls and three straight walks in the disaster that was Game 2 of the 2010 World Series.  He’s been a top prospect for the last few years, but it’s time for him to step up in 2011 and earn/keep a spot in the starting rotation.

44_Newhouse.jpg44 Days (Tuesday)

Robert Newhouse, Dallas Cowboys fullback from my junior high/high school days.  Nicknamed “The Bowling Ball”, he was short, stout, lead blocker for Tony Dorsett back in the day.  Was pretty good on short yardage third-down carries too if I remember right.

43 Days (Today)43_harris.jpg 
 

Cliff Harris, another former Cowboys great, tormented wide receivers along with Charlie Waters for those great Cowboys teams of the 70’s.  I had his autograph (along with many other Cowboys of that period), but somehow managed to lose it like an idiot.

Happy Hump Day!

–Jonestein

About Face

young-michael_01.jpg

As many of you know, Michael Young, or as he’s affectionately called in certain Rangers fan circles “Face”, i.e. “Face of the Franchise”  has been making news in the baseballphere lately.  Bottom line: he wants out of Texas because his role appears to have been reduced with the off-season signings of Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli.

Problem is, nobody wants him, or should I say, nobody wants the remaining 3 years/$48 million dollar contract that’s attached to his aging 34 year old body and sub-zero UZR.

So two camps have formed here in Rangerdom, there’s the Casual Fan/Pandering Local Sports Columnist Camp who think Face has been jerked around and is owed something by the Rangers because of his tenure and his “sticking with them through the bad years” — then there’s the rest of us.

The Rest of Us Camp acknowledges that Face has been a good player and team leader for the Rangers the last ten years.  We also acknowledge that he’s “stuck with the team” because in 2007 he signed an lucrative 5 year/80 mil contract extension.  We then have the nerve to acknowledge the aforementioned sub zero UZR (-4.7 or -5.4, I forget), which means he’s a huge defensive liability (hence, the signing of Beltre).  THEN we acknowledge the fact that… oh, I think you get the picture (this is beginning to sound like a religion vs. science argument).

Face claims he’s been jerked around by the Rangers because they’ve repeatedly asked him to change positions over the years.  First, they asked him to move from 2B to shortstop in order to accommodate Alfonso Soriano after the A-Rod trade.  Then SS to 3B to accommodate the up and coming Elvis Andrus.  Now, they’ve asked him to move to DH/utility infielder to accommodate Adrian Beltre.  I guess I can see his point, because no team has ever asked someone to change positions. 

Oh, wait, yes they have.

Face, I like you, but shaadapp and play baseball.  Your gold glove days are behind you, dude,  accept it.

Ohthankgawd!

bbalgod.jpgFor the first time in my baseball life, The Baseball Gods have bestowed upon yours truly a mercifully short off-season.  Don’t get me wrong,  hockey has done a very admirable job of sustaining me through The Bad Time the last coupla years, but brother, it just ain’t baseball.

Pitchers and Catchers, come hither, The Baseball Gods-Uh hath summoned thee!

Hells.  Yeah.

–Jonestein

Leeless in Arlington

leephilsy.jpg “I feel like a spurned lover.”  This is pretty much the consensus feeling in Rangerdom right now.  Me, I’m not quite sure which stage o’ grief I’m in right now, probably irrational anger as I look at the picture to your right.

Despite all of the “fun” Cliff claims to have had here in his short tenure, despite the alleged friendships that were cultivated, in the end, it just feels like he’s told us “Sorry Texas Rangers, you just aren’t good enough.”  This of course, makes me angry.

However, as I ride this roller coaster of fandom emotions today, at points I’m also finding myself a little relieved.  Truth be told, I was never comfortable with the $$$ and contract lengths being thrown around, given Lee’s age.  I figured we’d get at most, three really good years out of him before the inevitable decline.

Anyway, I’m sure as hell glad the Rangers aren’t in the NL East, that Philly starting four looks freaking incredible.  Kudos to their Ninja GM for pulling off this last second swipe under everyone’s noses.

Oh, and on the bright-side, at least he isn’t a MF Yankee.

Le Sigh.

–Jonestein

No Regrets

WSGame5TheEnd.jpg

First off, congrats to the San Francisco Giants.  You kicked our a$ses, there is no two ways about it.  The old saying “Great pitching beats great hitting” was proven once more in this series.  The Giants played Giants baseball the whole time and it never really felt like we were in this thing.

Anyway, yes, I’m pretty crushed right now.  Losing a close, nail-biting seven game series would probably be easier to take than the total butt whooping that was this World Series.  The whole time it felt like the Rangers were just trying not to lose instead of trying to win, which is understandable I suppose, considering the disasters that were games 1 & 2.

But I’m not going to rag on muh boys.  They FAR exceeded BAPL expectations this year…hell, I picked them to finish third in the AL West at the beginning of the season.

They gave me the best baseball year in the history of my existence, and once the hurt of this World Series wears off, I’ll hold my head high and fondly remember the greatness that was the 2010 Texas Rangers.

–Jonestein

(Photo from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram)