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 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 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)
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!
1. Brutal second-half schedule.
Starting with four at Boston, then a trip to that Rangers Hell known as Tigers Ballpark (I know, it’s known as something else, but I refuse to use dooshy corporate ballpark names). Still have 14 games with Los Anaheim, as well as another series with Boston and the Yanks, not to mention road trips to Toronto, Tampa, Minnesooota, and I never thought I’d be weary of this one – a four game road trip to Baltimore. Oh, and 43 of the remaining 74 games are on the road.
2. Questionable pitching.
Even with the addition of His Leeness, this starting rotation is questionable at best. Feldman just flat-out sucks, C.J. is meh, the jury is still out on Colby Lewis, as it is on Tommy Hunter. The bullpen is warn out, though the Alexi Ogando call up and the acquisition of the inning-devouring Cliff Lee might ease the stress there. Who the hell knows what we’ll get from Rich Harden when he returns, and I have a hunch that Derek Holland is done for the year.
3. Molina? Really?
I don’t know what the hell J.D. was thinking with this trade. I thought the Treanor/Max Ramirez platoon behind the plate was working just fine. It is downright painful to watch Molina labor around the base pads… this coming from a fat guy (me) who is getting really sick of the de-humanization of fat people in today’s society. I might have been ok with JUST giving up Chris Ray for Molina, but wasting a good prospect like Michael Main? This reeks of farm system mistakes from front offices past. I’m told I’m wrong about this from baseball acquaintances seemingly more baseball sageier than I. I hope they are right, cuz it looks to me like we just gave away a good prospect for a guy who looks like me running the bases.
I know I could probably itemize some more, but I’m already getting bored with this post. It boils down to this: until this team makes it to, AT A MINIMUM, the ALCS, and AT LEAST puts up a hard-fought, go-to-seven-games fight, I will forever be a pessimist in the land of Rangerdom.
And please, don’t tell me to “just have faith”, “faith” is for…well, don’t get me started on that.
As most of you in BAPL Nation know, yours truly is not an optimist by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, for moi, the glass is not only half-empty, but has probably been spat in, urinated in, and laced with cyanide. Thirty-plus years of being a Texas Rangers fan will do that to you.
Each season, I try to go into spring training with high hopes and blind-faith optimism, but alas, my analytically oriented mind teamed with the relentless assault of up-to-date information spewed via the very Intertubes by which you are perusing this bastion of Blogosphere wittery severely undermines my feeble attempts at cognitive dissonance.
This season is no different, despite the added incentive of new and, hopefully, competent ownership for my beloved Texas Rangers. Yes, just days into the start of spring training, my bright hopes for Rangerdom 2010 are already under assault:
First, newly acquired utility infielder Khalil Greene, he stricken with a social anxiety disorder, learns that despite the relentless stereotypes perpetuated by frappacino sipping Hollywood film directors*, his new team doesn’t play their games out in the people-free, remote pastures of Southfork Ranch. Instead, they play here, in front of 49,200 insolent baseball fans sick of the fandom shadow cast by these primadonnas, years of pathetic mediocrity, and most of all, years of one lame excuse after another. I can’t imagine why he bailed on Spring Training.
Then, one of our best young pitchers, Derek Holland, sprains his effing knee during an agility drill. If we aren’t trading ’em off to become future Hall of Famers with other teams, we’re destroying their knees just days into spring training.
Finally, God’s Favorite® Home Run Derby participant, Josh Hamilton, bruises his shoulder while praying to the Lord for an injury-free 2010.
Indeed, ignorance is bliss. I’m gonna just hide under my cubicle until Opening Day. Please send pizza.
* – As opposed to snarky blogsters perpetuating stereotypes about frappacino sipping Hollywood types.