I’m in one of my writing funks, dear readers, so please bear with me as I attempt to stir up my muse using that time-honored writing stimulus technique of b!tching about petty things totally out of my control.
Let’s start with one of my favorite petty issues: hearing a professional sportscaster “clarify” to the audience that he’s referring to the New York “football” Giants.
Curt Menefee was kind enough to clarify this Sunday on the FOX NFL Today show. NEWSFLASH, CURT: The New York “BASEBALL” Giants have been in San Francisco for over half a century now…I think we’ve figured out that the only Giants team in New York are the “football” Giants…and they’re actually in New Jersey!
Ok, let’s see, what else can I gripe about in lieu of actually writing something…hmmm…gonna have to resort to list format:
1. Marlon Byrd is now a $15 million dollar Chicago Cub. I do not understand why the Rangers, even while in ownership limbo, couldn’t have inked the same 5mil/3 year deal for this guy. He kicked a$s in center field in 2009, is a fan favorite, he actually LIKED playing for the Rangers…again, I just don’t get it.
2. Best line re: Xmas gift-giving I’ve ever heard, courtesy of the Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper: (Reacting to the knowledge that Penny is going to give him a Xmas gift) “You haven’t given me a gift, you’ve given me an obligation!”
As you may or may not know, I effing hate Christmas, and not for the pseudo-religious reasons. Hell, I despised the holiday back when I was a delusional Christian. Sheldon’s line pretty much sums it up.
3. The Dallas Stars are stuck in mediocre mode. I suspect this has something to do with the fact that they are owned by the same moron who owns the Texas Rangers, Tom Hicks. Tuesday, they beat the Chicago Blackhawks, currently the best team in the NHL, followup with a win against Anaheim, then totally flub against Vancouver. They’ve managed to beat the “best team in the NHL” (NJ, San Jose, Chicago) at least 3-4 times this year, but have yet to put together a win streak larger than two games all year. Naturally, I pick this year to start following hockey.
4. Despite Sunday’s big win over Philly, I’m still skeptical about the 2009/10 Cowboys. After a decade of constant post-season flops, most of us here in Big D are in “Believe it when I see it mode.”
5. The Dallas Mavericks got absolutely destroyed by the Lakers last night. It was a complete embarrassment…I had to turn it off. The Mavs, like the Stars, have been horribly inconsistent this year.
Speaking of the Mavs, I absolutely HATE their new ’09/’10 alternate uniforms. They are no doubt trying to tap into the “North Carolina Gangsta Light Blue” Market with these latest abominations. These are only slightly less hideous than the green ones from the last few years. Please, Mr. Cuban, nuke these awful things and stick with the at home Whites and the Midnight Blue Road unis.
Yeah, yeah, it isn’t quite the same light blue (it’s darker in this pic for some reason), but I’ve noticed a rash of teams adopting a lighter blue as one of their main colors of choice. My theory is that they are indeed trying to tap into the NC Gangsta Blue market, and the Mavs new alternate unis are just the latest entrant into said market.
Ok, this isn’t working. Will Pitchers and catchers kindly report to Spring Training? I need something to blog about.
A few years ago, a buddy of mine and I were taking an improv class together when, during one of the classes, we noticed what appeared to be some strained moments between our instructor and one of his fellow troupe members. This went on for several of the classes, with our instructor making subtle, snide comments regarding the situation with the improv troupe.
Needless to say, this made my buddy and I very uncomfortable, and my buddy made a very astute observation about the situation: “This is like watching your parents fight.”
I couldn’t help but recall that observation after my morning perusal of the online news when I stumbled upon this gem in today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Basically, the article talks about the Rangers delaying refunds to fans who put down money on 2009 Rangers playoff tickets.
Ok, stop laughing. I mean, what kind of idiot would put down money on Rangers playoff tickets, much less, utter the words “Rangers” and “playoffs” in the same sentence?
Anyway, between this, the ownership woes, the inability to re-sign Omar Vizquel, Marlon Byrd, and Pudge, I couldn’t help recall the “parents fighting” metaphor, but I’ve remolded and applied it to the Rangers and their hapless fans, i.e., as a fan, all of this mess with the Rangers is like watching your alcoholic parents self-destruct.
We “children” are pretty helpless in this situation, since our “parents” have all the power. We can either sit and watch them self-destruct, or run-away. i.e. stop following the Rangers and start following the Dallas Stars. Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of sports franchise ownership incest, “Papa” also owns the Dallas Stars.
I think I’ll make an anonymous call to Fan Protective Services so they’ll take me into custody then place me with a nice fan-family in Boston.
(Note: I didn’t request a refund, instead, I decided to keep enabling “Papa” and applied my playoff ticket money to 2010 season tickets…I’m a very bad boy!)
I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty disappointed that Omar Vizquel left the Rangers for the White Sox. I would have liked to seen him stick around another year in Arlington as Elvis Andrus’ tutor…and even if Elvis no longer needs Omar’s tutelage, Vizquel showed everyone in 2009 that he’s still got game by his spectacular play at SS, 2B, AND 3B…can you say “No Errors”?
Plus, I can’t help feel a little slighted by Vizquel’s comments of wanting to depart for a “higher profile” team, as he put it. I doubt he meant that in a hurtful way as Omar, from a fan’s perspective, always seemed to be an incredibly nice, courteous person, but the words stung nonetheless.
Anyway, good luck to Omar, we’ll miss you here in low-profile Arlington.
In other news, former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle has been hired to replace Rangers manager Ron Washing…er…sorry, a little premature eradication on my part there…Hurdle was hired to eventually replace Ron Washington as the Rangers manager, temporarily pretending to be the hitting coach after the departure of Rudy Jaramillo to the, LOL, Cubs.
I really have no opinion on this move one way or another. Yeah, Hurdle obviously lost control of the Rockies in 2009, but sometimes all a good manag…uh..hitting coach needs is a fresh start. Hopefully he can help the Rangers find the bats they lost in 2009.
Still no word on Marlon Byrd staying in a Rangers uni. Everything I’m seeing in the press indicates he’ll be gone. This sucks, he’s a fan favorite here in Rangerdum.
Ownership-wise, rumors are sweeping through DFW that Cowboys great Roger Staubach might be in contention as a partial new owner of the Rangers. Unfortunately, it’s not a controlling share and our bumbling current owner, Tom Hicks, would still be in charge of things, rendering Roger the Dodger irrelevant in the equation. I just don’t see why it’s so g’damn hard to sell a freaking Major League Baseball team! And to a competent owner who wants to put a winner on the field! Argh!
On the hockey front:
My hockey edjumication continues as I’ve been to a couple of Dallas Stars games(Stars 5, NJ Devils 3 on Sat night) and a handful of Texas Brahmas games. I still feel pretty clueless, but I think I’ve got the basics down and I’m already past the “Who the fk is that guy?” stage of my hockey journey.
It seems the Stars are in a transition year with a new coach and new style of play…”less agressive” is what I think one guy told me. The Stars are playing pretty inconsistent hockey this year, pretty much beating the “good” teams and not faring well against the mid-to low level teams. I’m enjoying the hell out of it, so I guess that’s all that matters.
Our defending CHL champion Texas Brahmas are faring about as well as the Stars…doing fairly well against the CHL elite, but floundering against everyone else. Brahmas games are fun as heck to attend…very small, 2k seat arena with rabid fans. At the end of a Brahmas power play, the PA guy always announces that the opposing team is “back at full strength”, and the crowd immediately follows with an arena-shaking “AND THEY STILL SUCK!”. Hella-fun, I tell ya, hella-fun!
That’s right boys and girls, it’s now officially the offseason, that time of year when all of Rangerdom cringes(no, not the September cringes), waiting to see what the Next Disasterous Move to come out of the Rangers front office will be. Add to the mix our club’s ownership woes, and this offseason has the potential to send us spiraling into a tailspin…away from mediocrity and back down to the embarrassing.
Now, as usual, I’m being my unfair, Cynical Ba$tard© self, seeing as how over the last year Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan have actually made some of the best moves a club can make, which is the less-exciting, subtle No Move At All, move. I applauded the shiite out of them in late-July for NOT trading away the farm to get Roy Halladay, and I applaud them for that still.
Last offseason, they did make some great move-moves, namely acquiring Omar Vizquel to mentor Elvis Andrus, and moving Michael Young over to third base. At the time, those of us in Rangerdom were slightly worried about this move, because our unofficial captain, Young, wasn’t thrilled with the move at all. Fortunately, Mike’s a trooper. He took one for the team, made the move, and conquered third base.
This off-season, unfortunately, isn’t looking so good, IMHO, and the No Move-Move, ain’t gonna cut it. Numero Uno on the To-Do list, is to re-sign this guy, regardless of ownership:
Marlon Byrd was invaluable in 2009 when Josh Hamilton went down. He played gold-glove caliber center field, swung a mighty bat(two-baggers out the wahzoo), and provided some great leadership in the clubhouse. Plus, we the fans love the f’n guy. Sadly, he’s filed for free agency and all indications from Jon Daniels is that resigning him ain’t gonna happen. So, Strike ONE, for the Rangers front office!
Priority Numero Two-o: Sell the frickin team to someone who:
1) Isn’t going to use it as a giant, good-ole-boy accessory – “Yessir-y, I own me some oil rigs, a sh!t-load of cattle, and I bought the Missus a really BIG diamond up thar in Dallas somewhere, not quite sure exactly where, but it’s a damn big sumbitch!”
2) Isn’t going to buy the team just to turn a profit so he can fund a US Presidential campaign that will ultimately lead to the destruction of the US economy, the shredding of the US Constitution, yet another US War Machine Profiteering Scam© , and eight years later, is single-handedly responsible for putting the f*cking Manchurian Candidate Incarnate into the White House while a nation of Useful Idiots swoon because their Hopenchange Messiah is photogenic and can wax eloquently from a teleprompter.
3) Isn’t going to mortgage away the future of the team by signing ONE superstar to an insane, high-dollar contract, only to leave barely enough cash in the till to surround said superstar with the Bad News Bears, thus dooming the club to a decade of embarrassing celler-dwelling, mediocrity, and dashed-hope September meltdowns.
…in other words, get a Mark Cuban caliber owner in the house who wants to put a fking winner on the field! Say what you want about Cuban, but he puts a winner on the court every frickin year, and he’s NOT Jerry Jones.
I’ll cover Numero-Three-o through Numero Whatever-o in a later post…I just worked myself into a p!ssed off frenzy and need to step away from the keyboard before blood vessels start exploding in my brain.