I must apologize for my two week absence, BAPL Nation, but quite frankly, I’ve had absolutely nothing inspiring to write about.
I’m pretty much sick of politics and the commie/collectivist takeover of our country; I live in bible-belt Texas where even my closest, supposedly non-believer friends are religilous sympathizers, so ragging on silly bronze age fairy tales is becoming hazardous to my personal life; and finally, my favorite MLB team is once again off to a mediocre start with any hopes of new, competent and responsible ownership in limbo. Oh, and my fantasy team’s starting rotation sucks.
So instead of any inspired topics today, I’m just going to whine about some things…I’ll try to keep it in the realm of baseball:
* The Rangers ownership situation sucks. Our current dewsh-bag owner, Tom Hicks, has desperately been trying to weasel his way around the deal he struck with the Greenburg/Ryan group because his dewshy creditors feel like he could get more money for the team. MLB has stepped in to take over the sale, but honestly, what freaking leverage do they have against Hicks’ creditors? And it’s not enough that this idiot Hicks continues to keep the Rangers in mediocrity hell, he is also the owner of the NHL Dallas Stars, who have now had two consecutive non-playoff years of mediocrity thanks to Hicks’ idiocy. Thanks to him, the Stars’ former head coach is on the verge of leading his new team, the frickin Phoenix Coyotes, to a first round win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Great move firing Dave Tippett, Mr. Hicks. Moron. And if I paid any attention to Soccer, I’m betting I could point out that he’s screwing up the Liverpool FC…but really, who besides un-American furriners gives a crap about Soccer?
* The kind folk at Rangers Ballpark failed to put the “Jonestein” plate on my season ticket seat. This is supposedly going to be resolved by the next home stand. I’m still irritated though, they managed to get my buddy’s plate on his seat. Grrr.
* I was going to bitch about Michael Young killing my fantasy team with his horrid first three weeks at the plate, but it seems he’s on a tear, especially yesterday when he had a 5 RBI day. I lost anyway…I could blame Mike but I’ll blame the anemic San Francisco Giants offense for not coming up with two lousy runs to give my starter Matt Cain AT LEAST another no-decision…this cost me 5 points, the difference in my loss. Even better, I’ll blame my center fielder Torii Hunter for his atrocious 3 point performance last week…s’what I get for drafting a Los Anaheim Angel.
* As much as I can’t stand Christian rock bands and that insidious brainwashing group at iamsecond.com, I gotta hand it to em, they help pack the stands at the ballpark when they have one of their smarmy Christian rock concerts on the north lawn. Saturday’s game against the Tiggers was freakin packed with delusional church groups forking out their dough to the Rangers rather than filling the coffers at their delusion factories. I suppose that’s the upside to them being there.
* I sprained my ankle about 3 weeks ago and it’s just now getting better. It has been a pain hobbling up to the ballpark so far…but hey, I’m a trooper.
* I’ve managed to avoid two Sunday’s worth of “God Bless America” and the threat of “patriotic” rednecks pummeling me because I refuse to stand during that idiotic song and the guilt-compelled, God-laced “patriotism” thrust upon everyone by the PA announcer. How? I have legitimately had to pee after the top of the 7th at every home game this year.
* On the bright side, my season tickets rock. We’re on the third deck, right behind home plate, about 4 rows up. The pic to your left is pretty much the view, though it doesn’t really do ’em justice. We are right by the escalators, so post game escapes are a snap. Also got season parking so getting in and out of Arlington is pretty easy.
Aside from the bumbling April play from muh boys, I’m hella pleased with my 2010 season ticket purchase. I’m actually going to try to make all 81 games this year, but will probably be foiled by my arch nemesis, the 100+ degree Sunday day games that, thanks to ESPN and their stupid exclusive Sunday night broadcasting deal, forces me into said heat when all summer games in Texas should clearly be held at night only. I’m beginning to despise ESPN, and not just because frickin Sports Center is constantly screwing up my Tivo’d episodes of Baseball Tonight. Grrrr.
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.