While we’re waiting for the First Holy Day on the 2009 Church of Baseball Calendar I had a few “random thoughts” about baseball and a few “random thoughts” about other things too.
I was just thinking about…seeing Pudge Rodriguez finish his career in a Rangers uniform – not likely to happen – but it would certainly right a very big wrong in the eyes of this fan. Don’t kid yourself – the Rangers let Pudge walk because of the hefty contract of a certain SS who didn’t stay in Texas anyway. This franchised lacks a “homegrown” HOF player - and I fear that we won’t see Pudge’s plaque with a T in Cooperstown if he goes back to the Marlins.
I was also thinking about…some “old” haunts in Dallas: the Granada Theatre – back when it showed old movies (like a Hitchcock double feature, or Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Night) … the Lakewood Polo and Hunt Club (the night we met the Police’s Steward Copeland there) …Memphis up on Beltline near the Tollway (a tequila shot drinking contest - dancing on the table – that’s all I’m saying) …The Burlington Point in downtown Dallas – enormous and delicious hamburgers, the best cottage fries in town …"Fortnight" at Neiman Marcus…Sunday morning breakfasts at the Vickery Feed Store…and Dallas Alley (the Boiler Room, Alley Cats and the blues place whose name I can’t remember)
I then pondered... the fact that Ranger RHP pitching prospect Michael Main and the star of USA’s “Burn Notice” – Jeffrey Donovan were “separated at birth”.
I’m still thinking... that “Spectacle: Elvis Costello With…” has just been a spectacular show that's kept me occupied during the offseason on the Sundance Channel. I’m also thinking after watching the episode with the “Guitar Pull” featuring Norah Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Roseanne Cash and John Mellencamp that Mellencamp really needs to record an album of Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson songs. By the way there’s a link to the video of “Me and Bobby McGee” on the left side of the page and here’s a link to another video from that show of John Mellencamp’s “Longest Days”.
Then I started thinking about…Andruw Jones. I don’t have a problem with the kind of contract the Rangers gave him. But that’s because I’m still not convinced that Nelson Cruz is the “answer” in right field. If Rudy Jarmillo can have the same kind of success with Andruw that he did with Delluci, Matthews and DeRosa – not only will it make up for some of the offense the Rangers will miss from Milton Bradley – but also the Rangers OF defense will probably some of the best we’ve seen in a long,long time (somewhere Gary Pettis is smiling thinking about that).
My thoughts drifted back to… the old Bob Newhart Show – the Thanksgiving episode when Bob, Howard and Jerry were slightly inebriated and ordering Chinese food (“more Moo-Goo-Goo-Goo”!)…a certain Saturday morning show favorite of mine and Mrs. Schmenge’s featuring Chucky Margolis ("at least I broke up the double play")... how really good Steve Landesberg was on “Barney Miller” … Percy Dovetonsils and the Nairobi Trio – if you know what I’m talking about then you know the man who created them was a comedian who was far, far ahead of his time.
I can’t help thinking... of a few more Holy Days in the Church of Baseball calendar: my trip to Spring Training in late March …the Rangers home opener on April 6th… opening night for the Frisco Roughriders on April 16th …my first Oklahoma Redhawks series – April 18th and 19th … and a trip to Sapporo Japan this season to see the Ham Fighters baseball team and my ol’ pal Jason Botts.
Finally: I’m trying not to think about... ARod and the whole steroids imbroglio. I know I’m in the minority – but I really don’t care. Whether we like it or not – at the time it wasn’t illegal – that’s not a judgment call, that’s a fact. I’d bet a large sum of money there are players who are still using PED’s today, and that those who manufacture those drugs are five steps ahead of the current testing program. All the righteous outrage is a waste of oxygen and bandwidth – we’re all guilty here: fans loved the offense, baseball owners stuck their heads in the sand in name of butts in seats while the players union went right along with it – (too bad they can’t work together like this on all of their issues). The wailing and gnashing of teeth over what happened five years ago isn’t going to change one minute of the past. There’s a testing program, as weak as it may be, now – players and owners know the media will be somewhat vigilant looking for evidence of new steroid/PED use (at least until the first Steinbrenner meltdown, Dodgers trip to New York, or McCarthy stint on the DL). It’s a Pandora’s Box that has been opened and as in the myth – once opened its miserable contents cannot be caught and put back inside. We’ll live with the damage caused by this “scandal” but the great game will endure, as it always has and thank goodness for that.
Thinking about next Sunday when I wake up and read my favorite February phrase written by T.R. Sullivan on MLB.com “Pitchers and catchers reported to Surprise, Arizona today…” -- Marla Hooch