A Bunch Of Random Thoughts
By Eric Reining
Since this is the least official of all the main Rangers blogs (not that I’m putting NolanWritin’ anywhere near the same class as Baseball Time in Arlington, Lonestarball, Lonestar Dugout or The Newberg Report), us as writers can pretty much say whatever we want. Sure, the bulk of our space is primarily dedicated to the news, but like any other blog, what’s often more interesting is the thought process behind the opinion we deliver. (Not saying I’m interesting, or anything; I’m just speaking in generalities.)
I felt the need to preface this particular article with that as the opening paragraph, because what’s about to follow has absolutely nothing to do with facts. It’s just a stream of conscious compendium.
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— I stumbled upon some article a few minutes ago with the headline “U.S. Going All In With Joe Torre in WBC.” Wait, what? Seriously, who cares about the World Baseball Classic? I mean, yeah, MLB Network is promoting the hell out of it (because they’re the ones who are broadcasting it), and I can only imagine ESPN — who can outbid virtually any other network outside of FOX when they really want to air something — decided to take a pass because the ratings have sucked so badly in the past.
— Yesterday morning the Nationals signed reliever Rafael Soriano to a 2-year, $28 million contract, with a third year vesting option. Without getting into how ridiculous it is to give relief pitchers multiple years for that kind of money, what’s more interesting is the way the money will be dispersed. Soriano, who I can unequivocally admit is a fine pitcher, will receive just $7 million in both 2013 and 2014, with the remaining $14 million to be deferred between 2018-2025 (when he will be age-39 to 46). I know these types of things happen, so I shouldn’t be that surprised; I’m just trying to picture how awesome it will be for Soriano to receive $14 million while he’s sitting on his ass in his age-40-something post-baseball life. That shit’s cool.
— I go through various stages of depression here and there, but I’m not mentioning that to evoke any sympathy. It’s one of my many character flaws, which is why I think it’s funny that — when I’m in a good mood — I can see the Leonys Martin/Craig Gentry platoon, Lance Berkman and A.J. Pierzynski signings, and totality of the starting rotation all working out. When I’m in a bad mood, I see all the above scenarios going to shit, with the Rangers finishing in 3rd place. In the latter case, I would expect all of Elvis Andrus, Joe Nathan, Matt Harrison, Nelson Cruz and David Murphy, on different teams. I tend to be in more of a writing mood when I’m depressed, so it’s not so bad. I just find it humorous the polarity I feel inside my own head and how I compartmentalize it in relation to my favorite baseball team.
— Michael Young is the most overrated Texas Ranger of all time.
— I’m in my room watching MLB Network, though, thankfully for me, I have it dimly muted. All around me are clothes scattered about, empty bottles of Jameson and Jack Daniels and Grey Goose — which I retain for posterity — and the space is completely dark, save the illumination of this Macbook Air computer screen and its keyboard. I feel invisible right now, like I could be anywhere in the world. It’s a weird feeling, but I dig it.
— I don’t understand why the baseball establishment, which we usually see in terms of pundits on ESPN and MLB Network, try to shut the public out when it comes to Sabermetrics. Listen, I know that not everyone accepts truth in the same manner I do. That’s what’s wonderful about being alive: We all have a different perception of the reality we inhabit. But baseball has been going on for over 150 years now. There’s a traditional way of looking at things, like judging a good hitter on batting average, judging a good pitcher on how many wins they accumulate, and so on. That’s fine. But this is the age of wisdom. Just like how cars used to travel at 20 mph in the old days, now they travel as fast as you want them to. Baseball is no different. It’s evolved. We have more accurate tools to help quantify what’s important and what isn’t important. The day we fail at striving to learn more is a sad, sad day. If we have the means, then rejecting those means is an exercise in ignorance. Mark Twain once said: The person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read. That pretty much sums up what I’m trying to say. I’d also recommend digesting the Robert Frost poem “Mending Wall.”
Good fences make good neighbors, after all.