We’re on the downhill slide now. The winter solstice has passed, days are getting longer and the 2015 baseball season is finally coming. If the Rangers are going to compete in 2015 they cannot make the same missteps that hurt them last year. Avoiding these basic things will be a good start.
Dog Hockey – If you saw the Texas Rangers Christmas video, you’ve met Wrigley, a good dog who Derek Holland swears has never played defenseman. But when Wrigley body-checked the lefty into the boards and put him in knee-hab for most of the season, he was a bad dog. Bad dog, Wrigley. Bad.
Hipster Beards – Can the Confederate General look be over now? I blame the Red Sox and Mike Napoli’s chin-chilla. But when Elvis Andrus spent the first month of the season wearing Rocket Racoon’s stunt double on his jaw, it cursed him for the remainder of the season. Umpires hated it and tossed him for the tiniest offense. Enough with the face fungus. Special waivers to Rougned Odor who at age 14 can’t legally purchase a razor and Mitch Moreland who can grow a full beard waiting in the on-deck circle.
Call to the Pen
Errors at 3rd Base – You remember where you were at momentous events in history. Unexpected disasters that shook the world. Assassinations. Explosions. Adam Sandler movies. I was getting cheese dip out of the microwave that June evening. It was late. Hot. I remember thinking the routine grounder had too much zip to be just a “little nubber” and then it went through Adrian Beltre’s legs. Just like that. Through. His. Legs. The planet shuddered on its axis. A rift occurred in the space-time continuum. Adrian looked at his glove like they’d never met before, and since that one error there have been 278 minor earthquakes in North Texas.
Zippers – Yeah, uhm hey, Wash… Can we… maybe… not do that again. Ever? Whatever the heck it was. Thanks. See you around. Dammit.
Position Players on the Mound – This has never worked out well for the Rangers. Throwing a no-hit inning may not have had anything to do with Moreland landing on the DL, but remember – Jose Canseco took the hill as a Ranger and threw his arm out. He had to inject himself with his off hand after that and it ruined his career. David Murphy’s late game appearance ended with him being exiled to Cleveland.
The $20 Parking Space – I realize that Owner Simpson & Co. are looking at oil prices that are a good fifty dollars a barrel less than they were last Opening Day, but really? Twenty bucks to park? That’s like having to buy a game ticket for your car.
Appearing Naked on Magazine Covers – This is a big one. Literally. And if you saw the cover photo of Prince Fielder appearing as his tattoo artist’s catalog page, you know what I mean. If you somehow missed this, well, turn off SafeSearch, mix a quarter cup of eyebleach with a three cups of distilled water and find it on the web. But you only have yourself to blame.
If the Rangers can avoid these seven problem areas, the year will be off to a better start than the fiasco that was 2014. And get more pitching. Always get more pitching.