Bad: Wednesday evening Josh and I drive to Marian’s office to pick her up, listening to the Rangers and Indians on the way. We hear Wilkerson make a rookie mistake in left field, throwing to third instead of second, which allows the batter to move up to second. We hear Kinsler make an error, trying too hard to get a double play and instead getting nothing. We hear Padilla giving up, as he usually does when the going gets tough, and by the time we get out of the car the Rangers are down 4-0 and I’m thinking oh well, there goes another one.
Good: Despite a three hour delay because of database issues (Josh and I got to do a lot of running around, playing our own version of baseball, and eating a bunch of free candy – thanks Sherrie!), we get back in the car to hear that, miracle of miracles, it’s the bottom of the 9th and tied 7-7. After being down 6-0, the Rangers clawed their way back, with Michael Young hitting a tying double with two out in the 9th. When I heard that I said good, maybe that’ll kick start his season.
Bad: Nope, he struck out in extra innings, and the Rangers stumbled to a loss in 11 innings, as I saw the last couple of minutes at home on tv. Yet another depressing end to another depressing ballgame. A club record 19 strikeouts. Blalock and Wilkerson each struck out four times. Now, I didn’t see any of their strikeouts, but I do remember a week or two ago where they both struck out in the 9th to end a game. In both cases they waved at strike one and two around their eyes. Blalock did the same for strike three, but Wilkerson stood and watched his strike three straight down the middle of the plate. I’ve never liked Wilkerson, he came here in a tough spot trying to replace Soriano, but never did anything at all. That’s on Jon Daniels, because he picked Wilkerson. Apparently he’s been injured since before he came to Texas, which makes it doubly bad for JD.
On the other hand, I used to love Hank. Marian still does. I even have his t-shirt, although I haven’t worn it for a while. Every stat will show you how he has gotten worse and worse since he got to the big leagues, maybe it’s just time for him to go somewhere else. I noticed when we were at the game on Saturday that there was only one of Hank’s Homies in the crowd, I’ve never seen fewer than about five. Maybe that’s an indication of how far he has sunk. I remember on the last day of the season in 2005, we were in the store at the ballpark, and I saw a woman looking at the Hank shirts and she said to her boyfriend “I like Hank, I think I will get one of his shirts”. I almost said “Don’t bother, he’s going to be traded over the winter, and if not he’s going to keep sucking until he’s gone”. He was nearly traded (I don’t remember who the deal was for now), but he’s kept sucking.
Good: Didn’t see any of today’s game. Sammy Sosa hit two home runs, setting a record for most ballparks homered in (that’s one of those modern records, only possible because of the taxpayers coughing up for so many new parks for billionaire owners in the last 20 years). Each time we’ve seen Sosa this season, I’ve booed him and clapped him. Booed for his history, who he is and what he stands for. Clapped because he’s a Ranger. I did the same thing for John Rocker, which probably tells you all you need to know. In this house we call Sosa Corky, and I have no doubt that he is loaded with steroids. I do not like him at all, or any of his pretense at trying to be a regular joe. In a few weeks or months he will hit his 600th homer. I don’t know, but I don’t think we will be there to see it. When Raffy hit 500, we went to five games in a row to try and see it, and I took photos of every single pitch. We loved and love Raffy, and I do not for a second believe the steroid stories about him. He will not go into the Hall of Fame because of those stories, but when he hit #500 we promised each other that we would be in Cooperstown to see him inducted. I would love Raffy no matter what team he’s on, ours or any other. I don’t like Sosa as a Ranger and I wouldn’t like him anywhere else.
Bad: Another loss. After a 5-5 start, they’ve gone 3-8. Last place, 3.5 games out, second worst record in the league, ahead of Kansas City. The only comfort is that the Yankees are only a half game ahead of the Rangers. The bad part is that you would still expect the Yankees to make the playoffs. And our next 13 games are against the Blue Jays and Yankees, which will help the Yankees get themselves straightened out a bit, but at this rate will drive the Rangers deep into the cellar.
Funny how three losses can change things, huh? On Sunday we were about to blitz the world, on Thursday we’ve been trampled into the mud.