When you invite 35 of your closest friends to a ballgame, you’d like to think they’d see a better effort than a four hit shutout against the home team. Okay, so they weren’t my closest friends, they were a group from my office (where I am “the Rangers fan”), but I set it all up, I bought and distributed all the tickets, I leaned on people until they paid me back, I made a guide for everyone to get there, and I sat and suffered as the first ten batters went down in order, and as the team showed no sparks of life at any time, with the sole exception of a diving catch by Nelson Cruz. Okay, so my guests showed up late, weren’t really interested in the game, missed all of the Rusty stuff, and spent half the time wandering outside or chatting with each other, but I expected all that. But the Rangers didn’t even have the courtesy to attempt to play, and after they’d done all that buildup with Rusty’s induction into the Rangers Hall of Fame. Come on, you talk about Rusty Greer, you talk about a guy who gave 100% every time he was on the field. The highlights they showed told us all that. The team today didn’t give 10%, and they should be ashamed to take their paychecks for that performance. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more lifeless attempt at a game by the Rangers.
Note for the Rangers: section 211 was thirsty tonight, and really annoyed that a single solitary beer guy came by all game. And not just that, but he was the only concession type person of any kind: no soda guy, no cotton candy guy, no ice cream guy, nothing except that one guy in about the third inning. Okay, so we have pretty easy access to the concession stands right outside, but some of us like to sit in our seats and watch the game. I think I spent more time out of my seat today than I have ever done at a ballgame before. (And in case anyone is wondering about the rich guy who can afford 200 level seats whining about having to stand to get his concessions, no, I bought the tickets last week when they did the hot ticket time promotion, so the tickets were only $10 each, plus of course the ripoff fee of $3.75 per ticket. What convenience was it that I was paying for? Mine, when I had to drive to Arlington to get them? No, my guess is another few dollars into Tom Hick’s very fat wallet).
And while we’re at it, don’t tell us the game time temp is 96, when we’re walking past the convention center saying 105. Who’s wrong here? It might not have been 105, but it sure wasn’t 96, either. Seems you can’t trust weather people anywhere.
Rusty’s ceremony was actually pretty lame, I’m sorry to say. Drove around in a car a couple of times, heard some words and saw some video, but there wasn’t that much that got the crowd into it. There might have been a little love down at home plate, but all we could see was rows and rows of people in chairs. Boring. From where we sat we couldn’t tell who anyone was, no-one tried to tell us anything, and frankly no-one within 50 yards of me was paying much attention at all. There were some cheers when we saw his plaque, there were cheers at some of the video, and there were cheers when he drove by to leave the field, but it was nothing compared to some of the others that have gone on in the past. Now me, I love Rusty, we used to have season tickets in section 5, which if you don’t know is pretty much directly behind where he used to stand in the outfield (and I swear that patch he wore in the grass is still there), and he’s the only guy I ever sent something to for an autograph (a baseball card for my wife’s birthday). And I know all Rangers fans love him, too. So my guess is that it’s the soulless way they’re running the team these days that was responsible for that mess of a presentation. Just another example of the way that Hicks has killed the team since the days of the red shirts and the division titles.
Too late tonight, but tomorrow I’ll try and post a picture I took of Rusty in the ballpark today.
On to the game. Rheinecker made me uneasy, knowing he was starting I was afraid he was going to do what he did the other day, give up a bunch of runs early and take us out of it straight away, but he actually pitched semi-decently. It was the offense that took us out of it. I’m not going to say Rheinecker was good, his game score was just 53 after all, but better than I expected yes. He’s still not going to make the rotation next year, and he’ll be lucky to be in the bullpen. He’s past his sell-by date, in terms of being an impact pitcher, in fact he’s going to be demoted so that Padilla can come back, which should tell you all you need to know about him and his place in the pecking order. Speaking of Padilla, here’s the quote: “In six rehab starts at Frisco, Padilla is 0-1 with an 8.25 ERA. He has pitched a total of 12 innings, allowing 11 runs — all earned — on 14 hits with 12 strikeouts.” Uhh, yeah, he sure sounds like he’s ready to come back, doesn’t he? He can’t even get AA players out, let alone major leaguers. He’ll start Wednesday against KC, so at least he’ll be pitching against another minor league team. I might not even bother to turn the tv on that day.
Edwin Jackson was 2-11 with a 6.35 ERA before today’s game, and came in and four-hit the Rangers. Think of that this way: it’s about as likely as Robinson Tejeda throwing a shutout. Well, that’s a little unfair, because as the game notes mentioned, the Rangers have been shut out five times in the last month. Blame it on the rookies, or the minor leaguers, or whoever, but the fact is they played like a minor league team today. Maybe the fact that I wore my Roughriders shirt to the game was the cause for the way they played.
Bleah. Today’s game just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. We’re now 4-1 on games we’ve attended this season. The team itself is 50-66, but may as well be 50-166 the way it is going. 46 games to go in the year, I can’t wait for this season to be written into the history books, so we can quickly turn the page on another wasted Rangers season.