What would you think if I ran out of runs, would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ear and I’ll tell you a tale, and I’ll try not to go oh for three.
And so we continue the saga of Kevin Millwood suing the Rangers hitters for lack of support, as the rather boring old joke goes. Here’s a question for you: what exactly does clutch mean? Numerous sabermetric studies show that clutch hitting doesn’t exist, but any baseball man will tell you that such-and-such a player is clutch, because he gets better when the game is on the line. And, returning to Millwood, they’ll tell you players perform better in contract years, because their money is on the line.
Let me suggest this to you (and you’ve probably heard it before): since it is impossible for anyone to give more than 100% (which by definition is the maximum), if they improve they must have actually been giving less than 100%. So a clutch hitter is, if ever possible to find, not so much a clutch hitter in those pressure situations, but rather a choke hitter at other times. And a Millwood is not so much proving himself this year, as proving he was dogging it the last three years. He can bleat all he wants about finally being healthy this year, but you go back every spring and you’ll see stories about him being fitter than ever (didn’t he spend the winter a year or two ago doing karate to improve his fitness?). So, whether these first three starts are an indication of being healthy, being better, or the contract year, I have no faith in him any more. I’m waiting for him to break down, and I’m waiting for him to prove it was just a small sample size thing. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll consider him a money-grubbing jerk.
We went to Saturday night’s game, but I spent more time out of my seat than in it. Had to get seats in the third deck, because I sure as heck wasn’t going to pay $65 a seat to sit in the good seats (although by the end of the game I told my wife to make me buy the better seats if I ever think of going in the third deck again). I spent about two innings trying to get some hot dogs and cokes on the third deck, and after a long wait I eventually went down to level two to get them, which was much faster. Note to Rangers: your food service on the third level sucks. Watching the servers for four different lines grab each hot dog or hamburger as they came out, one by one, was pitiful. The vendor up there is not doing their job, and even if I did only pay $8 a ticket, I would rather stay at home than sit in there again.
Between the first two games of the season and last night, someone in the Rangers organization made the rule that the vendors have to take the caps off the soda and water bottles before giving them to us. Note to that person: you are a $*(&(@$&. Get out of your air-conditioned box, then try carrying a tray with hot dogs and a couple of uncapped bottles up the stairs on the third level. I don’t care if someone else threw their caps, you don’t punish everyone for it. You’re not Homeland Security.
Brad Wilkerson retired. Some of us would say he retired three years ago, he just kept wearing the uniform.
Not even a Michael Young walk-off can make me happy about the fact that the Rangers are playing sucky ball. I keep thinking I need to revise the projection down. Seventy is looking a long way off right now. The teams we’ve played so far are a combined 17-20 when not playing the Rangers. How bad are we going to be when we play some good teams? Better yet, how bad is the rest of the division when we’re tied for second?
Wish I’d known Derek Holland was in the bullpen Saturday. We stood behind there in the late innings, and I looked at them, but the only ones I knew were Frankie Francisco and Taylor Teagarden (FF & TT). Would have even been a nice surprise if Holland had had his jacket off, so I could have read the name on his back. Could have told my son that there’s another one of the guys we met at Jamey’s book signing in December.
I feel pretty confident in saying that this is no longer Michael Young’s Rangers, it’s now Ian Kinsler’s Rangers. There was a palpable difference in the crowd when Kinsler was up, compared to anyone else. Okay, he just cycled and went 6 for 6, which would sure help his profile, but even without that I think he is now the man. If you want another indicator: my four year old now has an Ian Kinsler shirt, to go with his old Michael Young. His choice.
I still want an Elvis shirt. Best first two weeks for a Rangers rookie ever? Must be close. He’s starting to get the crowd buzz, too.
Do you need anybody? I need somebody to love. Could it be anybody? Sure, as long as they can help the Rangers win. It might take Superman though.