Date: Sunday, September 3rd, 2017
Record: 67-68
Opponent: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (70-66)
Starters: Andrew Heaney (1-0, 5.63) vs. Martin Perez (10-10, 4.89)
Wild Card Situation: 4.0 games behind Twins
Still Behind the: Angels, Orioles, Mariners. Tied with Rays

As the group of five or six media members entered the clubhouse, it was eerily quiet. On the far side of the room, members of the bullpen pecked at their phones, as usual. But there was no music, none of the usual chatter and banter, and no one moving through the center of the room, around the ping-pong table or emerging from the cafeteria.

Then we looked to our left.

As the media filtered in, Rougned Odor–wearing a monkey mask–stood up. “Emily!” he cheerfully addressed Emily Jones, the Fox Sports Southwest sideline reporter. “Are you gonna interview me?!” “I want to interview all of you!” she replied. “Nap, you want in on this?”

Mike Napoli pulled his mask up just enough to reveal a smile. “Nope. Giraffes don’t speak.”

Just then, Shin-Soo Choo emerged from the shower wearing only a towel and a lion mask. The room erupted into guffaws when he tripped on his bag as he approached his locker, and only grew louder when he grabbed a razor, turned to the cadre of players and reporters, and stroked his mane, miming his intentions. “I gotta go shave!” he said enthusiastically, as the room howled.

40-year-old Jason Grilli walked by in a cow mask. A mystery zebra ambled by.

At Andrew Cashner’s locker, a stoic eagle surveyed his handiwork with steely blue eyes as a conspicuous reddish-blonde beard emerged from below the beak. As we approached, the mask was begrudgingly peeled off in an act of surrender to the elements. “Man, it gets hot in there,” Cashner chuckled.

“I just ordered them online,” he said of the masks. “We’re just idiots. Not much thinking going on. Just having fun, making fun of each other and having a good time.”

You may be tempted to criticize a team that appears on the precipice of falling out of playoff contention for behaving like “idiots” the day after a tough loss. You’d be wrong. The ability to stay loose in a stressful situation is not only going to lend itself to successful play in the future, but think about it: what’s the entire point of sports? It’s an outlet, a way to have fun, even if every other aspect of your life and the world around you is stressful.

Listen, not to get too dark, but let's take a look at what has happened in the world in the last 15 hours: North Korea tested a roughly 100-megaton Hydrogen Bomb in the middle of the night last night; it’s larger than the one dropped on Hiroshima, and they claim it is capable of being affixed to a long-range missile capable of reaching the U.S. The leader of that country is an unstable man-baby who tells easily-disproven lies with no consequences whatsoever, eschewing honest feedback and critique for an unbending demand for fealty, loyalty, and ego-stroking.

So yeah, consider me Pro-fun when it comes to Literally Sports.


1. Martin Perez is pitching tonight. Here he is talking about re-discovering his tempo recently, which has led to string of strong starts.

2. Nick Gardewine is back with the team today, having been called up to help with a recently-overworked bullpen. To make room for Gardewine, the Rangers placed Adrian Beltre on the 10-day DL. That was a necessary move, since Gardewine hadn’t been in the minor leagues for the requisite ten days before being recalled. Putting a player on the DL allows an exception.

3. Nick Martinez is available out of the bullpen today, meaning that he is the one who lost his rotation spot to Miguel Gonzalez. It’s not surprising, but it has to be disappointing for Martinez, who has pitched extremely well in both AAA and at the MLB level since his return. Banister said that Martinez could be a late-inning option.

4. Anthony Bass, DFA’d last week, has cleared outright waivers and been assigned to Round Rock, just in time for the final two games of their season.

5. In the spirit of doing things for no good reason other than it makes you feel some sort of way, here is a photo I found today. This is the only photo on any of our photo sites that includes both Adrian Beltre and Pudge Rodriguez.

SEATTLE - JULY 13: Adrian Beltre #29 of the Seattle Mariners tags out Ivan Rodriguez #7 of the Detroit Tigers at Safeco Field July 13, 2007 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)


“The Battle of Los Angeles” by Rage Against the Machine. Not recommended for children. Recommended for people who are out of coffee.
(Spotify, Apple Music, Website)

During the regular season, these recommendations occasionally come from Rangers players, broadcasters, or other people around the team (here’s a complete list). If there’s a player or person you’d like Levi to ask for a music recommendation, shoot him an e-mail or a tweet here.

You can follow Levi Weaver on Twitter at @ThreeTwoEephus, or for fewer puns and more straight-forward Baseball News updates, you can follow us at @BaseballTX, or download the app and get in-game updates and notifications by clicking on the logo below!