Date: Saturday, April 15th
Rangers’ Record: 4-6 (4th, 2.5 games behind Houston)
Tonight’s Opponent: Seattle Mariners
Tonight’s Starters: Andrew Cashner (0-0, 0.00) vs. James Paxton (1-0, 0.00)
It’s Jackie Robinson day in baseball. I confess to growing up not fully grasping the weight of Robinson’s accomplishments. All those old photos in black and white seemed to be from another world, one where good and bad were simply and clearly defined and neatly filed away into the two folders of history. Robinson, Good. Racism, Bad. Hitler, Bad. George Washington, Good.
So on and so forth, I spent History classes categorizing figures into one bin or the other. Everyone found a place. The white men who sent death threats to Robinson were some other kind of species altogether, it seemed. Who could ever fathom harboring that much guile at someone based on their skin? It all seemed to be so far in the past, and so simply dismissed as a dumb and horrifying fad that my grandparent’s generation had dabbled in, but was all gone now, like so many sock hops and cuffed shirt sleeves.
Having grown up and experienced more of the world as I logged a few million miles of travel, I both understand more, and understand less. The men who wrote death threats were also someone’s grandfather. Someone surely must have rolled their eyes and tried to explain away how “he’s really a good guy once you get to know him; he was just raised to believe…”
You can justify just about anything if you love someone.
This, of course, is not to sweep away the ugly past, but to recognize that we still make those justifications today. We have not left all the ugliness inside those black-and-white photos. Each decade, even the one in which we currently swim, has its own hard truth to own. Today, Jackie Robinson’s story is every bit as important as it was when he first walked onto a Major League field.
No active Major League players were alive when Robinson made his debut. None, in fact, were even alive when Robinson died in 1972. But every player will don the #42 today, as baseball make an outward choice to lean hard towards history’s good folder, in hopes that someday, as we inwardly confront and address the parts of us that would be filed elsewhere, our own grandchildren will be more right than we were when they think that the ugliness of racism has finally been overcome.
1. Andrew Cashner makes his Rangers debut tonight against the Mariners. Here is our WFAA Welcome Wagon video for Andrew:
2. To make room for Cashner on the roster, Nick Martinez was optioned back to AAA, having not thrown a pitch in his time as a bullpen insurance policy. But that wasn’t the most puzzling move of the afternoon:
3. Tanner Scheppers was also activated from the disabled list, and immediately outrighted back to AAA. That means not only did Scheppers clear waivers, but he has been removed from the 40-man roster. Scheppers has the right to refuse the outright assignment and become a free agent, but if he does so, he will forfeit the remainder of his contract.
It’s an odd move, especially with the Rangers seemingly needing some bullpen depth these days.
4. Elvis Andrus is having a monster year. Our Chris Roland wrote about it here, and Kate Morrison, who also writes for us, posted a piece on FanRag here.
5. Kate also wrote about Alex Claudio.
6. Jurickson Profar? Yes, Matt Fisher has you covered.
7. And lastly, Yu Darvish is always a hot topic. If you missed it yesterday, I dug into the stats (and invented some new ones) to try to explain what's going on with Darvish' run support.
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