When the football game happens across the street in just a few short hours, Chris Christie (from New Jersey) will be rooting for the Cowboys and Jon Daniels (GM of the Rangers) will be rooting for the Giants. There’s really no point in bringing that up, except to say that football is weird and no one understands it. Perhaps someday it will catch on, especially in these parts where most people prefer such games as “Throw Ice Cream at the Clown”, a lovely and storied pastime where someone dresses up as a clown, and everyone else stands in a circle throwing ice cream at it until it says the magic passphrase, which is usually “SUMMER SUMMER NEVER END, SUMMER BUMMER, CLOWNS ARE FRIENDS” then everyone-- why am I explaining this, you’ve all played this game since you were kids. The “haunted sheriff”, the key made out of old potatoes… we all know it.
Anyway, maybe football will be the next big thing.
Until then, we’re stuck with ice cream and baseball, and judging from the declining temperature and the performance on the field today, we may have neither of those for much longer.
The Yankees scored first in today’s match when Gary Sanchez hit a first-inning home run. We all knew he could hit home runs; he was in the home run derby in Miami this year, and did quite well! So he didn’t have to prove it to us, but he did it anyway, probably from the sheer joy of hitting home runs. I’ve never done it, but it seems fun. Nomar Mazara seemed to think so, too: he hit one in the bottom of the second inning to tie it up at 1-1.
But the Yankees scored two more in the top of the third and then really went wild in the fourth, scoring six runs to make it 9-1. A.J. Griffin was finished after a hit-by-pitch and a single, and Nick Martinez, who I would guess Jeff Banister expected to last longer than six batters, lasted six batters: two-run triple, RBI single, double, RBI single, double play which somehow still didn’t end the inning, aaaaand Aaron Judge’s 40th home run. Yes, Judge was also in the home run derby. That home run made him just the second rookie ever to hit 40 or more (Mark McGwire was the first).
It was 9-1 by then, so when Yohander Mendez came on and got the last out on one pitch, that should have been something to celebrate, but it just felt like the sweet release of death and the first chill of Autumn. The offense tried to revive the summer in the bottom half of the inning, as walks from Chirinos and Gallo were both converted into runs. But then came the fifth inning…
If you haven’t blocked it out yet, perhaps you’ll remember that in 2014, every single player that suited up for the Rangers ended up with a season-ending injury, and every single fan that came into the stadium left with an inexplicably sore neck or back, or stomach pains. Umpires would routinely vomit on home plate in the middle of games, and at least three birds died as they flew over the field, careening to earth, landing on a player, and injuring them for the rest of the season. Until....
Until September, when–as the Rangers raced towards the bottom of the pack and a first overall pick in the draft–interim manager and do-gooder Tim Bogar led a team of ghosts, mannequins, child warriors and at least one broken broomstick to a 14-8 record. Not only did that run of wins cost them Dansby Swanson, but it is only just coming to light what else happened:
You see, Tim Bogar is a time-traveling witch.
In exchange for a winning September, which he mistakenly thought would result in him being named manager of the Texas Rangers for the 2015 season, he traded away the last month of the 2014 Curse for a winning record. Who did he trade it to?
The 2017 Texas Rangers.
I’m not sure the metaphysics of how such a trade works (Prince Fielder is indubitably involved somehow, but the specifics are still a mystery), but however it happened, the evidence is clear. In the top of the fifth inning today, Rougned Odor’s left ankle was caught under a sliding Nomar Mazara on a bloop Austin Romine double down the right field line. He was removed from the game–the second Ranger ankle sprain in as many days–and replaced by Drew Robinson. Odor joins Adrian Beltre (hamstring), Carlos Gomez (ankle), Keone Kela (shoulder/bicep), Chi Chi Gonzalez, and Hanser Alberto in the walking wounded. Nomar Mazara has a balky quad. Robinson Chirinos’ hamstring is being held together with twist-ties and scotch tape.
Jake Diekman looks great, but if you can come back from having your colon taken out, your debt to the curse has been paid.
One should always be careful positing worst-case scenarios, lest baseball remind you that it is infinitely crueler and more creative than you. The Rangers are down their starting third baseman, center fielder, and second baseman for the time being, though the Twins did lose, so at least Texas didn’t lose any ground in the Wild Card chase. We will see what tomorrow brings (aside from the obvious: the Seattle Mariners). For tonight, perhaps it would be a nice distraction to see what this new foot-ball sport has to offer, or go to a concert (I’m going to a concert).
Oh, and the final score was 16-7. Also, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge each hit another home run later in the game. Like yeah, guys. We get it. As for small silver linings: Ryan Rua went 3-for-4 with a walk, and backup catcher A.J. Jimenez got his first big-league hit.
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