Opening Day !!!
Opening Day is upon us with the promises of contention for those teams that have never made it to the World Series. Now wait a minute, that would be only two teams in all of Major League Baseball and one of them is a team whose owner is a billionaire who has defaulted on his loans. Surely this doesn't happen a lot and surely this sort of thing has nothing to do with our weakening economy. But a baseball game is still the least expensive form of sporting entertainment for the family to go see. And oh how I love to apply the principles of chess to baseball ! Baseball was the first sport I played as a child and the last sport I gave up in high school. As a senior, I really didn't have the notion that I'd go to college to play any of the sports that I played in high school. Frankly, I wasn't good enough to catch any recruiters eyes. And frankly if chess were a collegiately sanctioned sport, I still wouldn't be good enough to catch anyone's eye. But that's ok, I still beat everyone in my family. But I am very excited this year about my Texas Rangers and their prospects of having a better season health-wise as far as the pitching is concerned. Kris Benson has made the rotation as the fifth starter. Brandon McCarthy has added a few pounds to his lanky frame and should be able to hold up against the long grind that is the Texas heat. Millwood and Padilla should win at least 11 to 12 games each. A modest and very achievable mark for those two who are in their contract year. At first I did not like Michael Young at third but now that we have Omar Vizquel mentoring Elvis Andrus at short, I have warmed up to the idea, especially since Cal Ripken Jr. stated that it was a good move for the Rangers. You know, he once played shortstop for a bit during his career and towards the end moved to third. Josh Hamilton ! Great story ! This year I hope he will forego the HomeRun Derby and put together a solid complete season. And how'bout that Andruw Jones ?! Just watch, he will be a big addition to them even as their fifth outfielder. I have a second-cousin who is a coach for the Rangers. He is my mother's first cousin. I won't say who it is, you know some people are so cynical that they wouldn't believe and say that I am just name dropping and BS-ing. I will say that he is a long-tenured coach there, but that's all I will say. So I have a special passion for them as they are the team I've rooted for all my life and they are the team that has let me down the most until the 2008 version of the Dallas Cowboys. The Mavericks in the 2006 Finals are a very very close second ! I could even throw in any President's Trophy winning version of the Dallas Stars as a disappointment in their first round playoff exits, but they are the last team in this town to win a championship. But baseball, my second home as a child. My first love as a young fan before the players got so arrogant and bloated with, what is that banned performing enhancing substance ? As the great Don Henley would say, "Bloated with entitlement,..."