One hundred seventy-eight days later, the Rangers are back. Words like hope, anticipation, confidence, optimism, and promise come flooding to mind. Then I stop daydreaming about the Power Ball and re-focus on the upcoming Texas Rangers season.
Opposite words spring up. Surprisingly, my blood does not boil. My pulse does not quicken.
Perhaps the best thing about rooting for a team that has been mathematically eliminated from the post-season before the first pitch has even been thrown is that with no expectations come no heartbreak.
It’s a participation trophy kind of season.
It’s baseball. It may be bad baseball, but it’s baseball. And even bad baseball is better than everything else in the world.
The Ballpark will be alive this opening day. Then, as popular as a leper convention the rest of the season. While most of the marketing will be about the final season of this glorious baseball cathedral, nobody shows up anywhere to see bricks do what bricks do. They want to see winning baseball.
To misquote the old proverb, “If a ballpark hosts its last season and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a difference?”
It’s not about standings, though. It’s not about goodbyes or endings, either. The Chris Woodward season officially begins today. A new approach, a new process, a new attitude. And, hopefully, soon, a new outcome. Hopefully, THE outcome.
I wish him well. Seems like a wonderful guy to play for. A smart boss to have. The kind of guy you’d love to carry on a baseball conversation with. I hope he is eventually given the tools to create what he is capable of creating. I am looking forward to seeing how his energy translates to the field, to the players.
Let the season begin.
Hope, anticipation, confidence, optimism. I remember those feelings well. 2016 wasn’t that long ago.