A farewell to T.R.

After thirty-two years of covering the Rangers, writer T. R. Sullivan is calling it quits.

Here’s wishing him a happy retirement and a tipping of the collective cap to his career.

Thirty-two years is quite an accomplishment. He published his last article on MLB.com yesterday.

He leaves with a few last thoughts that are worth bringing up.

One, Ron Washington was the best manager in Texas Rangers history.

Two, the most surprising thing he learned in over three decades of covering baseball is how many signs are missed by players during a game. 

Three, he is shocked at how often pitchers throw away everything that got them to where they were in a futile attempt to learn new pitches every spring.

Four, the two most underappreciated Rangers ever are C. J. Wilson and Rick Helling, and Will Clark doesn’t get nearly the love he deserves.

Five, he hates this trend of cutesy pie nicknames for managers. Washington was “Wash.” Banister was “Bani.” Wooward is “Woody.” It reminds me of a commercial I wrote for the minor league Kansas City T-Bones back in 2005. They had a manager named Dirty Al Gallagher. I liked his nickname and made fun of this cutesy-pie-ing of nicknames that was going on. The script went like this:

“Here’s what grinds me.  All these cutesty-pie nicknames for ballplayers.  Jonesie and Smitty and Scooter and Raffy.  Hey, they’re ballplayers, not plush toys, aint they?  I mean, call Ty Cobb “Cobby” and you got a cleat up your backside.  That’s why I like Al Gallagher. They call him “Dirty Al.”  Now that’s a meat and potatoes nickname for ya.  Not Alsie or Gally or Skippy, but Dirty Al.  You can play for a guy called Dirty Al. That’s a name with some real meat to it.  I know my T-Bones.” 

Six, Sullivan’s all-time favorite morning was April 1, 1994, when he walked into the Ballpark in Arlington for the first time. He felt, like I did and most people who experienced that the first time, that he had just walked into baseball heaven. He then lists the three crown jewels the Rangers currently have, and none of the three were their current billion-dollar stadium. Not surprisingly. It’s like going from walking into heaven to a weekend in Corsicana.

So long, T. R. You will be missed.