The schedule says there are two days left in the regular season, but it really ended for me tonight with what will be my last trip to a Rangers game of the year. I had a bunch of ticket vouchers left over this year, so I invited all the big and little brothers in my home fraternity chapter for a night out, and a good time was had by all. It was a mixture of fans and novices; some among us were diehards, while others were attending their very first baseball game ever. Those who were visiting Ameriquest Field for the first time were impressed by the architecture of the place, and everyone loved the weather.
I hadn't been to a game in a little over a month, when J-Guar and I went on a 100-degree afternoon (as the thermometer below the Frappuccino sign in center field reminded us regularly). Tonight was a beautiful night, even if the baseball wasn't; the Rangers were shut out by the Angels until the final inning and ended up falling, 7-1. Two more games remain in the season, but my tickets are used up, so my next trip here will be in April.
The season started out with lots of promise, but things seemed to fall apart after the Kenny Rogers incident and the release of starter Ryan Drese; a club that's notorious for being thin on pitching can't usually afford to take a hit like that, and the '05 Rangers were no exception. But there were some high spots, like the team's flirting with the all-time home run record for a season, and Michael Young's likely batting title. I hope that the off-season doesn't mess with the primo infield of Young, Teixeira and Blalock, but if the oft-maligned general manager doesn't come back, it won't break my Hart (heh). Let's just hope that the couple of fine young pitching prospects in the minor league system pan out when they reach the "bigs," because we sure need 'em.
I've always loved baseball; I've done previous posts about how baseball reflects the best qualities of America and how baseball is like jazz. Sure, there's always the playoffs and the World Series (maybe the Astros, the team of my boyhood, will come through in the wild-card), but the real season ended for me tonight; that, along with the cool weather, heralds the true arrival of autumn.
Countdown to Firewheel: One week! And one of the final preparatory events will effect nearly everyone out here this weekend, as the eastbound George Bush is sent on a several-mile detour so that the pavement can shift to the new service roads before the grand opening of the town center. Eric should have fun talking about that one on the radio all weekend...