THE NEWBERG REPORT — DECEMBER 20, 2006
I hear there’s this thing called the Inner Net, some cider-space place where you can read newspapers and some such from other outposts. I don’t know what’s wrong with the good ol’ Pony Express, but whatever. T’each his own, ya know?
So there’s this feller named Zito, or somethin’ or other, who says he might want to hitch his wagon here in Texas. Sposeta be a pretty salty baseball pitcher. I done got my hopes up (’cause I likes me some baseball), but I was sittin’ around the Pace Picante campfire the other night, and my buddies Bum Phillips, the Marlboro Man, Big Ross Perot, J.R. Ewing, and one of them dudes from ZZ Top was tellin’ me they’d heard that some people who write and talk about baseball and live up yonder in New York and other spots north and east of here caught wind of this Zito feller’s interest in Texas and were plumb fit to be tied about it.
Zito’s too smart and good looking and dad-gum interesting to pitch in Texas, says those writers and talk show folk . . . shoot, maybe they’re right! Hey, as a Rangers fan I’ve finally come around to understand that my team will probably have to trade Michael Young to the White Sox or Red Sox simply because those teams want him! Maybe I also need to accept the idea that Zito needs to be in a market where those writers and talking heads can hang out with him for 15 minutes every day, and make their stories more colorful — where are my priorities? Whether I can cotton to it or not ain’t the question. They live in places that have culture, and city life, and flair! I reckon I just need to tip my ten-gallon hat to them and be thankful that I’m alive at a time when I can experience their wisdom, and learn from it.
I’m fixin’ ta tell you somethin’ you need to understand, just like I’ve come to understand it: Those writers and talkers know best. Whether they think the sun comes up just to hear them crow is not what I’m sayin’. Zito would do well to stop thinking about what he wants and listen to the press, especially those who work in New York or for some national paper or one of them radio satellite thingies. If he’s not plannin’ on puttin’ a pinch between his cheek and gum and going to work on a mechanical bull, he probably don’t belong here. Sure would like to see him try pitching in boots, but c’mon. I didn’t wake up yesterday.
How would Zito survive here without a six-shooter, a few dozen head of cattle, and some really big belt buckles? The Mets want him, dag nab it. The big city! This ain’t my first rodeo; I know what movin’ on up is all about — you leave Oakland, you want to go to a place that’s more metropolitan, more dynamic, more diverse. That’s New York City, y’all. It’s a whole nuther thing. Us Texans are still trying to figure out what to do with them gasoline cars, and where to hitch ’em up outside the saloon.
If you think about it, those writers and talkers didn’t get no burr under their saddle when we had Nolan, or Will, or Tettleton, or Dennis Cook. They weren’t all Texan but at least they looked and acted the part. That Zito dude is a lot more Rodeo Drive than Mesquite Rodeo. And the way baseball salaries are going, think of all the oil wells we’d have to run dry just to pay him to play ball here.
Friend, I did get excited there for a bit thinking about how my Texas Rangers could fill the ballpark on days Zito was pitching, pulling in crowds like it was Franks ‘N’ Beans Night or Half-Price Copenhagen Sunday (for all kids 12 and under). But I’ve seen the error in my way of thinkin’. We don’t deserve Zito. He’s sposeta go to the Mets, if he’ll just get ta thinkin’ about it. It’s not at all about where Zito wants to be, the pundits have taught me — it’s purely a function of where Zito should be.
I’m ashamed that I ever gave a moment’s thought to the idea of Zito pitching here. How dare we think for a minute that Zito might want to be a Texas Ranger. How dare Zito even consider it himself.
Would hate to disappoint those sophisticated media folks up East.
I gotta go now. My butt’s sore from sittin’ on my chaps in front of this computing machine. If you wanna talk about this Zito thing, join us at the campfire after supper, or just bring me up on this new CB radio thingy Monday week.