Players and managers and GM’s and CEO’s come and go.
Chan Ho Park and Rich Harden were here too long, Jeff Zimmerman and Cliff Lee not nearly long enough. But they all come and go.
I’ll be on the back fields in minutes, expecting to see Chris Davis take BP and Adrian Beltre take ground balls, hoping to catch Macumba on a mound, Jorge Alfaro in the cage, Robbie Erlin in a tracking session, Jurickson being Jurickson. Wondering if Michael Thomas is still part of the organization, but also knowing that if he’s not, it doesn’t really change the picture on the Salty trade and won’t be something I give much of a second thought to.
Bobby Reed’s Rangers career ended before he got to Arlington, John Dettmer’s basically did, and so did Shawn Gallagher’s and Spike Lundberg’s, and I’d rather not talk about John Danks. There have been disappointments when players I pulled for didn’t make it in Texas, but it never made me any less of a Rangers fan.
I got over Pudge’s first departure and the compound fracture of Ruben Mateo’s career arc, and surviving the trades of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira (and the reality that they didn’t want to continue playing for my team) turned out to be pretty easy sledding.
One day Josh Hamilton will no longer play for Texas, and Elvis Andrus, too, but I’ll still be around. (I almost said Eric Nadel and Chuck Morgan, but since they’ll both outlive all of us those are bad examples.)
I’m probably like lots of you in that I rely on sports, and always have, as a diversion, an escape from the problems and stress points that interfere with day-to-day life, with health and family and work and whatever else.
But then there are those reminders we didn’t ask for, popping up more often than we’d like, that those same problems exist and sometimes interfere with the teams and seasons we look to for some degree of refuge. Teams may exist for the fans, not just as a marketing pitch but philosophically, but they’re big business for many folks who devote their own day-to-day to making them run and hoping to make them win. Very big business.
Very big business where the problems get aired out very publicly.
I respect Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg, just as I respect Jon Daniels and Michael Young, and the last thing I wanted to believe was that there were disconnects between them, issues that they couldn’t work out, clashes that we haven’t exactly had ringside seats for but that still played out, not fully but at least in part, in public.
Those men have been the faces of the franchise, the reigning American League champion franchise, that I have cared so much about for a lifetime, long before any of them were part of the Rangers family and long after they will have moved on from the organization.
But Ryan is still here, and that’s massively important.
Some of what Greenberg helped achieve in his seven months here will last a long time.
And while Daniels and Young may not have rebuilt bridges, this team is better with both of them here. I’d like to think that they both agree with that, but if not, so be it.
I hate it that things aren’t as stable as we’d all hope for them to be, but this is still my team, and that’s the one thing in all of this that I know, with 100 percent faith, will not change.