A week ago this time, we were coming off a late night in which Justin Grimm had been summoned from the farm to tee it up against Felix Hernandez, and the result was a Rangers win. The weekend was approaching, starting with Yu Darvish getting the Game Two assignment in Seattle. All good.
A week ago, to most of us, the Boston Marathon was, as connotations go, an iconic national tradition, and West, Texas was kolaches and Scott Podsednik.
That was a very long week ago.
Right now, it doesn’t feel like sports has the power to heal, at least not yet (the awesome Bruins-Sabres National Anthem moment excepted), and I’m not even sure its distraction function is really working, either.
Normally, I’d be all worked up about stories that would even raise the notion of an Albert Pujols-Tony LaRussa reunion, or Torii Hunter’s Thursday tweet (“Just landed in my old stumping [sic] grounds of Anaheim. Had a great five years here but I’m a Tiger now and we are here to eat”). I’d want to talk about Oakland’s 6-4 record against teams that aren’t the Astros, or today’s closing of the Julio Borbon waiver claim window, or the latest development in the #pricecheck, as Tampa Bay lost its ace’s start in extra innings last night, dropping the club further into last place in the East.
But five Rangers games since this time last Friday haven’t done much to hold my attention. Texas lost the Darvish start, split the series in Seattle, and then split a truncated set in Chicago against the Cubs. Both series were played in football weather, sometimes too late at night or too early in the day for most of us to watch, and our minds were elsewhere anyway.
Splitting road series isn’t the worst thing. To simplify, if you take care of business at home and average two wins out of three (54-27), and go .500 on the road (40 or 41 wins), you’re going to win 94 or 95 games, which will work. The last three seasons, Texas has averaged a 51-30 home record and a 42-39 mark on the road.
Dropping two of four in Seattle could be worse, even if it was reasonable to expect better after beating King Felix. A Cubs series that lots of people had been looking forward to faded at the end, though only partly because of baseball.
Today is looking like it’s going to be another of those days we and our kids may never forget, and I’m ready for a long stretch of the other kind of days.
In the meantime, if you’re planning to make it out to Rangers Ballpark tonight, or tomorrow, or Sunday, read this. Our help is needed.
As far as tonight’s game is concerned, here’s something of note: It’s Darvish’s turn again, and this time it’s against Seattle lefthander Joe Saunders.
Not that that’s going to bring back good feelings, if you remember what happened the last time Darvish and Saunders faced off.
I still harbor bad feelings about that ballgame, and probably always will.
And I’m OK with that. It’s just sports.
I don’t know. Maybe what I’m saying is I sorta miss the grip of sports tension, even when things go wrong. The opportunity for the bounceback, for a little showing of character and resilience, is always right around the corner, and at the moment that’s something I’m drawn to, in this awful week, as my mind is on much more important things.