Seven years ago today, this happened.
But enough turning the clock back.
There’s not going to be a Cliff Lee Trade this summer.
Or one in reverse.
But I’ve said all year that we will never forget this Rangers season, one way or another, and I’m not backing off of that.
And last night, as we saw Adrian launch another one, this time in those awesome powder blues, and D-Rob go deep for the second time in two big league starts, this time in those sweet powder blues, and every starter hit safely aside from Go-Go, who walked twice in those anachronistically killer powder blues, and the offense extend its MLB-leading production in the first inning and new Papa Elvis single and double and flash big leather and Tyson bend and wiggle without breaking and the bullpen execute, all in those wicked powder blues, locking in a series win against the hated Angels, I got to thinking.
In December 2010, Angels owner Arte Moreno refused to close a reportedly reasonable gap that Adrian sought to sign long-term with his club. Texas, having been spurned by Cliff Lee, swooped in and signed Adrian. The Angels, seeking another way to boost their offense, traded Mike Napoli and Frosty Rivera to Toronto for Vernon Wells.
Four days after that, the Blue Jays flipped Napoli to the Rangers (who had been trying for years to pry him free from the Angels) for Frankie Francisco.
Last night, the Rangers gave fans “Turn the Clock Back” Napoli jerseys in those fantastic powder blues, but that’s not what I’m thinking about and that’s not the point of all this.
A year after the Angels failed to close the deal that Adrian wanted, and Adrian helped lead Texas to a second straight World Series, Arte was determined to make a counter-splash, and he signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
The winter after that, Arte signed Josh Hamilton.
The winter after that (actually during spring training), Arte signed Mike Trout to a six-year extension.
All that time, Mike Scioscia was working under a 10-year contract that still has a year and a half to go.
Since December 2010, when Arte refused Adrian’s proposal to join the Los Angeles Angels, Arte has committed more than $600 million to Pujols (whose 285 pounds are locked in for four seasons after this one at between $27 million and $30 million each) and Trout and Hamilton and Wilson and Scioscia.
And, in that time, the Angels have not won a single playoff game.
Nolan Ryan, who finished playing six years before Scioscia was named Angels manager, was on the final Rangers team to play in Arlington Stadium.
He threw out the first pitch when The Ballpark in Arlington opened the following spring. Outside the playing field there was a statue, and outside the ballpark there was a road, each built in Ryan’s honor.
I don’t know how long Adrian Beltre will play baseball, but I know he will have played more years with “Texas” on his chest than any other team’s name, and that he will have never played for the Angels, and if he and the Rangers are inclined at some point to add one more year to the current deal that’s a year and a half from expiring, just like Scioscia’s, maybe he’s part of the final club to play in this stadium, and he’s the man who will walk to the mound two years and nine months from now to throw the first pitch in a new building, with a statue outside the playing field and a road outside the ballpark, each built in his honor, while Elvis and Rougie and Nomar and Joey and maybe Leody and maybe Yu and maybe Shohei are sporting those outstanding powder blues.
That’s my 2020 vision, anyway.