Category: Texas Rangers (Page 1 of 30)

A Matter of Relevance

The number of times each professional team in Dallas has played in a conference/league championship game/series since 1995:

Dallas Stars – 7
Dallas Mavericks – 5
Texas Rangers – 3
Dallas Cowboys – 0

Does It Feel Wet Outside?

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Ralph Strangis…

All our church ministers and staff, all the Opportunity Tribe kids, and the Mission Agape folks just spent an hour or so enjoying the eclipse together. We chewed Eclipse brand gum, ate lots of Oreos (Ryan concocted some far-fetched eclipse connection), and generally cracked eclipse jokes, made fun of each other, and laughed the whole time. Kim brought out her mystical Mayan stone, Pam produced an impressive array of shadow-casting kitchen utensils and disco balls, and Jim asked several times when it was appropriate to leave an eclipse party and not seem rude. J.E. wanted us to change into our Nikes and track suits (at times, it did look like we were all waiting to be lifted away), we all overplayed the darkness and cool down factor, and at one point Dan asked if it felt “wet” outside. I must have heard and/or overheard fourteen explanations of refraction and at least that many descriptions of how this eclipse is or is not similar to what we experienced back in October.

Some of us were disappointed that the dogs didn’t speak in tongues and no birds dive-bombed the parking lot. Turns out the animals don’t really freak out as much as the humans.


The NCAA men’s basketball tournament concludes tonight, but Carrie-Anne clinched our family bracket Saturday when UConn took down Alabama to advance to the Final. As soon as the clock hit 0:00 on that game, C-A sent her little victory bitmoji through our family text, much to almost everyone’s delight. If UConn wins tonight, Whitney will finish in second place. If it’s Purdue, then Valerie’s husband David takes the silver. I need Purdue to win just so I won’t come in last. My March Sadness began weeks ago.

As for our office bracket here at GCR, if UConn wins, Tim and Cory will finish 1-2. If Purdue wins the title, Kristin takes our office contest and J.E. comes in second.


We have turned MidWeek into MixWeek at GCR by combining all our Wednesday night kids programs, youth worship, and adult classes into one big “Running the Race” series. We kicked it off last Wednesday with GCR Olympics, featuring a massive Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament and an egg-throwing contest. The young people led our church in worship–we sang their songs their way– and then we spent 30-minutes or so mixing it up together with the games.

The idea this past Wednesday was to partner up with someone at least 20 years older or 20 years younger and compete against other similar pairs. By the end of the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament, we had half the church on one side of the gym and the other half on the other side, all cheering for their representative in the final match. Same deal with the egg-toss. Then we gave out medals and ate popsicles together.








This week, the young people will again lead us in worship, and then we’re going to spend 30-minutes or so in some formative Christian practices. We’ll have nine or ten prayer stations and Scripture stations in and around the Worship Center–some ancient practices and some brand new ways to engage God together in Word and Prayer.

The overarching goal is to intentionally put our children in front of our older adults and for our older adults to pour into our children so we can all learn what God wants us to learn from each other. We are putting ourselves in situations with our church’s children so God can teach us what we need to learn and change in us what needs to be changed to become more like them. And more like him.


I’m not going to write anything about the Rangers. Not yet. Out of the gate, they look like they’re going to be an even better team than they were last year. But I don’t want to jinx anything. For now, I’m putting all my energies into the Stars and their promising Stanley Cup pursuits. Lankford can keep hitting 100-mile-per-hour lasers off his bat, the Rangers can keep averaging seven runs per game, and Bochy can keep whispering into his bullpen. I’m not going to say anything about it yet. Go Stars.


Over the Christmas break, I bought a two-dollar Whoopee cushion with the four-million tickets we collected during a family trip to Cinergy. Now Whitney is pressing the cushion every time a player misses a free throw during the NCAA tournament. Every game. Every miss. “Pppphhhhrrrrrppphhhh!!” It makes me giggle. It makes Whitney laugh so hard she can’t breathe. It wears Carrie-Anne plumb out.




Scattershooting on Opening Day

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Hank Blalock.

Today is Opening Day! And for the first time in the history of baseball, the Texas Rangers are the defending World Series Champions! It still feels weird and wonderful to write that sentence. Now, how do we do this? What does Opening Day look like when you’re the World Series Champs? For starters, the game begins at 6:35pm instead of the 3:00pm first pitch that was announced when the season schedules were released, and it’s being broadcast on ESPN for the national prime time audience. Usually, I’m taking off work right after lunch on Opening Day to watch the season’s first game. So, that’s a new wrinkle.

Plus, there’s the additional matter of raising the World Series Championship banner at Globe Life Field. That happens at 6:00pm and ESPN’s Baseball Tonight is covering all the ceremonies live. It’s all wonderful and glorious and beautiful in a million ways.

But it’s also complicated.

Today is Maundy Thursday, the day God’s people traditionally gather to remember our Lord’s last supper the night he was betrayed. This is the worship event in which we share the meal with other Christians and remember our Lord’s commands on that evening to love one another just as he loves us. The 4Midland churches are meeting at First Presbyterian tonight, all four of our congregations–GCR, First Baptist, First Methodist, and First Pres–to sing and pray and celebrate communion together.

My plan is to set the DVR to record all the Rangers’ banner-raising festivities and the opener against the Cubs. We’ll start the game once we get home at about 8:00pm. That puts us behind the live action by about an hour and a half, which means it will be almost impossible to flip to the March Madness during commercials. I blame the commissioner of baseball. Or Satan. We were all going to be worshiping tonight with our brothers and sisters at First Pres. It’s baseball that scheduled Opening Day on top of it.

We’re all suffering.


Speaking of March Madness, my bracket is not doing well. I lost Baylor as a Final Four team on Sunday and I’m struggling. I said in this space last week that I would not be counting Carley’s dog’s entry into our family pool. Well, I am counting him as a full participant now, just so I don’t finish in last place. Val and Whitney are neck and neck for the lead heading into the Sweet 16. As for the church office pool, I’m right in the middle of things, almost as close to last place as I am to first. Jadyn is leading the pack right now, with Tim right on her heels.


Carrie-Anne and I spent last night with our GCR Youth Group, planning the summer, playing some crazy party games, worshiping and praying together, and meeting our awesome summer interns Avery and Chloe. When it was over, everybody gathered outside to check out the brand new church vans! We’ve been needing¬† **ahem** more reliable transportation for a while now, and these new super-tall, super-wide, 15-passenger vans do fit the bill. I don’t know if the vans will spur anyone to sign up for mission trips or camps but, according to the reactions last night, it’s not going to hurt.


Back to the Rangers, they have now joined the 18 other MLB teams with corporate sponsorship patches on their uniform sleeves. I do hate this. It’s so bush-league, so cheesy. Energy Transfer’s logo is on all six of the Rangers jerseys for all 162 of their games, plus playoffs. Energy Transfer? Yes, according to reports, the Dallas-based energy infrastructure company. It doesn’t get more corporate than that. I understand that Energy Transfer was founded by Rangers owner Ray Davis back in the ’90s, but if you’re the Texas Rangers and you’re going to wear a company’s logo on your sleeve, shouldn’t it be a recognized and beloved state brand? Did they even ask Dr Pepper or Whataburger? What’s wrong with 7-11? Dairy Queen feels perfect. I do hate this.


The Rangers have whiffed big even before they faced a single Chicago pitcher. I do not understand why they let Jordan Montgomery sign with the D-Backs in free agency. It’s a one-year, $25-million deal with Arizona when he claimed he wanted to stay in Arlington. You can’t ever lose with a one-year contract. How did the Rangers not get this done?

I cannot wait to watch Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford playing together in the same Rangers outfield. Carter is technically a rookie, since he wasn’t called up until after Labor Day last season. So it’s possible–dare I say likely–that Carter and Langford finish 1-2 for MLB Rookie of the Year. Carter, Langford, and Adolis Garcia give Texas the best outfield in the majors. Tons of range, power hitting, and cannons attached to their shoulders.

Nasty Nate Eovaldi on the hill. Bruce Bochy in the dugout. A World Series championship banner flying above the stadium. The Texas Rangers begin their defense of their World Series title tonight. Let’s run it back, boys! Let’s repeat!

Let’s Go Rangers!
Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!


Super Bowl Scattershooting

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Mike Zimmer.
Wait. Nevermind.


About yesterday’s Super Bowl. Did you see all those Chiefs field goals? They matter. Extra points. They matter. Would somebody please tell Dan Campbell.


These are my favorite Super Bowl commercials I have watched several times again today, in the order in which they made me laugh out loud: Reece’s Peanut Butter Caramel Cups, particularly the guy on the left slamming his head into that pot of beans or chili or whatever that is; Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Dunkin Donuts spot with Tom Brady; Aubrey Plaza’s Mountain Dew commercial, specifically where she’s having a blast both winning and losing; and the couch potato commercial for Pluto TV–that one’s funny in a really creepy way. Also, I did not see the little dog hula-hooping in the Reece’s commercial until like my sixth viewing.


Thank goodness the Super Bowl is not on CBS every year. Does America really want to listen to Tony Romo tell us what he would do during a critical drive, trailing by one score, in the last two minutes of a half? We saw what he would do. We watched it for ten years.


Name a quarterback playing right now you’d rather have guiding your team, down one score, with one possession left, over Patrick Mahomes. You can’t. Good grief, that guy. In the clutch, with the clock ticking and the game on the line, Mahomes just straight-up delivers. That last drive to set up the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation and that championship winning drive in overtime were both perfect. Perfect. Unstoppable. Travis Kelce caught nine balls for 93-yards, including three huge third down catches on those two drives. The Kansas City defense was unbelievable in limiting the Niners. And their kicker could split the uprights from 70 yards away. Mahomes is the rightful MVP. And the Chiefs are now America’s Team. They beat both number-one seeds during the run that ended with yesterday’s title. They’ve got big personalities at the skill spots and down-to-earth guys in the trenches. They’ve got a Hall of Fame coach. They’ve got America’s biggest pop music hero hosting movie stars and high-end celebrities in the million-dollar suites, cheering them on. And they win and win and win. The Chiefs are America’s Team.


Following our annual GCR Daddy-Daughter Dance Friday, there were two-and-a-half boxes of Little Debbie Unicorn Cakes left over. Unicorn Cakes? I had never heard of Unicorn Cakes until Ashlee messaged us Sunday morning that we were free to take any leftover cookies, brownies, or other desserts home with us for our various Super Bowl parties. Unicorn Cakes? Sparkling strawberry? Some kind of gooey purple icing stuff in the middle? White icing and sprinkles? Yes, please! Today there are one-and-a-half boxes left.


The World Series Champion Texas Rangers pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona this Wednesday February 14. Day after tomorrow. I know it’s also Ash Wednesday. And Valentine’s Day. But it’s also the first official day of the defense of the Rangers’ World Series Championship! I’ve never typed those words before. Ever.


I want to write something a little more reflective on the “He Gets Us” Super Bowl commercial featuring the foot washing scenes. I’ll try to get to that tomorrow. Have you seen it? Here it is. Stay tuned…



Beltre and Pally-O

Congratulations to Adrian Beltre on his first-ballot election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Hitting home runs from his knees, playing every day through injury and pain, creatively avoiding Gatorade showers, physically moving the on-deck circle, busting Elvis Andrus’ chops, interacting with fans in the front rows, dancing at home plate after an inside pitch or with the second baseman during a rundown, all while winning Gold and Platinum Gloves and Silver Slugger awards–there has never been a third baseman more fun to watch play, or more deserving of this highest honor. I feel like, next to Beltre’s bust in Cooperstown, there should be a little Elvis Andrus bobblehead.


And, happy birthday to our little middle! Valerie turns 27 today. And she is still awesome! I love you, sweetie. If you’ll get in your car right now and drive from Tulsa to Midland, we can take you out for a late birthday dinner tonight.



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