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.

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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.

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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 needingĀ  **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.

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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.

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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!

Allan

1 Comment

  1. Rob's Dad

    “It’s Opening Day, we’re not in last place. I hope in 3 weeks that we’re still in the race. It’s Opening Day”

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