A long day of baseball started with an eight-year-old, after two years hitting in the bottom third of the lineup, earning a shot in the clean-up spot, and Elite 8U charging out of the eight seed and winning its first tournament championship at the North Texas Lone Star Classic, a weekend reminder that you just can’t predict ball.
Then Darvish-Weaver took over and another series was won, but maybe the most impressive righthander on the night was neither Yu nor Jered but instead Tanner Scheppers, brandishing mid-to-upper 90s with tremendous life that found the strike zone 18 out of 20 times, and the thought of a bullpen that, if everything falls into place, could end up featuring Nathan and Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz and Scheppers from the right side, and Robbie Ross, Michael Kirkman, and Joe Ortiz from the left, well, then, OK.
Josh Hamilton managed to deliver three hits in the Angels loss, bookended on one end by a bases-loaded, no-outs double play grounder to second base in the first inning that reminded a lot of local football fans of the deflating first-inning, double play grounder to second he rolled into in the first inning of his final game as a Ranger, and on the other by a weak groundout to shortstop to end the game, which may not have been as “fitting” as A-Rod striking out looking to send his former team to the World Series, but, you know, there’s that.
And there was Ian Kinsler’s first home run to right field since 2009 and Weaver’s first April loss since 2009 and now two fan bases wonder if their ace will make his next start, because blisters and non-throwing-arm elbow strains aren’t completely predictable, either.
And hey there, Mark Lowe.
And “It probably hurts a little bit more to know that people would just turn that quickly. You know, to think that they kind of supported you . . . . But it just tells you a lot.”
“Fair-weather” goes both ways, sir.
“It was surprising, but not real surprising. A little disappointing more than anything.”
Back to work and back to school this morning, and today may sorta feel like the last day of school for Julio Borbon, who will suit up for what is likely his final time as a Ranger as Texas hosts the Rays tonight, with Nick Tepesch slated to go tomorrow, filling the number five rotation slot and needing spots on both the 25-man roster and 40-man roster to do so. The Rangers are saying they’re not considering an option of Leonys Martin to AAA, so a designation of Borbon for assignment is likely on schedule for Tuesday.
The “change of scenery” meme will undoubtedly surface as soon as Borbon suits up for a new team, because this is sports and that’s what we talk about when players move on, especially when we see Chris Davis out-producing some teams, but changes of scenery don’t always work, and it’s OK to hope for the best for Davis and Mike Napoli and Cliff Lee if that’s your thing (it is mine), but in other cases a player opts for new scenery, which is totally cool, and yet finds it necessary to disparage his old scene, questionable judgment at best, something else at worst, and it creates an entirely different energy for a series of April baseball at the outset of what we all know is going to be another electric year of ball you just can’t predict.