Posts Tagged ‘Texas Rangers’

Curses, the Rangers, and Golden Corral

December 27, 2017

Best Buffet in the USA (by their own admission)

We spent the last holiday with my sister-in-law. She’s a nice enough lady, but she hates to cook. So she decided she’d treat us to a dinner out. She picked the local Golden Corral for the big event.

Now I have no idea if you’re familiar with Golden Corral, but it’s a national buffet chain. You enter, pay some money, and are met with a long set of food choices that go on for several feet. There are meats, desserts, breads, veggies, salad items, and drinks (soft, coffee, tea, and water). The deviled eggs are great and if you’re picking out the deviled eggs for mention it should tell you something about the quality of the food. It actually ranges from pretty good to pretty wretched depending on the dish and the establishment.

It’s also usually crowded. The tables are close together so if you’re eating instead of gabbing it’s pretty easy to hear the conversation of the people at the next table, which is about three feet away. The table just to my left contained two men who looked to be in their mid-thirties who were deep in conversation.

“They’ve been cursed by God. I swear it’s a curse from God.”

Well, that got my attention. Not wanting to be in the line of fire if a curse from God is on the menu I decided I’d better make sure who (or what) was cursed. So I grew a long set of ears and heard the following conversation (which is only vaguely paraphrased):

“Can’t be a curse. God wouldn’t curse the Rangers.”

“Sure he would. Look at what happened when they got rid of him.” This from the first guy.

“Yeah, they started losing but I don’t know that was a curse. Maybe it was just getting rid of Ron Washington.”

At this point I knew the curse was on the Texas Rangers and as a Dodgers fan I figured I was safe and could go back to eating.

“Nope. God’s gotta be a Ryan fan and so help me he cursed the Rangers when they cut him loose.” OK, it was too much and I had to start listening again.

“Well, they were winning when he was there.”

“Damned straight. Nolan Ryan was the Rangers and they let him go. Where’d he go? Houston. And look what happened to them.”

As a Dodgers fan I was well aware of what happened to the Astros. Maybe there was something to this conversation.

“You tell me that’s not a curse on the Rangers.”

“OK, they lost. But a curse? From God?”

“Look what God did to Houston with that damned flood. You think he’s a big Houston fan? Hell, maybe getting Ryan saved them from worse problems.”

For the first time I realized that Nolan Ryan had a direct line to God that most of us lacked.

“I’m just saying the Rangers ain’t gonna win again until they get Ryan back in Arlington. God’ll see to that.”

I think the other guy was starting to agree with him, but about that time my wife got back to the table and insisted I talk with her and her sister. I don’t know how the conversation turned out but the guy who believed in the curse was winning.

 

“First in War, First in Peace…

October 8, 2012

… and last in the American League” (an old joke about the Washington Senators).

Something happened yesterday that I’d never seen. A baseball team from Washington participated in a postseason game. Actually two things happened that I’d never seen. The second? A baseball team from Washington won a postseason game. It’s unusual to see but it’s typical for the nation’s capital. You see, they’ve generally had a woeful franchise.

The 19th Century Washington National League team never won a thing and is in the running for the worst franchise of the century. The fact that a handful of franchises didn’t survive more than one season makes it difficult to pick Washington, but they are certainly in the running (My choice is the St. Paul Apostles of the Union Association who played less than 20 games and never had a home game.)

In 1901 the American League sent a franchise to Washington. They finished sixth. They stayed awful until 1912 when a pitcher named Walter Johnson hit his stride. They finally made a postseason in 1924, winning the World Series. They got back to the Series in 1925 and in 1933. They lost both. For the rest of their time in DC they finished in the first division four times. In 1961 they left Washington for Minnesota, where they’ve had sporadic luck. Like the team in DC, they’ve been to three World Series (1967, 1987, 1991) and managed to win twice (’87 and ’91). They’ve had a handful of other playoff appearances. So the franchise has done better in Minnesota than in Washington.

Baseball thought it was a good thing to have a team in DC, so when the Senators became the Twins, the powers that be stuck a new team in Washington and cleverly named it the Senators also. Well, it worked about as well as the old team (maybe it’s just that the baseball Gods don’t like the name “Senators”). They were so awful they only lasted a little over ten years before fleeing to Texas. As the Rangers they’ve made the playoffs a handful of times and managed to lose in the World Series twice. So again they’ve done better in Dallas than DC.

And now there’s a new team in Washington and it’s done something that hasn’t been done in 79 years. Son of a gun.

And BTW Ryan Mattheus becomes the first Washington pitcher since Walter Johnson to win a postseason game on the road.

OK, ‘Fess Up

October 23, 2010

How many of you had the Rangers back in April? Me neither. Congrats to Texas and particularly to Josh Hamilton for his inspiring tale. Ginger Ale all around.