Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Wednesday Morning on Michigan Avenue

My, Oh, My! Leave for a few days, and the Rangers eliminate themselves from contention. Wow. At least we are not missing any “easy talk show topics”. Kenny Rogers, what a guy.

Doug Davis pitched very well. Carlos Zambrano pitched much better . And Ned Yost decided to pinch hit Trent Durrington with 1st and 2nd in the 8th inning with nobody out instead of masher Prince Fielder. Durrington can’t lay down a bunt, and the only rally is gone. Cubs 2, Brew Crew 0. But, man, that was about as great a baseball experience that you will endure. I will be happy to expand on that when we get back.

And now, this email:



I wrote about this on February 18th but here is a cheap reprint:

Cotton Bowl Days – John Eisenberg

I have said it before, and I will say it again. If you are a Cowboys fan who has not read this book, you might not be a Cowboys fan. This is gold! It is basically the story of the Dallas Cowboys from the time they were born in 1960 until the time they moved to Texas Stadium. This covers plenty of ground of course, as the Cowboys went on the historic run from being winless in 1960, to being “next year’s champion”, and finally to winning Super Bowl VI in New Orleans. During this entire story, the author weaves his own personal family history through the fabric of the Cowboys story. It is quite well done, and maybe the one book that I would recommend anyone who enjoys football history and is a Cowboys fan.

Going Long – Jeff Miller

Miller, who is actually a writer with the Dallas Morning News wrote a great historical account of the AFL. Perhaps you should make sure you care about this renegade league that changed so much of how football is played on and off the field, but if you do, he allows all of the main players to speak in his book. Much of it is written almost as a transcript of interviews with the hundreds of characters, allowing them to tell the stories, but from 1960-1969 the stories are amazing and intriguing, and another of my favorite books.

America’s Game – Michael MacCambridge

This book is only a few months old. It is maybe the best football book I have ever read. If you have any appreciation about how the NFL became the NFL, and how it caught and passed baseball in the race for America’s hearts, then read this book! It is amazing. I cannot recommend this book enough at it takes you from 1945 as the league was hanging on for dear life in the wake of World War II all the way until present day NFL. Every story is touched on, from how the revenue sharing came to pass, to the story of the 1963 gambling scandal that saw Paul Hornung and Alex Karras suspended, to the merger with the AFL, right to last season. This may be a book I read twice, I love it so much.

Seasons in Hell – Mike Shropshire

I honestly feel this is one of the most underrated sports books ever written. It was written about the early years of the Texas Rangers, 1972-75. To call it hilarious is an understatement, and again, as a fan of the Texas Rangers, check it out and get an entertaining look at how things used to be when the Rangers were really a joke.

A few others include: October 1964 – David Halberstam, the baseball book about the pennant race of 1964 (obviously), Raw Recruits – Armen Keteyian and Alexander Wolff, the basketball book that opened my eyes to recruiting and the cheating that goes with it (written in the early 1990’s), North Dallas Forty – Pete Gent, the fictional/non-fictional tale of life in the NFL in the 1960’s, The Boys of Summer – Roger Kahn, about the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950’s, Run to Daylight – Vince Lombardi, where Lombardi spends one week in 1963 explaining everything about everything for a game versus Detroit, and Of Ice and Men – Bruce Dowbiggin, a fine look at top players and the craft of hockey.

I am sure I am forgetting some, but a quick look at my bookshelf last night brought these to mind, and I will add more if they occur to me later. I imagine they are all available at …


Genius job by Meredith on the Man Hug

JR speaks …I know it is old, and I know it has been over-played, but just in case…

Doc Ellis feature

Kenny Rogers = sorry?

So when the Rangers announced Monday that Rogers would miss his start tonight because he'd fractured the base of his fifth metacarpal -- below the pinkie finger --punching a dugout water cooler in his start against Washington here 10 days ago, I was admittedly a little surprised.

My first thought: At 41, and with his old running buddy Kevin Brown as the perfect example, Kenny should have known better than to punch anything with his pitching hand.

Then manager Buck Showalter stopped me cold.

The fracture, Showalter continued, is in Rogers' right, and non-pitching, hand.

Kapler to return before long ….And I won’t tell Gabe I told him so…

Andy Dougherty throws them high and tight to Chuck Howley

10 best bargains in the NBA Draft History

10 biggest busts in the NBA Draft

Wow, this dude needs help …Warning! Big Language problems….

And this email came in last week when we complained about the Rangers lack of commitment to spending and winning:

once again, spending money wins, I mean, the yanks are the champs,

Irving, TX

Only if you consider 26 Championships does money win. You are right, the Yankees don’t win every year, but guess what, they win plenty because they spend plenty. If you don’t spend big bucks, everything must go PERFECT. See the 2005 Texas Rangers.


Brandon said...

Brent's comparison is a little ridiculous when you consider the fact the Yankees have at least made the post-season every year for the past 10 years while the Rangers haven't visited since 1999.

No, money isn't a panacea for winning. But it certainly helps.

Anonymous said...

For being on vacation, Bob sure is doing a good job of keeping up the Blog.

Big Mac won't even respond to an e-mail (unless he wants something-i.e. tickets to Elmo/Barney)

Bob is my Hero!!

Dan is not my Hero!!

Mike said...

Everyone pray that the Rangers lose a couple more games to cement their status as a non-playoff contender so that:

1. People stop showing up to games to screw Hicks.

2. We don't have to listen to any more Ranger talk.

3. We can put to rest the garbage spewed by Norm and Bob about their "pitching being good enough, we just need a few more bats."

Jared in Irving said...

Regardless of what the pitching is doing, if you watch the games, you know that we DO in fact, need help in the lineup.

Anonymous said...

The front office could use a little help also.

Anonymous said...

the rangers are a mess right now. who's gonna pitch next year? young, rodriguez, and then?? maybe one of the prospects will be ready, but will still take some time to get adjusted to the big league. so next year, they will probably not be competitive unless they go out and spend, which is suddenly a foreign concept to this organization. '07 will roll around and the rest of the prospects may be up here, but if they aren't contenders, then kiss teixera goodbye when his contract is up.

this team has pitching problems all over and doesn't have a leadoff hitter. last year was great for this team, and they should have done more in the offseason to build on it...

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Richard Hidalgo is one of the worst players in the MLB. I dont remember him sucking this bad in Houston. When the 7,8,9 batters of our lineup come up, might as well just concede

Steve said...

So Jared in Irving, you would rather have a big bat than an ace?

Yes, they need offense, too. But if you can only get one, pitching gets the nod.

meredith said...

dude, Kenny Rogers is NOT reacting well to your absence.

Anonymous said...

He's really not. I'd love to see the footage. I hope Bob has a link to the video of this tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

brent might have the worst argument ever. money doesn't guarantee you winning, it just increases your odds (as bob said, just look at the results). and, no, the yanks aren't champs but the red sox are and guess who had the second highest payroll.

eric in keller