Of El Dorado, Bad Predictions and a Team to Remember
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of El Dorado.
But he grew old-
This knight so bold-
And o’er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like El Dorado.
It’s raining in Texas and the flight to San Francisco has been cancelled. The Ballpark in Arlington sits empty and will for five more months. Except of course when the workers come to install the new video board, plus press conferences for Cliff Lee and all those other free agents headed this way.
Rangers in five, I said. Here were the five keys I mentioned:
1. Score runs – They didn’t.
2. Cliff Lee – He was 0-2.
3. Don’t give anything away – They did in Game 1.
4. Bullpen – Not great but it came down to offense.
5. Vladimir Guerrero – I said he would be huge this series. He was huge. No other explanation needed.
The prediction was dead wrong. The keys were dead on. I also thought the San Francisco 49ers were going to the Super Bowl.
The Rangers had a remarkable season on the field.
They were remarkable off the field.
Countless out-of-town writers remarked in the last few weeks what a great team this was to cover. No kidding. Jon Daniels was last seen Monday night headed to the visiting clubhouse to congratulate the Giants.
“It’s all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically, but it’s not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?” Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
There is nobody in baseball like Michael Young. Sorry Kevin, the best trade in Rangers history was made by Doug Melvin in 2000.
Young and Ian Kinsler were at their lockers after almost every game, win or lose.
Josh Hamilton patiently answering every question about his past and about his health.
Ron Washington: Endless dignity and the ultimate standard of integrity.
His staff: limitless loyalty and work ethic.
Nelson Cruz walked to the showers after the last loss, but looked over and said, “Do you need me?”
Cliff Lee may be the most stand-up guy in baseball. But Tommy Hunter is coming up fast.
Elvis Andrus: abundant joy to the end. Jeff Francoeur: the smile never left his face.
David Murphy: thoughtful answers to the end.
C.J. Wilson, the Bard of Baseball. Colby Lewis: remarkable poise.
“He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach. They played like young cats in the dusk”…Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
Bengie Molina and Matt Treanor: warriors
Darren Oliver and Darren O’Day: true leaders of a bullpen that deserved to be remembered better.
Mitch Moreland: great story
Julio Borbon: It only gets better.
Derek Holland and Dustin Nippert: grace under fire.
Rich Harden and Scott Feldman: Ditto
Frank Francisco: No player has ever been through so much
Neftali Feliz: Chapter 1 is finished. It will be long book.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
Michael Kirkman and Matt Harrison: Don’t forget them.
Alexi Ogando: Still a great story
Mark Lowe: Just got here.
Vladimir Guerrero: We hardly knew you.
Chris Davis and Taylor Teagarden: It ain’t over until it’s over.
Andres Blanco: the missing link.
Esteban German: The fad all started with him
Jorge Cantu: He’ll always have that one day in Oakland.
Rick and Ilsa will always have Paris. Rangers fans will always have 2010.
And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
“Shadow,” said he,
“Where can it be-
This land of El Dorado?”
“Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,”
The shade replied-
“If you seek for El Dorado!”
Edgar Allan Poe, El Dorado