Of King Arthur, The Hall of Fame and the Elysian Fields

“Who so Pulleth Out This Sword of this Stone and Anvil, is Rightwise King Born of all England.”

T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Maybe that’s the Rangers problem when it comes to this off-season. They haven’t found a free agent strong enough to pull the sword from their anvil made of stone. Maybe that’s why Josh Hamilton is now with the Angels, Zack Greinke is with the Dodgers and Cody Ross is headed for Arizona.

Edwin Jackson signed with the Cubs and Nick Swisher chose four years in Cleveland, although it’s uncertain just how much interest the Rangers had in either one. The Rangers are trying to play this one close to the vest with the exception of the occasional tell-all trip to the Jim Bowden Show. But it was Bowden who had the Rangers as one of the finalists for Jackson, which seemed like a stretch at the time.CE1

Still the Merry Old Mother Country did find a king. It wasn’t one of those powerful knights who had descended upon London for the big jousting affair but a young page from the country who was there to serve his older brother.

Only some wizard with an owl on his shoulder had it figured out that the kid named Wart would end up being King Arthur, Of course Merlin forgot to tell his protégé about Mordred, Lancelot and that mean old queen…

So maybe the Rangers have to rely on some kid and maybe it will be Mike Olt who pulls the sword out of the stone and becomes the answer to all the Rangers prayers, and this becomes the best off-season in club history.

Actually right now it’s the worst off-season ever and to suggest otherwise smacks of heresy, stupidity or blind folly. Do not disagree with those who have rendered final judgment for this is America, and it’s not about rational discourse and gentle reasoning but who has the biggest pulpit and the loudest megaphone.

Sort of like Mike Trout vs. Miguel Cabrera. Both sides see it as black and white. The Trout supporters see the new-age statistics being absolutely irrefutable and the Cabrera supporters dismiss such hocus-pocus out-of-hand as being from incomprehensible stats geeks who are not part of the inside know-all fraternity.

Kind of like the Hall of Fame debate that’s waged annually during this otherwise festive season. Only this time we have the steroids era posters boys on the ballot, which brings the argument to new heights of shrillness while Jack Morris’ career gets dragged under the microscope one more time and voters speculate on why Jeff Bagwell was able to do what he did, and why Mike Piazza’s back looked like it did.

Forget silly concepts like innocent until proven guilty. This is America and it’s all about my point of view, I’m right and the others are idiots, and let’s not try to discuss anything rationally. Instead let’s just vote to ban something. Americans always like to ban things.

Let’s see, the conservatives want to ban flag burning, abortion and immigration. The liberals want to ban guns, drilling for oil and prayer in school. Not sure who which side wants to ban smoking, but tobacco doesn’t have a prayer in school when compared to abortion or guns.

Sorry, no opinions from here on any of that stuff, that’s all up to Ann Coulter, Rachel Maddow and others smarter than those who hang out in the Elysian Fields. No need to chime in on the cacophony.

In the Elysian Fields we hold these truths to be self-evident.

* There are no such things as ugly dogs, boring baseball, bad beer or a lousy John Wayne movie.

* That Catfish Hunter is one of the best pitchers in baseball history.

* That Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street was the best song ever and Sloop John B by the Beach Boys was better than anything by the Beatles or the Rolling Stones.

* If I Never Get Back by Darryl Brock is the best novel ever about baseball and The Last Picture Show was the best book ever about Texas.

* Communion should be taken only from a priest and not by hand.

* Hill Street Blues and Barney Miller are the two best television shows ever.CE2

* Ben Franklin was the greatest man to walk the earth in the past 2000 years and Northern California is the greatest piece of real estate on the planet.

* There ought to be a constitutional amendment banning Interstate Highways.

* Tina Fey, Patricia Richardson and Jan Hooks were far more funny than Lucille Ball.

* Ernest Hemingway was America’s greatest writer and Mutiny on the Bounty is the all-time best book. Angela’s Ashes was the most overrated book ever written although Silas Marner is far and away the most boring.

* The Ballpark in Arlington should not have a roof.

* Batting average and RBI matter but Sabremetrics, Rotisserie leagues and people like Jamey Newberg, Adam Morris, Jason Parks and many many other bloggers have been incredibly important for the popularity of baseball.

* George C. Scott was the best Ebenezer Scrouge, Sean Connery was the best James Bond and Julie Newmar was the best Catwoman.

* El Dorado was better than The Searchers and ranks with The Quiet Man as the two best movies made by John Wayne.

* Chester Nimitz does not get his proper due and it remains unfathomable that the United States did not save the World War II aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, the greatest ship to ever sail the seas.

* Alex Smith should be the 49ers quarterback.

* That 7:05 is still best time of day and 162 is our all-time favorite number.

Once again, thank you to everybody who takes the time to check out this blog.

A most profound and Merry Christmas to all from Postcards From Elysian Fields.


Great article sir. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Thank you for your words and your wisdom. A very Merry Christmas to you!

Thanks T.R. Great article. Merry Christmas from one of your old stomping grounds. Denison. Texas.

Merry Christmas to you too sir and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I always enjoy receiving your emails.


Lance Aljian

Merry Christmas. Relax and enjoy.

Sent from my iPhone

Ben J. Sexton

Merry Christmas to you. Love your blog. Still think that there is plenty of time for a good addition or two but like where the Rangers are going over all. Wonder how Arte Moreno will feel paying more than $80 million to 4 aging (and likely declining) stars in about 3 years?

Cheers, Gary

OK…no cacophany but “Let’s be careful out there!”

Maybe some feel this is the worst off season ever. I am actually looking forward to seeing the kids play. We have some good young talent and instead of spending blindly on someone like Josh, who clearly quit on the Rangers, or any other high priced free agent, it’s time to see what the youngsters can do. If they fail, so be it. We know how to move on.
As always, I enjoy your blog T.R. Merry Christmas.

TR, I assume you don’t believe LonesomeDoveis about Texas, were too busy working to catch The West Wing and haven’t seen Daniel Craig as Bond. Otherwise, a very enjoyable essay. Thanks, and Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to Rangerland from Edmond OK. Here’s to a better new season.
Well done good Scrib, We look forward to more in ’13.

Tina Fey, Patricia Richardson and Jan Hooks are not funnier than Lucille Ball. They are not even as funny and the British actress Patricia Routledge or the Hong Kong comic Lydia Sum. Luci was funnier

7:05 AM or PM?

I think Jesus was the greatest man to walk the earth in the past 2000 years.

Figured that the “past 2000 years” was understood to mean since The Ascension

Big E had to be scrapped so first nuke carrier could bear her name… Still should have made her a museum. Big jake is best John Wayne movie. ;)

Fun musings but quite dated. Merry Xmas, my friend.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Hoping to see what Magadan can do with Olt, Profar, and Martin.

You did get it right about NorCal. It is the best piece of real estate anywhere and home to this life long Ranger fan. Love that they are not throwing money away. Let the kids play!

Tina Fey better than Lucille Ball? Step away from the computer!

Funniest comedienne – Margaret Rutherford. Best tv show – The Bob Newhart Show. Most overrated writer of the 20th Century – Ernest Hemingway. Otherwise, I’m ok with this.

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