A big sports day Sunday, with baseball’s regular season ending, the United States winning the Ryder Cup and the NFL continuing to do whatever it does.
But the day’s biggest event took place in Mansfield, as 4-year-old Henry Wilson played his first career soccer game.
Quick analysis: Pele’s legacy is secure.
The game was utter chaos. God bless the volunteer coaches and referee. The parents were great, too, burying their frustrations that most of their children couldn’t grasp such a simple concept and instead laughing with every goofy play.
Henry was more of an observer. Probably a good idea. He needed to get a handle on the game, as well as which of his teammates he eventually will have to carry.
Another obstacle he encountered was the noise of screaming parents and the ref’s whistle. He’ll shake the agoraphobia by Week 3.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction after a 6-4 loss in the season finale.
1. If Game 162 had been a spring-training game — wait, it basically was a spring-training game — Martin Perez would have said something to the effect of “I got my work in.”
He essentially did, tuning up for the postseason by allowing three runs (two earned) in three innings. That doesn’t sound terrible, until throwing in seven Tampa Bay Rays hits, one walk and 63 pitches to get nine outs.
Perez allowed 16 hits in his final two starts and 10 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings. He’s not exactly rolling going into the American League Division Series.
But he felt good. Even back when he found out he needed Tommy John surgery he felt good.
Perez said that he liked the velocity on his fastball and the sharpness of his curveball. Yeah, he gave up some hits, he said, but, meh, no big deal.
Manager Jeff Banister still won’t reveal the order of the starting rotation, though he said that it’s pretty easy to guess who the four starters will be. I still say Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis and Perez.
But it could be awhile until the full order is revealed. Keep in mind that the Rangers didn’t decide on Perez and Derek Holland for Games 3 and 4 last year until after the series started.
2. Baltimore will play at Toronto on Tuesday in the AL wild-card game, and the winner will head to Globe Life Park for Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday.
It sure feels like a rematch of the 2015 ALDS (also the Rumble at Second Base) is coming.
The Rangers say they don’t care who their opponent is. All that mattered to them is playing at home, where they won a club-record 53 regular-season games.
A Blue Jays series would be filled with drama, which is good for internet hits but that’s about it. But it’s not like Jose Bautista will want to talk about getting clocked by a 5-foot-10 second baseman.
A trip to Toronto will include passing through customs, a currency exchange, Blue Jays fans griping that the Rogers Centre roof isn’t open, Blue Jays players just griping, international cellphone charges and Blue Light. The last one is fine by me.
At least a Baltimore series would give me a chance to find Avon Barksdale and Jimmy McNulty.
3. Time to play the ALDS roster guessing game. Again. A few changes from Saturday’s guess.
Catchers (2): Robinson Chirinos, Jonathan Lucroy.
Infielders (6): Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Mitch Moreland, Rougned Odor, Jurickson Profar, Ryan Rua.
Outfielders/DH (5): Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Ian Desmond, Carlos Gomez, Nomar Mazara.
Starting pitchers (4): Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Colby Lewis, Martin Perez.
Relief pitchers (8): Tony Barnette, Matt Bush, Jake Diekman, Sam Dyson, Derek Holland, Jeremy Jeffress, Keone Kela, Tanner Scheppers.
Gone from Saturday are Delino DeShields and Alex Claudio. New are Ryan Rua, who would play against a left-hander in place of Mitch Moreland, and Tanner Scheppers, who received glowing praise Saturday from the manager before a ragged 10th inning Sunday.
This roster has no defensive replacement for Choo and no true burner off the bench (DeShields). Rua, though, isn’t exactly slow.
I still feel pretty good about Beltre, though.