So, you want to be a baseball beat writer ...
It almost always is a very cool job, getting paid to watch and write about baseball in, at most ballparks, climate controlled conditions with a fairly clean bathroom and water and soda available throughout the game.
Beer no longer flows in the press box, which is probably a good thing.
But things can get hairy, like when a game that starts at 1:08 p.m. runs more than three hours and you’ve booked a flight that leaves at 7:05 p.m. from an airport that isn’t exactly close to the ballpark in a town where cabs and Uber aren’t always in a rush to pick you up.
And you booked the flight not looking to see if it was Mother’s Day. Whoops. And, good lord, you better take care of your back.
Advances in technology made my postgame a bit better. My game story was finished at the Gate D28 and filed via personal hotspot while on the plane before takeoff.
That’s a victory.
I got upgraded, and a first-class cocktail made my back feel better.
That’s a victory, too.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from Sunday’s 8-3 win and from 30,000 feet.
1. A nod for the Texas Rangers’ win goes to the club’s front office. The winning runs were driven in by Bobby Wilson, reacquired Tuesday from Detroit, and the tying run was scored by pinch runner Drew Stubbs, reacquired Saturday as a free agent.
Stubbs entered with no outs in the eighth to run for Nomar Mazara, if not the Rangers’ best hitter right now then their second-best. He’s not a slowpoke, either.
But he represented the tying run after his single off Justin Wilson gave the Rangers runners at first and third with no outs with the Detroit Tigers leading 2-0. Manager Jeff Banister said that he hemmed and hawed over the decision to remove Mazara, but Banister believe that it was important to try to get the tying run home.
After Adrian Beltre singled to drive in Rougned Odor and Prince Fielder bounced to first, Stubbs was at third base as Ian Desmond lofted a flyball to medium right field. It might have been shallow right field.
7 Runs scored by the Rangers in the eighth inning, including one apiece for recent acquistions Drew Stubbs and Bobby Wilson
Stubbs dashed home and scored ahead of J.D. Martinez throw. Barely. Mazara doesn’t score on that play. If the same situation had arisen Friday, Mazara would have stayed in the game because the Rangers didn’t have anyone faster than him on the bench.
Wilson followed three batters later with his first career grand slam to break the 2-2 tie.
The Rangers had both at the end of last season and wanted to keep both this spring. The were the last two position players to not make the team, with Wilson traded to Detroit on March 29 for Bryan Holaday and Stubbs taking the out on his minor-league contract after being asked to go to Triple A Round Rock.
He took a big-league job with Atlanta. Even as bad as the Braves are, it was hard to blame him.
But both are back with the Rangers, who were better off for it Sunday. Take a bow, front office, which in the process told the rest of the team that if a move needs to be made later in the season, it will be made.
That’s a comforting feeling for a player to have.
2. It seems like Martin Perez has been around forever, and he has in baseball terms after signing in 2007 at age 16. The left-hander is only 25 and has never made more than 20 starts in a big-league season.
He’s still a work-in-progress, learning with each start to build an index of experiences he can draw upon when things get thick. That’s what happened in the third inning, when he got the first two outs on seven pitches but needed 30 more to get the final out.
Detroit scored twice, benefiting from three Perez walks. He was miffed after two of them, thinking plate up Chris Guccione squeezed him on inside fastballs. Perez wasn’t alone in those thoughts.
Afterward, he said that close calls are part of the game, but he was clearly rattled by them. The calls were also on full counts, the result of nibbling on the corners instead of attacking with the fastball as he did the other five inning he pitched.
I put that inning behind me and went into the fourth inning keeping the game close. That’s what you have to do.
Rangers lefty Martin Perez
But he allowed only two runs after six innings.
Perez will learn. He is learning. It looks like he might have learned something after the third.
He’s still a work-in-progress.
3. Lo and behold, the Rangers left Detroit with a winning record on their seven-game road trip, the very same road trip in which they lost three straight games at Toronto en route to Comerica Park.
Only three days ago the offense stunk, the bullpen stunk and Derek Holland stunk. Two of the three had chances to atone for misdeeds at Rogers Centre and did. Holland gets his crack at atonement Tuesday.
3 Combined home runs for Bobby Wilson and Delino DeShields (2) last season
The lesson here is this is baseball, where if something can happen, it eventually will. Wilson and Delino DeShields hit back-to-back homers with one of them a grand slam, for crying out loud.
And the Rangers, who looked left for dead only Thursday, now have momentum as they go home for six games against the first-place Chicago White Sox and the nemesis Blue Jays.
The Rangers had, as they like to say, a happy flight. So did one of their beat guys, despite some hairy moments actually getting to the flight.