The press box had two interlopers make their way into the second row, though barely, on Friday night.
A man and a women, who appeared to be a couple and appeared to be fairly inebriated, decided they would catch some of the Texas Rangers’ win over the Kansas City Royals from the second row of the press box.
The first trick was getting into the press box. Hey, they let Stefan Stevenson in every day, so anything is possible.
Next up was climbing three stairs to get to the second row, which proved to be difficult for the man. He fell, hitting his face on something, before recovering and heading to the end of the row.
His lady friend kept looking lovingly, or maybe drunkenly, at his wound, and at one point it appeared they were about to make out.
When a Rangers PR man confronted the couple, the man claimed that he knows a congressman.
Soon enough, the couple was shown the door and normalcy returned to the press box.
They missed all the good stuff. There was a lot of it for the home team.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from an 8-3 win.
1. Rougned Odor took over the team lead in home runs at 21 by swatting two solo shots, one in the first and another in the seventh. He leads Ian Desmond by one.
Odor became the third second baseman in club history with a 20-homer season, joining Ian Kinsler and Alfonso Soriano. He has hit 13 of the homers since returning from the suspension for punching Jose Bautista.
He has lifted his average to .282 while also tightening up defensively. That has been a focal point of late.
Manager Jeff Banister said that the Rangers told Odor that he needed to be better with the glove, and he and infield coach Tony Beasley have been working early at second base the past week.
Odor has the range to cover the position and more than enough arm strength. At 22, he needs to slow things down on occasion and gain experiences that will sharpen his instincts.
He’s always going to be aggressive at the plate, but he is enjoying longer stretches where he is more selective. The result is games like Friday’s, which also included a double.
2. Jurickson Profar was the Rangers’ left fielder for the first time since 2013, and he looked better than Mike Napoli. Profar looked like he could be a decent outfielder, even though he was removed late for the defense of Ryan Rua.
Profar is also getting better at the plate after a slump, and his two-hit game bumped his average to .301. Included was an opposite-field homer into the visitor’s bullpen that might be the best he has hit a ball this season.
It’s possible that Profar hit a wall last month that carried over into this month. He hadn’t played in two seasons, yet played regularly in the minors to start 2016 and then steadily in the majors after being called up to fill in while Odor was on suspension.
Profar looks fine now.
The Rangers stuck with him for a reason while he was out in 2014 and 2015. They believed he could still be the elite player he thought he would be coming up through the minors, and they wanted to see it for themselves.
They might be getting the first glimpse, but it might also be fleeting should they decide to include him in a trade for Chris Sale or Chris Archer ahead of the Monday’s deadline. Neither ace seems like a possibility, according the latest dispatches from beaten-down sources.
This is a tough time of year on front offices, scouts and media.
Monday can’t come soon enough.
3. The starting rotation that the Rangers want to supplement with Sale, Archer or Vince Velasquez, a new hot name in the rumor mill, got a nice kick in the behind from A.J. Griffin.
The right-hander was an out away from six scoreless innings before Eric Hosmer got him for a two-run homer on his 98th and final pitch. Griffin said that a mechanical tweak led to better command and quicker outs, and he was genuinely excited about what could be ahead.
Keep in mind that Griffin was arguably the Rangers’ best pitcher the first five weeks of the season before feeling shoulder tightness in a start at Detroit. Keep in mind that he hadn’t pitched in two years, and as he conceded late Friday, returning after two years isn’t easy.
But he thinks he has built up his arm strength and stamina to the point where he can pitch deeper into games more consistently. He knows that 5 2/3 innings or six innings isn’t deep enough, but it is relative to what the Rangers have been getting from their starters lately.
If a trade doesn’t develop, the Rangers will need Griffin to be a reliable starter until Colby Lewis and Derek Holland return, and maybe even beyond that.