I keep saying baseball is the official sport of the Najera Compound in Arlington, though it can be said it doesn't seem that way.
The tradition started started because of this man, but in my life the admiration for the beauty of the game took many years to bloom.
This year, at the beginning of Spring Training, I hung my Red Sox flag on the pole at the front of our house, as usual. It's a beginning. Spring is in the air, and you can almost hear the bats, smell the hot dogs, taste the cold beer.
Something is different at the pole area, though. Next to the Red Sox flag flies a Texas Rangers flag. I live less than five miles from the Texas Rangers ballpark, and could probably be a season ticket holder, if I really wanted.
I declare myself to be a Red Sox fan first and foremost, but I have become a certified Texas Rangers fan, too. Can that be possible? Sure, given what's been happening in Arlington of late.
First, ownership of the Texas Rangers took a turn for the worst. Tom Hicks, the man who also owns the Dallas Stars and half of the Liverpool FC, took the Rangers here. English futbol is no laughing matter. They are serious about their team. Hicks, like he seemingly has done with the Texas Rangers, loaded the Liverpool club with debt, and it now faces challenges it never did before a "Yank" owned the team.
So, in keeping with my disdain for overly greedy corporate overlords, I have been reading and reading about this bankruptcy -- by Tom Hicks -- to force a sale and walk, not only unscathed with the financial mess he created for his sports clubs, but also with a reported $80-$90 million. How do you like that for financial maneuvering?
The more I have read about the Hicks mess, the more I want to support the Texas Rangers in hopes that day soon ownership is transferred to the Greenberg-Ryan group.
There's also this fantastic online reporting venue, The Newberg Report, which is usually in my Blackberry before I hit the bathroom early in the morning. Jamey Newberg, an attorney by trade, writes and reports about our Texas Rangers brilliantly. Not only is the news the quickest through his site, but his writing style is fantastic. I met Mr. Newberg at a book signing last December, as he compiles his "best of" into book for sale after every season. Any serious Texas Rangers fan needs to be subscribed to The Newberg Report, for sure.
Last and not least, there is my brother. I took him to his first Rangers game shortly after I moved to Arlington from the homeland in 1992. In fact, we got to see Fernando Valenzuela, when he came to the old Arlington park with the Baltimore Orioles. That was his and my first encounter with professional baseball and secured his loyalty to the other Texas Team in the American League.
Short of switching gears to World Cup action, I have really enjoyed watching the Rangers live and on TV.
And, I really, really, really hope the team is taken from the greedy hands of Hicks.