Been There, Never Done That
To appreciate the current Rangers, one must consider their former culture of losing
The Texas Rangers are at the highest point in their 39-year history, making their first trip to the American League Championship Series as the last current franchise to win a postseason series. To appreciate where they are, we must understand from where they have come, the depth from which they have emerged, as told by a guy who was there every night from 1982-85.I should have known what I was getting into that first spring training as the new Rangers beat writer in 1982. Two weeks after having met me, Rangers center fielder Mickey Rivers asked if he could borrow $2,000, not knowing, of course, that The Dallas Morning News was paying me approximately $14,000 a year, and Mickey was making closer to $300,000. That began an interesting relationship with The Mick, easily the most amusing player I've been around in 30 years of covering baseball.
Mazzilli wasn't the last piece; in fact, soon after arriving in town as the everyday left fielder, not the center fielder he had been with the Mets, he said that "left field is an idiot's position,'' a statement that did not endear him to Rangers management, or to Carl Yastrzemski. By early May, the Rangers had lost 13 games in a row, and were hopelessly lost in the AL West race. I dragged myself into manager Don Zimmer's office on a Tuesday."What's wrong with you?'' he asked. "Covering this team isn't as much fun as I thought it would be,'' I said.
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