Texas Rangers in the playoffs? MLB Postseason features some familiar faces
WHITT’S END 10.14.22
Whether you’re at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope party, welcome to Whitt’s End…
*Since the Texas Rangers are long gone, who do you support in the Major League Baseball playoffs?
We’re still hoping Ron Washington — currently the Atlanta Braves’ third baseman coach — finally gets his ring.
But there’s definitely a Rangers flavor to the San Diego Padres, which includes former Texas assistant general manager AJ Preller in the front office, Yu Darvish on the mound and Jurickson Profar in the outfield.
Those three were together at Arlington in 2012-13 on Rangers teams that won 93 and 91 but had no playoff success.
*Commoners are having a tough year. Remember just a month ago when the Dallas Cowboys started the season not scoring a touchdown, losing quarterback Dak Prescott to a broken thumb and burning dinner before the oven does not reach 375 degrees? In the wake of the 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coach Mike McCarthy faced the best (worst) chance of being the first coach fired this season. Now? After four straight wins, a smart game plan that builds on the league’s best defense and addresses Cooper Rush’s limited strengths, it’s McCarthy who is once again a top contender. But – with the 8th best odds – he’s in line to win Coach of the Year instead. Take a deep breath, everyone. In the NFL, there’s only a three-foot-wide line between stupid and savvy. McCarthy’s Hot Seat is suddenly a cool and comfortable recliner.
*Lucas Doncic has an absolute chance of winning the 2023 NBA MVP title. Especially because the Dallas Mavericks star is an elite player who dominates the ball. But also partly because he is not Nikola Jokic. Like what People the magazine never chooses a repeat winner of ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ – don’t guys get sexy overnight? – the NBA is fickle about its MVP winners. Jokic winning the last two means he has no chance of winning it again this season. The league began awarding MVPs in 1956. You know who has never won three in a row: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, LeBron James, Steph Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo. They all won two, but not the third. The short list to win three consecutive MVPs: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird, the last to do so 1984-86. In the flawed NBA “Most Player” contest, it’s inexplicably more appealing to voters that a player has never won the award than to have won it twice.
*Welcome to the State of Texas… Rate! Parking at $20. $8 for a corn dog. $12 to ride the Ferris wheel. I went to Texas-OU last weekend and the fair was packed with what looked like 100,000 people all meeting in the shadow of Big Tex. Don’t come at me with this “inflation” nonsense. People have money. Discretionary income. What to spend on things that we would not necessarily consider essential.
*Give Rush his accessories, but no savvy sports observer thinks he’s in the same stratosphere as Prescott or believes there’s anything close to a Cowboys quarterback controversy. Let Dak make just 10 passes for 102 yards in a game — like Rush did last week in Los Angeles — and see if anyone shrugs it off and calls him a “winner.” Dallas’ defense is excellent. Dallas’ game plan is excellent. Rush isn’t great. How quickly we forget it was last summer, we weren’t sure he was better than Will Grier or, for that matter, Ben DiNucci. Give him a new contract at your own risk.
*92 percent. According to history, it is the chance the Cowboys have to make the playoffs with their 4-1 start. Only twice in 24 years – 1984 and 2008 – has won four of the first five not led to the playoffs.
*Get ready for JJ Barea 2.0. The little dynamo was key to the Mavs’ 2011 NBA championship run. Now the Mavs are cloning him, signing veteran journeyman Facundo Campazzo to be an alternate point guard at Doncic. The Argentinian Campazzo, all at 5ft 9in, is the plague you hate…unless he’s playing for your team. He played the last two seasons for the Denver Nuggets. But more importantly, he was Luka’s teammate at Real Madrid when he won the European league titles in 2017-18.
*Thieves recently smashed the window of a Dallas 7-Eleven and took out the ATM. These things can be stored up to $200,000 in cash, but apparently are nearly impossible to break through. By the way, ATM stands for “Automated Teller Machine”, which means that it is redundant to say “I need to find an ATM”. Same with “water heater”. It’s just a water heater. But I digress. Looking back, I’ve perfected the art of digression.
*If you like the challenge of bikini-slicked greens, enough sand traps to serve as South Padre Island’s reserve and 600-yard Par 5s in the southern summer breeze, meet at the new golf course at the PGA’s headquarters in Frisco . Otherwise, wait for next year’s Senior PGA or Big Boy PGA in 2027 and watch the pros try it.
* Remains of another lousy Rangers season: Nate Lowe is first Texas player to hit .300 since 2016 … They were 30-26 in starts by pitchers Martin Perez and Jon Gray; 38-68 in all others. Launch, anyone?
*Fact that will lead some Crazy Texans: The current “Miss Texas USA” is R’Bonney Gabriel, an Asian American. The current “Miss Texas America” is Averie Bishop, also Asian-American. Fact that grows this Crazy Texas: Do we really need a Miss Texas USA and a Miss Texas America to be two different women?
*I came across a stat last week that seems surreal: Eight-year veteran Cowboys offensive lineman Zack Martin has more Pro Bowl appearances (seven) than shots on goal (six). He played over 4,000 NFL snaps. Six taking penalties. Rookie Tyler Smith has three this season … in five Games. And that doesn’t count the one that was denied last week.
*Kiss your mom. Or maybe just answer one of his multiple daily phone calls?
*Happy birthday, Jerry Jones. You wonder if the 80-year-old multi-billionaire gets nervous when a story surfaces about one of his peers/friends having “dirt” on him? I suppose not. By the time you’re 80, you’ve probably got dirt on everyone who’s got dirt on you.
*Graduated from Duncanville High School 40 years ago. Since our class of 652 lost 57 people. Being old is a blessing.
*This weekend? Friday and Saturday let’s look forward to the high school reunion festivities. On Sunday, let’s forget all the people we temporarily remembered and dive into Cowboys-Eagles. As always, don’t be a stranger.