Category Archives: Sports (But Mostly Baseball)

I like to write about sports… but live for baseball mostly

Because I Know You All Are Tired Of Reading About Baseball


Starting tomorrow I’m talking about boobs until the end of February.  Don’t worry… I’ll be all classy about it and stuff.

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Baseball Is Better Than Football


So far, this week of February (2/15 – 2/21) I’ve seen a drastic drop in the number of hits I’ve received on my blog.  I’m assuming this is because I’ve chosen to talk about baseball during this seven-day period.  In case you didn’t know I had dubbed this month, “the month of love” and chose a particular topic I love to talk about each week.  The first was DLG, the next was Bunny, this week is about baseball and next week is about boobs.  Yes, I’m going to talk about boobs for a whole week.  Don’t worry… I’ll be classy about it. 

Even though some of my readers have left (for the time being I hope) I still will plug along and talk about baseball.  I’ve never wanted to segregate this blog on any ONE topic and I enjoy challenging myself to write about a wide spectrum of things.

So, I’m not going to take this opportunity to write an essay as to why baseball is better than football because frankly… I don’t want to.  I’ll let George Carlin do it:

Baseball is a sport where your athleticism isn’t used physically against the other team.  Baseball uses finesse, incredible talent, deep strategy and a special kind of mentality that can only be used within the confines of the players own skin.  What I mean is that while other sports require physicality against the other team in order to win, winning a baseball game lies in the mind and talent of all the players and the team as a unit.

In football, you have to violently tackle the other team to prevent them from scoring.  It also helps if you’re biceps are the size of soccer balls and/or a descendent of Andre the Giant.

In basketball, you have to put physical pressure against the other team to steal the ball or prevent them from scoring.  It also helps if you’re taller than an oak tree.

In hockey, you’ll get your teeth knocked out if you’re in the general vicinity of the puck.  It also helps if you grew up in Canada where you skated to school.

In baseball, while there is occasional physical contact, it doesn’t require you to bring physical harm against the other team.  It all lies in how hard you work and how talented and mentally tough you are.  I’m not saying that the other sports don’t require hard work, talent and mental toughness… I’m just saying that baseball requires the most of all these things. 

While it would be fun to tackle the pitcher if you couldn’t hit his breaking pitch… you can’t.  You gotta stand up there and make an adjustment and figure out how to scratch out a hit.

While it would be fun if you could prevent the other teams power hitter from jacking a grand slam off you by getting your teammates to crowd him at the plate and put extra pressure on him… you can’t.  You gotta stand in there and throw him your best stuff.

Baseball, while being “violent” at times, requires you to use more brains and strategy than muscles. 

The great Yogi Berra once said, “Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical” and I couldn’t agree with him more.  That’s what makes baseball great. 

Quite frankly, I’m a bit giddy.  When this time of year comes around, I start to get excited because baseball is on my brain.  Springtime is a time or rebirth when the world comes out of it’s seemingly eternal slumber back to life.  Spring training begins and baseball rises from the ashes of yesteryear and new hopes spring eternal in the hearts of each teams die-hard fans (even Pittsburgh ones) for the ultimate goal: a World Series Championship.

For me, it is going to be hard to repeat last seasons heroics by my Texas Rangers.  They went all the way to the World Series and even though they lost… it was hard to be too disappointed.  Nevertheless, I was saddened by their inaugural failed attempt at a World Championship.  

With a new season though comes new hope.

Is baseball better than football?  I think so.

2010 AL Champions.  2011 World Series Champions?  I don’t know… has a nice ring to it…  

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What about you?  What do you think?

I Could Have Been A Contender


If you’ve been around me when I’ve had a few drinks and we’re swapping stories then this story will invariably come out:

“You know… I struck Matt Holiday out in high school… twice!”

Matt Holiday, for those of you that don’t know,  is a professional baseball player who signed a $120 million contract last year with the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Matt Holiday… please don’t find me and crush me for embarrassing you because you are a giant giant man

I haven’t done the math but I’m sure he surpasses my yearly salary in just a few plate appearances!

If it was only known how easy it is to strike this guy out… he’d be your friendly neighborhood trash man instead of the new, highly overpaid baseball superstar.

How do I know this?  Well, lemme tell you:

I was the starting pitcher for the Ponca City Wildcats in our home opener my senior year.  Our opponent was our cross-town rivals: The Stillwater Pioneers.

Damn I’m sexy in my perscription sunglasses

Among the Stillwater Pioneers was the legendary Matt Holiday himself.  We knew back then the kind of skills that Matt possessed.  We faced Stillwater often and every time we did there would be Major League scouts with radar guns in the stands.  They were there to see Matt exhibit his God-given gifts.  

The lesser, more inept players like myself whose future consisted of staring at a computer all day to earn money instead of playing baseball for a living saw this as a chance to knock down the golden boy and steal some of his glory for ourselves.

Despite being naturally amped up because this was the first game of my Senior year in front of our home crowd… my adrenaline hit it’s peak when I saw Holiday step into the batters box after the first and second hitters grounded out.

Feeling good at my chances of at least getting out of the first inning unscathed I threw my 82 MPH heat right down the middle.  Obviously a mistake pitch.  You weren’t supposed to throw an 82 MPH meatball to Matt Holiday because he’d more than likely hit it right back through the back of your head.

Luckily for me his bat never left his shoulder.

“STRIKE ONE!” the umpire yelled.

I realized that I was INCREDIBLY lucky not to have a baseball shaped hole going through the middle of my face.  I tried to be a little more accurate on the second fastball…. but I pretty much accidentally threw the same pitch a second time and it went into the exact same location.

Again, his bat never left his shoulder.

“STRIKE TWO!” the umpire screamed.

I stepped on the rubber and prepared my final pitch.  The catcher called for a curveball.

Even though I’d been throwing the curveball for several years, I still didn’t have good control over it.  I mainly only threw it when the count was working in my favor.  In this instance I had the future superstar down in the count so a curveball was to be expected… even a crappy one like mine.

I threw the curve.  What materialized out of this pitch was probably the worst curveball I’d ever thrown.  The minute it came out of my hand I knew it wasn’t right.  Its trajectory would put it in the general vicinity of the last two fastballs I had thrown… only much slower and easier to track.  This kind of curveball is called a “hanging” curveball.  Not exactly the kind of pitch you’d want to throw to a behemoth like Matt Holiday.

As the ball headed right for the future millionaire’s wheelhouse I imagined one of two things:

     1.  He would hit the ball and it would shatter my testes into a million unintelligible pieces, or

     2.  the ball would go down in history as being the furthest ball hit at our baseball field

Luckily for me, neither of those happened.

What I’m assuming happened was that I surprised him with such a tailor-made pitch to deposit somewhere between home plate and the planet Pluto that he wound up swinging with every ounce of strength he had in him… and completely missed.

Strike three.  Inning over.

I actually struck Matt out a second time in the game but we eventually lost (as we did often that year) and I never got a call from the Colorado Rockies or the Oakland Athletics or even the Kansas City Royals. 

Matt Holiday went on to be drafted by the Colorado Rockies, played in a World Series, played briefly for the Oakland Athletics and eventually became a superstar who just agreed on the contract worth $120 million to play in St. Louis.

Oh yeah… I also beat up Albert Pujols in grade school…

I’ve often wondered if St. Louis knows how easy Matt Holiday is to strike out?  I wonder if they would have offered him so much money.  If somehow it becomes common knowledge that to strike him out all you have to throw is two subpar fastballs and then a hanging curveball right down the middle then they’re going to be pissed!!

Note to self:  Call St. Louis Cardinals and have them pay me hush money.  Then, for fear that Matt Holiday will find me and smash my head like a grape, enter the witness protection program.

STILL DON’T BELIEVE ME?  WANT PROOF?  Well here you go:

You can say it.  I’m awesome.

Passing The Torch


Alright… after some slacking on my part I now am going to award the winner of some TattooID’s.  If you didn’t get a chance to read my review of this fine product then please do so! 

I just now did a random drawing at www.random.org of all those who made a comment on my review post of the product and the winner IS……..

KIM FROM BABY FEET!!  I think she’ll be able to put them to good use. 

Kim, email me at papak4324@live.com and I’ll forward your information to Steven who will then touch base with you.

Thanks everyone for your comments!

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I originally wrote this near the end of baseball season last year and it appeared as a guest post at “The (Virgins) Guide To Baseball” (which is an excellent read if you get a chance) but the purpose of piece is timeless so it doesn’t matter when I post it.  I thought it would be a good transitional post while I go into this week (February 15th – 21st) where I talk about the sport I love: baseball.

When my daughter first introduced herself to Bunny and I, it quickly became apparent that she didn’t like to take naps.

“What is wrong with our kid?” we asked, tired and droopy-eyed, to DLG’s pediatrician.  We knew there must have been a miracle cure for this “no-nap disease” SOMEWHERE!!

It wasn’t until successfully answering a barrage of questions that the doctor simply shrugged her shoulders and said, “Well… it appears that you have a baby genius on your hands!”

“What?” we both said in unison, “What would a kid who decides to give up naps at the tender age of three months be a baby genius?”

She proceeded to tell us that studies done over many years from when a baby is born to the time they graduate college show there is one unifying factor with ALL those finishing with an above average intelligence:  they gave up their naps at an extremely tender age.

Now, she is a doctor… so I wasn’t going to be one to argue with her.   I can’t say that my chest didn’t puff out a little more than normal as if to say, “Well… of course she’s a baby genius!?  What else is new?”

She proved this to be true.

She crawled at eight months, walked at ten months, knew all animal sounds and the alphabet at the age of one, put together full sentences at a year-and-a-half and is now, at the age of two, is able to memorize children’s books after having them read to her once and is nearly potty trained.

Yes, I know.  I’m a proud dad and being a bit braggadocios and for that I apologize.  But all these things fail in comparison the most important thing she’s learned:

Honey… who’s Daddy’s favorite team?” I’ll ask her.

Texas Rangers!!” she’ll say.

Wide-eyed and full of excitement I’ll respond, “That’s right!  Very good!  Now… who’s daddy’s favorite player?

Um… Josh… HAMILTON!!

After that response, I go for the kicker, “That’s right honey!  Now… what happens if we say, ‘Go Yankees!?’”

Her brow will furrow with a look of concern and she’ll say, “I go to time out”.

Just like the doctors said… she is a genius.

After the laughter from her (generally small) audience subsides, I hug her, kiss her and tell her that I love her very much and to please not grow up and be a Yankee fan… geniuses just don’t do that.

You see what I’m doing?  I’m pulling my kid into what I’m so passionate about.

I can’t imagine anything more special than sharing something I love with the little girl I helped create. Even though she’s a genius, she won’t fully comprehend all the idiosyncrasies the game provides… nor will she ever.

DLG moments before seeing her first Texas Rangers game

But that’s not even important to me.  What’s important to me is that it’s going to be something we can share together. 

Besides sharing her mother… I can’t think of much of anything more beautiful than that.

Well… a Texas Rangers World Series Championship trophy would be close…

Here’s to more baseball bonding moments

Some Things You May Find Interesting


Since February is the month in which Valentines Day is contained I figured I’d dedicate each week during the month to something that I love.  So the upcoming schedule for the month of February is as follows:

February 1st – 7th:  Any post added during this time will be about DLG
February 8th – 14th: Any post added during this time will be about Bunny
February 15th – 21st: Any post added during this time will be about baseball
February 22nd – 28th: Any post added during this time will be about boobs (  .  )(  .  )

Now I won’t be posting every day… just any post during those blocks of time will be about that weeks “person/thing that I love”.

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If you haven’t already asked me a question… then do so.  You’ll be automatically entered to win a $15 iTunes gift card from ME!  It’s that easy.

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NEWSFLASH: I finally figured out a way to get Kim Kardashian to follow me on Twitter.  It seems some genius came up with an idea to raise money for charity by getting certain celebrities to auction their Twitter follows, retweets and such on eBay.  For those of you unfamiliar with Twitter… what I mean is that I could bid against several other hopeless stalkers like myself JUST to get Kim Kardashian to follow me and my spectacular tweets!!  For a moment, I thought that I might be the only one who knew about this auction and be able to get Kim to follow me on the cheap!!! $50 AT THE MOST… I was sure.  Unfortunately JUST to get her to follow me I would have to pay (at this point) more than $177… and there’s still almost a week left to go.

This guy probably has money to blow…

Dammit.  I ain’t payin’ that much.

Oh well… there’s still Will Sasso, Tom Arnold and Jamie Kennedy still available on the cheap (at least at the moment I published this).

I guess unless I have an anonymous donor to the “Get Kim Kardashian To Follow Papa K On Twitter” fund then I’ll have to just try to get her to follow me the old-fashioned way: bugging her incessantly.  That’s how I got Jenny McCarthy to follow me.

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I can’t wait to see this movie:


Wait… crap… I mean this movie:

Or this movie:


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Anyone else looking forward to Super Bowl commercials!  At no other time during the year am I more focused on the advertising than the actual programming.

I have my reasons for not liking football…

If you wanna have a laugh check out Oddee.com’s “10 Most Controversial Super Bowl Ads“… guaranteed for a chuckle or two.

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Finally, if you’re on Facebook and you haven’t “liked” my blog page then c’mon…. seriously… what’s wrong with you.  DO IT!! NOW!!

If you’re on Twitter and you don’t follow my tweets… don’t make me have to pay for you to follow me.  Just do it.  Jenny McCarthy does…

Lastly, I love pictures for my Fanroll.  Don’t pretend like you have something better to do than take a picture for my fanroll… cuz I know you don’t.

Papa K Solidifies Himself As Superfan


Stay plugged in until the end of this post where you can enter to win some really radical stuff!

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As a pre-pubescent boy I grew up idolizing Nolan Ryan, his stoic toughness and his seemingly effortless ability to throw 100+ miles per hour.

As a hormone raging pre-teen, I used to pretend I was Juan Gonzalez when I hit rocks out of our driveway on the family farm.

As a member of the Ponca City Wildcats Varsity baseball squad, I tried to fashion my batting stance much in the same way Alex Rodriguez (when he was with the Rangers and before he was a tremendous ass-hat) stood in the batters box.

Then I hit a hiccup… as a drunken college student I seemed to lose the passion I had for the sport of baseball and in the process sold nearly all the souvenirs, baseball cards and baseball equipment I’d accumulated in my life up to that point.  I was more interested in girls and partying than I was about the Rangers.  Now, I’m kicking myself in the ass for selling all my things for a 30-pack of Keystone Light (or whatever it might have been).

To make up for my incompetence, over the past several years I’ve made it a point to watch EVERY SINGLE Rangers game that graced the tubes of my television.  I make the trip to Arlington for a couple games every single year (including a playoff game last year).  I’ve read every book, scowered every article and placed as many Ranger players in my fantasy leagues as I could manage. 

Bunny and I at game 2 of the American League Championship Series last season (Yankees Vs. Rangers)

I take being a fan seriously… there will be no bailout for beer money again.

Until recently, I haven’t tried to recoup some of what I lost during my beer fueled college stint.  I’m 31-years-old now so I don’t get my kicks from buying packs of baseball cards.  I get them from collecting autographed memorabilia.

Memorabilia mainly for my man-cave.  Well… my future man-cave.

I’m still new at the art of obtaining autographs so I’m not savvy in the tricks of the trade outside of organized signings.  So, until I perfect the art of getting autographs outside normal means, I’ve been sticking to these organized events.  There was one organized event that I’ve been chomping at the bit to be able to go to:  Texas Rangers FanFest.  For the past two years, inclement weather has kept me away from the event since it’s a good four-hour drive from my house.  This year, the weather threatened again… but not enough to keep me away.

Unfortunately… it didn’t keep the whole Dallas metroplex from coming too:

Since this was my first time to FanFest… I wasn’t aware that if you wanted first dibs on autographs for some of the more marquee players you had to show up around 7:30PM the previous evening (the event started at 9AM the following day).  So, when I arrived 30 minutes before the doors opened, all the spots to get Nolan Ryan’s autograph were already gone.

Dammit.

Once inside, I was unfamiliar with all the processes on how to obtain autographs (I won’t go into it… its way too confusing) so I missed out on a few more opportunities to obtain some other players I was interested in but I did run into this guy who just so happened to be standing next to me.

“Who’s that guy?” You may be asking.  Well… his name is Chuck Greenberg.  He’s the CEO and part-owner of the Texas Rangers.  He’s freakin’ filthy stinkin’ rich.  He’s also a good buddy of mine on Facebook.  He also said he’d give me a job plunging toilets at the Ballpark if I wanted it.  I told him I’d think about it. 

After I changed my underpants because Chuck Greenberg signed a baseball then actually put his arm around me and confirmed with me that he’d be my real life friend, I managed to get the hang of maneuvering around this massive amount of people in order to get my balls signed (get your head out of the gutter).  I managed to scrape up three autographs: CJ Wilson (pitcher extraordinaire, World Series Game 2 starter, Bunny’s Ranger crush), David Murphy (4th outfielder, quality dude, eater of lots of tacos) and Gaylord Perry (Baseball Hall of Famer, former Rangers pitcher).

CJ Wilson: the only way I can get Bunny to watch baseball.  Me: Giant-looking douche.

David Murphy: Always smiling… except after consuming too many tacos

Although I was unable to obtain Nolan Ryan’s autograph due to my obvious ineptitude at the proper procedures at these types of events… he did in fact WALK RIGHT BY ME ONCE AND BREATHED THE SAME CUBIC FOOT OF AIR  I WAS BREATHING while I was standing in one of the many lines I stood in that day.  It happened so fast that I wasn’t able to rip my camera from my pocket in enough time to snap his picture.  I was so starstruck by him that I fear I may have looked like one of those screaming teenager girls I’ve seen in pictures screaming at Elvis Presley back in the 1950’s.

Oh well.

Even though I wasn’t able to snap a picture of Nolan Ryan invading my personal space, I was able to salvage a few pictures worth keeping:

That would be Taylor Teagarden (a back-up catcher) and I (a helpless lump of skin and flesh)

This would be Derek Holland (a 24-year-old future superstar pitcher) and I (a 31-year-old world-famous superstar blogger)

What Josh Hamilton would look like with my head.  I think he should keep the one he’s got.

That’s the American League Championship Trophy.  That’s me doing “The Claw”.  Eat your heart out Candice.

Anyway… I’ve bored you enough telling of my passion for the Texas Rangers.  I’ve really just done all this work on this post in hopes that Chuck Greenberg might read it and decide to give me a better job offer than plunging toilets… like being a bat boy or something.

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Wanna win something just for making it to the end of this post?  Just leave me a comment telling me whose autograph you’d LOVE to have and why and you’ll automatically be entered to win and autographed picture of ME (YES!! I KNOW!!! EXCITING!!!!) and a $15 iTunes gift card (or whatever gift card you’d like) from me!!  It’s that simple.

Comment away.

Rehab Is Where I Belong Right Now


Make sure and stay to the end of this post… I announce the winner of the Mr. Men book set!

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So, if you haven’t heard by now my beloved Texas Rangers lost the World Series to the San Francisco Giants.

Yay for you assholes

I think they are by far a better team than the Giants but they let the Giants outplay them over a period of five games… five games that really mattered.

I am sad.  I am sad that when I turn on the television… there’s going to be no baseball to watch.  For a period of about four months until spring training starts my wife will now gather full control of the remote and dictate whether we’re going to watch Real Housewives of Atlanta/DC/Beverly Hills/Fargo/The Oklahoma Panhandle or Sister Wives.

Whoop-de-do.

Why is it that I feel exhausted?  As I have written about before, what is it about being passionate for a team make you feel as though your thoughts and actions will help dictate the outcome of the game?  For example: I wore several crazy bands on my left wrist for the whole duration of the postseason only because I realized that for a two-day period that I hadn’t worn them… the Rangers lost!   I also tried pushing my happy thoughts and good feelings hundreds of miles into the clubhouse of the Rangers because I actually thought it would help!

I actually felt… ACTUALLY BELIEVED that I was part of this team that went all the way to the World Series!  I had invested so much time and effort into willing them to get this far that they HAD TO WIN!  Right?  Right?

Quite wrong actually.

Another obligatory “Giants Win” photo… *gag*

It is sad… but… it’s okay that the season’s over.  It’s okay because I know that if it wasn’t for the offseason then I couldn’t stop watching.  If the season never ended (which is how my wife feels anyway) I would never be able to stop on my own.  It’s only because of the offseason that I’m able to become a fully functioning member of this family again instead of having to work my schedule around watching the Rangers play on TV.

It’s a bit like rehab.  I suppose rehabbing from watching too much baseball is a bit like rehabbing from smoking crack or huffing paint.  While it is hard to ignore the temptation to smoke a full crack pipe for a crack smoker… it is equally as hard for a baseball fan to ignore a baseball game that’s being played on the TV in front of him.  Only removing yourself or the addiction from the room will begin to start the healing process.

I realize drawing a comparison between smoking crack and watching baseball is pretty extreme but in the instance of Josh Hamilton… it’s not that far off:

Nice shot there Hambone

Anyways… baseball is over.  If you had asked me at the beginning of the season if I wanted to see the Rangers in the World Series this year I would have emphatically said, “HELL YES” and while they wound up a tad short… I have to admit that the Giants outplayed them and fully deserved to win.

We’ll get ’em next year.

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Alright, now I’m going to announce who won this:

It’s an EIGHT book set of Mr. Men books that you can give to your little one or (with Christmas around the corner) you could gift it to a little on in your extended family!  Whatever the case may be it’s a FANTASTIC little prize for JUST COMMENTING on the post I wrote concerning this giveaway.

So… without further adieu the winner pulled from 23 contestants through www.random.org/ is…. THIS GUY!!:

Okay… okay… it wasn’t that guy.  It is actually BloggerFather!  Congratulations!  Email me your personal address to papak4324@live.com and I’ll drop that in the mail to you ASAP.

If you didn’t win… please stop bitchin’ and please don’t lose hope!  There will be more giveaways coming up and if you continue playing the more likely it is that you’ll win!

Papa K’s Gonna Spew A Random Selection Of Crap I Wanna Talk About


If you wanna enter to win an EIGHT PACK of Mr. Men books all you have to do is leave a comment after this post!!!  Time is ticking people!!

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As I prepare for San Francisco Giants to meet their ultimate demise at the hands of MY Texas Rangers… I’m momentarily distracted and at a loss for words at exactly what to talk about today.

So here are a few things:

 – I had a car accident yesterday. 

My first one EVER!  It was even a HEAD ON COLLISION!  fortunately, I’m a fairly decent defensive driver and braked as the lady on her cell phone tried to cross my lane of traffic when I was a mere 100 feet from her going a good 40 to 45 MPH.

It was really much worse than the camera can portray.  The accident surely destroyed my radiator and possibly the water pump as there were multiple fluids leaking from the car… most noticeably green antifreeze.  A word to the wise: don’t be doing anything on your cell phone while driving.  If you are, then you could get smashed by giant SUV.

 – DO NOT watch the movie “Legion”

It really really really really really really really really sucks.

 – I hate jackass New York Yankee fans

Some drunk idiot reacts after clearly interfering with a play that could have been caught by Nelson Cruz: the Rangers Right Fielder

During the most recent series the Texas Rangers had with them they were rude, obstinate and just plain bad sports about everything.

Reportedly, Cliff Lee (whom the Rangers traded for and who are in competition during the off-season to sign him to a multi-year deal) had his wife in the stands and she dealt with some real asshole fans during the Rangers three game stint in New York for the ALDS.  If you were a Yankee fan it might be best NOT to piss off the one giving it up to Cliff Lee!  The more toned down and appreciative Ranger nation are much more acceptable to deal with than the mutated Yankee “faithful” who also enjoy leaving the game early if it looks like their team isn’t going to win.

That’s all I’m gonna say about that… I could go on forever.

 – AND AS A SPECIAL PREVIEW OF SOME THINGS TO COME…

I’m in the process of digitizing a ton of my old college sketch comedy pieces. 

I graduated from college with a degree in Broadcast Communications with and emphasis in production, aka “Probably One Of The Easiest Degrees To Get” and one of the funnest!

A buddy of mine, Nicholi (who also saved me once from certain death), and I were the cut-ups of the department.  But for some reason, we were trusted all hours of the day with some of our University’s most expensive camera equipment.  We used this to our advantage to complete “homework” that was giving to us by certain professors looking for “documentary-type” pieces, 30 second news spots, etc.  What they received instead were the demented workings of two dudes with multiple personalities.

The first clip is of Nicholi and I (Pre-Papa K… and pre-19-tattoos) making fun of a cooking show that we regularly produced through the University called “Cooking With Carol”.  We called it “Cooking With Fire”!  Enjoy:

The second was a 30-second-piece that Nicholi produced where I simply was the “bad guy ninja” called “Cowboy Tim”:


I’m telling you people… there ALOT more of this where it came from.  Stay tuned and be ready.

Baseball, Apple Pie And My Life


Right after I turned ten years old, my family moved back to Oklahoma from Norway (the European Country… maybe you’ve heard of it).  I was looking forward to watching American television.  My father quickly dashed my dreams of watching Nickolodean’s “Double Dare” and Disney’s “Duck Tails” when he proclaimed in an absolute unwavering tone that “we would not be subscribing to any cable TV services.”  My psyche was further damaged when we went to Wal-Mart and purchased the smallest television they had at that time: a 13-inch Magnavox that was as thick as a cinder block and weighed about as much.

We lived on a farm in the country too so any reception we got on our tiny television from the local channels was subject to varying degrees of static dependent on the weather.  Most times watching television was much like running your eyes over a cheese grater.

I tell you this because I started getting attached to a professional baseball team who I couldn’t ever watch due to the nature of our situation.  I’d always loved baseball and played it in Norway… but never had I really started getting attached to a particular team because I’d never really lived anywhere remotely close to follow it.  Now, as a budding superstar on my ten-and-under team… I got attached to The Texas Rangers.

I was a pitcher, so I LOVED Nolan Ryan. 

Me showing off my Nolan Ryan baseball card “wall” (in my secret room underneath the basement stairs… I was an odd kid)

Nothing was cooler to me that this grizzled old man going up to the mound and striking batters out with his 100MPH fastball.  The dude struck out over 5,000 people, won over 300 games and threw seven no-hitters… SEVEN! 

He also beat up a much more spry (and completely idiotic) Robin Ventura who got pissed because he thought Nolan purposely hit him with a pitch!  Once Ventura was within arms length of Nolan, he found himself put in a headlock and pounded repeatedly until teammates from either team ripped Ventura from Nolan’s vice-like headlock.

That says it all really…

By the end of his career, I had hung on every one of his strikeouts beginning in 1990.

After Nolan retired, I got hooked on Juan Gonzalez, the Rangers star slugger (nicknamed “Igor”) who won back-to-back MVP awards in ’92 and ’93 and ended his career with over 400 home runs.

“Igor”, a victim of the steroid era, blasts another juiced home-run

In the midst of Juan Gonzalez’s prime, the Texas Rangers won their division and made it to the postseason for the first time in 1996. 

I was exstatic and ready to watch postseason baseball.

There was only one problem: we still didn’t have any kind of cable or satellite connection.  You see, my father abhorred watching television and equally abhorred the idea of his son getting hooked on it.  It was only on special occasions (like baseball playoffs) when my dad might lower his paper he was reading, peer into the ether and say, “Well… we might see if we can figure out a way to see that game on television.” 

On October 1st, 1996, the Texas Rangers played the New York Yankees in game one of the League Division Series (LDS).  Their first postseason appearance EVER!!  They beat the Yankees 6-2… and I didn’t get to watch a single second of it.  All I could catch were the garbled announcers announce what was happening over static.

After pleading with my father to spare me the pain of missing another Texas Rangers playoff game he finally decided to buy A VERY LARGE ANTENNA!  Needless to say this did nothing more than scramble the picture to where I could barely make out Cecil Fielder hitting a home-run against the Rangers in the fourth inning.

Texas lost that game 5-4 in twelve innings and proceeded to lose the LDS a few days later.

Life went on.

I still cheered on the Rangers as best I could and collected baseball cards at a fever-pitch:

I played for my high school varsity baseball team for three years:

And went through “the bucket hat” stage like most of us did in 1998 (please tell me you went through that too):

The Texas Rangers went to the playoffs again in 1998 and 1999 only to lose both times to… you guessed it… The New York Yankees.  They even got swept (meaning they never won a game) against the Yankees both times!

I never watched a single game.  Our very large antenna again stayed fixed through both these playoff series’ making unwatchable television into “barely-watchable-to-the-point-of-really-not-wanting-to-watch” television.

After 1999, the Texas Rangers ceased being any good at all.  In fact… they were horrible.

In college, amidst late night parties and beer runs to buy more Keystone Light, occasionally a friend of mine would flip past a game on the TV to which I would say, “Hey dude… lemme see the score of that game!” It would, more often than not, flash a score indicative of what Texas Rangers baseball was:  lots of runs… but still losing.

More life happened.

I attended a good too many college parties:

Found Jesus (while dressed as Borat):

And met and married my beautiful wife:

When I met my wife, I hadn’t made it completely obvious just exactly HOW BIG a Texas Rangers fan I was.  I wasn’t doing it on purpose… I was distracted by her breasts.

Years and miles away from the 13-inch Magnavox television my dad had purchased eons ago, I enjoyed watching every Rangers game in high-definition on my DVR once Bunny went to sleep.  NO more garbled announcers and NO more static!

Unfortunately, the Rangers had NO more playoff appearances since their last in 1999.  They spent most of their time wallowing in bad trades, bad pitching and expensive self-indulgent douchebag superstars.

Fortunately, for me, I had much better things going on.

We had a beautiful baby girl born on July 16, 2008:

Raised her to feel more love than any kid on this entire planet has ever felt (although you can’t really tell that by this picture):

And perhaps MOST importantly, if you want to live a respectable life… don’t ever become a NEW YORK YANKEES FAN!!:

If you happened to be following the Rangers through the years as I had been doing, you knew that there was good things brewing on the horizon.  The internal structuring of the team started to change.  New methods were established.  I got a Texas Rangers Tattoo.  New routines were adapted.  And most importantly, Nolan Ryan, became the president of the baseball team:

Don’t take for granted he’s older now… he could still get you in a headlock and pound your face a few times…

This year, they made their return trip to the postseason by winning their division and beating the Tampa Bay Rays in the first round of playoffs.

My attempt at a post-game champagne celebration… by myself…

I’ve often wondered what it would be like if “my” Rangers lived up to my expectations of them.  I’ve had plenty of friends and relatives who cheer on their teams in various sports and become inflamed with rage or glee dependent on the scenario.

I was no different.

I couldn’t sleep.

I couldn’t feel my legs during game time.

I screamed at the television.

I participated in strange, OCD-ish rituals I believed would help them win.

After giving myself a hernia from the stress of their first postseason series win, the anticipation of their next opponent: The New York Yankees, made me slurp down the sinewy muscles of my forearm like they were angel hair pasta.

Bunny, not being a baseball fan herself, promised me at the beginning of the season that if the Rangers made it to the postseason she would go with me to a game. 

She kept her promise:

We went to game two of the American League Division Series and saw the Rangers release the proverbial monkey from their backs and beat the New York Yankees by the score of 7-2:

Bunny may not completely admit it… but I think she had a good time:

Sharing baseball and the Texas Rangers with my family stems from nothing more than a 13-inch television full of static in the dank basement of my house in Oklahoma.  It sounds a little weird but the Rangers are just part of my personality, they’re an extension of me.

And in this early morning hour on day they’re playing game six against the New York Yankees on the brink of sending them to elimination and going to their first World Series in franchise history… I can’t help but stick my chest out a little and beam with a little pride as if they were my own child and I’ve watched them grow.

Or perhaps it’s the other way around… maybe they’ve been watching me grow?

Whatever the scenario… these are my Rangers and I can’t wait to see them in the World Series.

DLG doing “the claw” (it’s a Texas Rangers thing… go with it)

Let’s see a World Series banner up there in a week!!

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Want some other cool Texas Rangers stuff to check out?  Baseball Time In Arlington is a fantastic blog written from the fan perspective that I’ve been reading for years.

The (Virgins) Guide To Baseball is an excellent blog written from the perspective of the casual fan wanting to learn more about the game.  I’ve also guest posted there.  Show the blog some love.

The last several trips I’ve taken to Rangers ballpark have been well documented against the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs.

I also struck out current St. Louis Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday TWICE in high school… I coulda been a contender.

Guest Spots And Hangovers


Alright… so I partied it up last night because my Texas Rangers WON their ALDS matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays and are going on to play the asshole New York Yankees for a chance to play in the World Series.  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am and how much I regret downing a whole bottle of champagne and a six-pack last night.

My guess is that Ian Kinsler probably feels it too…

Anyway, I’ve guest spotted on two separate blogs today just to show you my versatility.  The first is a really really cool blog called “The (Virgins) Guide To Baseball“.  The timing of this post is impeccable because it’s a piece I wrote about brainwashing handing down my love for the Texas Rangers to DLG.  I’m really proud of the article… even if you hate baseball I suggest you read it because it’s about more than just baseball.

Secondly, I guest spotted on “Defining The Undefined“.  This blog is run by a young man whose on the path to getting married.  He writes a lot more serious than I do about marriage, love, religion and the like.  I took the opportunity to guest spot there and submitted a piece about my faith which is very important to me.  He’s a fairly new blogger too… so hop on over there and give him some love.

So… I’ve got some good stuff in store for everyone over the rest of this week.  I’ve just gotta get rid of this hangover.

GO RANGERS!!!