On April 15 the Texas Rangers celebrated their thirtieth anniversary with blue skies, a rowdy crowd, and another loss. I have seen all too many such evenings ever since my dad and I celebrated my second-grade team’s city championship in the right-field seats at old Arlington Stadium. A Rangers fan learns to accept that the season will more than likely end badly, but is it too much to ask for it to begin well? Apparently so, for the 2002 Rangers were off to the worst start in team history. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Last November the Rangers hired a new general manager, John Hart, who had resurrected the Cleveland Indians—a franchise that was once so dreadful it inspired Hollywood to make movies about it. But if Major League were being filmed today, Tom Berenger and Wesley Snipes would suit up in Arlington.
I arrived at the stadium early, wondering if pregame practice would shed some light on the team’s ineptitude. Unable to provide customers with good baseball, the Rangers are at least providing good manners. As I strolled through the concourse of the Ballpark in Arlington on the way to the clubhouse, I was in danger of being helloed to death