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Monday newsletter time: As the NFL season ends, baseball prepares to begin

(AP photo/Ross D. Franklin)

 

 

So long, football.

Yeah, we all saw those commercials for the USFL, but the Super Bowl is in the books and it’s time to move on to baseball.

Sky Harbor Airport will be packed today with Eagles and Chiefs fans leaving Phoenix Metro and MLB personnel arriving.

Rangers pitchers and catchers work out for the first time Wednesday at the Surprise Recreation Campus. Many would already be at spring training, but the Super Bowl in nearby Glendale sucked up all the hotel rooms and rental properties.

Rangers Today is scheduled to arrive Tuesday for the first of three short trips, one each in the beginning, middle and end.

It’s going to be busy, it’s going to be chilly, and it’s going to be fun.

There are lots of stories to tell with 70 players in big-league camp, a new manager, and plenty of issues to cover.

I might have to establish a self-imposed limit on how many stories I can write about left field. How about no more than 19?

The important thing today, though, is saying so long to football.

It’s baseball season.

Officiating mess

I have no real problem with the defensive holding call late in Super Bowl LVII that extended the Chiefs’ title-clinching drive. It looked to me like there were two instances when the defensive back could have been flagged, but I just cover baseball.

Did it cost the Eagles the game? It didn’t help, but neither did Jalen Hurts’ fumble that turned into a defensive score or the lousy fourth-quarter punt and punt coverage that set up the Chiefs’ final touchdown.

However, the Chiefs benefited from calls in their final two games, which, of course, had the Twitter ablaze Sunday night after the 38-35 Chiefs win. One line of thought was that an official can’t make that call in that situation.

OK, back judge, go ahead and take the last minute off. College basketball officials seem to do that in the NCAA Tournament.

Drives me crazy. The rules are the same in the last minute of the game as the first minute and should be enforced as such.

Now, get off my lawn.

Baseball umpires are going to be subjected to a new kind of criticism during the 2023 season.

Some fairly significant rule changes are ahead, and teams will be tackling them throughout camp. Banning infield shifts seems like an easy one for umps to enforce, and the pitch clock should be in theory.

But it’s not going to be popular when an umpire calls a ball because a pitcher took too much time, and that ball leads to a walk that leads to a run and a close loss.

The rules are the same in the ninth inning as the first.

I’m sure fans will understand.

ICYMI …

For those who had been yearning for a fresh T.R.’s Memoirs couldn’t have had a better week than last week. T.R. Sullivan hit us with a six-part recap of Jon Daniels’ career. The finale was Saturday. In telling the Daniels story, Sullivan told the story of best teams in Rangers history and how the franchise fell to where it is now. The series is really good. If you haven’t read it, the link to the T.R.’s Memoirs page is below. If you need to subscribe to Rangers Today for full access to read the stories, do so here. Now, here’s our latest content in case you missed it.

T.R.’s Memoirs: The Jon Daniels era

The Sunday Read: Pre-spring State of the Rangers

Friday on the Farm: Sam Huff is a catch

Rangers Today Baseball Podcast: Links to Ian Kinsler episode

Doggy video!

Cop didn’t see it, I didn’t do it. Enjoy.

 

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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