Monday newsletter time: End of Super Bowl signals start of Rangers baseball
(AP photo/Charlie Riedel)
Move over, football. It’s baseball season.
Rangers personnel who haven’t already reached Surprise, Ariz., will be making their way there today and Tuesday. Pitchers and catchers work out for the first time Wednesday, and in six short weeks the defending world champions will open their season March 28 at Globe Life Field against the Cubs.
A lot needs to happen between now and then, primarily getting Corey Seager healthy and determining if Wyatt Langford will make the Opening Day roster. The Rangers could use another starting pitcher — and some are still available via free agency — but the club didn’t have much to address this offseason.
They’re in good shape, arguably the best shape of their lives after winning the World Series three months ago.
Manager Bruce Bochy said a few weeks ago on the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast that it feels like they clinched yesterday.
Days this early in camp aren’t particularly long, and the weather in Arizona can be cool. It’s going to be nicer than it was last spring, when temperatures didn’t make it much above 40 for a couple days. I don’t even have my heated vest packed.
The crowds on the back fields are very big, though that could change this year and when games begin Feb. 24. General manager Chris Young remembers Surprise Stadium being packed on Day 1 in 2016 as his Royals started defense of their title.
This spring will be different, and it’s about time to find out what a camp is like as the defending World Series champs.
Back in court
The unsecured creditors in the Diamond Sports Group bankruptcy proceedings will be back in court today after spending the weekend reviewing Diamond’s offers to three clubs, including the Rangers, to broadcast their games this season.
Sounds like a fun weekend.
As memory serves from the Rangers’ bankruptcy in 2010, the unsecured creditors can be the loudest people in the room. The judge in the Diamond case approved the agreements, which are reportedly for less than the original terms of the contract, and he’ll hear from the creditors this afternoon.
If all goes well, the Rangers can start cashing checks soon. If not, well, it’s back to the negotiating table.
Either way, the Rangers are about to hit the open market in 2025 and should be the best free agent available.
The Chiefs won Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday night in overtime. It was a good game, and I feel for longtime 49ers fan T.R. Sullivan. Now, though, he can turn his full attention to USF Dons men’s basketball.
Watching the postgame celebration, it reminded me that the winners of championships some waiting to do until they pop the bubbly.
In the Rangers’ case, and it looked as if the Chiefs were experiencing the same, they had to wait for all the postgame TV stuff, then hugge their family and friends.
The media, meanwhile, was kept off the field until TV had first crack at the celebrating. Once on the field, we tried to interview players and congratulate others before making our way into the clubhouse.
I opted to leave Chase Field early, as I wanted to get to Del Taco before it closed. I knew I had an early flight I didn’t want to sleep through, so I plotted to stay up writing from the hotel room until it was time to leave for the airport.
Of course, the national media outweigh the beat writers, especially at the Super Bowl. My guess is stories Sunday were filed as quickly as possible and casinos were hit. I might have been tempted to book the red-eye flight home.
The Rangers didn’t fly home from Phoenix until the next morning. Word is that most didn’t sleep after closing down Chase Field, then closing down a hotel ballroom and then closing down another spot.
It looked as if some players were still feeling the aftereffects two days later at the championship parade.
They deserved it and had three months to sleep it off.
Chiefs players celebrating after winning the Super Bowl. Enjoy.
— out of context dogs (@contextdogs) February 11, 2024
Jeff Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org