Ranger Revolution – Opening Day Part Cuatro

These times are a changing here deep in the heart of Texas. This past week I attended Rangers opening day for the 15thconsecutive year. And unlike most casual fans I have witnessed the drastic makeover. I was a fan of the baby blue Rangers when they played at the turd on the turnpike… yes I was in cloth diapers. I like to use the term “casual” instead of bandwagon because there is a little bandwagon in all of us. Baseball antagonists turn into casual fans, and diehards turn into absolute raving lunatics. Believe me I know. Opening day has not changed much over the past few years, but it’s the games just following that have seen the biggest impact of this Ranger Revolution. Those not lucky enough to acquire opening day tickets have now turned the first run through the rotation into a never ending opening day. Fans on Saturday were tailgating at 9 a.m. for a 7 p.m. game. That’s damn near a college football atmosphere. Sunday the throttle was eased back just a bit to around 11 in the morning. This leads us to the first weekday game of the season. It just so happens to also be the first start of this young season for Japanese phenom Yu Darvish. There was a buzz in the air that was able to cut right through the smell of the parking lot pirates BBQ flavored smoke signals. Yu mania was in full force. Being an avid fan who has probably attended hundreds of games can usually predict what time should be allotted to find parking, cheers some ice cold Miller Lites and walk into The Temple just as first pitch is being howitzered towards home plate. Yesterday my wheels were completely shot off. Parking lots were packed by 4 and you were up that proverbial creek without a paddle after 5:30. After bullying our way into a seemingly full parking lot, and getting dog cussed by every car behind us, we stormed our way to the ballpark while getting sunburnt from the rays bouncing off the Death Star. Narrowly missing the first pitch we could feel sympathy for our baseball brethren over at Fox Sports Southwest. Overwhelmed with the massive crowds I was almost side tracked from the goal at hand. “Find Seats, scan crowd, order beer”. As I scanned the crowd one thing was blaringly obvious. People love Yu. It felt like a cross between Halloween and Comic-Con. Rayden hats, karate gi’s, and some questionable Japanese sloganed t-shirts… it was awesome. Welcome to Texas Darvish-son. Oh, and the game… Yu got his first victory, the Rangers won, and we dropped an S ton of bombs. Too soon?

Aaron Wimberly

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