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SURPRISE, ARIZ. – Tuesday was election day in Arizona, so let’s talk political primaries … just kidding, of course we’re talking Texas Rangers baseball!

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Oops …

Usually I put a random story at the end of the blog, but this one is good enough … or bad enough … to start with!

Here’s the lead … we took Adrian Beltre’s parking space!! Not on purpose, of course.

While driving to the clubhouse Tuesday morning we saw an excellent spot, so Cory took it. Exiting the car, we noticed a car sitting behind us – at which point Cory said, “Hey, I think that’s Beltre.” Someone jokingly suggested we might have taken Beltre’s spot as he very slowly backed up. We were kidding, but that joke turned into a reality as Beltre yelled while we were interviewing Mitch Moreland, “Hey Mitch, those guys took my parking spot!”

Cory attempted damage control by offering to move the car, to which Beltre (flanked by his son) replied, “It’s too late.”

Then, things got worse!

Moreland, who just barely avoided LVP status by instigating things, told Beltre about our attempt to set up Prince Fielder hitting me in the junk with a whiffle ball bat (to pay off a terrible bet last season when I said the Rangers wouldn’t make the playoffs). Beltre smiled and said, “Yeah, add me to that – one righty and one lefty.”


So, while we’re still finalizing logistics, it looks like I’m gonna take a bat shot from Fielder and Beltre even though we parked in a spot that wasn’t labeled as reserved with a sign because, as one Ranger told me, “Beltre doesn’t need a sign.”

Thanks a lot Cory … and Mitch!

At least Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez offered to loan me one of his cups.

Most Valuable Person – Shin-Soo Choo

Manager Jeff Bannister was close to MVP as we had a great conversation with him that hopefully you heard … shameless plug alert … Tuesday night exclusively on 105.3 The Fan, but I’m going with Choo thanks to the lengths he went to to entertain the club.

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All he needed was a Hello Kitty miniature SUV.

Yes, really!

Competing in the Sweet 16 of the Rangers’ free throw competition, Choo made a grand entrance to “Going Down for Real” by Flo Rida. And he did so in a Yao Ming jersey and Houston Rockets shorts while confidently rolling up in the aforementioned electrical vehicle for children.

Now, he also swiftly exited in the same vehicle after getting demolished in the best-of-5 shootout, but got the entire roster laughing and bonding … which, really, is the whole point of this competition.

Least Valuable Person – Field Painting Guy

While the Rangers played in Peoria on Tuesday afternoon, the other team habitating Surprise Stadium (the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals) played the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night, which meant Orel Hershiser and Charley Steiner were broadcasting in the booth right next to us.

However, it also meant the field needed to be prepared.

And there was no more entertaining part of that preparation than the guy painting the Arizona Spring Training logo behind home plate.

Let’s call him Painty McPaintFace.

Painty’s job seemed flawed from the jump as he was supposed to make the logo blue and red, but instead sparked a fierce discussion about whether it was orange or red … not to the level of was the dress blue and black or white and gold … but still, an intense debate.

Nothing was solved though as we abandoned that talk and watched him slowly paint the logo by hand.

He didn’t use a stencil or a roller or a sprayer, no – Painty crawled around and slowly colored in the logo, taking a break every few minutes to put his hands on his hips and sigh. It was difficult to tell if his despair resulted from the fact that no one was going to be able to tell that he re-colored the logo or the fact he realized early on he picked the worst possible method to do the job.

Oh well, there’s always tomorrow to do a better job … an edict that, I suppose, fits for me too!

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