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MESA, ARIZ. – Thursday might have been the busiest day of our trip thus far.

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We started the morning in Surprise for the Texas Rangers’ open clubhouse and then went to Glendale to catch the Dallas Stars’ morning skate (a first for me), then off to Mesa to do our show at the sight of the Rangers’ game and finally back to Gila River Arena to watch the Stars play the Arizona (don’t call me Phoenix anymore) Coyotes.

Most Valuable Person: Lindy Ruff

Did you read the title of this blog?

What?! You didn’t??!! Then go back and read it now … yes, right now! OK, now we’re all up to speed.

If you think I just started smashing down on the keyboard in a vain attempt to find the home keys, think again.

It is actually an allusion to our Canadian Fun Fact, a bit we do every time we talk to Ruff. And we got that opportunity Thursday afternoon as he chatted with us after the Stars’ morning skate … oh that’s right, we were at the Gila River Arena so long our activities spanned the morning and afternoon.

We had a Canadian Fun Fact prepared (more on that in a moment) in case Ruff wasn’t prepared, but of course there was no need for such precautions as Ruff told us, “A fact in Canada is, you can’t transport alcohol across provincial lines. It is against the law.” Thoroughly impressed with that fact, we followed with our own as Cory Mageors asked the coach if he knew what the Canadian motto of “A Mari Usque Ad Mare” meant. Ruff said no (it means From Sea to Sea … cause I know you were wondering), but we all quickly agreed it was likely because Cory butchered the pronunciation.

“I think I knew the fact, he just said it wrong,” Ruff said with a chuckle.

Least Valuable Person: T.R. Sullivan

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Every morning at Spring Training, Rangers manager Jeff Bannister holds court in the dugout on Field 1 and usually before he arrives the music is blasting while players make their way out to that field.

And Thursday morning was no different.

I particularly enjoyed, as you can see courtesy of a video on this very website, “Dancing Queen” by ABBA and displayed my enjoyment by engaging in what the title told me I should do. That what followed by Bonnie Tyler’s “Turn Around.” The increase in the volume for that song was apparently the breaking point for MLB.com’s Sullivan, who yelled “Awwww **** me! Turn down that music!”

Sullivan marched over and turned the music off himself, then retreated to the dugout to turn on some big band music on his phone that made him appear much more at ease.

Tension … and fun … diffused!

Return of the King

Our trip to Mesa … I’m assuming named after former MLB pitcher Jose Mesa … was a notable one.

Not necessarily because of the game between the Rangers and Oakland A’s or the fact that said game took place at the awesomely named Hohokam Stadium – no, it was because seeing the A’s meant seeing Ron Washington, the man that led the team to the World Series in 2010 and 2011.

Sure, he was just throwing batting practice, but seeing him out there was a great reminder of the best run in Rangers’ history … a run I’m sure we’re all hoping gets eclipsed soon enough!

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