Family Fun Time In Arlington

Baseball families come in all shapes and sizes. Some are constantly fighting one another, some merely put up with each other for the sake of professionalism and the team, and then there are the 2013 Texas Rangers. To say this is a close knit bunch is definitely an understatement.  Allow me to explain.
When the Rangers won their first American League pennant in 2010, one of the things cited as a reason for their success was the close knit family atmosphere. It was also cited in 2011 when they made a return trip to the World Series. In 2012, the team that completed a 1992 Houston Oilers like collapse, one of things the fans and media pointed out was the lack of “fun” in the dugout and clubhouse. The team didn’t have that childlike playfulness to it, at least not on a consistent basis. You hardly saw a lot of grab assing, pranks, and other LOL moments a year ago. It almost seemed like the pressure of trying to get to a 3rd consecutive World Series took its toll on the team. Well folks the fun is back in Arlington and we saw a wonderful display of this after Wednesday’s walk off win vs. the Houston Astros. After Elvis Andrus singled in the game winning run, the team mobbed him at first base, all the while taking him and his jersey on a ride across the field. If you missed it, do yourself a favor and click on the link above.

That display of silliness got me to think about the character of this team. What we have, folks are a bunch of little kids dressed (and playing) like MLBers. This is all led by big brother Adrian Beltre and little brother Elvis Andrus. Night after night we see them trying to get the other to react to a faux attempt to catch a fly ball or judge each other after making an outstanding play. One night we got this. Even new addition Alex Rios makes mention of the team’s energy, after coming over from the Chicago White Sox mere weeks ago. When the new guys are feeling energized, you know you’ve got a good thing going.

Then you have Wash, the father watching over his 25 children. He gives them leeway to have fun, as long as you adhere to the rules of the great game. If the kids get out of line, he’ll gather them all up in a room, give them a stern talkin’ to, and send them on their way. The kids know Daddy Wash doesn’t play around when it comes to respecting the great game. When Daddy Wash speaks, they listen. If he has to give you a “talk” on the mound or in the dugout, he’ll do that too, but he always leaves you with a back pat. Kind of hard to fail when Daddy Wash gives you that type of love.
If we have father, we have to have a mother, right? It’s got to be Jackie Moore. He sits quietly in the dugout all game, reporting to Daddy Wash any and all mishaps that happened while he was arguing with an ump or chewing sunflower seeds. He helps keep track of the bills (the lineup card) so the family stays on top of things. After each victory, he and Daddy Wash give each other a hug and send the kids off to shower, then bed.  Mother Moore may not say much, but he keeps the family together.

Let’s not forget Uncle Mike, as in Mike Maddux. He’s the cool uncle that all the kids love. The guitar on his back and beads around his neck suggest he hasn’t quite left the 1960s, but he’s so beloved by the throwers in the family. If one of the pitching boys is having a tough time, he’ll offer his wisdom, all the while calming the situation with a Zen grab of the shoulder. A true master of his art. The boys who swing the lumber have their own cool uncle in Dave Magadan. He doesn’t say much, but when he does they listen. He’s the uncle that doesn’t really care what the kids do, as long as they don’t get the cops called on them. Uncy Mags isn’t one for confrontation. He just wants his remote, recliner, and for you to have a productive at bat. Cousin Gary Pettis will get you in trouble at times with his reckless attitude, but all in all he’ll get you home in one piece. He’s the one Daddy Wash keeps one eye on, just in case. Cousin Dave Anderson is the overachiever of the family. He should be selling seashells on the side of the road, but he somehow worked his way into being the 1st base coach. If the kids act up, blame Dave Anderson!

There are other characters in this family, such as Ian Kinsler, AJ Piersynski, Matt Garza, and Derek Holland, but I want to keep this article from becoming War and Peace II. What’s the point of all of this? This team is not only good, but they get along very well. They even embrace the new guys, as if they’ve been around all year. It’s not a requirement to love your teammates to win, but it sure helps. A close knit team will pick up one another in tough times and celebrate louder during the victories. What we have in Arlington has the makings of something special.  It certainly beats what the LA Angels had going for them.

Jarid Jones is a Special Contributor to He can be reached on Twitter@greggorox.
Patrick Despain
Patrick is a member of the IBWAA and creator of Shutdown Inning. He was raised him Arlington, Texas and grew up watching games on HSE and listening to Eric Nadel and Mark Holtz on the radio. He is a long time Rangers fan and never achieved his dream of being a bat boy. He know lives in Georgia with dreams of a Texas return.

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