Goat Of The Week: Fort Worth Cats

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As the resident villain of SDI, I will have a new series where I feature a guy who receives the lion share of grief for the week whether it be a Ranger or their opponent.

I finally saw “42” on Friday and there was a scene set outside of a Philadelphia hotel where Dixie Walker’s character called Jackie Robinson a “sideshow.” This of course couldn’t be farther from the truth as Robinson proved he belonged on the field, but if Walker had been alive today (died in ’82), he would see a real sideshow in my favorite city: Fort Worth.

The Fort Worth Cats opened their season on Thursday night with player/manager Jose Canseco penciled into the lineup at ripe old age of 48. A historic franchise, the Fort Worth Cats, have finally sank to bottom with their latest move.

Canseco shows his ridiculous personality on Twitter daily and now he is facing sexual allegations. Of course, this doesn’t stop the Cats from trying to bring in the almighty dollar. I’m all for gimmicky minor league promotions, but why attach yourself to a clown? Because sadly, this has become a bad joke of an organization.

The Cats have a rich history that had seen them as an affiliate for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 40’s and then three years with the Chicago Cubs. The team has featured Duke Snider, Maury Willis, Bobby Bragan, Sparky Anderson and in recent years Max Scherzer and Luke Hochevar.

Side note: I once met Bobby Bragan (played by Derek Phillips in 42) more than a decade ago when I brought my grandpa to his only game at RBiA. We were touring the Rangers Legends’ Museum and standing by the door was the legendary Bragan smiling from ear to ear wanting to give his baseball card to anybody willing to listen to his story. Bragan and my grandpa talked baseball for 10-15 minutes and it is a moment I will never forget.

The Cats always play at historic LaGrave Field just north of downtown Fort Worth. The new version of the ballpark sits exactly where the old one stood that had the likes of Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby playing there during the 1910s and 20s. I have been to at least a dozen games at that stadium and I always enjoy when the sun goes down and the Fort Worth Skyline rests nicely over the right field wall. The stadium features the famous “Dodger Dog” and Kincaid’s hamburgers. The stadium provides a relaxed atmosphere for a ballgame which is perfect for the family.

Recently, owner Carl Bell filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and the Amegy Bank of Houston became the landlords. According to Fort Worth Weekly, the issues extend to Director of Baseball Operations resigning on April 3, of this year and First Base Coach Art Senato saying the Cats organization is “riding in a limo with the driver asleep at the wheel.”

With all these issues over the last two years, bringing in a sideshow like Jose Canseco is the last thing this historic franchise needed. Alas, they did it anyway and that is why they are my goat of the week. 

Eddie Middlebrook is the co-host of “Chin Music” and VP of Media for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Eddie.Middlebrook@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @emiddlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook is Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9 and @shutdowninning. Formerly with @wfaasports and @FoxSportsSW. @IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.

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