It’s Time

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It’s time.

March 3, 2013.  I wake up, get dressed, and I’m on my way to work.  My Saturday had been spent preparing tax returns, followed by watching about 30 minutes of TV, followed by going to bed.  Today would be no different.

It’s early, and I’m the only person in the office. The phone rings, and I answer.

“No, I’m sorry, he’s not in yet.  Is there something I can help you with?”

“Well, I really just had a question for him.  Are you a CPA?”

The stress of tax season can leave you so exhausted and relieved by the time it is over that May through September feels like a five-month long celebration that it’s over.  Golf.  Baseball.  Fun.

Slightly embarrassed and audibly uncomfortable, I bring myself to explain to them that no, I am not yet a CPA, but I have been at the firm for nearly five years and could likely answer their question, or find them an answer relatively quickly.  The only part of this explanation they can hear is the part where I said “no.”

I hang up the phone, swivel to my computer, and open my calendar.  My rent was due yesterday.  Dammit.

It’s time to get it together.  It’s been time for a while now.

Since then, everything has been about making the future different.  I got tired of paying rent, so in April I bought a house.  I got tired of waiting for the perfect time to finish up my qualifications for my CPA, so I enrolled in my final three classes (all at once, in a ten week session, at night).  As a result, my nights are currently filled with classes, homework, and projects, while a recently-shorthanded office fills my days with a larger workload.

This is where I operate best. There are no complaints; I need this pressure.  It is this pressure that best motivates me.  In another year or two, I’ll be really glad I did this.

When I heard that the Rangers had traded Mike Olt, Justin Grimm, CJ Edwards and possibly two more players to the Chicago Cubs for Matt Garza, I couldn’t help but think about what it meant long-term.

It just so happened that the trade came down right before I’d be attending a Yu Darvish start from the 14th row behind the plate.  I had looked forward to baseball all day, but I couldn’t get the bad taste left in my mouth from giving up that package for 3 months of Matt Garza.  The news of Ryan Braun’s suspension only sours my mood.  Are we about to lose Nellie, too?

On the way to the game, I chat with the friends attending the game with us about anything but baseball.  I’m fighting traffic, and suddenly, I find myself worrying about traffic on the way home.  Am I ever going to get a decent night’s sleep?

As we walk down to our seats, we’ve arrived just in time to an Adrian Beltre RBI single.  He waddles to first in front of us on a bad hamstring, and every time that happens, I remember why I love Adrian Beltre.  That guy loves this game, this team, and winning more than anybody I’ve ever witnessed.

Darvish is dealing.  Our group talks around the fact that Darvish is perfect until a Lyle Overbay single ends the conversation.  The game has made me giddy, and I find myself trying to balance between laughing with my friends and intently watching every pitch.

Suddenly, I could not care less about sleep, traffic, or the responsibilities that await me tomorrow.

Right now, the Rangers are 55-45, in the thick of the race for the AL West and a fourth consecutive play-off berth.  They’re adding Matt Garza to solidify a championship-caliber rotation.

Adrian Beltre isn’t giving up despite hitting in a weaker lineup and a hamstring crafted in hell.  Joe Nathan isn’t letting the dip in velocity that comes with age stop him.  Nelson Cruz didn’t seem to be thinking about his upcoming suspension when he ripped his 23rd home run of the year last night.

It’s the seventh inning and Ron Washington is heading for the mound.  Before he even gets there, he signals the bullpen for Ross.  And Yu Darvish is pissed.

Yu Darvish wants the ball because he knows in his heart this team has the best chance to win when he does.  He saunters around the mound before handing Wash the ball and making his way to the dugout.

Robbie Ross is running in from right field, Beltre and Andrus are chatting with Kinsler around the mound and I have no idea where Mike Olt, Justin Grimm, or CJ Edwards are.

Jon Daniels referred to rewarding his club when he was asked about making deadline deals in 2013, and if you look at this club from too far away, you’ll miss out on what he’s talking about.  He’s always talked about having two plans working simultaneously – the one year plan and the five year plan.

Adrian Beltre and Yu Darvish are much more interested in the one year plan.

It’s OK to enjoy the present.  It’s OK to get home late, and leave homework for another night every once in a while, and it’s OK to send Mike Olt to Chicago.

I’m willing to bet Jon Daniels doesn’t regret the Cliff Lee trade, the trade that brought Mike Adams to Texas for two years, or even the one that provided the city of Baltimore with an MVP candidate.  This organization has maintained the resources necessary to acquire talent to help their big league club despite sending away good prospects in those deals, and Texas will find a way to maintain the resources to make winning moves in the future.

Even when balancing two plans, the long and the short terms, the fact of baseball is that you’re either doing what the Rangers are doing or you’re doing what the Cubs are doing.  When you reach the point that the future is more important than the present, you sacrifice the present for the hope for a better future.  When the time comes, and the better future arrives, you savor it.

Right now, it’s time for another run.

Robert Pike is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Robert.Pike@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @Bob_Pike
Robert Pike

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