G145: Rangers lose first game back, 6-5

NOTE: I had taken a break from doing game commentary again after the August 26th game, and I was going to start again around mid September, then 9/11 happened, so there was a larger than usual break. This was the first game the Rangers played after the 9/11 attacks.
Well, this game wasn’t really about who won or lost. It was about playing baseball again. A lot has been said in the media about getting back to normal, and I agree with that – however, I also feel that baseball should carry on no matter what happens to this country. I also believe that the crisis in our nation right now will make a labor agreement much easier to reach – or at least it should be. I don’t think anyone, even the biggest MLB supporters, will have the stomach for a bunch of millionaires whining and bitching at each other over how much more money they should make.
Last night however, my wife and I attended a Rangers & A’s game in Arlington. My wife had found some US flag stickers, and I put one on the back of my Rangers cap (I wore the blue cap with red & white “T” lettering, as well as a red T-Shirt, so I was Red White & Blue). We also had brought a flag or two from home, as we weren’t sure how many flags we’d get given at the Ballpark. Anyway, as we were walking up, I could see the gate in the distance, and it looked to me like Ranger players were at the gate – as we got closer, I could tell that Ranger players were at the gate. It didn’t occur to me that the players might be handing out flags. But they were. It was very cool to see the Rangers handing out flags to folks entering the park. I got my first flag from Arod (who is MUCH MUCH taller than he seems on TV when you’re standing right next to him). I also got one from Mike Lamb. I stood there and watched the players (I was at the first base gate) hand out flags for awhile, and it was pretty cool. I also went up and talked to Mike Lamb & Mike Young for a minute or two. Didn’t want to bother them, but I did want to say hi. My wife got a flag from Kenny Rogers who also patted her on the back and said thanks for coming, which made my wife feel really good. Was nice to see the players handing out flags. One note though – there were a lot of cameras there, mostly all pointed at ARod. That’s fine and all, but let’s pay attention to some of the other players there. My wife and I then ended up walking to home plate and the third base entrance to see who was there. Home plate had Ruben Sierra, Raffy, & Pudge (on a crutch). Gabe Kapler was there, who is my wife’s (and probably a lot of other women’s) favorite player. He was just kind of walking around, not saying anything, so I walked up to him and wished him well on his baby on the way (which I had read in the paper) – he seemed appreciative of that and thanked me. Of course, my wife is just standing there going ah-ga-ga-ga, too afraid to say something, apparently. I tried to break the ice by saying hi to Gabe, but she still didn’t say anything more than “Hello”. :)
Anyway, it was great seeing the players there – and the pregame stuff was even more emotional. I’m not generally a person to wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I teared up pretty good with the pregame video – and I even sung the national anthem – most people don’t. Also, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel like going “STARS” when they got to that part of the song. Overall, was a very nice ceremony, and I felt for Pat Mahomes, who had a NYPD cap on.
All in all a very emotional night, and I’m glad they still did the stuff after the hour rain delay to start the game. Don’t even care much about the actual game itself, you can read the commentaries below for that – I was just glad to be back out at the Ballpark.