The Rangers drew several thousand fans to a rally outside the Ballpark in Arlington a few days after last season’s World Series loss to the Giants.
Despite that strong turnout, the organization is not going to host a similar event this time around.
According to Eva-Marie Ayala of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers higher-ups asked Arlington mayor Robert Chuck to not set schedule a fan rally to celebrate the club’s second straight trip to the World Series. Here’s the explanation from Rangers VP of communications John Blake:
“We just felt last year was a special time because we were going for the first time in the history of the franchise. We felt that making it for the second year in a row, unless we won, we wouldn’t have a celebration. Our expectations are higher now, so that’s the way we felt was the most appropriate way to handle it. While going to World Series back to back is something we’ll cherish, we felt we should only celebrate if there was a Series win.”
Gotta dig the honesty, and the acknowledgment that expectations have been raised. The Rangers are a first-class organization with a bright future. They’re no longer content with simply reaching the Fall Classic.
Ichiro Suzuki is now a Mariners employee and, as such, he’s not allowed to sit in the dugout during a game. That’s for coaches and players only.
He knows that, too. Indeed, on the day Ichiro announced his sorta-retirement, he talked about how it was going to be hard not to be down on the field with the other players. He even made a ridiculous joke about how, “[he] can’t say for certain that maybe [he] won’t put on a beard and glasses and be like Bobby Valentine and be in the dugout.”
In related news, this mysterious stranger was seen by an Associated Press photographer in the Mariners dugout during the first couple of innings of the M’s-Yankees game:
No beard, but I guess that joke was not very ridiculous after all. Either way, by the end of the second inning — poof — he was gone.
Obviously, when something interesting like this happens you mustache an expert for their opinion on the matter. To that end, the Associated Press reached Bobby Valentine, who famously did the same thing after an ejection way back in 1999, for comment:
“He was perfect. I never would have known it was him.”
Valentine was suspended for two games and fined $5,000. I’m assuming Ichiro won’t get hit quite as hard given that he wasn’t defying an umpire’s authority, but even if he does have to pay a fine, he’ll likely do so willingly.