Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My New (Second) Favorite Baseball Team.......

I can't have an absolutely new favorite team, because I've always pulled for the (almost) hometown Atlanta Braves. Since back when you could go to the games and CHOOSE where you wanted to sit. Back when the players knew the fans' birthdays. (Not my line - hold the rotten tomatoes.)

I realized a couple of days ago that after days of angst-ridden hand-wringing and hoping and crossing my fingers, I never let my (four) faithful readers know what the outcome was for Warrior Princess' son (my "godson") in the Major League Baseball draft.

I won't boggle your mind with all the details, mostly because I don't understand them all. The draft occurred while Katydid and I were on BRAG, and I couldn't be with Warrior Princess when the most needed me. I must truly SUCK as a friend. I did watch online for about 5 or 6 picks of the first round, when we were certain he would NOT be taken, but I am an eternal optimist. During the draft, each team has five minutes to make their picks for the round, and they TAKE. EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. OF. IT. During that five minutes, you have to listen to commentators speculate on whom each team MIGHT take, who was taken in the last round, and what each prospect had for lunch on the second day of fourth grade. I might be exaggerating on that last one.

The kid was originally expected to go in the first or second round, then his injury occurred midway through his senior season, and that brought a lot of uncertainty. Unfortunately, professional sports teams use uncertainty as bargaining tools. To their advantage, of course.

Apparently the whole ordeal was just that .... an ordeal. Phone calls flew, agents pulled their hair out, scouts for teams who thought they knew whom their teams were going to pick almost quit in frustration (literally, I'm NOT exaggerating this time), and the kid heard he would go in the fourth round.

He did NOT go in the fourth round, nor the fifth, nor the sixth. According to the Warrior Princess, when his name was finally called in the seventh round (which is still pretty darn high for a kid just out of high school), he was so numb that he didn't even hear his name at first.

He was taken by the Texas Rangers (NOT the team we thought would draft him), and that makes them officially my new (second) favorite baseball team.

I already had a soft spot for the Rangers. When Frogger Blogger and I lived just outside Dallas, we had very little money for anything fun. She was a single mom, and I was a college student surviving on social security payments. We did scrounge together a few dollars one weekend, though, and we bought upper level tickets for her, her kids, and me at a Rangers game. I think upper level tickets for adults were two dollars, probably a buck for each of the kids. It was the first professional team of any sport I had ever seen in person, and I was thrilled to be there. I have no idea what team they played against, what the score was, who won. I didn't even know the difference between the American League and the National League, what a designated hitter was, how a curveball differed from a cutter, or under what circumstances the infield fly rule is invoked. I still don't know a lot of those things.

In addition to drafting my "godson," the Rangers also drafted two UGA baseball players, one of whom was paralyzed in an on-field collision with a teammate (the other UGA player drafted). For them to draft a paralyzed college player showed more class than I can wrap my head around.

The kid's future is still uncertain at this point. He has until August 15th to make a decision as to whether he will enter the world of professional baseball or go to college for free on the scholarship he has been offered. Negotiations will continue through the summer as to what his signing bonus will be, which is what he will pretty much have to live on for the next several years while he makes his way (we hope we hope we hope) up through the minor leagues to the bigs. If the negotiations aren't favorable, he will play college ball for at least three years, and he will have another shot at the draft after his junior year.

It's a classic win-win situation. I am so proud of him.

And I'm now pulling for the Rangers. Until they meet the Braves in the World Series.

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