Good morning. So on Saturday, I took my nephew to go see the Fort Worth Cats. You see, I grew up in Arlington (home of the Rangers) and love baseball. You can pay through the nose to see the Rangers or you can go see a local minor league or independent league. The Fort Worth Cats are an historic team, former minor league club for the Dodgers, giving the foundation for players such as Duke Snider & Carl Erskine, and managers such as Dick Williams, Maury Wills and some dude named Sparky Anderson. Outside on several plaques are the names of Hall-of-Famers that played at their historic ballpark. In many ways, you can feel the tradition.
The best part about the Cats are their ticket prices. $14 is their most expensive ticket. I sat on the second row behind home plate for $31 when you count in the fee it charges to print the tickets off your screen. (Somebody please explain that to me.) You cannot beat that. If you love your Ian Kinsler or Josh Hamilton, you will not be happy. But if you love baseball for baseball’s sake, this is your nirvana. This is a great place to take the kids and it is a fun family atmosphere.
The biggest problem is that if you pay $14 for your tickets, you get what you pay for. I went to a doubleheader, which was really cool. The games went 7 innings. Nobody ever bothered to tell us this until after the 7th, the Cats won the game and started celebrating. I know the PA announcer is busy playing “We Will Rock You” for the 5th time, but maybe could you explain before the game that it will be going 7 innings?
I’m not going to dog a lot of players. I think there are some players with potential: Kennard Gibbs always found a way to get on base, Gerardo Avila is a young slugger who I feel has some potential and Colin Allen pitched a GREAT game (though I do need to warn him… You pitch in D/FW with number 34, just know that you will FOREVER be compared to Nolan Ryan.).
There was one player that needs to be dogged, and I will try to be fair. The first game, “Big” John Allen went 0 for 2 with a walk and a run. The second game, he went 2 for 4 with an RBI. What the stats don’t tell you is that he had a guy on first for one of his two outs. He hit into a very obvious double play. So the first runner is out and then this guy JOGS ON HIS WAY TO FIRST. Now I know I get what I pay for, and I know that I’m not a professional scout. But I would not touch this guy with a 10-foot pole because he jogged to first. I did not pay my good money to watch a guy jog to first. And “Big” John Allen, I hope you realize why you’re playing for the Fort Worth Cats. I’m happy that you’re batting .312, but your heart is .000 to me.
The other thing is the defense. As I said, Colin Allen pitched an incredible game through 6 innings. They removed him and put in some guy that ended up getting an unfair loss. What ensued was sloppy defense that made Alfonso Soriano look like Ryne Sandberg. 3 errors in one inning. I’d seen better tee ball defense. So the manager should take some time to go over basic fielding. I know it was hot, but the Captains did not make 3 errors in an inning.
Again, a fun time. If you love baseball and don’t want to pay Rangers prices, check out the Ft. Worth Cats.