Juan Gonzalez: A Ghost to His Glory | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Juan Gonzalez: A Ghost to His Glory

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A close up of Juan Gonzalez #19 of the Texas Rangers as he looks on holding the bat during the game against the Cleveland Indians at The Ball Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 3, 1999. The Indians defeated the Rangers 10-4. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport

    Not sure what we did to deserve all this?

    Four years ago we were one strike away from being the city of champions. Mavs win their first title in 2011 and four months later the Rangers almost got theirs.

    But now? The disrespect is becoming unbearable.

    Rajon Rondo quit on the Mavs. DeAndre Jordan double-crossed them. Mother Nature put us through a two-year drought, then suddenly flooded us out of house and home just for grins. Geez, even Miss Oklahoma beat out Miss Texas in the Miss USA pageant last night.

    And now comes Juan Gonzalez, a man so arrogant and out of touch that he refuses to even acknowledge an organization that wants to immortalize him. How much of a scumbag do you have to be to turn your back on those that love and adore you?

    Let me be fair: Gonzalez didn’t attend Saturday night’s induction ceremony into the Rangers’ Hall of Fame because, according to the team, he was in Puerto Rico mourning the death of his mother. Hate to be skeptical about such a serious, sensitive and sympathetic matter but, um, the guy’s track record or responsibility is horrible. Even if you’re in mourning, you take one minute send a letter. Have your son, Juan, Jr. read something as he accepts your plaque. Or at least say something.

    Gonzalez infamously refused to play in an exhibition game for the Rangers when he complained that his uniform pants were too baggy. In the wake of a prolific career in which he won two AL MVPs and remains the Rangers' all-time leader in homers, RBI and offensive "wow!"s, he’s been lumped in with the “steroid sluggers” and has basically gone into to hiding to avoid addressing the topic.

    Fans, we’ve learned, are the most forgiving bunch around. Right, Josh Hamilton?

    Gonzalez should make an appearance at Globe Life Park this season. Just throw out a first pitch. Tip your cap from the dugout. Something. No doubt he’s one of this franchise’s Top 5 players of all-time. The Rangers wanted to enshrine him four years ago, but have waited out of fear he’d no-show an empty ceremony.

    So in Arlington, Gonzalez is now immortal. But also a ghost.

    Who’s next to take a sucker punch at us?

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.