Look, let's just go ahead and get one thing out of the way: There is absolutely nothing wrong if you want to have a sports love affair with Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, who is easily becoming one of a few faces of the Rangers franchise history and just does everything the right way in terms of being a professional athlete.
Once again, Rangers skipper Jeff Banister is preaching the greatness of his third baseman, who is entering the final year of his contract with the Rangers but has already been the topic of discussion involving a potential extension.
Speaking to Norm Hitzges on Monday during the Norm-a-thon on KTCK The Ticket, Banister went on gushing about Beltre, who he called a future Hall of Famer (he is).
"A future Hall of Famer, toughest man playing baseball that I know. Just the joy and exuberance that he brings every day playing this game and what he brings to the Texas Rangers as he suits up every single day. But to watch him come off the field the way that he did last year in a playoff game, it made all of us struggle with words of just how we felt. To see what he did and what he went through just to get himself back out on the field and still be a contributing player in a playoff atmosphere was incredible. There's not enough words to come up with for what we see every single day from Adrian Beltre. I've heard a lot of the debates from earlier in the year; hands down this is a Hall of Fame player. This is a guy who has laid it all out on the line every single day he goes out. He hates coming off the field, wants to play every single inning, wants to have every single at-bat. He'll go out and push his body through things that will make the normal player sit down and spectate. He brings fun to the clubhouse, he brings energy to the field. He's the best I've ever been around."
You hear that? "The best." That's some lofty praise, but it's definitely a solid point to make, so just remember that when you're watching him this coming season and soak it all in because he won't be around terribly long.