Back in 2007 I went to Rangers’ Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona as a giddy columnist for the Dallas Observer. Sunshine. Baseball.
And, yes, night plans down in Phoenix.
But during an afternoon game, rookie manager Ron Washington strolled to the mound and summoned a reliever. I’ll never forget the press-box response from veteran writers who knew what was looming.
“Cancel your dinner plans, Whitt,” they groaned. “Courtesy of Jamey Wright.”
Sure enough, the journeyman pitcher entered the game, walked a couple, hit one and allowed a crooked number on the scoreboard during a half-inning in which the sun set and my post-game agenda deteriorated.
I wasn’t a fan of Jamey Wright back then. He was decent, at best. At worst, he was slow and deliberate and seemingly old.
But now? Seriously? As much as I was a little surprised that Wright is still stealing money in the Major Leagues, I’m shocked that the Rangers have re-signed the now 40-year-old and are giving him a minor-league contract and a shot to be the long reliever out of their bullpen this season.
Wright was a starter last time we saw him with the Rangers. And not a good one. At all. In fact, Washington moved him to the bullpen and he’s bounced around with five teams since, making a whopping 437 relief appearances and pitching 494 innings in the last seven years.
Wright was with the Dodgers last year. Here’s hoping the Rangers’ bullpen isn’t shaky enough that he sticks with Texas this year.
If so, who else will the Rangers bring back from their ’07 past: Sammy Sosa?
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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.