"When in doubt, wear red." -- Fashion designer Bill Blass
There is a scene in Bull Durham in which Crash Davis explains to Annie Savoy the nature of superstition within baseball. Very simply, he says, if you think that you’re playing well for a certain reason, regardless of how silly and minute it may be, then you are. (I’m paraphrasing, obviously.)
This is why baseball players love this film. It’s not because Tim Robbins is a convincing pitcher; he’s not. And the ball comes off the bat in inexplicable ways at times. And there didn’t seem to be any other pitchers besides “Nuke” LaLoosh on that Durham Bulls team.
It’s not the baseball that ballplayers love; it’s the incredibly accurate depiction of most every other facet of the game; the lifestyle, the rapport with teammates, etc. Costner’s aforementioned speech sums up this facet of the game more aptly than any other I’ve ever heard.
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It leads one to believe that Tom Hicks has never seen Bull Durham.
Because, after three playoff appearances in four years, Texas switched from red uniforms to blue; it may seem silly and irrelevant, but it’s also heresy against the baseball gods. And alas, Texas has gone wanting every October since.
Players tend to notice these things as well. It’s no surprise that following an opening day beat-down of the Indians in red on Monday, the Rangers lobbied for the red uniforms on Wednesday and Thursday. The proof is in the pudding, and Texas is 3-0 for the first time since 1996.
After such a start, blue seems like the most loathsome color in the spectrum. When I think blue, I think A-Rod and Chan Ho Park, and around thirty years of futility. When I think red, well, I think playoffs… and communism, but that’s not really applicable here.
The point is, simply, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
When the Texas brass took to “fixing” the club all those years ago, they broke it in what seemed to be an irreparable fashion. The Rangers are (kind of) back though, and so are the red uniforms (kind of).
This is the baseball equivalent of the episode of Saved by the Bell where Zack thinks he’s falling for Jessie. They share an unremarkable kiss and it’s over. Experiment tried, experiment failed, and we were all left to wonder why Zack would stray from Kelly Kapowski in the first place.
This is no different. (Well, maybe a little.)
The Rangers kissed the color blue before the school production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and it was unremarkable. It’s time to go back to Kelly Kapowski full time; or, in this case, the color red.
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