Static: Wednesday, August 29, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Viva las Puddytats

Back in May, fan expectations soared as the Texas Rangers began the season with the game’s best player, a batting order steeped with future Hall of Fame sluggers, and one of the league’s top payrolls, all showcased in a beautiful stadium built in large part on the sweat and toil of taxpayers.

In Cowtown, the Fort Worth Cats prepared for their first appearance at the newly restored LaGrave Field, a relatively quaint but infinitely appealing ballpark paid for by private investors.

Months later, both teams’ seasons are nearing an end, and both are in last place in their divisions. Yet only the Rangers reek of failure and disappointment. The Cats surprised just about everybody and drew the largest crowds in the Central Baseball League to a stadium that turned out better than almost anyone anticipated. More improvements are planned for next season, including covered infield seating. The relationship between the team and its fans is strong, and a fun, positive aura surrounds the ballpark. With tickets ranging from $4 to $9 and hotdogs selling for $1.75, a family of four can easily have a blast for less than $50.

As for the Rangers, they’re 20 games out of first place with no chance for a playoff appearance. Pampered, millionaire players have the nerve to complain about salaries and threaten to strike. Any pay raises the Rangers receive will be subsidized by already-strapped fans, who currently pay $12 for nose-bleed seats and more than $50 for premium seats, not to mention $4.50 for beer that defies the laws of physics and changes from ice cold to lukewarm in 3.9 seconds.

Rangers first baseman and Viagra spokesman Rafael Palmeiro should give handfuls of his little blue pills to teammates, so they can all go eff themselves while they’re on strike.

Hard News

Channel 5/NBC television news anchor Kevin Cokely may be bumming free samples from Palmeiro. During an afternoon newscast, a television reporter aired a feature about rising summer temperatures and showed footage of high school football players during two-a-day practices. After the report, the cameras returned to Cokely at the anchor desk. “It makes me hot just looking at all those guys on the practice field,” he said. At least one viewer sent a humorous e-mail to Cokely, inquiring about his slip of the tongue. The frisky Cokely turned frigid and didn’t respond.


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