Well, it's that very special day of the year where beautiful hardball soliloquies are brought into existence and all sorts of people manage to write moving tributes to the Rangers' first game of the season. I don't think I have that in me, so here's the video that I like to think admirably substitutes for whatever flowery prose I could possibly conjure up in response to the long-overdue arrival of Game No. 1:
I don't have the inclination to root through the several dozen different pieces from the local media outlets that constitute each of their respective season previews, so let me try and uncover what looks like the best stuff, and work backwards from there:
Here is where we are on the Ian Kinsler contract extension front, as of this morning:
As of last night...still no change in the Rangers position that they do not expect contract extensions to get done before Opening Day— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) April 6, 2012
According to Jeff Wilson, the talks have "lost steam," which doesn't bode well as far as the chances of this being finalized in what would have to be a pretty narrow window.
Randy Galloway writes about Yu Darvish and the Rangers' "budding" rivalry with the Angels being key factors in our ability to forget about Game 6, and also notes that the Rangers were unwilling to go beyond $50 million to keep C.J. Wilson.
Evan Grant has his three things to watch for today, one of which is David Murphy going up against a lefty in John Danks today ... Murphy's strong spring performance vs. lefties is mentioned as a positive indicator and a reason why he might be on the verge of getting his stuff together against lefties, but the problem is that Murphy hit very well against lefties during the 2011 Cactus League season, and then proceeded to post a sub-.600 OPS during the regular season. He might prove us all wrong, but ...
Drew Davison writes about the next incoming wave of young Rangers talent. Jeff Wilson writes about the scouting that made that wave possible. Davison talks to Jon Daniels about the virtues of organizational stability.
Jean-Jacques Taylor talks about Ron Washington's formidable leadership qualities, and his ability to manage the clubhouse like it's a family. Richard Durrett looks at five reasons why the Rangers will win the World Series, and five reasons why they won't.
Dan Szymborski says that the Rangers' decision to name Joe Nathan the closer constitutes one of this spring's five worst roster decisions, though that clearly calls back to the original decision to pay Nathan $14 million guaranteed in the first place.
The Rangers unveiled the Shannon Stone statue yesterday. Texas lost Cody Eppley on waivers to the Yankees yesterday. Today's lineup is probably going to look like this. Click here if you like game chats. Hopefully this doesn't happen today.
Enjoy the ride. Keep your eyes on the ultimate goal, but make sure to enjoy the ride while you're at it, because if you can't even enjoy the ride to the fullest, you're not going to enjoy the playoff clinch, or the pennant clinch, or the World Series clinch to the fullest either.