I’m sorry, Ian Desmond.
As I read the Rangers lineup for yesterday’s game against the Reds, and saw that you were getting a well deserved day off after 59 straight starts, I thought about how your absence decreased Texas’ win probability, and I thought about how wrong I was about you in the beginning of the year.
I thought about how confused I was when I found out that a career middle infielder would be blocking Nomar Mazara’s path to the big leagues and I am so sorry that I couldn’t wrap my head around how you and Josh Hamilton’s remains could be on the roster at the same time with Nomar getting playing time.
I’m sorry that I could not rationalize the loss of a first round draft pick to sign you after you turned down the qualifying offer from the Nationals, a classic rendition of me being unable to see the forest for the trees.
I’m sorry that I listened to Nationals fans, because I know how fickle they can be and how quickly they can turn on a player (I’m also sorry that Rangers fans are just about the same). Living here in Virginia, I had a plethora of “amateur scouts” and self-proclaimed fantasy baseball experts giving me such fantastic tidbits about how your “heart wasn’t in it” and how you were “too concerned with personal stats”. I have no idea how or why I choose to ever listen to those people.
I’m sorry that I doubted your range or ability to track down balls in the outfield judging solely off of your performances in spring training. It was silly of me to expect you to catch on without having any career reps out there, and honestly, I was still just being bitter about the perceived blocking of Mazara. You are the best outfielder on the squad, you belong in centerfield, and I get excited when I think runners may make the mistake of testing your arm.
I’m sorry that I put so much stock into your last few seasons of stats, tweeting things about how your .255 BA in 2014 or your .674 OPS in 2015 were much more indicative of the player you really are, ignoring your success in 2012 and 2013. Being a Rangers fan, I should always know to refer to Chris Davis and remember that sometimes people just need a change of scenery.
I’m sorry that I continued jumping to conclusions after the first ten games of the season. Between writing and being a high school coach, I know how long of a grind a baseball season can be, and how dangerous making judgments based off of small sample sizes can be. 72 games into this thing, the sample size is large enough for me to understand that I can allow my fanhood to skew my judgement in a fantastically idiotic manner.
I wanted to let you know that I was wrong, Ian. Not only was I wrong, but I am very happy that I was so off base in my judgements of you, that I never dreamed that signing you for $8 million would be one of the greatest steals of the free agent market, that you and Nomar could both be in the daily lineup, and that I would have forgotten all about that draft pick before we even make it to the All Star break.
Speaking of All Stars: you are one. At this point, you are this team’s MVP and I can’t wait to watch you play in San Diego on July 12, while I sit on my couch and enjoy a large slice of humble pie.
I’m sorry, Ian and I have never been so pleased to admit it.
F. Brandon Linthicum
The Texas Rangers Fanbase
PS- Please let your friend Prince know that I would love to write an apology letter to him as well, but I would prefer to do it sooner rather than later.