California Dreamin’


Observations from San Diego:

Why don’t we all have summer homes here? This place is spectacular in the late summer with cool ocean breezes and low humidity. The California crazies would be too much to take all year, but I think we could stand the summer here.

You will never guess who I bumped into at the Rangers game Monday night. I told you you’d never guess, and all of you were wrong unless you guessed Tom Hicks. Yes, the former owner of the Rangers and Stars took my advice from the first paragraph and bought a summer home here. Actually he’s had this home on the beach for 25 years, and says, “My wife is from Long Beach so when we got married part of the deal was to buy a house on the beach. We have been spending summers here ever since.” I guess he paid cash for the place…

I am not sure we appreciate what we have gotten in Will Venable enough. He came back to San Diego for the first time since being trade from the Padres last month. I followed him around on his first day back in his adopted home town, and he is beloved here. Everyone from former teammates to security guards to camera operators shared hugs with him. I think we are going appreciate him more and more as we get to know him better. Oh by the way, he makes tons of money and can afford to live anywhere he wants. So guess where he lives in the off season…Texas. He and his wife call Austin home. I guess he can’t take the California crazies all year either…

I asked Elvis Andrus if this team reminded him of any others that he had been on. He said, “Oh yes 2010. In 11 and 12 we expected to be good but in 2010 nobody knew we were as good as we were except us.” Of course the Rays and Yankees learned how good those Rangers were…the hard way. This team does share some similarities with that glorious bunch that took the team to its first World Series. Foremost among them is the July acquisition of a stud pitcher. Cole Hamels is to 2015 what Cliff Lee was to 2010. The difference is that the Rangers control him for three more years. Starting pitching is the key to success in this game and the Rangers are set for starters for a long time. Derek Holland is signed through 2018, Hamels is too with ’19 as an option year. Martin Perez will be around until at least 2020, oh and remember Yu Darvish? He will be here through at least 2017. Starting pitching wins and the Rangers are set in that department for a long time…

That is how it looks from the road right now. Even if you have been fortunate enough to spend the summer in San Diego, summer is all but over. There are 17 home games left, get out to Globe Life Park and watch this team or we will call you a “band-wagoner” when we see you in October.

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John Rhadigan has called Texas home for nearly 25 years, having spent 11 years at NBC 5 as a sports reporter/anchor and 13 years as an anchor at Fox Sports SW. Rhadigan is the recipient of more than a dozen Emmy Awards for sports reporting and anchoring.