They say everything is bigger in Texas. The state is obviously pretty big, but from what I’ve seen, so are the food, drink, cows, carbon footprint, trucks, and moustaches. I’ve always wondered, though: how did Texas get that reputation? Well, if you were reading between the lines of tonight’s Mariners-Rangers game, I think it was evident that the story seeped into the game.
The first inning was fairly uneventful. Both sides traded runs, as Shin-Soo Choo socked a solo dinger to remind the Mariners yet again that Ben Broussard just wasn’t worth it. The Mariners small-balled Mallex Smith in to score, tying the game. This back-and-forth and relaxed pace told the story of pre-colonial Texas, when indigenous people were just living and not messing everything up.
By the second inning, the Conquistadors had arrived. A heavily tatted Tommy Milone was no much for the guns, germs, and steel presented by the Rangers, and he quickly gave up five more runs in just two innings.
Things settled into a bit of a status quo after that. Those at the ballpark quickly forgot about those early-game runs, because it’s not like people are still coming and expecting the Mariners to actually win, right?
The Spanish didn’t think much of Texas. Who could blame them? It’s way too warm! France decided they wanted Texas for themselves, but didn’t do anything with it, because again, Texas. The Spanish got really mad that the French wanted Texas, but by the time they got around to kicking the French out, they’d pretty much already given up.
Spain finally decided to actually settle Texas, presumably because they were bored? I don’t know why else they would. The French took Louisiana, which makes more sense, because Gumbo is great. I know I’d rather have crawfish boil than giant pieces of bread.
Needing cash, Napoleon sold Louisiana to the United States. Being the great negotiator that he was, Thomas Jefferson whipped out the ol’ “Woah, I thought by ‘Louisiana’, you meant the entirety of America, including Texas and, sure, all the way to the Rockies.” Spain obviously wasn’t cool with that, but they gave up Florida to compromise with Jefferson, because Florida was the only thing worse than Texas.
Anyway, the game. At this point, Tommy Milone is playing the part of the Spanish. He’s settled down, he’s in a groove, he’s gone six full innings and hasn’t given up any runs in the last three.
Unfortunately, someone named Pedro Payano matched Milone inning-for-inning. Unwilling to relent or compromise, the Jeffersonian Payano made short work of every Mariner not named J.P. Crawford.
Mexico (South of Texas, for the unfamiliar), chose this approximate time to declare a war of independence, and kicked Spain out. Hoping to exercise more control over the region, Mexico adopted a policy of letting literally anybody come in and claim land for themselves, as long as they agreed that they were Mexican. Shockingly, a bunch of Americans immigrated and rebelled shortly after, deciding that they were not, in fact, Mexican. They formed their own country: the Republic of Texas.
Some years later, the United States annexed Texas, and here we all are.
Are things really bigger in Texas? The region is comprised of a bunch of people who are really into being from Texas, so their pride is certainly bigger. Their toast is undeniably large. Their waffles? Unmatched. Their ten-gallon hats? I’d challenge you to find even a nine-gallon at outside of Texas.
And their devastating blow over the Mariners tonight? Extremely large, as not only did they win, they knocked Domingo Santana out with elbow soreness.
In the end, the story of Texas wasn’t actually reflected in the game at all, but it’s undeniable that the Rangers embodied the spirit of Texans everywhere. The Mariners had a noticeable dearth of Texan spirit, and it ended up costing them the game.