This series could be the final time Kyle “Ranger Killer” Seager plays baseball in Arlington.
He’s in the final year of his contract, with a team option that’s appeared increasingly unlikely as time, idiotic former executives and new acquisitions have taken their toll. This is his 10th season in the majors, making him officially eligible for MLB’s generous pension plan.
Cryptic hints aside, I don’t know if he’ll truly retire at the end of the year, but I do know this: Kyle Seager doesn’t owe baseball - or, and especially, the Mariners - anything. They drafted and signed him, offered him a reasonable payday, and surrounded him with a heady mixture of teammates low on talent and high on buffoonery.
As fans, there’s little to nothing we can do to impact a team’s ownership or front office, but that does little to mitigate the clawing guilt and regret of facing another farewell to a star whose tenure was bright but coated in a swarthy sheen of futility.
There are still weeks left to the season, and plenty of opportunities for Kyle to continue his playing career (here or otherwise), but it also feels appropriate to celebrate the Rangers nemesis’s final series in Texas.* Seags has had plenty of highs and lows himself, but in a career hallmarked by consistency, one thing has remained particularly true through the decade: Kyle Seager loves hitting in Texas.
His 36 career home runs vs the Rangers are second-most of all active players, after Mike Trout. That’s 15% of his major league home runs. The first Kyle Seager vs. Rangers homer came in September of 2011, at the tail end of an abysmal season against a man named Merkin Valdez. The Mariners lost that game 12-5.
It wasn’t until last season that he finally hit a grand slam against the Rangers, but it was worth the wait to help christen their inexplicable new stadium.
And nearly half of those came at Globe Life Field/Park, just to add insult to injury.
His 199 career hits against Texas are the most against any single opponent - and more than all the hits he has amassed in interleague play.
He’s homered against the Rangers every season for the last decade, and - aside from 2015 - has hit a home run in Texas every year, too.
And all of that was beautifully on display tonight, as he went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run to seal Seattle’s sleepy 3-1 victory over his Texas Rangers.
*Do not well actually me about the Astros series, please.