My Associated Press pal Christy and her husband, formerly of local Fox affiliate KDFW-Channel 4, are in town this week for the Texas Rangers opening series against the Boston Red Sox--not to see the Rangers, mind you, but their beloved Red Sox. Also in town is their pal Dan Shaughnessy, sportswriting legend for The Boston Globe. They were kind enough to invite me along to the Mavs' game yesterday against the Denver Nuggets; final score was something like Dallas 212, Denver 49, but I could be off. Our seats were in the Fox box, which was unoccupied save for one working stiff: none other than Larry Rodriguez, the Channel 4 cameraman who connected with the wrong end of ex-Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers last summer.
Shaughnessy seemed kinda tickled to meet Rodriguez; he smiled when introduced to the guy and asked him a few questions about that fateful afternoon and what's happened since. Rodriguez, who you'd figure would be burned out on the subject, was happy to talk about it--and about his first trip back to the Ameriquest Ballpark at Arlington Stadium last Saturday for the team's last spring training game before today's season-opener. Turns out most of the team welcomed him back with warm grips and grins, save for a few of Rogers' old friends and some of the guys in ties who'd prefer to forget the whole sorry event ever happened. For his part, Rodriguez says it's back to business at the ballpark, and is it ever: In case you didn't know, Rogers and his new team, the Detroit Tigers, are in town Thursday through Sunday. And if you don't boo The Gambler till his ears bleed, well, Rangers fans, you suck. --Robert Wilonsky