SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Cool spring sight on Wednesday: The Texas Rangers took the field for their Cactus League game against San Francisco wearing actual, real stirrup socks.
"We're bringing back old school," said one of the instigators, reliever Eddie Guardado.
Stirrups, that old baseball staple, have gone the way of flannel uniforms over the past decade or so. Guardado recalls wearing them when he broke into the majors with Minnesota in the mid-1990s but, not long after, they went away.
Players started wearing regular socks, some with a stripe on the side modeled to look like a stirrup and others simply one color, so eventually clubs stopped ordering the stirrups.
"I guess they were like clothes that go out of style, you know?" Guardado said. "They look good, huh?"
No question. The Rangers' stirrups are blue with the good-looking "T" logo just above the ankle. Second baseman Ian Kinsler obtained a pair first, and that's what caught Guardado's attention.
Together, Kinsler and Guardado started the movement in the clubhouse. You even could say there now is a movement afoot, I suppose.
"You go around and the kids are like, 'What are you doing?'" said Guardado, who, at 38, is here as a nonroster invitee looking to extend his career into a 15th major-league season.
Here's wishing Kinsler and Guardado well in their efforts to keep the Rangers in stirrups for '09. And here's hoping the old-school custom catches on throughout the game.
Likes: Love hearing the legends of young future ace pitchers Tommy Hanson (Atlanta), Rick Porcello (Detroit) and Daniel Bard (Boston) build. There is a lot of buzz around all three of these young guys, and it seems inevitable that we'll see each in the majors at some point this summer. ... It sure would be entertaining if the Netherlands eliminated the Dominican Republic from the World Baseball Classic when they play on Tuesday. ... Hope Omar Vizquel sticks around for awhile in Texas. ... The sesame seed Ahi with blueberry salsa at Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico the other night. ... Dairy Queen. ... The chicken parmesan and the sautéed spinach at the Italian Grotto in Scottsdale.
Dislikes: I know Arizona is a state that never changes its time. I know when Daylight Savings Time hits, Arizona's clocks don't move. I know this. So what happens Saturday evening? I click out the light in my hotel room and then think, "spring forward." So like a dope, during this moment of temporary insanity around midnight, I move the bedside alarm clock forward. What's worse, is I arise Sunday morning with the sound of that alarm clock, shower, start to get dressed ... and that's when it hits me. Wait just a minute. No time change. It's only 6:30 a.m., not 7:30. Unbelievable.
Sunblock day? Yep. After a couple of cool days, it's back up in the mid-70s with a nice, warm sun here in the desert today.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day
"Everyone I know, everywhere I go
"People need some reason to believe
"I don't know about anyone but me
"If it takes all night, that'll be all right
"If I can get you to smile before I leave"
-- Jackson Browne, Running On Empty