I lived through the 2008 Seattle Mariners. I’m not sure quite how I did it, but I paid attention to that damn team on a daily basis, and I wrote about that damn team on a daily basis, and while I’m sure there were lots of things I cared about and thought were significant in the moment, one of the only things I truly remember about the year, and especially the second half of the year, is Roy Corcoran. Corcoran was a nobody, a journeyman reliever, but he became one of the rare positive stories on a team that went right down the crapper. One of the few upsides of following a team through a disaster year is you uncover these little surprises who otherwise never would’ve gotten a chance. You get to stop caring about a team and start caring about individual players and individual stories, and 2008 put Roy Corcoran on my radar.
And then he fell off my radar the next year, but, anyway. Last year’s Rangers had their own disaster season. It was a disastrous season for different reasons from why the 2008 Mariners had a disastrous season, but it was a catastrophe almost from the start. And as a result, in time, unfamiliar players started to show up in the bigs. I never knew anything about Jake Smolinski. The same goes for Dan Robertson and Tomas Telis and Spencer Patton and Lisalverto Bonilla. And the Rangers also introduced one Ben Rowen. Now, the Rangers are no longer in possession of said Ben Rowen:
— Matt Eddy (@MattEddyBA) January 23, 2015
…and maybe that’s meaningful. They had him, and didn’t think enough of him to keep him. But I’d like to show you why you should be rooting for Ben Rowen. Daniel Brim already did, having beaten me in a race, but Rowen came up in my morning chat, and had it not been for the Rangers’ 2014 nightmare, Rowen wouldn’t have won me over with his unconventional…ness. They don’t make many like this guy.