It's a dreary time of year for Dallas sports fans. The skates, sweat-mops and tact gloves have all been packed away, and we are left with the Rangers, a team doing so badly that some fans can't help but wince upon mere mention of the name. But don't resort to watching ESPN Classic just yet; it is still possible to see a baseball team in the area that wins on occasion. The Frisco Rough Riders are one of the newest sports attractions in town, and in their inaugural season they are already among the league leaders in the Class AA Texas League. This is no bush league baseball; the Rough Riders are the Rangers' affiliate team, so they are just a step away from The Show and big heaping piles of cash. The Rough Riders play at the state-of-the-art Dr Pepper/Seven Up Ballpark that flaunts shiny new facilities, complete with imported grass for the field and a bullpen sitting in the middle of the crowd. So try to avoid saying anything nasty about the pitching; you wouldn't want to hurt their feelings. The Riders play the Wichita Wranglers August 4 through August 9. Weeknight games start at 7 p.m., while weekend games begin at 7:30 p.m.. Ticket prices range from $9 to $18. All home games are played at Dr Pepper/Seven Up Ballpark, 7300 Rough Riders Trail in Frisco. Call 972-731-9200 or visit www.ridersbaseball.com. --Mary Monigold
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The Rangers persist
Woe is you. If you're reading this, you're actually thinking about going out to The Ballpark to watch the Rangers play baseball. Which, in turn, means one of two things: 1. You have few (or no) friends or 2. You've recently escaped from a mental institution and don't know any better. Either way, don't head to Arlington in search of entertainment. Instead, be on the lookout for promise. That is, keep an eye peeled for Rangers players who might help the club a year or two from now. Also, to help pass the time, drink beer. Lots and lots of beer. Drink enough of it, and the Rangers might even look good (this is the same principle employed by horny, college-aged males at last call). So, who's in town? Looks like the Indians August 1 through August 3. Cleveland is just as bad as the Rangers, so maybe two negatives will make a positive. Ticket prices range from $5 to $55. Call 817-273-5100. --John Gonzalez