Although I've long considered Matt Cain one of baseball's most underrated hurlers, there's no reason why C.J. Wilson can't rebound from getting knocked around by the Yankees in Game Five of the American League Championship Series and tie up the World Series tonight.
But no matter what happens against the Giants in San Francisco starting in about t-minus 42 minutes, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington began preparations for Games 3 and 4 (and, fingers crossed, Game 5) this afternoon, highlighted by a group of barefooted gents painting the official World Series logo on both sides of the field between home plate and first and third bases. (Here's a slide show of today's activities.)
The process, quite frankly, is much simpler than I expected. A general outline is painted, then everyone grabs a bucket of paint and a brush and gets to work. Installing temporary covers on top of the dugouts is a cinch too. They're basically massive stickers that are carefully put on, and then a mini-squeegee is used to eliminate any bubbles.
Other changes to the ballpark include signage around the dugout, outfield and gates. ESPN will take over the booth previously occupied by TBS, with a member of ESPN's Baseball Tonight crew explaining to me that ESPN landed the sweet location in the outfield because it was offered to them by TBS, which had paid to install the set. Fox, which is broadcasting the games, was setting up its television booth where Fox Sports Southwest tapes its post-game show.
While I waited for the painting to wrap up, a steady stream of fans flowed in and out of the pro shop, where ALCS items strangely appeared to outnumber World Series tees and hats. Most World Series items I found were clothing with the logo on the sleeve, with a jersey setting you back a jaw-dropping $325.
So, if you're like me and are still dealing with some Game One hangover, take solace in knowing that the organization's first home World Series game in history will be here on Saturday.
I can't believe I just wrote that.
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