Rituals, stunts help Texas Rangers pass chemistry test
09:33 PM CDT on Wednesday, July 16, 2008
By RICHARD DURRETT / The Dallas Morning News

ARLINGTON – Chemistry is a critical part of a competitive baseball club. Players spend nearly every day together for at least seven months. It’s a lot more enjoyable when teammates genuinely like and pull for each other.

That appears to be the case with the 2008 Rangers, who have played with enthusiasm and fun through the first half of the season.

Chess, anyone?

Cards, dominoes and even crossword puzzles are staples of most major league clubhouses. But since the middle of May, chess has taken over as the game of choice for a group of Rangers.

“It’s a strategic game that has to be good for the mental side of things, right?” Gerald Laird said. “It brings guys together that don’t normally hang out on the road. Younger guys are hanging out with veterans. That’s a good thing.”

Laird, German Duran, Ian Kinsler and Frank Francisco are the most frequent players. When Laird plays, the matches include trash talking and plenty of shouting. And he claims you have to keep an eye on Francisco.

“Frankie is good, but he thinks he’s better than he really is. And he takes forever to make a move, so he lulls you to sleep,” Laird said. “Frankie’s horse moves in different directions than it should.”

Source: www.dallasnews.com

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