If you are looking for the Texas Rangers to hit a home run this year and win the pennant, that may be wishful thinking since losing Josh Hamilton to the arch rival Angels, and Mike Napoli to the Red Sox, but what happens off the field is just as important as what happens on the field.

Solid work ethic, not skydiving in the off season taking risk of injury, in shape by Spring Training, arriving to team meetings and bus/plane rendezvous's on time, and making it to the ball park early enough to take batting practice, even if not in the starting line-up.

So, it burns me up, in fact, ticks me off, when starting Shortstop Elvis Andrus missed a pre-season game last Thursday against the Cleveland Indians, because his arm was sore after getting a tattoo.

I know some of you are thinking lay off the guy since the "tat", covering a large percentage of his left arm from elbow to shoulder, was a tribute honoring his late father.  But, Andrus could have, and should have, inked himself in the winter; during football, basketball and hockey season.

The way I see it, this is just another classic example of no guidance or mentoring on behalf of a professional sports organization lacking senior leadership, with skipper Ron Washington's cavalier disposition brushing the incident aside as - no big deal.  What's next?  Having "a couple for the road", leading to a hangover on the day a game is scheduled to be played.

Okay, I'm still a purist.  I've crusaded against the "designated hitter" since its 1973 inception.  I enjoy seeing legacy's stay with one team for their entire career, accepting loyalty over money.  I don't want to see "The Harlem Shake" in the end zone after a touchdown, nor do I get off on the "chest beat" to the crowd after a monster slam dunk.

By the way, when did the tattoo rage take over the sporting world?  Mays, Aaron, Garvey, Lopes, Russell, Cey, Baker, Morgan, Concepcion, Bench, "Magic", West, Jordan, Bird, Favre, Chamberlain, Brady, Marino, Aikman, Seaver, Rivera, Tiant, Bradshaw, "Tiger"...do any of these great athletes even have tattoos?

Don't misunderstand me, I'm "all in" when it comes to body art.  Heck, I have a minor display myself.  But, it shouldn't be the lead story on ESPN, and it certainly should not be acceptable to any company that employs you, that you take a "sick day", because you can't read the calendar.

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