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05/02/2012

A chat with former Texas Rangers Josh Lewin on his book, Tom Hicks & Game 6

6a00e54f7fc4c588330168eb0680ff970c-300wiJosh Lewin was hired by the Rangers as their TV play by play man in 2001. He did it for 10 seasons before there was a mutual agreement to part ways. 

Lewin briefly had a sports radio talk show at 105.3 The Fan in Dallas before he returned to the baseball play by play gig, this time with the New York Mets on radio.

He is also the radio voice of the San Diego Chargers.

Lewin recently published a new book, "Ballgame! A decade covering the Texas Rangers from the best seat in the house".

Click here for its Amazon.com page.

He recently joined me to talk about his time with the Rangers, the legacy of former team owner Tom Hicks, and his book.

The Big Mac Blog: When you joined the Rangers people didn't like you, then you left and people missed you. Did you finally feel like you fit in?
Josh Lewin: It had that arc to it, didn't it? When you are the new guy you are upsetting the apple cart. I tell people all the time you have to be yourself. I kept doing what it is I do and thankfully enough people seemed to identify with it after a while which is great. That’s just the industry. Towards the end of my time there when the Rangers made it clear what they deemed to be philosophically correct wasn’t what I thought philosophically correct. I don’t think they were wrong. It was just agree to disagree.

The Big Mac Blog: What is that philosophy?
Josh Lewin: I think (the Rangers) value the game; the game is always the same and less is more and announcers are there to steer and to be more of a talking book mark than something than that would agitate in some way. That is fine. I felt like that when it's 3-3 in the eighth; when it's 10-2 in the third, that's different. That is my MO. I played it like Rusty Greer: I was all out and all over the place. They wanted a long strider

LewinThe Big Mac Blog: Regarding your book - When did you think the Rangers were in a place where they were going to be able to compete and not just be another Royals or Pirates?
Josh Lewin: Once it became apparent the value on the Mark Teixeira deal was amazing. They had shifted away from Chan Ho Park but they had begun to fill the farm system not just quantity but quality. When we saw that Neftali Feliz had something, that Elvis Andrus was the real deal and that maybe Matt Harrison was going to be able to do it it became apparent they had something to build on.

The Big Mac Blog: You and I may be in the minority but I've always thought Tom Hicks did some good things for this franchise with the decision to bottom out and take the long road; do you think that decision is erased by the way it ended?
Josh Lewin: I’m disappointed and saddened Tom’s legacy is what it is. I saw a guy who cared to a fault and was very decent who had every good intention every step of the way. The fact that it didn’t work on his watch is a shame. The success he had with the Dallas Stars right away fogged his glasses. He was the one who wanted me in and he agreed, and I’m not saying I’m right, but the games are supposed to have a certain cache. It’s supposed to be fun and exciting and irreverence is OK every once in a while as long as it's done in moderation.

The Big Mac Blog: You weren't with the team but what was your reaction to Game 6 of the 2011 World Series?
Josh Lewin: I was crushed like everybody, and most crushed for my kids.  We were in the living room watching. We were watching that ball going to right field, and hearing the anguish from my kids I am sure it was the same in every bar. I’m a fan, and it was devastating. I'll always be a Rangers fan. 

The Big Mac Blog: How is the new gig treating you?
Josh Lewin: It's great. The Mets were a franchise I grew up having growing up in New York. I had a connection to this team. It's a franchise that is OK with a pop culture reference. I'm really not judgemental or bitter about (leaving Texas) at all. It’s just wisdom. This is who I am and here is they are and step back and ask is this a good fit? It wasn't. I’m a total convert on that concept of fit. Be who you are and surround yourself with people who think that is cool. That's it.

@MacEngelProf
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Comments

Phil Esteen

Lewin was on the kind side of his topics, I miss him. He loved him some Rangers.

Cash

He got real old with all the crap about everything BUT baseball.

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Syd

I can't listen to Josh Lewin to much unnecessary B/S. Howie and Ed Coleman should be teamed up.

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