How My Mother In Law And Rougned Odor Kept Me Out Of Retirement

They say timing is everything. I’m not sure who “they” are, but they’re right. I was supposed to be knee-deep into retirement right now, instead, I’m gearing up for yet another run on the roller coaster ride known as a Major League Baseball season. I planned on retiring after last season. It seemed like the right time, the right decision for my family.

The 2015 season was a tough one. My kids were in the midst of what I fondly refer to as the “asshole stage”—I mean that in the most loving way possible—which made everything just a little more difficult than it already was…and by a little, I mean a lot ;). So after 2015, I decided 2016 would be my last season. I wanted to give myself, my family and our support system a finish line. I felt like we all needed it.

Among my numerous character flaws is my reluctance to ask for help. But when you have two kids, a husband who works and a job that revolves around nights and weekends, you really have no choice but to ask for help—and a lot of it. I’ve gotten better about it over time, but the struggle is real. So when my kids were in the midst of the anatomy stage I mentioned previously, the mommy guilt reached an all-time high.

For those unfamiliar with mommy guilt, I’m certain it’s not exclusive to moms who work outside the home, but I do know it’s more prevalent and talked about ad nauseam among working moms. It’s the constant worry that you’re missing something in your children’s lives that they’re sure to never forgive you for—the class party, the baseball game, the bedtime story—and the ensuing feeling of guilt that makes you want to vomit. Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

I figured if I hung up the microphone, I wouldn’t have to ask for near as much help and my mommy guilt would disappear. I was so sure about my decision I informed the Rangers when I signed my contract that 2016 would be it and even recommended a replacement. I told those close to me, and even convinced myself I was ready. After all, I was pushing 40 (emphasis on pushing), and half these dudes are young enough to be my nephews 😉

Then in March of last year, my daddy died. Rocked my world. To say the two of us were close would be like saying Adrian Beltre has a marginally good time playing baseball. The two weeks between his death and the start of baseball season were the most difficult of my life. By the time Opening Day rolled around, I couldn’t wait to get to the ballpark. I welcomed the structure and the atmosphere in that clubhouse. I needed that. I needed the distraction. I needed normal, and the controlled chaos of a Major League Baseball season is my normal.

The season played on, and I held firm to my retirement plans…until the last week of August. That’s when I got a call from my mother in law. She said she wanted to talk to me, soon and in person. She came over the next evening and made quite the sales pitch.

Her message went something like this: I don’t buy for one second that you’re ready to walk away from this job. You’re doing this because you think it’s what’s best for everyone around you, but what you don’t realize is that we want to help. We don’t view it as a chore. Your work situation gives us an added dimension to our relationships with the kids that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

The “we” my mother in law was referring to is the army of people who help care for our kiddos. For some, it takes a village. For us, it takes an army. The words she said that night affected me in a way I wasn’t prepared for, and for the first time in months, doubt crept into my mind that I might not be making the right decision. Two days later, Rougie walked it off against the Mariners, and that creeping doubt was flat out stalking me.

If you don’t remember the game, Rougie put his team in a bind by running into an out on the bases late in the game (his second of the night), drawing the ire of one Adrian Beltre in the dugout. I remember watching him make that walk to the dugout, tail tucked between his legs, obviously knowing his mistake long before AB gave him a love tap on the cheek and reminded him of the fine line between aggressive and reckless base running. Growing pains can be a bitch.

The Rangers trailed 7-6 headed in to the bottom of the 9th. Beltre led off with a single, setting up the perfect atonement opportunity for Odor. And he delivered with a shot to straightaway center field to give the Rangers a 8-7 walkoff win over the Mariners. He was mobbed at home plate by his teammates in what had to have been a celebration equal parts joy and relief.

Still out of breath, Rougie gave—in my opinion—his best interview ever. He was relaxed. He was confident. He was honest about his mistake and effusive in his praise for Adrian Beltre and the lessons he has taught him. It was the Rougned Odor I see on a daily basis….and it was a far cry from the timid young man who arrived in Arlington a couple of years ago, so sure of his baseball talents but so unsure of how to communicate with the media and fans, in general.

As we walked up the tunnel that night (cue the sappy music here), I hugged him so big and told him how perfect that interview was and how proud I was of him.

His response? “Really, Emmy?”

Mine? “Really, Rougie.” And then I might have gotten something in my eye. Don’t judge.

Anyway, the point is this. That moment—sandwiched in between that back porch conversation with my mother in law and a Thai lunch with Jon Daniels—made me realize how much I love my job and that I wasn’t ready to hang it up just yet. The right time will come, I’m just not quite sure yet when that will be. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the ride and let my gratitude grow for those who love my family and keep my mommy guilt at a manageable level.

Let the shit show begin again!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Random Thought: Why do people insist on telling you about their March Madness brackets? Is this what people without kids feel like when I talk to them about mine???

Recipe:

10-Minute Turkey Tacos

1 lb. ground turkey
1 packet taco seasoning
1 jar taco sauce
Tortillas
Uncle Ben’s 90-second Mexican rice
Shredded cheese
Grape tomatores
Avocado
Lettuce

Brown turkey. Add seasoning and sauce to taste.
Warm tortillas in foil in the oven.
Top with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and avocado.
Heat rice up in the microwave.

Voila!

60 thoughts on “How My Mother In Law And Rougned Odor Kept Me Out Of Retirement

    1. Jacki

      Wow-very inspiring article Emily! I’m so glad you are returning, you’re my favorite one out there! You have incredible talent and chemistry with the players! Keep up the outstanding work! PS- your mother-in-law is very special! Let’s go Rangers!

      Reply
  1. Linda Young

    Selfishly I NEVER want you to retire!! You are the best and the Ranger games would not be the same with out you, but I know when YOU feel it’s right to retire, Ranger Nation will support your decision!!

    Reply
  2. Square

    So glad you didn’t retire, Emily. Sorry to hear about your father. I lost mine when I was about your age (whatever age that is), and it even hurts when you’re not close. I cannot imagine losing a dad you loved.

    We were really happy when you did your Reddit AMA! You’re more than welcome to do another any time.

    Reply
  3. Cindy O

    Kudos to your mother-in-law and everyone else in your army. I’m sure your kids will benefit from seeing a happy, fulfilled mother. As a Ranger fan, I am glad to see you back.

    Reply
  4. Cliff Proctor

    Emily,

    My wife and I met you in Houston in 2015. Fox Sports Southwest provided a trip for fans to a Friday night and Saturday afternoon game. On Saturday morning you met the group for breakfast and held a Q&A session. You was outstanding…along with Chuck Morgan. My buddy has the biggest crush on you so I asked if it would be okay if we took a picture together…I sent it to him just to pull his chain. He has since told me he has cut me out of that picture. I understand the pull that comes with wanting to be with your family. Your work you do with the Rangers is appreciated and it wouldn’t be the same without you. Keep up the great work!1

    Reply
  5. Catherine Edgell

    just beautiful, like you. love you. love them. big hugs & prayers for peace and comfort. i lost my mom almost 28 seasons ago…you will find your new normal…until then be kind to you. breath, cry, grieve, laugh, laugh, cry, laugh, laugh, breath, breath, breath. rinse & repeat. smooches.

    Reply
  6. Lisa

    I’m so glad you decided to stay, Emily, and that your kids have so many folks who love them and want to be an active part of their lives. I’d give anything if my grandkids lived closer and I had the same opportunity. I’m ready for this year’s shit show, too! Bring it on!

    Reply
  7. Jan Hudler

    We are long time season ticket holders and of course big fans, but sincerely the games wouldn’t be the same without you. The antics, contests, and obvious friendship between the players and you are so much fun. Being a mom and mawmaw I fully understand your guilt and frustration, but you have an unbelievable moment in your life that very few have. So, bottom line enjoy all of it! It will be over so fast.

    Reply
  8. Jessica

    I made it through thoughts of my own Mommy Guilt while reading, but I got something in my eye right about “Really, Emmy?” Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  9. Sara

    Thank you for staying a while longer, Emily! Rangers fans and baseball is lucky to have you! Your job is equal parts tough and fun and those guys are lucky to have you around. You can tell they adore you too.

    Reply
  10. Marcus

    I’m glad your sticking around!! It’s not Rangers baseball without you giving an interview and watching how you interact with the guys on a real level and not just giving a postgame interview. I can see the pure joy on your face after a big win and I see the genuine care you have for the players when they lose. Here’s to many more years of you🥂 and Rangers Baseball, a perfect combination!!

    Reply
  11. Sundberg Fan

    So glad you are staying. If I owned the club you’d have a lifetime contract. You bring so much and are a treasure. Thanks for all you do and the enjoyment you bring!

    Reply
  12. Denise Montoya

    That is such an awesome story…way to go mother-in-law!! Everyone is right, Ranger games just wouldn’t be the same without you!!!

    Reply
  13. Casey

    Loosing you and Knoxie in the same season would have been so depressing. You make bad games good and good games great with your interviews.

    Reply
  14. Donna Dockery

    Loved reading this, Emily, as I do all of your blogs. IMHO, you are so much a part of the team. The love and respect the guys and you have for each other adds so much to the fan experience. Pretty sure I will boo-hoo when you retire just as much as when fave players retire or go to another team. But until you make that decision, keep giving those high fives, and stand back when doing those on field interviews! Go Rangers!!

    Reply
  15. Mario Carrillo

    Thanks to your mother in law and Rougie, we get to enjoy your reports from Rangers games. I have been a fan of yours since watching you nightly on KCBD in Lubbock, TX.

    Reply
  16. Ron

    I don’t know what it is about you and Nadel and Belts and Banny, but we get sucked into the illusion that you are our friends, our buddies, our pals. I think it’s a magical mixture of your innate friendliness and top notch professional skills that give us that feeling. And it’s our treasure that we get to bask in that illusion. I just wish that someday I could sit down and share a cold drink with one of y’all and get to really know you. So glad you’re back.

    Reply
  17. Tyler Hamlin

    Emily,

    You have been a joy for my WHOLE family to see with the team after every game win or lose. You give us a side NO other team has in my opinion. You’re the best at what you do and that is our opinion and I sat here and read this with “something in my eye” knowing I’ll see that smile and the genuine love between you and the Rangers. If this is your last season, know we will enjoy every second of it especially the games I get to watch with my mom who is a HUGE HUGE fan of yours. Having no kids or step children I can’t speak on the “mommy” part but what I can speak on is the fact I look forward to after a win with you and the players as much as I look forward to the actual win itself.

    THANK YOU for all you do. And I’m ready for the ride. And I’m sure once I send this link to my mom she will be just as happy to know she gets one more year of the joy you bring to the game from a unique side.

    Reply
  18. Brian S.

    Emily,

    You are exactly the buffer these young men need to face the national media. Just watching you play PIG with Elvis…All those young guys judt loved the mess out of you. You make a connection with those players that allows them to show there best. Thank you for your sacrifice and the support you bring to do many families in the Ranger nation.

    The Shillingburgs in Richmond, Texas.

    Reply
  19. Roger

    Glad you are returning. My 4 year old daughter and I are huge Rangers fans and the games wouldn’t be the same without you. I have to record the games so she can see the Gatorade showers the next morning. She watches your pregame reports and yells to the whole house “Emily Jones is on! Emily Jones is on!” whenever you are on. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  20. Barry Newberg

    Fantastic write up, Emily. I own (still do, for 10 yrs) and ran (not any more but did for 8+ yrs) 2 restaurants. When we started our 1st daughter was 1 and a half. I had most nights with her when she was a baby b/c I had a normal job until the restaurant and my wife worked nights. We had our 2nd daughter a couple years later. Not only did I not have the same 1 on 1 time with her, I had precious little time with her due to the restaurants’ demands. Daddy guilt is a real thing too, and it hurt. I don’t run the stores anymore, and I’m sending this message on a Saturday morning with my 9 year old (the younger one!) sitting right next to me. And I’m over the moon about that.
    You’re the best. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply
  21. Cynthia Reinbolt

    Emily, I am sorry for the loss of your father. Loosing someone is never easy. This was a great read. Something must be in the air because I had something in my eyes as I read this. I am so glad you have decided not to retire just yet. The games would not be the same with out you. We always look forward to your interviews to see what the boys pull next. The relationship you have with the team is great. You are an important of the Ranger organization.

    Also yes the brackets are for those of us who don’t have kids.

    Reply
  22. Troy Hinojosa

    Glad that you’ll be sticking around. You’re one of the best parts of the Rangers broadcast/media team! You bring an element to the team, the games, and these players that no one else can. You’re a joy to watch, both on the tv broadcast and online. We’ll continue to enjoy your work of as long as the ride lasts! Thank you for everything you do!

    Reply
  23. Kellie C

    Your Ranger family is grateful and blessed to have you return another season(s). We all love your interviews, games, challenges and behind the scenes looks that bring the players to life for us. So many great personalities, including yours! So “Up top!” to you and watch out for Elvis and the Gatorade!

    Reply
      1. Dawn Shepard

        This made me smile!
        You are an amazing Woman Em and I’m so glad you made the decision to return. I’m honored to know you and I look forward to another season of awesome broadcasting, clubhouse/on field interviews (complete w/Gatorade baths) 2017 “Rangers Most Likely” & tons of awesome footage of you and coaches/player interaction.
        Shoutout to all those who support you on this journey and for sharing you with all of Rangers Nation for another season.
        Don’t forget…if there’s EVER a “take a fan to work day” I’m that girl!! 😉 Much continued success and blessings!
        Bring on 2017!

        Reply
  24. Jennifer Graham

    Emily I to am so happy you are sticking around! You are part of the team in my eyes! I look forward to watching the interviews and what they will do to each other while you are interviewing the player of the game! I can relate with you on being away from your kids it his a hard one but they will still love you and in the end respect you for your hard work and example! Keep up the excellent work! Let’s go Rangers!

    Reply
  25. Mike Mullen

    Great blog Emily. Also great to know you are back for another season. As a long time Ranger’s fan, I consider you a part of the family. Not just the team’s but one much larger with those of us who only know you from your time in camera. You bring much more to the game than you may know, from your interactions with the players to your food adventures. Our family has counted down pregnancy days and mourned with you last spring. Never be afraid to do what’s right for you and your family. I’m among many thankful that the right thing, this season anyway, is still with the team. Have a great year and know that we’re cheering you on along with the guys.

    Reply
  26. carri oliver

    Wow!!
    A. You have an incredible mother-in-law!
    B. You’re going to be a better mother yourself when you’re doing what you love. Kids have been raised by villages forever. And, they’re better for it. Relax and embrace.
    C. You are amazing at what you do, and those boys obviously adore you. Don’t deprive us all of watching the preciousness of those connections.
    D. Go Rangers, 2017!!

    Reply
  27. Brian

    So very glad to have you back again, Emily. You always do amazing work, both on and off air, and the games wouldn’t be the same without you.

    Reply
  28. Janis Test

    Emily, I can only echo the comments above, and just want you to know that your on-air work is a very large part of my Rangers experience. Please know that your behind the scenes work with the Do it for Durrett Foundation is also hugely important. You were a big part of helping me through my husband’s death almost 6 years ago, as watching the games as he and I used to do together made life seem a bit of normal despite the huge upheaval of his loss. I grieved for you and your family in the loss of your dad. Also, I’ll not forget how nice you were when I got to meet you a couple of years ago. Thanks for everything you do to make the Rangers experience special for fans.

    Reply
  29. Jack Brechtel

    Very enjoyable read, and I’m sorry about the loss of your father. I can’t imagine.

    You’ll know when the time is right to hang it up broadcasting and do what’s best for yourself and your family.

    It’s great that you have so many people from immediate family to friends that want to support and help out. I can indirectly relate – I’m approaching my late 30s, no kids of my own but my brother a few years older than me has two great boys. Him, myself and my parents are all fortunate to live right by each other, making getting together and help pretty easy when necessary.

    Unfortunately a few years ago he went through an awful divorce which really affected all of us where the person we once knew and loved turned out to be somebody completely different. While we would still do anything for these kids, she had so much help and support from us but burned bridges with my brother, my parents and myself with how she left our family. We’re all better off though, I’ll leave it at that.

    Point is, no matter how minuscule the moment or help might be at the time, don’t ever forget the help or those people, no matter how close or distant the relationship or contact is. It is a really big deal in the grand scheme of things.

    I commented on your politics piece a while back and really related to it if you can recall (no worries if not). I’m an Astros fan as well (sorry :P) but FSSW is one of the local sports channels down here so I get most Rangers games and went to TCU for college so I also enjoy seeing the Rangers do well and enjoy your time on the air (plus I have a weird liking for immature shenanigans in general and Gatorade baths :P).

    #UpTop

    Jack
    – Mandeville, LA

    Reply

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