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Toronto Columnist Bad-Mouths Arlington Ahead of Rangers-Blue Jays Series

As the baseball playoff series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers approaches, a writer for the Toronto Globe and Mail explains why it’ll be difficult to jumpstart a rivalry between the respective home cities of each team: the fourth-largest city in North America and “the strip-mall wormhole you pass through on the way to Fort Worth.”

Three hours before a game in Arlington, there’s no one around. An hour after a game, it returns to that state. You find yourself drifting toward the light – which is always a highway. It’s as if the city itself knows you don’t belong here and would like to point toward somewhere a little more happening.

But when a game’s on, people just appear. Where are they from? How did they get here? No one knows. Or, at least, I didn’t bother asking. The press box is air conditioned, and only a maniac with reptile blood would go out into the stands for more than a minute.

It’s generally a good crowd, buoyed by a few years of good teams. They play Deep in the Heart of Texas mid-game, which is fun. I’ll take their word for it that that’s where we are. If so, it’s a weird place. Friendly locals, but an odd locale. It’s like Robert Moses doing the set-dressing for David Lynch.

Arlingtonians – our temporary enemies. Since the whole point of the postseason is picking a (gentle) fight with the fans of the other city, this could be a tough one.

There’s no history between us. Beyond the most tiresome clichés, they have no idiosyncrasies to poke fun at. Also, I’m still not sure if they actually exist.

You really should read the whole thing. (H/T Bud Kennedy)

Podcast: Need’s Matt Alexander Returns With His Hot Sports Opinions

We recorded the podcast earlier this afternoon, so I haven’t the time for full-on show notes this week. What follows is an abbreviated version.

This is the hat that Dallas entrepreneur Matt Alexander, who previously appeared on Episode 10 of the show, wore to the recording session. It’s called the Deep Ellum:

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Leading Off (10/2/15)

Texas Rangers Clinch Playoff Spot. With a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday, the team secured a spot in Major League Baseball’s postseason. They also sit three games ahead of Houston in the American League West standings, meaning with just one more win or a single Astros lost over the final three games of the regular season, they’ll claim their first division title since 2011. You remember what happened that year, right? The next stage in this remarkable, unexpected season for the Rangers is likely a visit to either Toronto or Kansas City for the first game of the Division Series next Thursday. If the Angels somehow take the final three games against the Rangers and the Astros win out, there’d be a tie atop the AL West. In that case, the Rangers would host a tiebreaker game in Arlington on Monday. The winner of that tiebreaker would advance to the Division Series, and the loser would get to play the Yankees in the Wild Card game.

Neiman Marcus Lays Off 500. The number of corporate and support positions eliminated by the luxury retailer represents 3 percent of its workforce of 16,000. CEO Karen Katz said the job cuts were made to save money that can be used to invest in future growth.

Arlington Family Accused of Faking Mental Illness. 55-year-old Doreen Mitchell, 29-year-old Michael Mitchell, 27-year-old Sonny Mitchell, and 58-year-old John Mitchell are charged with defrauding the Social Security Administration of $462,000 in benefits.

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Bachelor Host Chris Harrison Hates ‘Bitter’ D Magazine Article

The Advocate has a Q&A with Lake Highlands native Chris Harrison, host of TV’s The Bachelor. He’s not too happy about an article in the July issue of our print product:

It’s sad that some of the worst stuff comes from my own hometown. D Magazine did an article about a book signing I did, and it was the most bitter, poorly written article I’ve seen in a long time. There’s been horrible things said about me over the years and I have a thick skin, but this one hit a cord with me. And I actually gave my time to this reporter during this event — and I typically like D Magazine and its writers — but not that one.

Mr. Harrison, we’ve taken your criticism under advisement. The writer, Laura Kostelny, no longer works at D Magazine.

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Downtown Plano Wins National Award

StreetSmart has more on the honor from the American Planning Association:

Downtown Plano, as a leader in suburban downtown revitalization, represents a shifting tide where downtowns are no longer single purpose CBDs or simply for quaint antique shopping.  Instead, as the award suggests, downtowns are for living again.  Where old and new fit together seamlessly and cooperatively towards making for a better place for residents, workers, and experience for visitors.