Saturday, December 21, 2013

Another Huge Rangers Offseason Acquisition: Shin-Soo Choo


Monday, November 25, 2013

Best quote from the Prince Fielder new conference today?

From the parts of the news conference I heard, in my opinion (and I'm paraphrasing) it was the following Q&A exchange:

Q: Prince, how are you going to deal with the heat in Texas?

A: I don't know, sweat?


Friday, November 22, 2013

So you heard Benjie Molina's the new 1B/catcher coach? Oh, yeah, they traded Kins for Prince Fielder too...

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: A mainstay is gone.  And they're going to pay a lot of money for Fielder.  A LOT.  And Fielder is not what you would call a great fielding 1B.  And and Fielder was bad to terrible in the postseason for the Tigers.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Oh yeah, we haven't made the postseason in any meaningful way for a while.  So there's that.  Let's see if Fielder can help us at least get there.  We don't have to watch Kins get caught with his pants down on the base pads anymore.  And Profar can play everyday.  Furthermore, it's likely a bit (if not a lot) of power upgrade.  And apparently DET is going to pay for at least some of his salary.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: I like it.  Oh yeah, Murph was lost in free agency.  Sincerely good luck to him, he was nothing but solid for a while there for our Rangers.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

So Nolan's Out, That Went Down Weird

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Texas Rangers legend is gone.  And the question has to be asked: was Jon Daniels sad to see him go?

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Can the drama please be done now?  The drama has been going on since last off season when Nolan's title was changed and apparently he was stripped of his powers to make baseball decisions in the organization.  I guess good riddance to the drama.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: This reminds me of when it was announced that Hank Greenberg was no longer part of the ownership group.   When that happened it sure looked like Nolan Ryan was OK with Greenberg going away.  Even though Greenberg was the face of the ownership group along with Nolan that bought the team out of bankruptcy.  I wish someone (Evan Grant?) would dig up some dirt on how Greenberg leaving the Rangers really went down and why.  And then how Nolan leaving went down and why.


Monday, September 30, 2013

163 and That's the Season...Crap

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The umpire gave David Price a GENEROUS strike zone and squeezed Perez's strike zone, that was huge, especially early on.  That said, the Rangers had to play the game the ump was calling and they didn't adjust and they left their bats on their shoulders a lot.

Rangers had 2 runners (of course they were Elvis and Kins) picked off early (2 of the first 9 outs) on the base pads, can't give up easy outs on the bases in a playoff game and hope to win.  The only thing almost as precious in baseball as runs are outs.  And the Rangers gifted two outs to the Rays in a playoff game.

Speaking of playoff games, the announcers said about 199 times that this was a regular season game because the stats count towards the regular season and the teams are allowed expanded rosters and it's a tie breaker game to decide who gets to play in a play-in, "one game playoff series" versus CLE.  Whatever, it's a win or go home game, it's a playoff game for all intents and purposes.  And generally the TNT announcers sucked.

Perez had retired 8 straight when Wash pulled him for Ogando.  I disagreed with that move at the time.  Pitch around Longoria and unintentionally intentionally walk him and leave Perez in.  And if Wash had Perez on such a short leash why wasn't Ogando on a short leash?  Wash let Ogando give up 2 doubles and a walk (aside from an intentional walk) before Ogando got out of the inning.

As soon as Longoria hit the 2 run homer to put the Rays up 3-0 I thought that that would be enough for the Rays to win given how bad the Rangers' offense had been against good pitching.  3 runs turned out to be enough with the Rangers losing the game 5-2.

Nellie had nothing.  And fittingly he made the last out of the Rangers' season.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Perez did great except for 2 pitches to Longoria.  Even with those 2 bad pitches, he had only given up 4 hits and 3 ER's when he was lifted by Wash.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: That's the season.  Lots of injuries, lots of different stating pitchers and they got to this point.  Pitching was not the problem this year.  Offense was, especially after they lost Nellie.  Berkman (Fat Elvis) was a complete bust.  They had waaayyyy too many games where the offense put up 0-2 runs and the starting pitching was plenty good enough to get a win with just some half-decent run support.

Even if the Rangers had managed to win this one I really don't think that with the offense struggling they would have made any noise in October.  That said, I would have of course loved to see some October Rangers baseball.  As the saying goes, there's always next year.


Rangers Sweep Halos (After Sweeping 'Stros) to Make Playoffs

162 games weren't enough. And now the Rangers play the Rays and former Cy Young winner David Price in a one game playoff to have the chance to play in another 1 game playoff versus CLE. 

Nellie is back. If he hits a homer and/or has 1 RBI I predict the Rangers win. 


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Nathan Closes Game in a Down Pour

After 161 games the Rangers are tied with the Rays going into the last day of the regular season. It's simple, a Rangers win tomorrow means they at least get to play again. Who and where depends on what the Rays and CLE do tomorrow. 

Yu is on the mound tomorrow. Hopefully the offense will give him more than the usual 0-2 runs they've given him in his last several starts. 


Friday, September 27, 2013

Profar Wins It With a Walk Off

But CLE won't lose. And it probably shouldn't have taken a walk off to win it but that's what happens when your team commits 4 errors in one inning in one game. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rangers Won Last Night. Of Course So Did the Indians

Why won't Cle lose? Rangers still 1 GB in the Wild Card race. 

And now Josh Hamilton and the Halos are up. 

How many games can I think of that they should have won and didn't because of no production from the offense?

And was spending money on Lance "Fat Elvis" Berkman the biggest waste of money since I bought the special edition DVD of the movie MacGruber?


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ranger Win Again Against 'Stros

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Yu pitched and again the run support is weak.  Rangers win back to back for the first time in September I think.  Is that good?  The freakin' Indians won't lose.  Rangers still 1 GB in Wild Card race.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: The Rangers have started a winning streak?  Beltre went yard, could he please get hot for these last few games?

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Josh Hamilton may very well help determine whether the Rangers make the play-in game again this year with the Rangers ending the season with 4 at home against he Halos.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

How Many Games Are the Rangers Going to Win When They Score Zero Runs?

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Answer: none.  6 hits is all they managed.  This is the American League so the pitchers cannot help score runs.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Again, the pitching is not the problem, the staff gave up only 5 hits to KC, it was just too bad that the last hit was a walk off grand slam in the bottom of 10.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: 1.5 games back in the Wild Card race with 7 games left, all at home.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Offense Manages Only 1 Run. Again.

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: 1 run.  How many ballgames is your team going to win putting up only 1 run?  Answer: not many and not this one.  Feliz walked in the winning run after Frasor loaded the bases in the bottom of 8 and lose 2-1 to KC.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Of course the pitching staff did only allow 2 runs.  That should be enough to win a ballgame.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Rangers dropped out of top two in the Wild Card race with the loss.


This All Seems Awfully Familiar...

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: I've been bad about posting but I have been watching. And this will be awfully familiar and awful if at the end of this thing they end up in a one game playoff and lose.  Again.  For the second straight year.  Or worse, the Rangers don't even make the one game play-in game.  That.  Would.  Suck.

And did I hear right that last night was Yu's first win in 7 starts?  And that might have been his worst start all year. 

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Again, there's been lot's of pitching related injuries, no Feliz, no Colby Lewis, Ogando and Pierzynski on the DL, Berkman(Fat Elvis) was a bust, and Nellie got suspended for the last 50 games.  Beltre and Kins were the only things going offensively  If you would have told me all that at the beginning of the season I would have said they'd be 10 games out of the playoffs at this point.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: And really, the playoff-type baseball started at the beginning of September and that was rough.  Let's see how the last few days of September go, hopefully a lot better.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Rangers Will Win If They Score More Runs Than the Other Team

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: It's that simple.  But, the Rangers bats still go quiet every so often (maybe too often) and then when a pitcher gives up 2-4 runs they get a loss.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:   The Rangers don't seem to win as much as they should when Yu's on the mound.  Of course Holland has had some wasted great starts this season too.  I'm just saying, way more often than not this season it's been the lack of offense and not the pitching that has been to blame for losses.  In fact the with all the injuries to the staff the pitching has been great.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: And the problem with an offense that at times goes ice cold may become very evident in a 5 game series.  One or two bad offensive games and the Rangers are on vacation.  Or (gulp) what if the Rangers end up in the wild card play-in game and have a 1 run game?


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rangers Still Cannot Shake the A's

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The Rangers' 8 game winning streak came to an end with the loss to the Brewers tonight.  The Rangers have won 13 out of 14 games and still will be either 1 game up or tied with the A's in the division (A's are losing to the Astros 5-1 in the bottom of 7th right now).  Why won't the A's just go on a losing streak?

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: The Rangers won 8 in a row and 13 out of 14 games!  Not too shabby since it looked like the A's might be poised to run away with this thing.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Why do the Rangers have so much trouble with simple things like run downs and base running?


Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's 47 games to the end of the season, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses. Let’s roll.

The Rangers are tied in the division with the A's.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

And Now They Are 1 Game Back...

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Yu gave up 2 first inning homers.  Very uncharacteristic for him since he came back from his stint on the DL (he had a sub 1 ERA since coming off the DL).  Oh well, he's human after all.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: The Rangers had 6 stolen bases.  And the Rangers had a mini offensive explosion producing 4 runs in the top 9, fueled in large part by their running.

Oh yeah, and with the win, and A's losing earlier versus the Reds, the Rangers trail by only 1 game in the division.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: It's amazing what great base running and committing no errors in the field will do for you.  Just ask the Halos, by virtue of an error in the top of 9 they gave the Rangers an extra out.  And as usually happens when you give a MLB team an extra out, the Rangers made them pay for it.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

So You're Saying the Rangers Have a Chance...

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Of course if you heard the national broadcast team of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver announce game 2 of the 3 game series against the A's on Saturday you would have thought the A's were up in the division by 10 games AND that the A's had won the night before.

Oh yeah, and as fully expected, Nellie was suspended by MLB for the rest of the regular season.

Kins continues to amaze on the base pads, again inexplicably he got caught flat footed and was picked off 2nd base, wasting his lead off double.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Despite Buck and McCarver falling over themselves to sing the praises of the A's, the Rangers did in fact take 2 out 3 from the A's in Oakland.

And the Rangers took the first game of the series against the Halos Monday night.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: After the win versus the Halos, and with the A's having the night off, the Rangers trail the A's in the division by 2 games.  And the A's play 2 against a Reds team that's not too shabby.

I keep on going back to the following: if you  would have told me that the pitching would have been as beat up and injured as it has been (for example see Grimm and Tepesch getting multiple starts) I would have thought the Rangers would have been out of the race.  Especially with as mediocre as the offense has been.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

3 Walk Off Home Run Wins In a Row Must Be a Record or Something Right?

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Josh Hamilton continues to play well against the Rangers

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Nellie went yard and continues to hit well recently.  And then it was Beltre's turn to end the game with a homer.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Nellie has been playing well but how much longer will he be playing at all?  And how long will he be suspended?  50 games?  That means he could be back for the end of the regular season.

And the Rangers are 4 back of the A's in the division (.5 games back in the Wild Card race).  And guess who the Rangers play a 3 game series against in Oakland starting Saturday?  Then the Rangers don't play the A's until September, when they play them 6 more times.  Again, these head to head games are HUGE.

The Rangers did not trade for a bat before the deadline.  With Nellie about to get suspended supposedly will the Rangers have enough offense to make a playoff run?  I really don't know.

And can Fat Elvis please just retire already?


Monday, July 29, 2013

Rangers Rally in Bottom of 9 to Beat Halos

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:  The Rangers still have a pretty big whole to dig themselves out of in the divisional race versus the A's, especially since the A's don't seem to lose.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Great comeback.  The catchers came through in the 9th, each with a solo shot.  And Kins had 2 RBI's earlier in the game for the 4-3 win.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Seriously, the A's just won't go on a losing streak.  The Rangers play the A's 9 more times the rest of the season.  Yeah, those might be important games.

I would still like the Rangers to add a bat.  Or two.


Former Ranger Alex Rodriguez Facing Possible Lifetime Suspension!?!?

The NY Daily News is reporting that if ARod/AFraud doesn't strike a deal with MLB, Selig would seek to essentially ban him for life.  The deal being offered to Rodriguez by MLB would suspend him for the rest of this year and next year, WITHOUT PAY.  But, allow him to collect on his current contract from 2015-2017.  If there's no deal, apparently Selig is going to go for the jugular.

Wow.  And I bet Braun thought his punishment was harsh.  And for your Rangers, when is the hammer going to drop on Nellie?


Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's Tough to Win Games When You Score Zero Runs

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The Rangers were shut out by the Tribe in back to back ballgames yesterday and today.  And it looks like the Rangers will be trailing the A's by 6 games after today.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Can't think of anything right now that makes me hopeful about the team right now.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Maybe instead of adding an arm they should have added an outfield bat.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rangers' Offense Continues to Struggle

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The All Star break has come and gone and the Rangers will trail the A's by 3 or 4 games in the division (depending on whether the A's beat the Halos in a late game) going into the weekend.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: The Rangers are only 3 or 4 games back!  Are you kidding me?  Had you told me that the Rangers would...
1. be without Colby Lewis all season to this point
2. have Pierzynski, Berkman, Ogando and Yu spend time on the DL
3. have Murph and Elvis batting under .250
4. have an offense that just generally looks mediocre at best
5. and have Kins continue to look like he's trying to figure out what this base running thing is all about...

...I would have expected the Rangers to be behind in the division by double digits at this point.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: The Rangers play the A's plenty of times the rest of the way.  And I really think Elvis and Murph will bat better down the stretch.  And now they've added Matt Garza to the starting rotation (and he looked pretty good in first start in a Rangers' uniform), so yeah, I'm still pretty excited to watch this thing.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Who Are Those Guys?*

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: By those guys, I'm talking about the A's.  They won't go away, they're 8-2 in their last 10 played.  The Rangers lead is down to 1.5 games in the division.

Only 1 every day player (Beltre) is batting over .300.  Is that bad?

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Speaking of Beltre, after some early season struggles he's been on fire, taking an early sub .250 BA and raising it 50 points.  Not too shabby.

And hey, even with very, very average hitting the Rangers are still leading this thing.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: *of course that question is from the great movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when they're being chased by some guys that they just cannot shake.  Sound familiar?  Hopefully this season will end better for the Rangers than the movie did for Butch and and the Kid.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Is It Time to Panic?

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The Rangers have lost 3 in a row, including the last game where Yu had 14 strikeouts and 0 BB's.  There are only 27 outs in a ballgame for gosh dog dog!

Offense continues to be mediocre.  The Rangers' pitching staff is going to need the offense to score more than 3 or 4 runs every once in a while.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Sure they've lost 3 straight but it is very cool to see Elvis and Beltre still have fun during the games.  Sure Beltre looks angry after Elvis touches his head but he'll crack a smile right after trying to kick Elvis and then throwing his glove at him:

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Don't look now but the A's are only 3 games back going into tonight's action.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bad Call In Last Night's Win Versus Merman Demonstrates Why Replay Needed In MLB

Here's the terrible call, albeit in the Rangers favor, on a double play ball when the Rangers were on defense. Watch closely.  Moreland is on 1B waiting for the throw but for some reason Grimm steps in front of him and intercepts the throw.  And Grimm of course isn't on 1B so no double play right?  Wrong.  The ump thinks Moreland caught it:

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Hate to win a game when a terrible of call like that is involved.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: But it wasn't a 1 run game or anything.  The Rangers offense woke up, as it's prone to do every 3-5 games, and put up 9 runs in support of Grimm's start.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Are the powers that be (Selig) really going to say replay isn't needed in MLB?  Really?


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rangers Win Series Versus DET, Then Lose 2 Out of 3 Versus A's

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Rangers managed only 5 runs in the 3 game series versus the A's.  The Rangers' offense still looks bad with flashes of being good every 3-5 games.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: The Rangers avoided the sweep versus the A's behind a good start by 30 year old Ross Wolf, making only his 3rd big league appearance.

And that's a trend for the Rangers this year, Tepesch, Grimm and now Wolf have stepped up and given the Rangers some quality starts.

And after all that the Rangers are still up on the A's 5.5 games.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: In the DET series in the Yu versus Verlander game with the Rangers well up Wash left Yu well past 100 pitches (130?).  Why?  Made no sense at all no matter the explanations given by Wash.

Next up the Mermen.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rangers, Ogando Win Getaway Game Versus A's, Ogando on DL

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Ogando is on the DL.  Crap, he looked great his last few times out.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: If that's how Ogando looks injured hopefully he'll be even better when he comes off the DL.  Ogando took a no hitter into the 6th, not too shabby.   Nellie hit his 10th homer of the year putting him 1 behind the league leaders.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Next up DET, Yu vs. Verlander.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Beltre, Moreland Homer in 10th to Beat A's 6-5

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:  Doogie the Dutch Oven Holland wasn't bad but he wasn't as good as he had been his last few starts giving up 4 ER's.  Joe Nathan look shaky to say the least in the bottom of 10, he walked 3 (1 BB was intentional) and gave up a run, before getting the save with the bases loaded.  A border line call that went against Nathan with 1 out looked like it really got to him.  And then guess what?  After that the ump behind the plate didn't give Nathan any close calls.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Moreland is, dare I say it, on a tear.  He had 2 homers, one of which was in the top of 10.  He homered the game before.  And Beltre had just hit a solo shot earlier in the 10th.  That gave the Rangers a 6-4 lead going into the bottom of 10.

And for one of the seemingly few times this year the bats picked up the pitching staff, giving some decent run support

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Extra innings plus it being a west coast game is tough for Rangers' fans here in Texas, turns into a late night.

I think the pitching staff misses having A.J. Pierzynski behind the plate.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rangers Aren't Going to Win Many Games When They Score 1 Run

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: They lost to the A's.  Again, the league seems to be figuring out Grimm, as evidenced last night.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:  Murph's average inched up again.  Moreland went yard again, accounting for the sole Rangers' run.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Holland has been great lately, he's given up only 1 run and 1 walk in his last 2 starts.  Let's see if Holland can pitch like he has been tonight.  A complete game shutout would be nice.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Rangers Swept the 'Stros, Next Up Oakland

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Pierzynski is still on the DL of course.  Murph is still struggling at the plate hitting just .200, and there seems to be a lot of Rangers batting between .240-.275.  Also, other teams seem to be figuring out Tepesch and Grimm.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: The Rangers did sweep Houston.  Their lead in the division is up to 6.  And David, "Charlie" Murphy's average is at least inching upward, as are most of the players' averages.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: So let's see if the Rangers can put some more distance between them and the A's in these next 3 games in CA.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rangers Get a Day Off

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: AJ Pierzynski is going on or has already been placed on the 15 day DL.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Colby Lewis is set to make a rehab start for one of the minor league teams.  And the Rangers get to go play the Astros next.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: The offense is still not clicking but they have the biggest lead in the division they've had all year.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rangers Sweep East Division Leading Red Sox

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Holland, Ogando and Darvish and the bullpen were great and kept the mighty Boston offense in check.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Murphy continued to struggle at the plate.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Hopefully Murph will start to turn it around.

And looking way ahead, the Rangers finally play the A's next week.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rangers Lose First Series of Year to White Sox

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:  The Rangers lost 2 out of 3 to the White Sox.  The Rangers' offense only managed 3 runs in the 2 losses.  The Rangers aren't going win too many games when they score 1 or 2 runs per game, no team is.  Base running continued to be a problem for the Rangers.  Wash admitted that he left Tepesch in too long in the 2nd game of the series.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Up to that point in the second game of the series though Tepesch again looked good.  And in the the first game of the series the Rangers offense went off for 10 runs.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: The Rangers lead in the division is now only 1.5 games over the A's.

Next up the Red Sox and Napoli, who is tearing it up for his new team.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

How Many Ballgames Is Your Team Going To Win When They Score Zero Runs?

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Not any, including today's game versus the Twins.  The offense continued to struggle.

Moreland wasted a base hit in the 3rd when he took WAY to big of turn around 1B, got caught in no man's land and was thrown out retreating to 1B.  This was the latest example of the Rangers looking clueless on the base pads in this series in particular and generally this season.

That's the first time this year the Rangers lost 2 in a row.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: That's the first time this year the Rangers lost 2 in a row, which is quite an accomplishment since we're almost in May. Ogando looked good early (just like Holland did yesterday).

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Even losing the last 2 games in MN, the Rangers split the series with the Twins.  And the Rangers have yet to lose a series this year.

You have to wonder if the pitching staff is looking at the position players and wondering if they're going to get any type of consistent run support.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rangers' Offense Takes a Step Backwards

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: 2 runs in the top 9 is all the Rangers' offense could manage in a 7-2 loss.  And Moreland continues to struggle at the plate so it doesn't help when he commits an error at first.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Holland was great early.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: The lineup Wash put out there was weird.  Gentry was batting second.  Look, I like Gentry but he's not having a great go of it so far like he did last year.  Yeah, rest players like Elvis just maybe put someone else in the 2 slot?


Friday, April 26, 2013

That Got Interesting Towards the End Versus the Twins...

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: ...since Ortiz looked shaky in the 9th and then Joe Nathan gave up a 3 run homer.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: But the Rangers hung in and won 4-3 behind a great start by Grimm.  And all the starters except Gentry had at least 1 hit.  An insurance run that Kins drove in in the top of 9 really came in handy.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: They are still your first place Texas Rangers.  And they also have the best record in all MLB.  And they're doing it with pitching.  Who would have thunk it?


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rangers Offense Bad But Win 2-1

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Again, the Rangers' offense is bad.  2 runs with lots of opportunities.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Tepesch was great.  Through 6 IP he had a 2 hitter going!

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: With the Rangers only managing 2 runs, Rookie Nick Tepecsh was pitching a 2 HITTER WITH NO WALKS after 6 IP and I swear Tom A. Greive (TAG, our local announcer) said something close to the following, "....for the most part he's been in pretty good control of the game."  For the most part!?!?!  How about dominating?  What game was TAG watching?  Why doesn't TAG stick to what he's good at and eat more cookies or announce more birthdays?

End of the day we have the old guys from the Muppets in the balcony announcing the games for us.  Enjoy.

And yeah, I could do better.


Rangers Pound Halos Like a Drum 11-3

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The Rangers' bats beat up on a young guy making his first MLB start so let's not assume the offense has turned the corner just quite yet.

And Moreland took a step backward against lefties, and generally at the plate as the only Ranger without a hit.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Pretty much almost every Ranger contributed at the plate, especially in the 4th inning when they put up a huge crooked number.

And Yu Darvish was, one again, amazing giving up only 3 hits in 6 IP, and had 11 K's against only 2 BB's.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: I know it's early in the season but the Rangers still have not lost a series.  They did split a 4 game series versus the Mermen and split their 2 games versus the Cubbies (the middle game was rained out and will be made up).  Not too shabby with the offense still not quite out of its early season funk.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rangers Lose in 11 Versus Halos

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The first inning gave us yet another example of extra outs leading to runs.  A 3rd strike against Trout got away from Pierzynski and Moreland mishandled the throw so Trout was safe at first with 1 out.  And of course the Halos scored both their runs (Trout and Pujols) with 2 outs.

Baker went out with an injury in the top of the 1st when he slid into the wall in foul territory in left field making a catch for an out.

In the top of 10 with 1 out Robbie Ross (who up to that point had pitched well in relief) gave up back to back singles.  Trout, a righty, was due up.  And Wash left Ross, a lefty, in to face Trout.  And Trout walked to load the bases.  Then, Wash brings in another lefty, Joe Ortiz, to face right handed batting Pujols.  Why oh why not go with a righty-righty match up?

In that at bat against Ortiz Pujols hit a grounder to Beltre.  It looked like Beltre could have stepped on 3B and then thrown to 1B for an inning ending double play.  Instead he went to home for 1 out.  And it looked like Pierzynski wasn't expecting him to go to home plate since he wasn't even standing on home and had to tag the runner out.  All that said, Everyday Joe Ortiz got the next batter, Hamilton, out to get out of a 1 out bases loaded jam.

But Ortiz gave up the game winning walk off homer to Kendrick (another right handed batter) in the bottom of 11.  Again, what happened to righty vs. righty and lefty vs. lefty match ups?

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Ogando battled in 7 IP with 2 ER's (the other 2 in the first inning were unearned, again that error really hurt).

Nellie hit a towering 3 run shot in the top of 6 cutting the Halos' lead to 4-3.  In the top of 8 the Angels had and error and the Rangers tied it up 4-4 with 2 outs.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Sometimes (all the time?) there really seems to be no rhyme or reason to why Wash makes pitching moves.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thank You Mr. Pierzynski, Rangers Come Back and Beat Halos 7-6

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Doogie Holland issued some early walks and got himself in some jams.  Some of the jams he got out of.  But he couldn't get out of the jams he got himself into in the 4th and 6th innings, when he gave up 3 ER's in each of those innings.  Holland had been on the edge all night so why didn't Wash pull him before it got out of hand in the 6th I wonder?

And the Rangers left a lot of guys on base early.

Hamilton was 4-4.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Elvis started the ballgame with 2 straight hits, and was 3-5.  Mitch Moreland batted well too, going 3-4.  David "Charlie" Murphy was 2-3 also.  Nice to see on all counts since they've had a slow start.

The Rangers rallied after Holland struggled and tied the game up in the top of 7, making it 6-6.  Then in the top of the 9th A.J. Pierzynski had a solo homer to win the ballgame.

Pujols was 0-5 and struck out 3 times.

Scheppers was strong in 2 IP and Nathan got the save against the top of the Halos' batting order.

Again the offense looked A LOT better than it had just a few games ago.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Josh Hamilton was moved down the lineup.  The Angels' order is now Pujols, Trumbo then Hamilton (it used to be Pujols, Hamilton, Trumbo).  Maybe Sioscia was getting tired of other managers walking Pujols to pitch to Hamilton, like Jim Leyland did with 2 outs and no one on base in extra innings.  The strategy worked for Leyland by the way, at least that inning.  The new batting order worked for Hamilton against the Rangers unfortunately.

The A's lost thanks to ex-Ranger Napoli hitting a grand slam for his new team, the Boston Red Sox.  Rangers expanded their lead in the division with the win tonight.  I know it's early to be watching the division race but each game matters.  A win in April equals a win in September.


Monday, April 22, 2013

First Place Texas Rangers, Rangers Sweep Series, Win 3-1 As Offense Goes Off On Seamen

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Kins had an error in the 1st that looked like it might be a sign of a long day.  Otherwise, that's about it for any bad stuff.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Every starter except Soto (giving Pierzynski a day off behind the plate) had at least 1 hit and 1 run scored.  And the Rangers had 4 homers (Beltre, Martin, Moreland and Nellie), power we had not seen to date this season.

Grimm went 6 IP with 1 ER.  Kirkman went 3 IP with 1 ER as well, effectively giving the rest of the bullpen a day off.

And the Rangers won a get away game to boot.

And, and at least for the time being you're watching the first place Texas Rangers.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Next up, Mr. Hamilton and the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles, CA, West Coast, USA, North America in Anaheim, CA.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rangers' Bats Show Up Again and Beat Up on Mermen, Go For Series Sweep Next

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Tepesch took a line drive off his wrist in the 2nd and had to leave the game.

Elvis is batting less that .200 and again went hitless.  And the rest of the lineup only managed 5 hits.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: In only 1.2 IP Tepesch looked good and Wash says, at least preliminarily, he won't miss his next start.

The bullpen came in and along with Tepesch combined for a 5 pitcher shutout.

Berkman and Pierzynski continue to be the early season standouts on offense, each contributed  2 RBI's in the Rangers 5-0 win.

Murph is hopefully starting to come out of his batting funk, he had a solo homer.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Murph was moved down the lineup presumably because of his poor batting.  When is Elvis going to be moved down the lineup or do we really want someone batting .194 in the #2 slot?

With this win and an A's loss the Rangers trail in the division by only half a game going into Sunday's action.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Rangers' Offense Shows Up Versus Mermen

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: 6 of the Rangers' 7 runs came in 5th inning.  Why point that out?  Because it'd be even better if the offense was clicking all night in multiple innings.

And Elvis Andrus continues to struggle at the plate, he was the only Ranger without a hit versus the Seamen.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Every other starter did have a hit though.  And Yu was great again with 10 K's in 7 IP.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Matt Harrison is scheduled to have back surgery and is going to be out for a while.  Time for the young guys, Tepesch and Grimm, to step up.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ogando Gets Rocked by Cubbies

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Ogando only went 2.1 IP with 5 ER's.  And again the Rangers' offense continued to struggle, managing only 4 hits and 2 runs.  And Cruz and Kins were the only ones with hits with 2 each.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Lowe had only 1 ER, Ortiz and Frasor had 0 ER's.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: The Rangers' offensive woes are now becoming worrisome to say the least.  Essentially if the Rangers' pitching staff gives up 4+ runs in a game the Rangers have almost no chance to win.  And that will continue to be the case until the offense gets going, if it can.  Is too soon to be looking for a trade to get a big bat capable of hitting few homers in here?


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Holland Pitches Rangers to 4-2 Win Over Cubbies

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The Rangers had managed only 5 hits and 1 run through 7 innings at the plate.

In the top of 9 Gentry was called out at home plate for the 3rd out on a throw from the 1B after the pinch hitting Martin had an infield hit.  The replay showed clearly that he was safe.  Terrible call.

Rangers' relief pitching continues to struggle.  And Jeff Baker dropped an easy fly ball that would have ended the game and secured the shutout.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Of course Derek, Doogie, the Dutch Oven, Holland only gave up 2 hits, no runs and no BB through 7 IP and when he left the game leading 1-0.  Then the Rangers added 3 runs in he top 8, including a Beltre 2 run homer.

Jeff Baker started in left and Muph sat.  Wash's decision kinda panned out as Baker had the first RBI of the ballgame (but Baker misplayed/dropped a fly ball in the 9th, see above).  And needless to say Murph's been struggling.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: In the top of 8 while the Rangers were batting (and scoring 3 runs) you could hear Rangers fans at Wrigley cheering, "let's go Rangers," during the broadcast.  Pretty cool.

Does anyone else remember when the Texas Rangers wouldn't even consider "asking" Alfonso Soriano (now a Cub) to play the OF?  Then he was traded to the Nationals and then-manager Frank Robinson did't ask him to play OF, he told him to and eventually Soriano did.  And now he plays OF for the Cubbies.

Oh yeah, it was in the 40's temperature-wise during the ballgame.  Sometimes it pays to live in Texas.  Of course I might change my tune when it's triple digits for 2 months straight in the summer.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rangers Lose Finale to Mermen 4-3, Split Series

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Splitting a 4 game series is about as unsatisfying as it gets, your team didn't win the series but at the same time didn't lose it either.  It's like kissing your sister.

And again the Rangers offense struggled leaving 10 on base with no HR's.  And Nick, Bulldog Jr, Tepesch earned all 4 runs giving up 9 hits in 5.2 IP.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: But Tepesch didn't walk anyone and his ground ball to fly ball ratio was 12-4, meaning a lot of ground balls found holes in the infield.  It happens.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Rangers still have not lost a series this year.  Next up inter-league play versus the Cubs in Chicago.  There are way too many key Rangers still batting under .250 (see Murphy, Moreland, Beltre, Gentry and Elvis for example).  That's got to change if the Rangers offense is ever going to get going.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rangers Beat Seamen 3-1

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The Rangers managed only 5 hits.  And Ogando looked shaky in 5 IP.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: But Ogando only gave up the 1 ER and kept the Rangers in it.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: And Wash threw out a funky lineup.  Murph was moved down, Pierzynski was moved up the batting order, Baker played 1B, Garcia played SS, Berkman and Moreland sat, and Elvis DH'ed.  It got the job done in the end though.

Now the Rangers will try to win the 4 game series against the Mermen tomorrow afternoon.

The A's finally lost a game (versus Detroit) and their lead is now 1 game over the Rangers.

In other division news, the the Halos got a taste of Josh Hamilton checking out mentally in a ballgame when he lost track of the outs in the final inning and got doubled up on the base pads to end the game yesterday in a loss against the 'Stros.  Since Hamilton is fond of comparing himself to Jesus, I wonder if Jesus ever lost track of the number of outs when he was running the bases.


Rangers Lose 3-1 Versus Mermen

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: How many games are the Rangers going to win when they score only 1 run?  Not many, including this one.  Murph and Beltre continue to struggle in the middle of the batting order.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Yu had a good, albeit wasted performance.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Murph is batting worse than Moreland yet he's #5 in the order.  Is it time yet to move Murph down the order and move Pierzynski, batting well over .300, up?

Oh, and by the way, the freakin' A's have now won 9 straight and lead the division by 2 over the Rangers.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Rangers Win Ugly Versus Seattle in Opener Last Night

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Grimm looked rough on the mound.  And not helping matters the Rangers managed only 4 runs on a 11 hits.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Even though he looked rough Grimm managed to only give up 2 runs, keeping the Rangers in it.  And Everyday Joe Ortiz came in and looked good again giving up only 1 hit and 0 ER's.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: The A's have picked up right where they left off last year, are on an 8 game winning streak and lead your Rangers by 1 game going into today's action.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rangers' Offense Stunk Up the Joint...

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: ...and they lose the finale/getaway game 2-0 to the Rays.  The offense managed only 5 hits.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: And the Rangers wasted a good (even great) pitching performance by Doogie Holland.  He gave up only 2 runs on 5 hits.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: The poor offense was without Pierzynski and Berkman who had the day off.  I guess that's a some type of excuse for a goose egg.

Next up Seattle.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Welcome to the Majors Mr. Tepesch!

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The 4-8 batters in the Rangers' lineup were a combined 0-fer through 7.  Not good. (Although Beltre did have a ground ball out, RBI in the 5th)

Aggressive base running got Kins thrown out at 2B trying to stretch a single into a double behind Martin going from 1B to 3B on Kins' hit.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Rangers' rookie starting pitcher Nick Tepesch gave up only 1 run on 4 hits in 7.1 IP.  Not too shabby.  And his ground balls to fly balls ratio was 16-2.  Excellent, especially in the hometown park.

Oh yeah, the Rangers won 6-1 behind  young Mr. Tepesch's pitching and good offense from the 1-3 (Kins, Elvis & Fat Elvis) & 9 (Leonys Martin) hitters in the Rangers' lineup.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: I, as others have done, compared Joe Ortiz to Everyday Eddie Guardado yesterday.  So today I'm going to compare Nick Tepesch to another lanky right handed starter that didn't have an overwhelming fastball but did induce a lot of ground balls and looked calm, cool and collected on the mound.  Yup, I'm going to compare Tepesch to Orel Hershiser.  At the very least Tepesch sure did remind me of Hershiser tonight.  Bulldog, Jr.???

The Rangers have won the first 3 series of the year.  You know what that means?  Yup.  They're on pace to win each series this season.

Speaking of on pace...what's it about batting in the 3-slot for the Texas Rangers in the beginning of a season?  Berkman is batting .480 in the young season.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Welcome to Baseball Town, TX Tampa Bay Rays! Rangers Win 5-4

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The way our local announcers, Busby and Tom, "TAG", Grieve, were talking during the first 5 innings you would have thought Ogando was getting beaten like a drum.  In fact he only gave up 1 ER on 3 hits through 6.1 IP.  Sometimes I have no idea what game they are watching.  Frustrating to listen to announcers do that, much less our hometown guys.  Usually it's the national broadcasters that do stuff like that.  Oh, and the whole time Busby and TAG are bagging on Ogando they're praising the pitching of the Rays!  The Rays, who at the time were losing the game 3-1 in a pitching duel!  To Ogando!  Again, frustrating.

Also, Ogando seemed to be on a short leash since Wash pulled him after 6.1 IP, with less than 90 pitches thrown, having given up only 3 hits and 1 ER.  Sure, in the 6th he had 2 on with 1 out, but what happened to letting your pitchers pitch their way out of trouble?  Wash?

Kins' poor awareness at times on the base pads reared its ugly head again, he got caught in no man's land in the first inning.  This is a long running (pun intended) problem for Kins dating back to last season.

Kirkman is our setup guy?  He came in with a 5-1 lead in the 8th.  He started the 8th with 6 straight balls and eventually was pulled for Lowe, with the bases loaded and 1 out.  Then Lowe walked in a run and gave up another run on a fielder's choice making it a much more tense 5-3 ballgame.  This is an ongoing experiment/adventure.  Maybe Joe Ortiz (see below) will/should get a shot at being the setup guy.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:  Beltre is starting to come out of a mini slump he was in to start off the season, driving in a first inning run.

Pierzynski and Moreland went yard back to back in the bottom of 4.  Moreland went 3-3, staring to come out of his early season slump.

As mentioned above, Ogando was lifted for the young reliever Joe Ortiz with 2 on and 1 out in the 6th.  Ortiz got out of the inning without giving up any runs.  And Ortiz was perfect in 1.2 IP.  At least one media-type has referenced that Ortiz reminds some of an Everyday Eddie Guardado-type pitcher, especially because of the way he carries himself on the mound.  And not just because he has the same "body-type", is a lefty, a reliever, and has a Latino surname like Everyday Eddie.  Everyday Eddie, Jr.?

Elvis drove in some insurance runs (2) in bottom of 7 to give the Rangers a 5-1 lead.  The Rangers would need those runs given Kirkman and Lowe's adventures (see above) in the 8th.

Nathan pitched the 9th and after a bit of another adventure (and a terrible called 3rd strike for the final out), got the 300th save of his career.  Impressive. (Correcting my last post, his last outing against the Halos was not a save opportunity).

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Is it weird that a ball club's name is associated with a the body of water adjacent to a metropolitan area?  I think so.  Tampa, Flordia is a town.  Tampa Bay is the body of water in the Gulf of Mexico next to the city.  The Rays don't play in the bay.  They play on land, in Tampa, Florida.  The whole thing is very unstable.  Of course the Rays learned it from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


DFW Metroplex's new nickname? Baseball Town, USA

I like our new nickname.  Thanks Hambone.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rangers Beat Halos 7-3, Win Series

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The wind was jet streaming out to right field, which, as the national ESPN announcers pointed out about 27 times before first pitch, could help the visiting team.  Yu got off to a little bit of shaky start in the top of the first giving up 2 runs.

Wash pulled Yu due to a blister that affected him throwing his change-up after 5 IP.  In the 6th he was due to face the bottom third of the of the Halos' order with righties due up, instead lefty Robbie Ross came in.  Why not throw a righty?  Ross put two on before getting out of the inning.  Also the blister only affected Yu's change-up and he had only thrown 85 pitches.  So why not just have Yu not throw the change?

For at least one game, Hamilton broke out of his slump with a single and a double.  I also question if you can call it only a "slump" since it dates back to last June.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: The wind was jet streaming out to right field, which of course could help your Rangers and did.  Berkman and Murph went yard back to back in the first putting 3 runs on the board. Soto, giving Pierzynski a breather behind the plate, had a double and then scored on a hit by Kins.  Speaking of Kins, what did I say?  It's an odd (versus even) year.  Kins also had a 3 run homer to increase the Rangers' lead from 1 run to 4 in the bottom of 6.

Here is yet another example of Yu being strong to very strong: in the top of 3, with no outs, Yu walked Pujols and then gave up a double to Hamilton.  Pujols held at 3B.  Then Yu struck out Trumbo and Kendrick and induced an inning ending fly ball to CF.  Nice.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Pujols doesn't look right when he's running.  In fact it's painful to watch him run.

Why Leonys Martin instead of Gentry in CF?  Again I know it's a small sample size but right now Gentry is playing better this year.  And given how well Gentry played last year for the club I would have thought it'd be his spot to lose.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Harry Has a Rough Start, Rangers Lose to Halos 8-4

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Matty Harrison got roughed up in the first couple of innings, giving up two HRs in the first and staking the Halos a 4-0 lead.  That and an ER Harry gave up in the 2nd inning would be all the Angels would need.  Although Murph had a hit he's still struggling to step up, batting .133 in the young season.  Oh yeah, Pujols had 2 HRs and was intentionally walked 3 times, the first time that's happened for an American League player since Ike was president.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Moreland got off the snide, hitting a homer for his first and only hit of the year.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: We again saw the Hamilton we were used to seeing everyday at the end of last season as he went 0-4 with 2 SOs (albeit with 1 BB and 1 R).

This is the exact kind of game I'm afraid the Rangers are going to find incredibly difficult to win.  If the Rangers' pitching doesn't hold up then it doesn't seem you can count on the offense to put up 5+ runs in a ballgame.  At least it doesn't from the small sample size we've seen so far.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Rangers Beat Hamilton's Halos 3-2 In Home Opener

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Poor, poor Mitch Moreland is still without a hit in this young season.  The offense only managed 3 runs on 12 hits, not a great run to hit ratio.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Nellie, AJ Pierszynski, Kins and Berkman continue to produce at the plate.  Doogie, the Dutch Oven, Holland looked great and Nathan closed the game out.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Josh Hamilton made his return to Texas and he looked about the same as he did towards the end of last season.  He swung at a 3rd strike away in the dirt, he first-swung and popped out, he misplayed a ball in the corner and he seemed to lollygag on a ball popped up to shallow right field that fell between him and the Halos' first baseman.  Oh yeah, and he was without a hit, sound familiar?


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rangers Beat Astros 4-0, Take Series 2-1

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Moreland is still on track to be hitless this season.  Small sample size but after he had such a good spring it's got to be frustrating to the first baseman.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:  Rangers pitchers had a combined 15 SO's.  Ogando had 10 SO's with only one BB and gave up only 4 hits for the win.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: The 'Stros may not be the best test to see how this thing is going to go this season.  The Halos will be.  Let's see how that goes starting Friday.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Yu Nearly Perfect, Rangers Win 7-0 Over Astros.

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: The Rangers had only supplied 1 run through 7.1 innings at the plate.  Moreland and Beltre are on pace to go without a hit this season.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Yu pitched 8.2 innings perfectly with 14 strikeouts before he gave up his first hit allowing his first base runner.

Gentry had a double and a triple in his first start/action of the season.  Kins went yard with Gentry on third.  Kins, Elvis & Fat Elvis were a combined 8 for 12 in the 1-3 spots.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Our local announcers, Busby & TAG, talked during the broadcast like there was a chance Yu wouldn't come back out for the 9th after he was perfect through 8.  Really?  Could they really think that there was any chance Yu wasn't going to go back out and try to finish it off?

 Yu induced a ground ball from the 27th batter he faced.  If the batter had been a little earlier around or a little behind on the pitch it would have been a routine grounder to Kins or Elvis.  Or if he would have topped the pitch it would have be a slow bouncer right back to Yu.  Instead it was sharply hit right back up the middle through Yu's legs and into centerfield.  So close.  But still a great, awsome performance.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Reports Say Elvis/Rangers Agree to $120M Extension

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Now can Elvis bat lead off instead of Kins?

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: At least that means the Rangers have settled on Elvis as their SS for the foreseeable furture.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: So what the heck does that mean for Profar?  Kins signed a big extension  not too long ago.  There doesn't seem to be a spot for Profar in the middle infield.  Since the Rangers have an obvious need there, any chance of Profar starting in center field in triple-A?


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Opener Versus New Division Mates Astros Goes Badly, Rangers Lose 8-2

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Question: How many games are the Rangers going win when they allow 8 runs by their opponent (Matt Harrison gave up 5 ER's)?  Answer: Not many, if their offense is as bad as it was tonight and when Kins, Elvis and Beltre go 0-fer.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Berkman got a couple of hits (but man, he is a liability on the basepads, he is slower than slow).

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: During the broadcast, someone said that a source said that Nolan Ryan was likely to be leaving the organization at some point.

The Rangers trail the Astros in the division, and I know it's just 1 game but, ouch.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jurickson Profar's Future Looks Great, Especially If Baseball America's Track Record Holds Up*

(*the below post is by guest contributor Michael Pina)

Expectations are as much a part of sports as tangible production, for better or worse. We look at players who we think will make a positive impact in the future differently than those we don’t, even in situations where the latter is consistently outperforming the former right before our eyes.

In this way, expectations do more harm than good. But ironically, in major league baseball, a sport that includes a larger dose of “luck” as a part of its recipe for both individual and team success than any other, Baseball America’s Top 100 prospect list typically reads like a gateway into the sport’s bright future, at least for the players listed near the top.

Right now the preceding two paragraphs are more relevant to the Texas Rangers than any other organization; as you’re probably aware, they have Jurickson Profar, baseball’s number one prospect in 2013 and an instinctive baseball wizard, according to Baseball America.

So, how accurate has Baseball America been over the past decade at predicting who’s going to become a household name? And what does it mean for Profar, who despite his enormous potential and odds on ability to make at least a few All-Star games, will start the season in Triple A?

In 2012 Profar was named the seventh best prospect in baseball, behind, in descending order, Jesus Montero, Julio Teheran, Yu Darvish, Mike Trout, Matt Moore, and Bryce Harper. Every one of those players has either already made an impact at the major league level, or begun to send positive ripples throughout their respective organizations.

Let’s go through the previous nine years and take a closer look at Baseball America’s top prospect; see if there’s anything Profar, and the Rangers, have to worry about.

Baseball America’s top prospect selection was the same in 2011 as it was in 2012: Bryce Harper. A player who graced the cover of Sports Illustrated as a teenager and in limited major league action more than looks like he belongs. If Harper doesn’t win at least one MVP award in his career he’ll be a major disappointment.

In 2010 it was Jason Heyward, a sweet swinging lefty who, going by projections before his debut, was calculated to average two home runs per game. He hasn’t quite done that, but out of everyone in his 2007 draft class, Heyward has the second highest Wins Above Replacement (WAR), and last year he hit 27 home runs on a team that went to the playoffs. Not bad. 

Almost every name listed as a top 20 prospect in 2010 is already well known in baseball circles: Stephen Strasburg, Mike Stanton, Madison Bumgarner, Starlin Castro, Jeremy Hellickson, Domonic Brown, Justin Smoak, Buster Posey, Desmond Jennings, and more.

In 2009 the top prospect was Baltimore Orioles franchise catcher Matt Wieters, with perennial Cy Young candidate David Price coming in second.

The year after that Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce was number one. Out of all of Baseball America’s number one prospects since 2003, Bruce’s career might be the biggest let down if you look at what he’s done on a relative level (right behind him was Evan Longoria). But by no means is he a bad player. At the age of 25 Bruce has made two All-Star teams and his power numbers have improved every year since his debut.

In 2007 the top prospect was the infamous Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who despite going 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA at the age of 27, also led the league in hits per nine innings (6.9) and walks that year. It was downhill from there. Matsuzaka did, however, win his one and only World Series start in 2007—even if he did only go 5.1 innings.

Delmon Young and Justin Upton were the top two prospects in 2006. Now on his fourth team, Young has yet to reach his full potential, and probably never will. But despite his early career shortcomings in the field, Young has transformed himself into a dangerous DH who’ll swing at just about anything. And that was good enough to win the 2012 American League Championship Series MVP award.

In both 2004 and 2005, the top prospect was Minnesota Twins lifer Joe Mauer, one of the very best players in baseball since making his debut at the age of 20. He’s a three-time batting champ who was named MVP in 2009 after leading the league in batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. He’s very, very good.

In 2003, 10 years removed from Profar being number one, the top prospect was Mark Teixeira. Long past his prime, the Yankees slugger has had a consistent career at both the plate and first base, where he’s walked away with five Gold Glove awards.

In the last decade, all eight players listed below Profar as Baseball America’s top prospect has, for the most part, played how most people thought they would. All were destined for greatness, and all have already—or, barring injury, surely will—treat the threatening word “expectation” like frothing college football players exploding onto the field, straight through their school’s banner.

The stage is set for Jurickson Profar to join them.

Michael Pina is a writer for ESPN’s TrueHoop Network and Follow him on Twitter @MichaelVPina.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Watched My First Spring Training Game This Season And...

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: ...I won't complain again about every Texas Rangers Spring Training exhibition game not being on TV.  Relief looked a little shaky in the 9th.  Yu was scratched from the start with a stiff neck.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: ...the Rangers won 8-2, with KC's only runs coming in the 9th.  Lowe started and went 3 scoreless.  He probably has put himself in the discussion to be the 5th starter since he has won 20+ games as a starter, albeit a while back.  Of course he'd be nice to have in the bullpen too since he also saved 40+ games before, again a while back.  Offense looked fine even without AJ Pierszynski in the order, putting up 8 runs on 17 hits with only 1 homer (Kins).  Berkman (Fat Elvis) contributed with 2 hits, and Moreland, Borbon, Kins and Beltre also had multiple hits.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Mike Olt was optioned to triple A Round Rock, completing his fall from the second top prospect in the organization to a big fat question mark.  Cannot help but wonder if calling him up last year to play in only 16 games down the stretch didn't contribute mightily to his current situation.

See?  You can score 5+ runs without 2-3+ homers.  Less power, but ample run production.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nolan Ryan Issued a Written Statement...

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: ...through the Texas Rangers that pretty much says that they're working on figuring out what the heck he's supposed to do as CEO only after being stripped of the title and responsibility of President of Baseball Operations.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: ...that at the very least means he's still with the team.  For now

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Why do I get the feeling that the statement is Nolan Ryan and the ownership trying to buy time to figure out a way out of what will be a public relations fiasco/disaster if Nolan Ryan is not a part of the organization going forward?  And/or it's buying more time for ownership and Nolan Ryan to negotiate his buyout.  And guess what Texas Rangers ownership, namely Ray Davis and Bob Simpson?  Now every fan knows your names, you may not want that if you're both  responsible for running fan-favorite Nolan Ryan out of the organization and out of town.

Here's the statement released by Nolan Ryan that says essentially, stay tuned:

“Over the last week, Ray Davis, Bob Simpson, and I have been in discussion and met in-person. The conversations have been productive, and we have discussed my role as CEO of the organization. We agreed these discussions will continue as we go forward.
"I am very proud of what the Rangers have accomplished over the last several years, and I believe our preparations for upcoming season are what is important." 

Read more here:


Friday, March 8, 2013

Why Haven't We Heard From Nolan Ryan?

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: At least some are reporting that ownership wanted to offer John Daniels Nolan Ryan's CEO position.  Ouch.  If that's the case, why haven't we heard from Nolan Ryan?  Worst case scenario would be, based in NO WAY on anything other than my own supposition, that Nolan Ryan (who does have an ownership interest in the team) is negotiating a buyout of his share of the ball club and his contract at CEO, and him talking with the media now would do nothing to help his negotiating position/leverage.  Again, this is just my own guess as to why we haven't heard from Nolan Ryan and is based on absolutely nothing at all.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Others are reporting that JD was never offered Nolan's position of CEO.  And Nolan isn't going to comment on something that's a non-story about events from last November.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: At the end of the day, one interview from Nolan Ryan would clear all this up.  Which completes the circle of questions we're stuck in and leads us back to where we started: Why haven't we heard from Nolan Ryan?


Thursday, March 7, 2013

2013 Texas Rangers Preview

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: After the crushing defeat in game 6 of the 2011 World Series (twice being 2 strikes and 2 outs from winning the it all) Rangers fans didn’t think it could get worse.  Then came the monumental collapse down the stretch of the regular season last year in 2012.  And finally, there was the offseason where the Rangers’ front office brass swung and struck out on every big free agent out there.  And one of those free agents that got away was the Rangers’ own Josh Hamilton.  And to pour salt in that wound he’s now playing for division rivals the Angels. 

Nelson Cruz is embroiled in a performance enhancing drug controversy and it remains to be seen if he’s going to face a suspension.

Spots Up For Grabs: On defense it appears that center field is a competition between Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry-I would like to see Gentry get a shot at CF since he batted for average (.304) last year in a 121 GP.  And since starting pitchers Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz will not be ready for opening day it appeared the 5th starter’s spot was Martin Perez’s to lose until he suffered a broken bone in his arm during Spring Training.  Now that 5th starting position is maybe not a big question mark but is a question mark nonetheless at this point. 

Lastly, the middle and setup relief is a going to be a huge question mark with, for example, Alexi Ogando making the move back to the starting rotation and Mike Adams another free agent that got away.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: The Rangers have a good problem in the middle infield.  With Ian Kinsler apparently staying put at 2B, they don’t know where to put Jurickson Profar, the number one prospect from last year.  If Profar doesn’t play his way onto the big club in Spring Training then they will be keeping a close eye on him in the minors.

New additions A.J. Pierzynski (C, bats lefty) and Lance Berkman  (DH, switch hitter) add lefty bats and some pop to the lineup as well bring big game experience.

Oh yeah, the Rangers have this pitcher named Yu Darvish by the way.  If he builds on his performance from last year he could turn into a true ace.  Nathan will be an anchor again as the Rangers’ closer.  And Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando aren’t too shabby as your 2-4 starters no matter what order you put them in.  Plus, starter Colby Lewis should come back from injury sometime around early to midseason and should resume his role as a starter.  Neftali Feliz is due back mid-to-late in the season.  Too many quality starting pitchers is another good problem to have.  That means Ogando and Martin Perez, or even Feliz, could move back to and strengthen the bullpen at some point during the season.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: Maybe Josh Hamilton leaving will be addition by subtraction.  Here’s why that’s a possibility: the timing of Hamilton’s slump last year seemed to coincide with him giving the go ahead to film producers to make his life story into a movie with Casey Affleck writing and directing it (late June 2012).  Then, Hamilton batted .223, .177 and .259 three out the last four months of the season last year.  In other words, it is yet to be seen which Josh Hamilton the Rangers lost and which Josh Hamilton the Halos signed.

Mitch Moreland played last year primarily against right-handed pitchers but, with Kinsler staying at 2B it looks like Moreland is going to get a chance to be an everyday 1B.  Keep your fingers crossed when he’s batting against righties.

Finally Rangers manager Ron Washington is going to have to do exactly what his job title says: manage.  Everyone knows that his players love him and will run through brick walls for him.  However, with so many question marks going into the season Wash is going to have to be ready to move people up, down, out of and/or into the batting order as their performance dictates.  And that’s something Wash has seemed hesitant to do, instead sticking with his guys that are struggling and hoping they’ll work their way out of a slump, like he did last year for example as the Rangers squandered the AL West Division lead in the last month.  The same goes for the starting rotation and bullpen.  At times Wash’s decision making regarding the pitching staff has been criticized by those that watch every game.  Wash has to demonstrate that he knows when to make a move and when not to.  In the past the Rangers’ offense has been productive enough to cover up any questionable moves Wash has made with the pitching staff.  That won’t be the case this year.

My projected lineup for 2013:
Batting Order
1. Ian Kinsler – 2B
2. Elvis Andrus – SS
3. David Murphy – OF
4. Adrian Beltre – 3B
5. Lance Berkman – DH
6. Nelson Cruz – OF
7. A.J. Pierzynski – C
8. Mitch Moreland – 1B
9. Craig Gentry – OF

Starting Pitching Rotation
1. Yu Darvish
2. Matt Harrison
3. Derek Holland
4. Alexi Ogando
5. TBD

2013 Prediction: In a very close race the Rangers’ strong starting pitching and a consistent (although less powerful) offense carries them to an AL West win.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2013 Texas Rangers Preview... yours truly is up at  I'll post the same preview here tomorrow.  Cheers!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Is Nolan Ryan On the Way Out?

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: If Nolan Ryan, the face of Texas Rangers baseball, is essentially being forced out by ownership his departure will be in the final nail in a terrible offseason for the front office.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Or maybe Nolan is just retiring?  Maybe?  Or maybe, Nolan is OK with letting the young guys take on more responsibility and he can sit back and just oversee the whole thing.  Hopefully.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: I hope Nolan doesn't end up leaving the Rangers and goes to work for the Astros (now AL West bunk-mates of the Rangers) and helps to build them into a World Series contender like he helped do with the Rangers.


Why Isn't Every Texas Rangers Preseason Game on TV?

Does Fox Sports Southwest have better programming during the day?  If the answer is no, then why are they (or some other local DFW channel) not broadcasting each Rangers Cactus League ballgame?  In the year two thousand and thirteen (2013) why can I not turn on the television and watch each and every Rangers preseason game?

For example, Martin Perez (the would-be 5th starting pitcher) broke his arm yesterday when when a liner hit him when he was on the mound.  But no one I know around DFW got to see the game today because, IT WAS NOT ON TV.  That of course is bad news for the Rangers but I'd like to see bad along with the good, just like I do during the regular season.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rangers Preview for

I have been asked by the kind folks at to write a short preview regarding your Texas Rangers' upcoming season that they will post on their website.  But don't wait for my preview, check out their website.  I will have my Texas Rangers preview over to them by this weekend.  I will post a link to my preview on when it's up on their site.  Stay tuned!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No Josh Hamilton It's You Who Doesn't Get It.

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud: Josh Hamilton's interview with local CBS affiliate reporter Gina Miller was hard to listen to and just cements the fact that it was time for him to get the heck out of town.  To paraphrase one of the many barbs from Hamilton, he said that any fans that booed him or might boo him in the future "don't get it."  He also had the complete lack of humility and outrageous audacity to wink at the camera and say that Rangers' fans got spoiled the last few years, implying that it was all him and we will all be sorry to see him gone.  All this after he stated that the Metroplex is not a "baseball town."  Implying it's more of a football town.  But that's too simple.  That's like saying LA is a Lakers/basketball town.  Hamilton may think local DFW baseball fans don't get certain baseball related things.  And that only a seasoned professional baseball player like him or fans from baseball towns get the intricacies of trying to throw, hit and catch a baseball for a living.  Well, in my humble opinion, there are a few things that Hamilton hasn't, doesn't and will never get.

Here's what Hamilton doesn't get:
1) Football may be supreme in DFW but that doesn't mean that local baseball fans can't recognize when a player is mailing it in. 
2) DFW baseball fans get upset when a player jogs after a ball that he just dropped on a routine pop up in the biggest game of the year. 
3) Local baseball fans can recognize (and read stat sheets) when a player that's capable of batting well over .320 bats .223, .177 and .259 three out of the last four months down the stretch last season. 
4) DFW baseball fans can wonder outloud after the All-Star break last year why Wash didn't move him down the batting order when he was batting so poorly (was that because Hamilton's weak psyche couldn't take being moved down the batting order?). 
5) Maybe the Rangers will be better off with a player that averages around .300 each month of the regular season instead of one that disappears for months at a time and always has something going on. (Remember his greatest, self-indulgent quote from last year: "Guys, it's me. It's Josh. It's going to be something weird."  Besides being rid of a player who refers to himself in the third person, maybe DFW fans were tired of Hamilton's rather large set of baggage, especially coupled with him not being able to hit a watermelon at the plate.
6) And maybe Hamilton hasn't been to too many Cowboys games here since Romo took over but I seem to recall that the knowledgeable DFW football fans have tossed more that a few boo-birds Romo's way too.
7) Here's some news for Hamilton, the Rangers drew the 3rd most fans last year in MLB in spite of him essentially taking 3 months off.  And yes he did contribute to the increase in the Rangers' popularity in DFW but unlike the way he makes it sound, he didn't do it by himself. 
8) Maybe a departing "star" that, a) took way more money than anyone around here thought he would be offered and b) took said offer without hearing a counter-offer from the Rangers and c) is going to have to play a few times against his old team at their park shouldn't, d) turn around and verbally kick its fans (that stuck with him through some great highs and some really low lows-remember Sherlocks?) in the privates.  
9) And yes, the Anaheim area of Los Angeles, California, West Coast of America might be more of a basketball town. 
10) If Hamilton bats for the Angels like he did for the Rangers down the stretch last year and/or for 3 months of the regular season I think he'll hear something other than cheers from the West Coast, LA of Anaheim, LakersLand, California baseball-savant fans.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining: Pitchers and catchers reported last week.  Full squad reported this week.  Let's see how Pierzynski and Berkman do.  Let's see if Moreland can become a full timer at 1B and if Gentry will step up in CF and at the plate.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenotes: After all this drama with Hamilton and him not being a part of the Rangers going forward, I cannot help but think of and paraphrase one of my favorite movie quotes from one of my favorite movies, Hoosiers, "my team is on the field."  I just hope that's what Nolan, JD, Wash and all the players think and believe going into Spring Training and the season.


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