Category Archives: Texas Rangers

Adam Dunn threw the ninth inning in Chicago last evening

The White Sox were brutalized last night by the Texas Rangers by a score of 16-0. But for those who paid hard earned money for a ticket, all was not lost.

There are certain ‘baseball things’ you grab your cell phone for when you’re half asleep to fire off a handful of texts to your buddies. Big Adam Dunn coming out of the wind-up, painting corners at 80 would be at the top of that list.

There’s only a select few players in the game’s scavenger hunt of history who have pitched an inning on the mound and hit over 400 career home runs. Babe Ruth is one of them, and one of our all-time favorites Adam Dunn is now part of that list.

Things like this make baseball fun.

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The One where the Angels swallow Colby Lewis whole

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[Box Score]

[OC Register]

When I saw the pitching match-up last night was Hector Santiago versus Colby Lewis in that July heat at the Ballpark in Arlington, I knew it was going to be a fun night for someone and possibly both teams. I look back on it and ask myself why the Hell wouldn’t I just bet the over total in this game and make some money. It was a safe bet.

My suspicion was correct, as Colby Lewis surrendered an astounding 13 hits, 13 runs, 11 of which were earned in just 2 and 1/3 innings. Nice assist by his manager Ron Washington in deciding it was a good night just to leave Colby to the wolves of the Angels lineup.

Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout each had four hits, and it seemed that they had them before the first half of the game was over. Trout moved his OPS to 1.003 with the monster game, and got a low pitch off Colby Lewis that landed on that pretty lawn in center out in the heart of Texas.

When it was over, the Angels had compiled a 15-6 win. In the loss, future (maybe) Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre had three hits including a home run. It was the Angels 54th win of the season and the first credited to Hector Santiago.

Here’s Mike Trout’s 21st home run of the season, off poor Colby Lewis:

Texas Rangers 2014 Team Preview

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Pinch hitting once again is Mike Hllywa, this time with the 2014 Texas Rangers team preview. You might recognize Mike’s name from his work at Gammons Daily, Halo Hangout, or Off Base Percentage. He’s also been a guest host on The Baseball Show Podcast. You can follow him on twitter here.

Four years ago, the Rangers lost the World Series in five games. Three years ago, they came within one strike of winning the fall classic numerous times, but eventually fell to the Cardinals in seven games. Two years ago, they lost the play-in game. Last year, they lost a play-in game that would have led to the play-in game. Bloggers are meant to be unbiased, but I cannot hide my smile when I see the slow erosion of a division rival.

But erosion is not the same as being not competitive. This is still a dangerous team that is capable of ousting the Oakland Athletics as the incumbent division champions, and with relatively little ease to boot. Just because I smile at their misery, doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize trouble when I see it. Continue reading

Kinsler: “GM Jon Daniels is a Sleazeball”

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If you were waiting for that first eye-grabbing, explosive quote-machine interview of the spring, it was rolled out in front of us today courtesy of ESPN the Magazine.

Ian Kinsler didn’t mix any words when talking about his former General Manager in Texas, Jon Daniels.

“Daniels is a sleazeball,” he says. “He got in good with the owners and straight pushed Ryan out. He thought all the things he should get credit for, Ryan got credit for. It’s just ego. Once we went to the World Series, everybody’s ego got huge, except for Nolan’s.”

That’s the quote that we assume has everyone buzzing about. But there’s a different part of this article I want to react to. The part that we want to point out is more along the lines of something we should all be able to relate to – because not everyone in this world hates their boss or superior.

The part of the story that kind of rubbed us the wrong way was Kinsler’s defiance to move to first-base and his reasoning behind it.

In a moment of veteran pride and defiance of youth, Kinsler declared second his domain. “These guys gotta earn it; that’s what I did,” he says. “I was a 17th-round pick, so there was zero coddling. I had to put myself on the prospect map.” In other words: No kid was taking his job.

So wait a second – you’re going to sell to the media that team chemistry and leadership are important qualities to you and on a team – yet you’re going to be an ass about moving positions when it would really benefit the organization to get their top-prospect into his natural position? Something that might benefit them for far longer than you’re going to be in the plans?

Selfish move, in my opinion. It’s an act that absolutely wreaks of insecurity and the same egotistical quality that Kinsler is ripping on Jon Daniels for. Look, we all know what it’s like to be part of some team in our lives. We’re all part of a team every day if you think about it. Whether those teammates are your co-workers, your family members, whatever. Sometimes you have to take a big bite of shit to benefit the greater good of the group. That’s just the way it goes. On this, we have to side with the organization and not the player. They did nothing wrong in asking the guy to move to first base. In fact, it was the right move. ‘De-facto clubhouse leaders’ as Kinsler is called in the article don’t do things like that.

On another note, it seems that he didn’t leave on bad terms with everyone in the Texas organization.

Now, the drama behind him, Kinsler has a chance to step back. “I’ll miss all my teammates,” he says. “I’ll miss Elvis and Beltre, Mitch [Moreland], Matt Harrison and [Ron] Washington.” But the frustration — with his play, with the team, with the organization — is still so raw. “To be honest with you, I hope they go 0-162. I got friends, and I love my friends, but I hope they lose their ass.”

I like the fire that Kinsler seems to have within him, and I admit prior to this I knew little about his personality. But at the same time we don’t think this has a good look to it. “I love them but I hope they die”. Yeah, that doesn’t jive, Ian. If I’m a Tigers player in that clubhouse right now and I catch a few lines of this article, I’m wondering if my squad just gained an entirely new brand of asshole.

Rank Relief: Joe Nathan loses, Mo gets another save

Putting that sassy hand on your hip isn't going to bring back that triple Joe.
Putting that sassy hand on your hip isn’t going to bring back that triple Joe.

It’s always bad news to walk players in the 9th when you are trying to close out the game.  Joe Nathan made that mistake today.  After walking Vernon Wells (who walks Vernon wells?) a wild pitch advanced Wells to second.  It didn’t really matter what base he was on because Eduardo Nunez crushed a ball to deep center field and ended up a third base (no throw).  That tied the game.  With only one out,  Brent Lillibridge was able to seal the deal with a single to score Nunez and the Yankees took the lead for good.  Full damage below:

RR 7.23 - 2

One walk, one wild pitch, two hits, two runs, and only two outs.  The Yankees lineup is so far from what we are used to seeing, but somehow they are getting it done and hanging around the standings.  It looks like they are getting Alfonso Soriano soon.  They could be primed to make a run.  And thanks to Joe Nathan blowing the save, the best closer ever got one instead.

The Watch List: Yu’s Perfection Yu’s Almost Perfect Game

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I started writing this post after Darvish set down the first two hitters on two pitches in the 9th inning. I jinxed the man.

[Box Score]

Marwin Gonzalez kept everyone from seeing history tonight. His single in the bottom of the 9th inning was only the second ball that left the infield off Yu Darvish all night long.

The guy was so dominant; I don’t know where to begin. Yes, it was against the Houston Astros lineup which didn’t have many hits in it to begin with after blowing their load on Opening Night, but it was still impressive. This was the first Darvish start that I’ve watched from start to finish. He struck out 14 Astros on the night and featured a fastball that crept up to 97 miles per hour at one point.

The guy has pretty much announced to the world that he’s elite with this start if he hadn’t already prior. My fantasy team thanks Yu (pun).

Now for the stats rundown.

Home Runs: 1 (Ian Kinsler 1)
Strikeouts: 24
Runs: 7
Hits: 14
Errors: 0
Stolen bases: none (still haven’t seen a stolen base live yet, lost art)
Official time watching baseball: 2 hours, 54 minutes
Times taking the dog out to pee: 1
Chores my wife asked me to do during (unofficial): two
Household chores completed that I’ve been asked to do: zero

STATS during the 2000-Inning Quest:

Home Runs: 5
Bryce Harper home runs: 2
Strikeouts: 73
Runs: 23
Hits: 45
Errors: 5
Stolen bases: NONE
Official time watching baseball: 12 hours, 49 minutes
Times taking the dog out to pee: 7
Chores my wife asked me to do during (unofficial): two
Innings left to go: 1,953 (I’m giving myself 7 more innings b/c I watched the Giants/Dodgers game on MLB Network too before finding something else to do)

Opening Night Watch Report

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[Box Score]

I feel like I was more excited for this season to start than I’ve been for any other previous in my lifetime. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but with the completion of tonight’s Opening Night game, I’m now just 1,991 innings away from completing my goal.

Opening Night 2013 was the Justin Maxwell show. He made a base-hit robbing catch of an Elvis Andrus liner early in the game–it was a trap, mind you–and added a pair of triples including one that drove in the first two runs of the 2013 season. He was named the Chevrolet Player of the Game.

The first home run of the 2000 inning quest and of the season went to an unlikely source: Rick Ankiel. Matt Harrison started off pitching well and struck out nine Astros, but Houston quickly settled in and made their return to the American League a triumphant one. Little Jose Altuve added a couple of knocks. Nelson Cruz as well.

There have certainly been more entertaining Opening Night match-ups. But let’s face it, no one is watching these guys tomorrow. This could very well be the only time during the season that the Astros are on my ‘Watch List’. Now for the meat and potatoes of what this post will include.

STATS during the 2000-Inning Quest:

Home Runs: 1 (Rick Ankiel, 1)
Strikeouts: 20
Runs: 10
Hits: 15
Errors: 1
Stolen bases: zero
Official time watching baseball: 3:00
Times taking the dog out to pee: 2
Chores my wife asked me to do during (unofficial): Zero
Innings left to go: 1,991

2013 Texas Rangers Team Preview

Ahhh…good ol’ Texas.  More like a country than a state.  If there was one state that I would money on to secede, it would be Texas.  (unless we sell Alaska to China for some futures in raw bamboo)  The Rangers spent 2010 and 2011 losing in the World Series, but couldn’t manage to make it back for a third time.  Any many thought they would the way they opened up the 2012 season.  But let’s be honest, they were just heading toward Buffalo Bills territory.

Let’s take a closer look at the Rangers.

Major Off-Season Moves:

  • Signed Joakim Soria, a reliever who’s arm is possibly still messed up.
  • Signed A. J. Pierzynski, who may not have any knee cartilage left after years of playing catcher

The Rangers off-season was mainly defined by what they didn’t do.  They didn’t resign aging but still super star Josh Hamilton – instead letting him go to the rival LA Angels. Then, they were unable to replace him with Justin Upton after rumored trade after rumored trade fell through.  Who really knows how close they were to getting Upton.  But we do know they are a less talented team than they were a year ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now on to who is going to take the field this year.

Continue reading

New Astros Uniforms are Hideous; Will be Showcased on Opening Night 2013

Forgive me for having better things to do (not really), but this is the first look I’ve had at the new Houston Astros uniforms.

This comes with the news that the ‘Stros will be opening up their AL West ‘rivalry’ with the Texas Rangers on baseball’s Opening Night of 2013, coming on March 31st.

Don’t get us wrong, we love Jose Altuve. We’ll be forever indebted to the little guy (and the other 11 owners who didn’t pick him up when we had to drop him due to roster constraints before again adding him for a stretch run) for helping deliver yet another fantasy baseball championship with his average, steals, and runs on a bad team.

But shouldn’t Opening Night belong to a couple of teams that have a bit more pizazz? A little more sparkle? Those new threads are not sparkle. They’re a cross between the Detroit Tigers and a well-sponsored Pony League team. Not a fan.

Welcome to the year 2013. A year in which the Astros will donate some 90-something wins to teams of the American League, beginning with Opening Night.

Wild Card Friday (& Predictions)

For the first time in the history of this blog (and the sport in general), the postseason kicks off with two Wildcard teams playing a one game play-in the day before the real deal gets going.

National League: St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves

The last time Fredi Gonzalez was in this situation, he didn’t fare so well. He’s not a good manager, and his immensely talented team has brought him back for a chance at redemption despite his attempts to sabotage them all. It’s a testament to the winning culture in Atlanta, and the fact that they want to send their strong leader Chipper Jones out as he deserves; a winner.

The Cardinals had enough magic last season to last them a lifetime. If you were like us, you waited all season long for a Cardinals run that never really came. We have no doubts that the Cardinals will have some great runs in the future under Mike Matheny, and this season was a nice start to his managerial career. But these Cardinals are not made with the same ingredients that made them great at this time last year. They just aren’t.

They’ve still got the ability to score and knock down fences with the best of them, but there’s some smoke and mirrors within their starting rotation. Adam Wainwright has a lot of mileage on his arm, Chris Carpenter missed most of the season, and the wildcard game starter Kyle Lohse had a career year that seems to be an anomaly more than a constant.

The baseball gods will allow the Braves to extract some sweet revenge on the team that stole their spot like a thief in the night a year ago. Fredi and the Braves will win tomorrow night in Atlanta and give Chipper Jones one final crack at a ring that has eluded him since 1995. The Cardinals season ends tomorrow.

Prediction: Braves over Cardinals

American League: Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers

My goodness we love Ron Washington. His speech to his troops before World Series game seven last postseason is the thing that legends are made of. And how about those tricky Orioles? Who in their right mind had Buck Showalter and the Orioles here at this point? No one. Not a damn person outside the Baltimore fan base, and if you try to tell me otherwise you’re lying.

The Orioles have strung together a rag-tag bunch that includes Mark Reynolds, Robert Andino, Nate McLouth, and Chris Davis. Of course they’ll go to the Hellhouse that is the Ballpark in Arlington, to face all of those terrifying hitters and F-bomb dropping Ron Washington and they’ll start a pitcher (Joe Saunders) who I would consider waiver wire garbage. Were they trolling late-night for catfish the night that they found Saunders? He started seven games for the Orioles this season. They haven’t a season like this since I was still searching for my first kiss. And they’re going to let Joe Saunders decide their season? This is who you throw out there to decide the biggest game this team has played in decades? That’s TV I’ve got to see.

But you know what? The baseball gods are a funny thing.

Here are teams on the opposite side of the spectrum. One team is littered with superstars, while the other just appears littered. The Rangers will throw their high-dollar import special Yu Darvish to oppose Saunders. The Rangers have about as much postseason experience up and down the roster as anyone in the field this year. The Orioles have little to none.

Everyone in the world will pick the Rangers tomorrow night. It would probably make sense to do the same. But something in my gut tells me that this Texas team has learned the just how long and impossible the journey seems. They’re jaded. They dropped the World Series two years ago. Last year they climbed back up that tall hill only to see it slip away in the most gut-wrenching fashion possible in sports. If that wasn’t enough to kill the spirits of this team, getting caught by the Oakland Athletics and losing the division title after leading the way for 99% of the season has destroyed this team’s inner conscious. I’m telling you that they’re mentally cooked.

Look back at the other side now, those tricky Orioles. They don’t know what they’re about to embark upon. They haven’t been here. They can say ‘who gives a shit, the whole damn season has been crazy anyways’. They have been starting Mark Reynolds the last few seasons. What do they care? Here’s a situation where I think lack of experience helps a team. In this one game scenario, they can catch some lightning in a bottle because they aren’t able to fully grasp the moment. All the pressure in the world is on our beloved Ron Washington and his Cocaine Cowboys of the West.

Most of all, in this life when everything seems so certain; it isn’t at all. Go the other way with the pick that everyone will go one way with. When they zig, you zag.

Prediction: Orioles over Rangers

Nice to See: Adam Dunn Goes Deep on Opening Day

Adam Dunn tied Frank Robinson and his former teammate Ken Griffey Jr. today when he hit his 8th career Opening Day home run against the Texas Rangers.

The White Sox still lost the game 3-2. But maybe this is the start of a revival for Adam Dunn. After all, he’s not going to have his appendix out again to rattle a hot start. And maybe he’ll have the year he was supposed to have last season.

Same swing, same trot, albeit a few pounds lighter. Same old Dunner. Doing his thing in game one, making you believe at least for a day or so that he could hit 162 long ones. This is one blogger who won’t be surprised one bit to see Adam Dunn get back to his old ways of 35 and 100 even if the Sox end up being a bad team.