Category Archives: Texas Rangers


Never Doubt Mike Trout

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Mike Trout wrecked the Texas Rangers this weekend in Anaheim. He ended the weekend with a four-hit performance, two home runs, and five RBI. His grand slam was merely the exclamation point.

There are so many guys around baseball absolutely wrecking things this year. It seems like; to a degree, offense is back in the game. Big time offense. Of all those guys, and all the youngsters who are making a big impression as the future of the game, Mike Trout stands above them all as the one immortal. The Mickey Mantle of the present.

At the conclusion of today’s game, Trout has 31 home runs to lead baseball, 64 RBI, 10 stolen bases, a .315 batting average, a .405 on-base percentage, a 1.038 OPS and a WAR fast approaching seven. The Angels are a game in first place, and Trout is going to win the second of what should have been his fourth MVP award. He’s 23 years of age.

Every single time you, I, or anyone decides to say ‘(fill in the blank with player name) is overtaking Mike Trout as the best player in baseball’ he gives you a startling reminder that the statement isn’t even close to being true.

And what the Hell were these Rangers pitchers thinking to continue throwing fastballs low in the zone? Must have had a death wish.

Joey Gallo, the real Yellow Rose of Texas


Yesterday was the long-awaited Joey Gallo day. Typically, we do a post on that day to commemorate a much anticipated debut of a highly rated prospect who is joining the fraternity of the finest for good. Yesterday, we slacked.

In Gallo’s second career at-bat, he made his presence felt. He showed off some of that huge power:

He also singled and doubled, driving in four of the Rangers runs in a 15-2 victory. If you want to read a good scouting report on Mr. Gallo, head over to Lone Star Ball.

Don’t Write off Josh Hamilton just yet


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Remember when Josh Hamilton was written off, done for his career? Left for dead by his old team, the Anaheim Angels? It appears he doesn’t.

Hamilton had a decent swing in his first at-bat back in Texas last night, lashing a double. Tonight, he hit his first and second home runs of the season.

We can’t remember where we read it exactly – but a writer once pointed out that Hamilton is like a puppy dog. He needs the adoration and cheers from a crowd to succeed. The more he gets, the more dominating he can become. Think back to the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium. Hamiton was on top of the baseball world that night.

It’s wouldn’t be the least bit surprising that he experiences a mini-resurgence in Texas where he had his best days as a pro. The Texas crowd is behind him, and it appears right now that he’s going to ride a wave of adrenaline.

Texas is a weird team, stuck in a sort of state of roster flux (they want to play Delino Deshields Jr. every day, but have a glut of veteran outfielders and infielders). They have no real pitching staff. Yet, they’re not bad in every sense. They can’t just go out and blow it up.

The Hamilton storyline will be one of the most interesting to follow this summer.

Adrian Beltre hit his 400th home run last night in Texas


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Adrian Beltre has made quite a Hall of Fame case for himself as one of the best ever. He’s joined an elite club by hitting his 400th home run last night off Bruce Chen.

Beltre has a lifetime 78.8 bWAR for you Sabermetrics folks. He absolutely has put up the numbers with his bat to be a likely Hall of Famer.

Texas as a team is in a weird limbo with their roster. They’re definitely not good and have all kinds of problems with pitching, yet the roster is littered with aging veterans just forced to play out the string.

In what is certain to be a season of struggle, Beltre provided the home fans with a big moment. And everyone got to touch the head!

Yu Darvish may need Tommy John


The biggest news of the morning involves the Texas Rangers. This has been building for a long time coming, and it appears that one-time ace Yu Darvish may need Tommy John surgery that would cause him to miss the entire season.

This really contributes to what figures to be an absolute dumpster-fire season for the Texas Rangers. Without their number one starter, they’ll be in full rebuild mode and probably lose between 90 and 100 games we would expect.

And there’s nothing about this that is good for baseball. No power arm in the game is safe from this injury, no one is immune to it. It appears that yet another great talent in the game will miss significant time with arm troubles.

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.


The One where the Angels swallow Colby Lewis whole


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[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


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”


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

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

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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)