Rangers in tailspin

Josh is already out and now Cruz may miss some time too?  Not good.

To put things in perspective, the Rangers lost to a team last night that had Adam Kennedy batting 3rd and Miguel Olivo batting cleanup.  That looked like a split squad spring training lineup.

Wash isn’t exactly pushing all the right buttons.  Loved the suicide squeeze call.  His pitching choices were horrible.  Ogando still looked strong and should have started the 7th.  After Strop’s terrible 7th, what in the world was Wash thinking abut bringing him back in the 8th?

Even though Feliz is expected back later this week, one player will not solve the Rangers bullpen woes.  Last year, Frankie, Holland, O’Day and Ogando were the 7th and 8th inning guys along with Oliver.  They are all gone with Rhodes and Eppley to replace them.  Clearly, that isn’t enough.  They really need o get a solid 7th or 8th inning guy.  My suggestion – make a move for Octovio Dotel.  They really need a right hander really bad.  The Jays would probably deal him if they got a good prospect or two. MAKE IT HAPPEN!  

Rangers Fall To Second Place

If anyone is reading this, I feel sorry for you.  You must be trying to read anything possible.  I have been on hiatus for a few years, but decided I needed to start blogging again. 

Here are a few “scattershots”:

Well, the Rangers won’t be wire to wire champs this year after all.  Jered Weaver is currently on fire and the Rangers wasted a pretty good outing by Matt Harrison.

Nellie Cruz looks to be in a huge funk since the Yankee series.  Thad Bosley needs to pull him aside and get head right with ball.  Why anyone is pitching to Beltre with Cruz struggling so badly right now is beyond me.

Michael Young is showing us why the Rangers are so much better than without him.  He seems to get clutch RBI’s every night and rarely has a bad at bat.  When the Rangers face quality pitchers, MY is the rock in the middle of the lineup.

Now that the Angles are gone, the Rangers need to take care of business against the Royals.  They have a deep farm system, but right now their talent isn’t major league ready.

The Central Division is really up for grabs this year with all the favorites scuffling through April.  How long before Ozzie blows a gasket and gets fired?

Mitch Moreland looks better with each game he plays.  It’s also great that he can fill in at right field.  After Chris Davis’ typical 0 for 4 with a hat trick on Monday night and Napoli’s scary defense at first (or behind the plate too), I want to see Mitch penciled in every game.  I was glad that the Rangers called up Teagarden.  They need to be able to swap out catchers, pinch hit or pinch run without fear of losing the DH or being down to an emergency catcher.
 
Who is going to step up and fill the void as a right-handed relief pitcher?  Now that Tobin is on the 60 day DL and Lowe got sent down, O’Day and Strop are the only 2 short relief pitchers.  With Scheppers on the minor league DL, who is next to come up?  

Tom Hicks continues to haunt the Rangers.  The latest snafu about Hicks trying to raise parking fees is pure TOH.  I didn’t realize he still had any control over those lots until last week.  I think we need to organize other parking in the area and have all true Ranger fans boycott Hicks’ lots.  I have always thought the cost of parking was outrageous at the ballpark (although Jerry has raised the bar on crazy parking fees). 

First base merry go round continues

Ben Broussard being designated for assignment ends a brief but mistake filled stint here.  He has been a platoon player nearly his whole career.  He has been a poor hitting 1B, a position that usually demands a strong bat.  Unlike the famous song New York, New York; if you can’t make it as a hitter in the Ballpark in Arlington, you can’t make it anywhere.  The Rangers blew over $3.5MM on this mistake. 

We now have Chris Shelton, who has done nothing since his hot start fro Detroit 2 years ago.  We have the aging, all bat, no glove Catman, who also has virtually no power as well.  Will they make there error complete and call up Gold before he’s ready?

Millwood going on the DL is a shock to the suddenly lights out starting pitchers.  I say good.  Let’s see what the kids can do.   (Please repeat 1000 times so this can sink in!)

10 Things for Ranger Fans to Consider

I have not been posting because I have not had much good to
say about the Rangers.  After a month of
silence, I have to post something.  Here
are some things to keep in mind for 2008:

 

1)      1) When
evaluating any Ranger personnel move, you have to ask the following question:
“Will this make the Rangers better in 2010?” 
We all know that the Rangers have no shot this year or next, despite
some of you who were drinking the pre-season Kool-Aid and wondering if the Rangers
could be this year’s Colorado Rockies. 
(Don’t deny it.  We know who you
are!)

2)      2) Players
who won’t be around for 2010 are merely fodder to obtain additional
prospects.  If we can keep Milton Bradley
healthy and muzzled, maybe we can get some prospects for him later this summer.

bradley.jpg


3)     
Salty
is the Ranger catcher of the future.  The
only question is: Do you want him to learn at the major league level or in the
minors.  I vote majors.  Which means Gerald Laird may be able to get
us some prospects.

4)      4) If
the Rangers plan was to trade Tex, could they at least have a viable
alternative at first base?  How soon will
our minor league first sackers be ready? 
If you answered 2010, there’s no need to bring in someone else between
now and then.  I would have given Botts a
longer tryout, but Broussard’s days are probably numbered and it is approaching
zero.  Chris Shelton was never the answer
except for trivia about fast starts in 2006.

young.jpg


5)     5) What can be done to
improve the team’s middle defense? 
Michael Young still doesn’t cover much ground at short and Kinsler makes
Soriano’s defense look passable.  I
thought both of these guys were in the Rangers long term plans, but can they
afford to have them butchering up the defense?

volquez.jpg

6) I have no confidence that the Rangers
pitching coaches at the minor or major league level can develop young
pitching.  The early season success of
Edinson Volquez with the Reds underscores my concern.  Here was a guy with electric stuff, who
struggled in the Rangers system because of wildness.  The Reds have him for spring training and he
looks like the second coming.  Rangers’
heads should roll over this.  If the
Rangers can’t develop young pitching, they might as well give up right
now.  People can have all the talent in
the world when drafted or acquired, but if don’t get much better they will be
cannon fodder in the big leagues.   Josh
Hamilton is trying to let us forget about Volquez, but good young pitchers the
scarcest commodity in baseball.  The
Ballpark can make a good hitter from a lot of spare players.

 7)     

 

ryan.jpg

7) How long will Nolan Ryan be given a free
pass by his buddies in the media?  When
he was hired, I thought it was a smart think for Hicks, JD & Company. Management can get bashed all day, but people
will think twice before taking on the Express mano-a-mano.  He also will help sell tickets from a
promotional standpoint.

      8)  Hitting,
defense, starting pitching, and bullpen – Which has been the most reliable part
of the Rangers game thus far?  I would
vote starting pitchers.  Millwood and
Padilla have been inconsistent, but more good than bad.   The worst part of the game – defense
unquestionably.  While watching the
rangers in the field, I am reminded of the Keystone Cops.  For those of you too young to remember them,
google it.

9)      9)  General
admission home games?  When the Rangers
are playing non-contending teams, crowds are going to be very sparse all
year.  Look for increasingly aggressive
promotions to get fans to the ballpark. 
It still irks me that parking is so high ($12???) considering it’s for a
surface lot with no shade a mile away from the ballpark.  The price of beer also encourages me to stay
home where the beer is colder and 1/6th the cost.  Dollar hot dog nights won’t cut it.  Maybe free parking night would entice
me.  Given Cleveland’s ill fated nickel
beer night, that won’t be happening anytime soon.

wash.jpg

)   10) Should he stay or
should he go?  Wash is obviously not in
the plans for 2010 because his handling of the current Ranger debacle has been
no less than a disaster of Hindenburg proportions.  The question is when to give him the ax?  What message would that send to a new
skipper?  Is the guy you really want
available?  Who would want to take the
helm of this sinking ship right now?  My
advice is to stay the course through the bulk of this year, maybe even through
next year.  Pull the trigger late in the
year so the new manager will have a month or two to get to know the players
before the off season hits.  By August 1
have a plan of who the next Ranger manager will be and what sort of team this
will be in 2010. We have come full circle. 
Decide what the team can look like in 2010 before making any current
decision.

Back to Baseball HW Quiz

The following questions are about 60/40 AL and Rangers Questions based on the 2007 season. Let’s see how much you remember about last year’s bargains and busts. I will specify if the answer is a Ranger or in one case, a former Ranger player.
As I looked through the year end stats, I noticed a lot of weird things and some things I expected.

#1 – ARod’s season was head and shoulders better than anyone. (.314/143/54/156/24) Therefore, this quiz will not use him as the answer to any question.

#2 – How in the heck did Carlos Pena put up those stellar numbers? (.282/99/46/121/1) He gets my vote as “least likely to repeat 2007″.

Here is the scale of your level of baseball knowledge:

18-20 – TR Sullivan material
14-17 – Tom Greive wannabe
10-13 – Favorite TV show is Baseball Tonight
6-9 – Knows nothing about the Rangers
3-5 – Needs to mix in a game
0-2 – Were you in a Coma last year?

1) What two teammates were in the top 3 in AL batting average in 2007?

Santana

2) The AL K’s leader is the only starter in the top 3 in K’s that will remain with the same team in 2008. Who is he?

3) Who led the Rangers in HR’s last year?

4) Only one Ranger hitter had more than 50 walks last year? Who was it?

Chanhotex

5) Of the 5 Rangers pitchers with the most innings, who had the lowest ERA?

6) For starters with 100 or more IP, who led the AL in ERA in 2007?

Corderotex

7) The AL Saves leader had 5 more than anybody else. Who is he?

8) Of players with 20 or more SB’s, he had the best success rate, having one CS in 27 attempts?

9) I struck out a league leading 164 times in only 395 at bats (41.5% of the AB’s). I was also second in the AL in walks with 105. I led my team in HR’s with 26. Who is this patient but whiffable slugger?

10) Only one team had two players with 30 plus HR in 2007. Name the players.

11) I tied for 42nd in the AL with 18 homers, but I led my team in HR’s. Who am I?

12) I am a total spare, weighing 205 pounds. Of AL players with more than 150 at bats, I had the lowest BA at a pathetic .148. If .200 is the Mendoza line, maybe .150 will be named after me.

13) I had the most AB’s in the AL (430) without hitting an HR which is better than Jason Kendall the year before. At least I stole 27 bases and hit .293, so I wasn’t a total spare (like Kendall)

14) I had as many K’s as Brad Wilkerson, as many HR’s as Gerald Laird and a slugging percentage 13 points below “Salty”. What Ranger am I?

15) I was a great middle relief find in 2007 going 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA and a WHIP of 0.76. My claim to fame was throwing strikes. Among pitchers allowing less than 10 walks, I had the most innings pitched – 79? I also struck out 80 while only walking 9.

Witt

16) I am one wild and crazy guy. Despite winning 18 games, striking out 183 hitters and posting an ERA of 3.66, I led the league in both HBP’s (19) and Wild Pitches (17). Who is the owner of these Bobby Witt like stats?

17) I led the league in HR’s allowed in 2007

18) I was third in the AL in HR’s allowed, but I only needed 139 IP to give up 28 dingers. What former Ranger’s great is this?

19) Power outage up the middle? In 2007, only one player who played 90% or more of his games at a middle infield position hit more than 20 HR? Who is it?

Jorge

20) Only 2 regular catchers (250 plus AB) hit over .300 in 2007. Everyone should know Jorge Posada hit .338. Who was the other?

Witt

Wilkerson

Tex

Sosatex

Pavliktex

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