ST33: Rangers top Astros in Arlington game, 6-5

Under a constant threat of rain, the Rangers won their first game in 1999 at the Ballpark in Arlington. I was there – Section 225, row 1. It was cool being close to the TV & radio guys. I even asked Eric & Vince if the kettle corn thing they were talking about all the time in Spring Training was real. They said it was. Eric said it was popcorn covered with something – couldn’t hear them very well.
Mark McLemore pulled something in his hamstring in the first inning going after a foul ball, he was pinch hit for in the first inning (he was slated to lead off). Overall it was a good feel for the Rangers, even though they didn’t win by a whole lot. Pudge had a triple, which was cool, and of course, when they announced Palmiero, the place went nuts. There did seem to be a bunch of people up from Houston in Astros garb. Ruben Mateo did play, but I didn’t know it as it wasn’t announced – he pinch ran for Raffy after a double Raffy had gotten.
I’m still on vacation, so I won’t say much, but there is some new stuff at the Ballpark. Mainly advertising. There is a new third rotating sign in left field, and the TX lotto ad to the right of the manual scoreboard is gone. There are two new ads on the outfield wall, both for Dodge trucks, and the ad on the back wall of the Rangers bullpen is now a very noticeable white ad (I forget who it is at the moment). Also, the high outfield wall ads by the Coke scoreboard have changed slightly. There is one all the way to the right that I think is different, and the Radio Shack ad with the lighted ball for Home Runs is still there, but it has a Channel 39 logo on it instead of the Radio Shack ad.
But the one totally NEW thing that I liked was a new scoreboard that shows speed of pitch and type of pitch. It’s located in left field to the right of the already existing dotpanel scoreboard (that shows out of town scores and updates during the game).
Well, I ended up writing more than I thought – sorry I didn’t write much about teh game itself – check out Jim’s commentary.
Commentary by Jim Meeks:
The Rangers edged the Astros 6-5 Friday in Arlington, scoring 3 runs off Houston pitcher Scott Elarton late in the game.
Rusty Greer and Jon Shave each had two runs batted in and Pudge Rodirguez and Royce Clayton has two hits each.
Mark Clark had his final tune-up of the spring and while he wasn’t overpowering, he was effective (3 ER in 6 IP with 6 SO).
Texas plays their final exhibition Saturday versus the Mets.