ST30: Rangers lose to Chisox in OKC, 5-4

Friday brought the Rangers and the Southsiders from Chicago to Oklahoma City for an exhibition game.
Michael Young led our offense, having a phenomenal spring which we’d all be talking about if it wasn’t for Josh Hamilton. Michael went 2-3 and raised his average to .403. Ben Broussard also went 2-3, and has his average recovered quite nicely from his early spring slump (it’s at .298). Hank Blalock doubled off of former Rangers farmhand John Danks, as did Ben Broussard off of Mike MacDougal. The rest of our hits for the game (nine of them) were all singles. No longballs, so the “chicks” were disappointed. ;) All of the regulars/starters had at least one hit, so that was very nice to see. Always like a more balanced attack. Ironic then that all of the guys subbed in for the starters did not get any hits at all. Milton Bradley’s first inning single was worth two RBI’s, and his numbers are small, but that’s because of his late start.
Pitching wise, the Rangers ran out there nine relievers. No starters in this one. Each guy pitched a single inning. C.J. Wilson (4th) and Josh Rupe (7th) were the only guys to give up any runs (Wilson 2, Rupe 3). All the other guys put up blanks in the run column. Fukumori & Benoit still have ERA’s of zero for the spring, and Franklyn German has a very un-Franklyn German ERA of 0.90.
Our pen looks good this season, which is why the trade announced last night was a bit of a head scratcher. The Rangers acquired reliever Dustin Nippert from the Arizona Diamondbacks Friday evening. It was quite the day for Dustin, as his wife gave birth to their second child earlier in the day. Quotes in the evening from Rangers brass say the final spot was down to Nippert & Robinson Tejeda. Tejeda, who is out of options will be DFA’ed. You wish you could hang onto that in case he figures it out, but it’s the old options thing. Nippert comes into the organization also out of options (which is why he was available), and goes straight into the pen. His career (and spring 08 numbers) don’t seem to indicate he’s a “Oh my GOD – WE HAVE TO HAVE HIM” kind of pitcher, so it definitely falls under the category of head scratcher to me. If you want to read more in depth on Nippert, check out Jamey Newberg’s entry on the trade. Good details there.
One spring game left, and it’s against the Frisco Roughriders in Frisco. It doesn’t technically count in the spring training standings.
I’m not entirely sure what the official deadline is to submit our 25 man roster, but I believe it’s a day before your first game, which would mean we have to submit it sometime tomorrow. That means a bomb of transactions all at once.
Just about there, and then the fun begins. Last year, the season just cropped up on me, and I didn’t have much in the way of anticipation for it. This year I admit to actively looking forward to it, which is odd, given I’ve made the conscious decision to not attend all that many games this year (mostly because of cost, but also because I’ve donated that money to my church in a capital campaign we’re having to build a new church).
I’m also working on an article on the 2008 Home Parking situation which I’ll be posting either Sunday or Monday. If you know the parking at the Ballpark, prepare to have your world rocked – if you’ve been keeping up with what they’re doing out there.