Since we last met… (Part 2)

I posted an update on various Rangers news on November 15th. It’s now the evening of December 7th, and a few more things have happened, so here go a few more thoughts..
Some Smaller Moves: Right after my last update, there were some roster moves. Nothing that I would call Earth shattering, but they were moves. The Rangers signed Barret Loux, a pitcher who was the sixth overall selection in the 2010 draft by the Diamondbacks. He was available due to a roster technicality. The Rangers also added four players to the 40 man roster (Fabio Castillo, Wilmer Font, Miguel Del Los Santos, & Engel Beltre). Jamey Newberg could tell you more about those guys. :) The Rangers also signed C Kevin Cash, OF Doug Deeds, & IF Esteban German to minor league contracts. All got invites to spring training. Nice to see the inventer of the Claw & Antlers still with us.
Abritration Stuff: The only two players the Rangers offered salary arbitration to were Cliff Lee & Frank Francisco. Lee turned it down to nobody’s surprise. I also think it was no surprise to anyone that we offered it in the first place. Francisco did accept it, so he’ll be back in 2011. That’s probably a good thing. Provided he pitches like he did AFTER April of 2010.
Thad Bosley new Hitting Coach: Sadly, Clint Hurdle left after just one year (quite the counter to Jaramillo’s tenure). Although I’m not TOO sad about it, he left to be a major league manager again. Can’t really fault him for that. So we turn to Thad Bosley, who was the runner up to replace Jaramillo in the first place. I don’t know much about Bosley, so I don’t have a ton of insight into him. Wash knows him from their time in Oakland together where he was a hitting coach awhile ago. Bosley was a former Ranger player at the end of his career (89/90). He becomes the first Rangers player to later become a hitting coach. Something I hoped they would have done with Rusty Greer instead. Oh well.
Speaking of Rudy Jaramillo, since he took the job in Chicago I heard not one peep out of him. Given they changed managers, I wonder how long he’ll be up there. I know Houston is looking again. :)
Josh Hamilton named AL MVP: Well, duh.
Vlad Guerrero named 2010 Outstanding DH: Well duh. Just not as big of a duh.
Yorvit Torrealba signed to be #1 catcher: On Nov 29th, we signed Yorvit Torrealba to be our primary catcher for 2011/12. I can’t say I’m overly thrilled about this signing. It’s not like the guy is bad. He’s passable, which is kind of what Matt Treanor was this past year. But sadly, there isn’t a lot of quality top line catching available out there. I’m a little surprised that we didn’t bring back Molina, who said he wanted to play again. I guess in lieu of having a Joe Mauer being available, I guess this is the best we can do. From what I’ve been reading, he’s expected to catch about 100 games a year, which means the #2 will be way more than the usual backup catcher, as he too will be expected to catch about 60 or so games. Seems like Matt Treanor is a good candidate there, with Teagarden in AAA as a reserve. We also got Mark Lowe signed to a 2011 contract at the same time.
Rangers 2010 Season DVD announced: The Rangers announced a DVD commemorating the World Series season, called “It’s Time”. While I’m a bit bummed it is not a Blu-Ray, and merely a plain DVD, I will probably get this, because it’s Ranger themed. As opposed to the official Major League Baseball annual World Series DVD, which is generally more themed towards the winner of the series. Despite that one being a Blu-Ray, I’ll opt for the plain DVD, due to the more Rangers specific version of the content. :)
Rangers sign Japanese pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama: The Rangers take a dip into the pool of Japanese pitchers again, signing Yoshinori Tateyama. Don’t know anything about this guy, although I read somewhere that the same scouts who recommended we bring over Colby Lewis again said we should get Tateyama. So that’s something. This will be the fourth Japanese player to appear with the Rangers, all four have been pitchers. He will follow Hideki Irabu (meh), Akinori Otsuka (not too bad), and Kazuo Fukumori (awful). I wonder if Rangers Captain will bow to him like he had a habit of doing before to the other Japanese pitchers. :)
2011 Spring Training Schedule Announced: This wouldn’t be a big deal, except the last game of spring training is in Round Rock. The Rangers will play their new AAA affiliate, the Round Rock Express. Hopefully that’s one of the televised spring games.
Non Tender Stuff: Of all the players eligible to be non tendered, only one of them was. Dustin Nippert, who is now a free agent. Have read since then that he might go to Japan. Anyway, all the other players had contracts tendered (Cruz, Hamilton, Murphy, O’Day, & Wilson). No surprises there, really.
Jon Daniels named ML Executive of the Year: Well, Duh – Part 3.
Huge Scoreboard Announcements made: That’s something I care a lot about, and want to write a separate story about the scoreboards. So I’ll not say anything here about it right now.
Radio Station Changes: Big changes to the Rangers radio coverage, just one year after there were already big changes. For the first time since 1995, no Rangers games will be on KRLD. That’s a big change. Last year, they were also on 105.3, which was the FM affiliate for KRLD. In 2011, they’re all going to be on 103.3 The Fan. This is a better arrangement than it was last year where it was on the FM stations on M-Thu, and AM on Fri-Sun. At least they’ll all be in the same place. Unless the Mavericks are playing, who have the upper hand in scheduling. At the moment, there’s only two conflict games, at which point it will be moved to some strange combo of 660 AM and three FM stations. Check the official press release for that. Anyway, a few remarks about this. First, I’m hopeful this will allow Eric Nadel to bring back “A Page from Baseball’s Past”. I missed that, and hopefully the new station will allow that to return. Second, I was talking to a friend about this, and he raised an intersting point. It’s entirely possible the Rangers wanted to do this for the same reason they moved out Josh Lewin. Now that they’re making a bigger deal about branding and wider attention, they probably wanted a scenario where you weren’t guessing where the game will be. Having 160 out of 162 on the same station is probably a good idea. Same thing with Lewin – they wanted a guy who would be there all the time, not disappear for Chargers games. The actual station frequency is not relevant to me, as I don’t have a problem receiving any of the stations mentioned. Plus FM is better sounding than AM anyway.
As a side note, there’s till no word on who the new TV play by play guy will be. At least I’m assuming it will be a guy. I’m just glad it’s not going to be Dave Barnett, who was said to be remaining on the radio side in the radio station news story.
That’s about it for now. I’ll have more to say probably once some actual moves have been made. As I sit here writing this, there’s some Winter Meeting Hot Stove stuff going on big time (Cliff Lee, Davis/Oday to Cubs, Michael Young to Rockies), but those things are so changing by the second, I don’t get into all the particulars. Check out mlb trade rumors for all that stuff. It’s worth it – great site.