Well, that’s something I never thought I’d write. As long time followers of my site know, I’m mostly silent in the offseason. I’ll comment here and there on things that happen in the baseball world, and this was a big “thing”. The Rangers all time leader in a truckload of categories was traded away today. Michael Young is now a Philadelphia Phillie. Now, y’all know I’m also a Phillies fan, having grown up there, so I won’t miss him completely. If I were a Cowboys fan, I imagine this would feel a lot like Emmitt Smith in a Arizona Cardinals Uniform again. [Read more...]
Saw a few stories this morning, and I felt like saying a few words on them. It’s about two bits of the Rangers recent past that are no longer a part of the team. Tom Hicks & Scott Feldman. [Read more...]
When I was in Round Rock last March to see the Rangers play, one of my favorite memories was chanting “Douggy Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” whenever he’d be up. Turns out I won’t get to use that AC/DC joke in the majors anymore, as I just noticed he signed a minor league deal with the Angels earlier this month. Bummer.
As we prepare for a long overdue event – the induction of Bert Blyleven into the Hall of Fame, the thoughts go to looking back at his career.
As it happens, I was emailed this link a day ago, it’s an article that talks about many events and milestones in his career. It’s quite long and detailed, and spends a decent amount of space on his time as a Texas Rangers player. Which is surprising, given the percentage of time he spent as a Ranger vs his overall career.
Some of his Rangers highlights are his 100th career win, multiple 1-0 wins (like A LOT), and his only career no hitter, which also was his last game as a Ranger.
Check out the article, lots of good stuff in there.
Brief former Ranger Doug Glanville was in Chicago and threw out the first pitch at a Phillies / Cubs game (of which he’s a former player of both of them, too). Anyway, he really airmailed it on the first pitch, check this video out below.
Fortunately, he’s a better writer than a pitcher, I read his book earlier this year, and if you haven’t, you should. Talks about his Texas days, mostly his Phillies days, but the guy is a smart dude, his book was a very easy, very good read.
Former Texas Rangers pitcher Edinson Volquez was suspended today by Major League Baseball 50 games for violating the drug use policy. First up here is the official statement from Major League Baseball. My own statement will appear right after that in picture form.
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez has received a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension of Volquez will be effective tomorrow, April 21, 2010.
As a followup of sorts to my long list of former Rangers I needed status updates on…
I noticed that the Chicago White Sox released Jason Botts today. He was in camp with them after spending some time in Japanese ball for a couple of years.
In going over my roster pages for the 2010 season, here are some former Rangers whose current whereabouts I can’t find accurate (or at least formal) info for. If you know any, please comment below. If you think they’ve retired, let me have a link, not just “I think they retired”. Danke.
- Jason Ellison – Last heard playing in the Phillies system in 2009.
- Franklyn German – Was in camp with the White Sox in Spring 2009, didn’t make it, sent down, released July 2009.
- Kaz Fukumori – Our great (failed) Japanese experiment. I believe he was finally released by the Rangers in June 2009. If I had to guess, he went back to Japan.
- Desi Relaford – Became a free agent on Nov 3, 2007. Presumed retired.
- Mike Wood – Signed by the Rangers on Aug 31, 2009. Is he still with us?
- Kenny Lofton – Rangers traded him to the Indians in July 2007. Haven’t heard from since, presumed retired.
- John Rheinecker – Granted Free Agency by the Rangers on Oct 1, 2008. Haven’t heard from since.
- Esteban Yan – Signed as a minor league free agent with the Marlins on Aug 12, 2009. No idea where he is now.
- Rudy Seanez – Last seen with the Angels in 2009, when they released him Jul 18th. Has he retired finally?
- Victor Santos – Signed a minor league deal with the Giants, was in camp with ‘em in 2008, didn’t make the cut.
- Kenny Rogers – Filed for free agency from Tigers in Nov 2008. Presumed retired.
- Ramon Nivar – Signed as a minor league free agent by the Dodgers on Jun 27, 2009. Presumed a free agent.
- Craig Monroe – Released by the Pirates Jul 1, 2009. Presumed a free agent.
- Dan Miceli – Last seen playing for the Long Island Ducks in the 2009 season.
- Esteban Loaiza – DFA’ed by the Dodgers on May 24, 2008. Unknown since then.
- Ricky Ledee – Elected Free Agency on Nov 3, 2007. Presumed retired.
- Hideki Irabu – Retired on Apr 11, 2005, then showed up in 2009 with the Long Beach Armada (Independant Golden Baseball League). Their site says he’s still with ‘em in 2010, but…..
- Ken Huckaby – Signed with the Royals as a minor league free agent on Jan 17, 2008, unknown since then.
- Aki Otsuka – Got hurt with the Rangers, and had surgery. I heard something a year or so ago about him not completely giving up a return. But nothing official. Classifying him as retired.
- Adam Eaton – Last seen being DFA’ed by the Rockies on Sep 10, 2009. Presumed a free agent.
- Terrmel Sledge – Last known being with the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2008.
- Rick Bauer – Last known being released by the LG Twins of the South Korean baseball league with an injury. His Wikipedia page says he’s in the Rockies organization, but I can’t find evidence of that.
- Carl Everett – Last known to be playing for the Newark Bears in the 2009 season. Unknown since then.
- Ryan Drese – Last known to be playing for the Camden Riversharks in the 2009 season. Unknown since then.
- Danny Ardoin – Released by Dodgers after 2009 season. Presumed a free agent.
- Nick Regilio – Last seen being released by the Tigers in May of 2009. Presumed a free agent.
- David Dellucci – Last seen being DFA’ed by the Blue Jays on Jul 23, 2009. Presumed a free agent.
- John Wasdin – Last seen playing for the Saitama Seibu Lions in 2009. Unknown current status.
- Erasmo Ramirez – Last seen being released by the White Sox in Apr 2009. Unknown current status.
- Jeff Zimmerman – He signed a minor league deal with the Mariners on Apr 7, 2009. Unknown current status, although it’s probably fair to assume he’s retired again.
UPDATE #1: Thanks to a friend of mine Dave who is a big Red Sox fan, he found a story showing that Kason Gabbard resigned with the Sox for 2010. It also found that Doug Mirabelli is formally retired now and works as a realtor for Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors in Traverse City, MI.
The best shot I thought Blalock had for a starting 1B gig anywhere was with the Mets. They’ve now signed Fernando Tatis again to platoon with someone else to play first for the Mets.
Wow, they weren’t even interested in Blalock? What’s he doing, asking for $13 million a season or something? I’m really surprised nobody is even talking about him. The only time you hear Blalock’s name mentioned nationally is when someone goes “Man, why is Blalock not being picked up?”
I had heard a rumor about a month ago or so about him maybe going to the Pirates. A quick check online as I write this shows that Baltimore might take a sniff on him, but even that seems odd.
He didn’t fall off THAT much at the back end of his time here. So why seemingly no nibbles at all?
Hank’s Homies can’t be happy about any of this.
If you remember a video I posted last July of Orel participating in a video called “Voices that Care“, it was pretty painful to watch. However, I was just emailed one that’s even worse. Like the other Orel video, this makes the Super Bowl Shuffle look like Grammy Award winning stuff.
Man, there was some awful crap in the 80′s.
Given Andruw Jones has filed for free agency, and the Rangers have said he’s not coming back, I can officially categorize this news story as “Former Rangers News”. Anyway, I decided to check into his money situation, given he had a quite strange salary situation in 2009. As you might recall..
His total base salary in 2009 was $15 million dollars. $500,000 of that was paid by the Rangers, so he made out like quite the bandit from the McCourt’s out in LA. That’s just the base. Here’s a summary of his incentives with the Rangers in 2009.
- $75,000 – 340 plate appearances (nope, 281)
- $75,000 – 380 plate appearances (nope, 281)
- $125,000 – 420 plate appearances (nope, 281)
- $125,000 – 460 plate appearances (nope, 281)
- $125,000 – 500 plate appearances (nope, 281)
- $125,000 – 540 plate appearances (nope, 281)
- $175,000 – 580 plate appearances (nope, 281)
- $175,000 – 620 plate appearances (nope, 281)
- $200,000 – Comeback Player of the Year (nope – well, not yet, but I doubt it)
- $100,000 – MVP (not yet announced, but come on – this is a no)
- $50,000 – All Star Selection (nope)
- $50,000 – World Series MVP (nope, Hideki Matsui)
- $25,000 – Gold Glove (not announced, but come on – this is a no)
- $25,000 – Silver Slugger (not announced, but come on – this is a no)
- $25,000 – LCS MVP (nope – CC Sabathia)
To sum up, he reached NONE of his incentives, which would have brought his Rangers salary to $1.975 Million. The total outpay from the Rangers was just $500,000, though. That’s not a salary problem there.
The fun part of this is that he still is owed money from the Dodgers from what I can tell. $5 million of his original signing bonus is due in 2010. Bet they’ll still love paying for that.
Saw on ESPN tonight that the Cubs are going to announce in the morning that they’ve hired Rudy Jaramillo to be their hitting coach.
Story here. Bet you a lot is made about how Rudy is the way out of the Milton Bradley situation.
… or at least he did. ;)
I ran across this video a few months ago, and never put it online. As I’m trying to clear up a lot of “deal with these later” bookmarks in my browser, here goes.. In 1991, a charity song called “Voices that Care” was written “to help boost the morale of U.S. troops involved in Operation Desert Storm, as well as supporting the International Red Cross organization.”
It had a gaggle of musicians, and entertainers, not all of which seemed to go together. Randy Travis, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Little Richard, The Pointer Sisters, Kenny G, and Jani Lane from Warrant. There’s also others in the “choir” equally as disconnected. Sheena Easton, Sally Field, Don King, Jon Lovitz, Fred Savage, Alyssa Milano, Chevy Chase, and yeah – former Rangers pitching coach Orel Hershiser.
In an article I read about this thing, Orel had this to say regarding the video:
“It’s like someone picking your nose — you don’t want to watch it,” Hershiser said. “I see the first frame and I turn away. That might be the most embarrassing thing ever. It’s right up there with ‘The Super Bowl Shuffle.’”
He’s right, it’s pretty atrocious. I know it had good intent, but yeesh – do thes people think sap songs like that will LIVEN people’s spirits? They’re likely go go “Eargh – TURN IT OFF!” Here, look for yourself (Orel appears at 4:10)…
Read tonight where Sammy Sosa has announced he plans on formally retiring. The article doesn’t say when exactly, but you have to assume it’ll be shortly.
He seems to not want to talk about steroids at all based on the quotes he gave. One of the more interesting quotes is this one:
“I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Don’t I have the numbers to be inducted?,”
Makes you wonder – is Sosa a hall of famer? He certainly did a lot in 1998 with Mark McGwuire to help the sport. Whether it’s valid or not is another discussion – which I’m sure we’ll hear a lot about once he formally becomes a candidate.
What do you think? Should Sosa be in the Hall of Fame?
My brother back in Philly just emailed me and told me that the Phillies officially named Chan Ho Park their fifth starter. Uh-oh. There goes their chance of repeating, which you know as a Phillies fan I really want to do. Screw the Mets. My brother actually told me this.. “He actually pitched very well in ST. Pitched the best out of all of the starters.”
However, as a Rangers fan, I expect to see a lot of this from Charlie Manuel.
Former Ranger pitcher Rick Helling apparently now has a job in the MLBPA union with the always vague title of “Special Assistant to the Executive Director”. I saw this in a story over on bizofbaseball.com..
Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director, Donald M. Fehr, today announced that former Major League pitchers Rick Helling and Mike Myers are joining the Association’s staff. Helling and Myers join former Major Leaguers Bobby Bonilla, Phil Bradley, Stan Javier and Steve Rogers as special assistants to the Executive Director.
“Mike Myers and Rick Helling had long and successful Major League careers, during which they served on the Association’s Executive Board and represented the players as members of the negotiating committee in bargaining for our Basic Agreement and Pension agreements,” said Fehr. “They are very familiar with the interests and needs of the players, and understand intimately the job that the MLBPA does for its members.”
During his 13-year Major League career, Helling served as a member of the Executive Board from 1999-2007, and was the American League Representative in 2000 and Alternate Association Representative in 2003. He appeared in 301 games as a pitcher for Texas, Florida, Arizona, Baltimore and Milwaukee, with a record of 93-81 and 1058 strikeouts in 1526.1 innings pitched. Born in Devils Lake, North Dakota, Helling graduated in 1993 from Stanford University with a degree in economics.
No surprise here. As was pointed out, he has done a lot of union work before, being the player rep for the Rangers if I remember right. Just remember Rick, one is for sugar and two is for ketchup. :)
Will this really be Oil Can Boyd’s final baseball card? One would have to think so. Even if he isn’t and manages to come back, I think Satchel Paige’s oldest pitcher record will probably remain unbroken. :)
There’s been so much written in so many places today about this. Not to mention the coverage on MLB Network (Hi Jamey!) and ESPN… There’s just so much to digest, I’m only saying this.
The name A-Fraud in the Torre book is getting all the attention at the moment. Perhaps a better nickname for him now might be A-ROID!.
Yeah, OK – everything I’m seeing says he tested positive just once, and there’s nothing to say he has since this happened (which is now 6 years ago). However, there was a remark I saw where Gene Orza apparently tipped off Arod in 2004 to a screening. If that’s true, then there’s a gigantic problem in the Union (shocker, I know). But still.
Arod’s a user. Bummer. Perhaps he was using something else when he dumped Cynthia for Madonna. Makes this pocket schedule seem kind of prophetic. 2003. Arod. Fuzzy background. ;)
On Saturday night, Kevin Sherrington of the DMN had an article about the “All Juiced Team”, saying Arod here completes it. Check this out. Shows the position and how they became linked to steroids:
CF – Gary Matthews Jr. – Mitchell Report
C – Pudge Rodriguez – Teammate allegation
SS – Alex Rodriguez – Media report
RF – Juan Gonzalez – Teammate allegation
1B – Rafael Palmeiro – Tested positive
3B – Ken Caminiti – Acknowledged
DH – David Segui – Acknowledged
2B – Randy Velarde – Mitchell Report
LF – Chad Allen – Mitchell Report
The amusing thing about this is the first comment left by someone on the DMN site about this. They said “Crazy line up there…..but once again NO pitching!”.
That remark made me laugh.
Read tonight that former Ranger Brad Wilkerson has signed on with the Boston Red Sox. It’s apparently a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. For a fellow who was the major jewel in the trade away of Alfonso Soriano from the Rangers, he’s fallen a long way. I remember being seriously excited about him when he came here. But he struck out more than Juan Gonzalez on a slider down and away. Never did much in the way of making that trade look good.
In what I believe to be a first, Mr. Wilkerson has figured out a way to record an official strikeout during a player signing announcement. How this technically worked out, I don’t know, but it’s an amazing feat.
Yeah, that was sarcasm about the press release. Shocked?
With the signing of Omar Vizquel this week to a minor league contract, it occurred to me that he might have been the second oldest player to sign with the Rangers. The oldest would be Nolan Ryan of course, but I thought Omar might be second, so I decided to look it up.
Broke out baseball-reference.com which lists the age of players in a calendar year. As I started looking into it, I found some interesting stats about the ages of Rangers players. Here’s some bullet points (this also assumes Vizquel will play in Arlington in 2009):
- The oldest player period was Nolan Ryan. He was 46 years, roughly 7.5 months when he threw his last pitch in 1993.
- Omar Vizquel was the second oldest signee for a first time Ranger at 41 years, 9 months.
- If Omar Vizquel plays as a Ranger on his birthday, he will be just the third second player to play at age 42 (the first being Charlie Hough, the second being Nolan Ryan). If he wants to overtake Hough, he’d have to play as a Ranger in 2010, which is unlikely, as Hough was 42 yr, 8 mo, 3 weeks old when he played his last game as a Ranger on Sep 28, 1990.
- The number of players who have played in a Rangers uniform at age 40 or older is smaller than you think. Just eleven. I thought it’d be more than that.
- There were a couple years with more than one 40+ Ranger at a time. Not surprisingly, they all involved Nolan Ryan. They were 1992 (Nolan/45 & Brian Downing/41), 1991 (Nolan/44, Downing/40), 1990 (Nolan/43, Hough/42), & 1989 (Nolan/42, Hough/41),.
- The first player ever to play as a Ranger at 40 was Gaylord Perry in 1980 when he was 41.
- When the team was the Senators, there was never a 40+ player.
- The “youngest oldest player” was aged 34. This happened in four seasons (66-68 & 71). Oddly enough, they were all years in Washington. The Rangers have never had a 34 year old be the oldest player
- Some notable names that appeared on my research as “Top 3 Oldest Players for that Year” are.. Minnie Minoso (37, 1963), Don Zimmer (34, 1965), Frank Howard (35, 1972), Rico Carty (33, 1973), Toby Harrah (37, 1986), Goose Gossage (39, 1991), Mickey Tettleton (36, 1997), Mike Morgan (39, 1999), Sammy Sosa (38, 2007)
- Sandy Alomar Sr (34, 1978) & Sandy Alomar Jr (39, 2005) are the only father/son duo on this age list. :)
Here is the complete list of players who have played as a Ranger at age 40 or higher. Again, this assumes that Omar Vizquel will play as a Ranger after April 23rd.
46 – Nolan Ryan (1993)
42 – Omar Vizquel (2009)
42 – Charlie Hough (1990)
41 – Brian Downing (1992)
41 – Gaylord Perry (1980)
40 – Kenny Lofton (2007)
40 – Kenny Rogers (2005)
40 – Andreas Galarraga (2001)
40 – Tony Fossas (1998)
40 – Rick Honeycutt (1994)
40 – Tom Paciorek (1987)
A caveat about the above information. While bbr is the source for my data below, it doesn’t seem to take into account the age of a player if his age changed in the season. I just went with the bbr number, as it would have been far too much work to see what the birthdate of every Rangers player was and figure it out that way. :)
Click through to the full story, as I included the complete research data from the entire franchise here. I chose the top 3 ages for each season, because it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. :) If you’re reading this on a feed reader (or one of those sites that steals rss feeds to make their own stories), then you need to visit my site to get the whole thing.
I liked Milton Bradley when he was here. To see him interact with the other Rangers representatives in the Home Run Derby was great, but he was someone I enjoyed watching in our uniform. I’m disappointed he won’t be back, but I have to shake my head at what the Cubs gave him. For two reasons.
- Three years? When on the field, he’s great (or was for us), but that seems like more years than we would have gone. I thought we might have taken a stab with 2 years and an option.
- On the field. Since he’s going to the National League, he has to play the field. That was something he didn’t do a lot of with us, he was DHing most of the time. I have a hard time believing he’s going to stay healthy enough to make it worth the deal. If he does, great – he’ll probably help the Cubs alot. But it seems like an odd move, I would have surely thought he would have gone AL.
But he strikes me as a more recent vintage from the John Rocker & Carl Everett mold of free agent we had. Big headcase and reputation before they got here, and were great when they were. I hope he does good, but if he misses time, or gets into problems, he’s got a hothead of a manager up there, so I could see the clashes between Bradley & Sweet Lou being epic in scope. :)
Is a long way from this…
One can only conclude this…
For no good reason, here’s a funny video from a few years back. Remember that game that Mike Lamb caught (as the starter) and had a ton of passed balls? Forgot about this video. Todd Van Poppel was on the mound. What a mess that was.
From what I’ve been reading today, it appears Mark Teixeira will sign with the Yankees.
So much for staying home with family (Baltimore / Washington) – or even his wife’s family (Atlanta, I believe).
How quickly do you think it will be before his time with Texas and Arod is brought up? At least Pudge isn’t still there, that would be worse. Bleargh. I think it is time to bring up this picture again. Might have to photoshop more money in there. I mean, 8 years, 180 million isn’t properly shown in the picture! I’m not sure how to visualize his full no trade clause, either.