Congratulations Don Wakamatsu

Not that long ago, Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu took a demotion to third base coach after he was passed over for the Manager’s job. I recall at the time thinking that had to be his last season here, as you don’t generally like to stick around in situations where you were actively moving backwards.
So it was with some excitement and trepidation that I read the news tonight that Don was named Manager of the Seattle Mariners. The excitement was easy. When Don was here, he was well liked (at least my memory says that). He was someone I didn’t particularly want to see leave when he did, but I can understand why he left. Made sense. So I’m happy for Don that he will get his shot. I’m still pretty happy with the guy who got the shot here in Texas over Don, but I’m glad that Don got his. Which brings me to the trepidation part.
Don is staying in the division. As we’ll see him 19 games a year, one has to think that he’ll have some small insight into the Rangers. That will help Seattle, although Seattle needs way more help than that. Assuming they don’t go panicy, giving in to the fans and sports writers (like the Rangers fans and writers tried to do here in early 08), he should help them in the long term. I always felt he would make a good manager.
So yeah, the bottom line is a good guy who used to be here is getting his shot. Good luck Don. Just not too much luck.
If you want to see what Mariners fans are saying check out this post and this one from ussmariner.com. They’re probably the best Mariners blog out there, and perhaps one of the best overall sports fan blogs there is.

Matt Stairs

It was sad to read about Kevin Foster earlier, but I thought I’d point out a bit of happier news for a former Ranger. It’s no secret that I’m also a Phillies fan, so you know Matt Stairs’ performance last night was right up my alley. Big moment for him in the 8th in Los Angeles last night.

Former Ranger Kevin Foster Dies

Former Ranger pitcher Kevin Foster died today after a bout with renal cell carcinoma. If you don’t remember him, that’s not surprising, he threw just nine games for us in 2001. I don’t recall a ton of details about him either, but I seem to recall he was a nice guy from what I can remember. What pops to mind was that he was a good family guy. Assuming his personal info I had for him was still valid, he had a wife and two kids (may have had more kids since his time with us, as I rarely get family updates for former players).
His line for us in 2001 was:
0-1, 9G, 17.7IP, 21H, 14R, 13ER, 6.62 ERA
Not the greatest line, but you always hate it when one of your players passes like that. That makes two players that I can think of from the 2001 team who have now died – the other being Ken Caminiti.
Below is the wire story about his death:

[Read more…]

These pictures look weird

The second one moreso than the first, but as a Rangers fan, these two look really strange.

I realize the second one almost happened in 1997 anyway, but it still looks really REALLY weird.

Teixeira is an Angel. For now.

Mark Teixeira was traded by the Atlanta Braves today to the Anaheim Angels (screw that new name they have) for Casey Kotchman & AA reliever Stephen Marek.
Kotchman is pretty decent, and I don’t know anything about Marek, but you wonder how the draft picks they’d get might work out. I’m sure it’s a case of “gotta get something”.
The fact that Teixeira is an Angel is mildly amusing given that his agent is considered by a lot of people to be Satan.
Anyone think he’ll stay there? I don’t.

Arod

Arod’s been in the press all weekend, because his wife is leaving him. I’m not going to comment on that situation, but I ran across this link a few minutes ago. Thought some people might want to see it.
It’s the actual court filing document by Cynthia Rodriguez. An interesting read.

Chris Young

The guy who used to pitch for Texas, not the outfielder for Arizona…

Anyway, I have him on one of my fantasy teams, and decided to look up his status. If you don’t remember, he was hit in the face by a batted ball not too long ago, and this is what I found:

May 30 Young has a small crack in his skull and doctors have to wait for it to heal in order to avoid an infection in his brain, according to Padres manager Bud Black in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Advice: Young is also still waiting for the swelling to go down around his nose after being hit in the face with a line drive on May 21. This could take some time for Young to get back on the field, so continue to monitor the developments.

This doesn’t sound good at all. My prayers go out to him (none of this “Good Thoughts” crap I see online – they’re prayers, people!). May God heal him sooner than later.

Mike Bacsik

Mike Bacsik will probably forever be known as the guy who gave up #756 to Barry Bonds. Locally, he’s known for a little more than that. He was up for a cup of coffee with the Rangers in 2004, and his dad (Mike Bacsik Sr) played for the Rangers over parts of three seasons (75-76-77).
There’s a good article up on ESPN now at the moment about Mike (Jr). It’s surprisingly not behind their “wall of pay content” (like so much of their stuff is). Go check it out.
Obviously, a good deal of it is spent on the Bonds thing. But the main thrust of the article is how Bacsik is trying to get back to the majors. Probably just to have something else besides “756” on his ledger.
Good read.

Shrek is gone again

Oh well, so much for that experiment. In a second tour of duty that rivaled the brief third tour of duty for Rick Helling in 2004, Kevin Mench was traded today.
The Rangers sent Shrek to the Toronto Blue Jays for “cash considerations”. Basically, “Dude, you’re not good enough for a player, so here’s some cash the team doesn’t really need”. In all fairness, Kevin wasn’t really tearing it up, and there are so many more possibilities in the outfield right now that he didn’t have a realistic shot to make it back to Arlington with the big league club.
In other Toronto outfield news, they signed Brad Wilkkkkkkerson today to a contract. I’m not entirely sure how this works contractually. Wilkerson was DFA’ed by the Mariners on April 30th. I never saw a followup saying he was actually released as such. Today, the Jays said he was signed as a free agent, which implies he was released. Assuming that’s the case, I don’t know what he gets as salary. If anyone knows better, please let me know. He was owed $3 Million from the M’s, so he’s still due the proated for that. Not sure how that impacts any Toronto salary.
I liked both of these guys (even if Wilkkkkerson was a disappointment here). However, for Toronto to get both of these guys at once, they must be hurting for OF depth.