Read online today where former Rangers pitcher Rick Helling was hurt while pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers’ AAA team. Apparently he was “impaled” by a flying broken bat piece.
While the article I read didn’t give any specifics as to the exact nature of the injury, the word impaled didn’t sound pleasant at all. Haven’t seen anything else on this story other than this article. If I find anything else out about this, I’ll update.
That didn’t take long, found this article which tells some of the details of the injury. Doesn’t sound like it’s terribly bad, but still – ouch!
Read online today where former Rangers pitcher Rick Helling was hurt while pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers’ AAA team. Apparently he was “impaled” by a flying broken bat piece.
Just a reminder – two years ago on Mother’s Day, Rafael Palmeiro hit his 500th home run at The Ballpark in Arlington. I was there with my wife, it was quite the cool moment. We had gotten free tickets and were sitting in Section 26, a spectacular view of what happened.
I mention this to commemorate the event, and also that I took a lot of pictures that day, if you want to see my gallery of photos from Raffy’s historic day, you can do so at this location:
Travis Hughes, who was designated for assignment as part of the gaggle of roster moves to set the 25 man roster isn’t a Ranger anymore. He was claimed on waivers by the Washington Nationals today.
Travis Hughes & Augustin Montero were DFA’ed when we purchased the contracts of Mark DeRosa & Chad Allen on April 2nd.
A couple of days after Juan Gonzalez was named the starting RF of the Indians, he was placed on the disabled list. This is a record for him. He usually plays about 10 games before being “hurt”. This time he played zero!
In reading a story about this move today, I read an interesting fact about his (lack of) durability. It said this: For Juan Gone, this is his 11th trip to the DL in 14 seasons, and he has been limited to just over one season’s worth of games in the last three years.
In fact, looking back at his career stats, Juan hasn’t played what can be called a “full season” of games since 1999, when he was in 144 games. The next closest would be 2001 with 140. He had 115 in his year with the Tigers, and 70/82 in his two years back with the Rangers, and a paltry 33 last year with Kansas City.
It all can be traced back to his baggy pants in the Hall of Fame Game. :)
After trying to catch on this spring with the New York Mets (why a NL team, wouldn’t it have been easier in the AL), Andres Galarraga announced his retirement this afternoon.
His time in Texas wasn’t the best period in the team’s history, but I always liked him. With his cancer issues over the years, and from what I can tell his general likability, he was someone I wanted to see succeed, even when he was playing for the hated Braves.
This spring, Galarraga hit .235 in 17 games, with a double, three home runs and seven RBI. Over his entire career, he was a .288 hitter, playing in 2,257 games. He had 1425 RBI’s, and 399 home runs, just one short of the 400 club.
There’s more details in a press release by the Mets here.
You can also view my old roster page for Andres here.
Our old buddy, Mr. Baggy Butt himself, Juan Gonzalez was named the starting RF for the 2005 Cleveland Indians. I found this surprising, as Juan doesn’t seem to fit into what the Indians are doing personnel wise. They seem to be doing mostly what we are, which is a close knit group of young players who are growing together. Close knit is not something that Juando is really known for. He’s known to be moody, selfish, and not a big “team player”.
I liked him when he was here, but after he left the first time, and even during his second tenure with the Rangers, he just didn’t seem like the same player he was before. I wish him well, but along with most other Ranger fans, I have to wonder how long he will go before being placed on the disabled list with some small injury that he doesn’t want to play through.
Here’s a wire story about this issue:
Former Rangers outfielder Doug Glanville was released by the Yankees today. He was trying to hook up with them to back up Bernie Williams (who has a great jazz cd), but the Yankees decided his offense wasn’t up to par (we saw that in Texas).
I do like the guy, I followed him during his years in Philly. I just don’t see him hooking on with someone else. Kind of reminds me of Tom Goodwin, who is still floating around out there. Light hitter, good defender, great clubhouse guy.
Former Ranger pitcher Todd Van Poppel retired this morning. He had been in camp with the Mets, but today decided to walk away and hang up the cleats.
Todd had two stints with the Rangers, neither particularly sucessful. The first time was a brief time in 1998, and then again in 2002 & 2003. He was one of those guys I think folks wanted to do well, since he’s a local boy. But it never worked out with the Rangers.
View my Todd Van Poppel page here.
In a bit of news that nobody seemed surprised at, Rusty Greer officially retired this weekend. I think it was a longshot for anyone to actually offer him a position where he could make it onto the field, although I would like to have seen him do it.
He says he wants to spend more time with his family, which I full well understand. What surprises me about this is he also turned down the front office thing, saying he wants to be “just retired” for the time being.
I’m sure there will be a “Rusty Greer Day” at some point this season where he’s honored. Would also be nice if they retire #29, but I doubt they’ll do that. :)
In a story I’ve been following for awhile, it appears that former Ranger closer Ugueth Urbina’s mother has been found alive. Late last season, the current Tiger reliever’s mother was kidnapped and held for ransom. This happened early last September, and has been ongoing till now. Ugueth understandibly had to leave the Tigers to deal with this, and I really had thought a few times she was dead. Fortunately, the story says she’s alive, which is very good news. I’m glad for all of them that there was a good resolution to this story.
What bothers me most about this is the fact that it probably could quite easily happen again to others in countries that are so poor, kidnap the rich guy’s family and demand money. Think about it.
Here’s the full story regarding Urbina’s mom being found:
Jose Canseco is trying to get some attention, now that he’s totally out of baseball. Several reports this morning say that some claims from his upcoming book “Juiced” say that former Rangers were introduced to steroids by him. Some of the claims he makes were that he introduced Pudge, Raffy, & Juan Gonzalez to steroids when they were all teammates on the Rangers in 1994. He also claims that George W Bush (who was owner of the team at the time) “must have known” about the steroid usage. He also claims to have personally injected Mark McGwire with steroids, and that he, McGwire, & Jason Giambi all did that together while they were all with the A’s.
Rangers management over the weekend seemed to make a point that the current administration of the team wasn’t around when all this was alledged to happen (they weren’t), and the GM at the time (current TV broadcaster Tom Grieve) said on Monday morning that Jose’s comments were a joke, and that he’s at a new level of embarrassment, also calling the use of George W’s name a complete cheap shot. Even Rusty Greer came out and said he never saw anyone use them in his 11 years as a Ranger.
Now I haven’t read the book yet (it isn’t scheduled to come out till Feb 21st), but it seems to me at this point that he’s trying to go “Uh, I did it – everyone else did, so I’m not such a bad guy”. Jose hasn’t exactly been the model citizen the last few years, and my religion dictates that I should believe people and be nice to them, but it really seems like an attempt to make a few bucks by raising allegations in a book that aren’t exactly true. However, I can’t disprove them either – I wasn’t there, nor I suspect is anyone else who might read these words of mine. It just all seems a bit “out there”, even given the current bruhaha in the last 12 months over steroids in baseball. Don’t also forget Canseco’s old spousal abuse charges from the past – just go to Google and search for ‘Canseco “spousal abuse”‘ – you’ll see it.
Here’s a few links about this steroid stuff from the various local newspapers this morning:
DMN Article 1 | DMN Article 2 | Ft Worth Star Telegram
2004 Ranger reliever Jeff Nelson returned to the Seattle Mariners today on a minor league deal. This is Nelson’s third go around with Seattle, having previously pitched for them from 1992-1995 and again in 2001-2003.
I remember when we signed him, I thought it was going to be a good move. It didn’t turn out that way. For the Rangers in 2004, he only pitched 23.1 innings the entire season. He was 1-2 with an ERA of 5.32. Some of his other stats…
H – 17
R – 16
ER – 14
HR – 3
BB – 19
K – 22
WHIP – 1.52
Bottom line – not good. Won’t be missed from a baseball standpoint. Would be nice if he does make Seattle’s club and then we can bat against those stats. :)
Sad that I have to write about Rusty Greer in the “Former Rangers News” category.. There was a short blurb about Rusty over on the ESPN website this afternoon. It said this:
The Twins have been trying to lure long-time Rangers dynamo Rusty Greer to a spring-training invite. But it appears Greer is leaning toward retirement.
I really wish two things here:
1) We would have extended a spring training invite to Rusty, even if it was only for show. Would have been nice to see him in the Spring Training footage on the news.
2) Rusty really does retire. I’d hate to see him in anyone else’s uniform.
Aaron Sele signed a 1 year minor league contract with the Mariners yesterday. He was most recently with the Angels where he spent his time either being hurt, or not pitching very well. So of course, Sele was someone the Rangers were looking at picking up. Seriously, he wasn’t as bad as all that, but like Esteban Loaiza, I didn’t think picking up one of your former pitching guys was a really great idea. Hey, I hear John Burkett’s not doing anything now. ;)
The 2004 version of a Rangers right fielder (Brian Jordan) returned to the Atlanta Braves today on a 1 year deal. I liked Brian a lot as a person. He seemed to be someone good for this team. Unfortunately, he was hurt almost the entire season, and produced next to nothing for us.
Saw today where the Detroit Tigers have invited former Ranger Dean Palmer to spring training. Yikes – if the Tigers are inviting Palmer, who was easily a non factor on the field the last few years of his career to spring training, they must be hurting. Add to the fact that he’s retired, and it’s a bit of a puzzler to me.
Former Ranger Ken Caminiti has died of a heart attack at the age of 41.
While I personally feel bad when people die, I can’t help but feel his was of his own doing. He was consumed by his drug addiction, and it killed him.
Our old friend Mike Lamb was traded from the Yankees to the Astros this afternoon.
Jamey Newberg’s Rangers
Report recently had a great paragraph on the trade of Alex Rodriguez to
the Yankees. I liked it, and he gave me permission to quote it, so here
it is. It pretty much sums up what I feel about him.
- I gained a lot by watching the clips from
Alex Rodriguez’s Tuesday press conference in New York. It helped me to see him
in pinstripes, smiling with Joe Torre, taking photos alongside Derek Jeter,
talking about his good fortune to be part of the Yankee Machine. There was no
point in getting angry at the player. He said nothing to make me feel bad
about my team. He said nothing that any baseball player or anyone who ever
wanted to be a baseball player wouldn’t have said about what it means to join
the Yankees. He was, as he usually is, appropriate. I had closure.
In another move announced today,
Hank Blalock was signed to a 5 year contract
with the Rangers. Details (like $) haven’t been laid out yet – when they
will, I’ll update.
If you check out
my roster page for Arod, it has the
revised terms of his contract spelled out – there’s only one issue I’m unsure
about in it, so I’m fairly confident the revised terms are correct.
You know, it’s funny. I said
that if Arod wanted to not be here, then I didn’t want him here. That’s
obviously what’s happening, but the thing that frosts me most about this
entire fiasco – the absolute worst thing is this. We’re giving
money TO THE YANKEES. That’s unheard of. It’s bad
enough that we’re sending the best player in the game to the Evil Empire.
That’s bad. But to give the Yankees money? WHY? They
should be giving US money for the privilege of having the
best player in the game. Good riddance to a player who didn’t want to be
here. Best player or not, if you don’t want to be here, I don’t want
you. And that’s sad, because I really liked what he did ON THE
FIELD for us the last three years. Off the field he did next to
zero, but on the field, you couldn’t ask for any better.
Fortunately, my season ticket
package has the game of Friday, May 21st which is the first game the Yankees
play here this season. I normally don’t like going to Yankee games, as
it brings out a hell of a lot of obnoxious fans to the Ballpark (aka Yankee
fans). However, you can bet your ass I’ll be there for this one.
All I ask out of this is that we
put Soriano in center field, and leave Mike Young at second. Oh,
and use some of the money we saved on the Arod trade to tie up Blalock & Young
The funny thing is that at the
Mini Plan Season Ticket Holder function on Feb 7th, I got Arod to sign my 2001
All-Star Game unused baseball. It’s still cool, but it seems a bit
More former Ranger news.
Pudge finally signed with the Tigers on Monday. Today we traded
Mike Lamb to the Yankees for Class A pitcher Jose Garcia.
Yesterday former Ranger 3B
Dean Palmer retired from the Tigers. He was a player I liked in the
past, and it’s sad that injuries claimed his career.
Juan Gonzalez signed a 1 year contract with the Royals today. Thanks for Jimmy Gobble, Mr. Baggy Pants. :(
Ken Caminiti was picked up by the Braves today. Details and discussion here:
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI (TICKER) — The Kansas City Royals addressed needs for a utility player and veteran leader on Friday by signing free-agent Luis Alicea to a one-year contract.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Alicea, 35, spent the last three seasons of a 10-year career in Texas, where he enjoyed his best offensive campaign in 2000, hitting .294 with six home runs and 63 RBI — all career highs.
A switch-hitter, Alicea started at second base for the Rangers but became expendable with the acquisition of veteran Randy Velarde from Oakland.
Alicea also can play third base, which is occupied by Joe Randa in Kansas City. He is expected to battle Carlos Febles for playing time at second.
“Luis will be a great addition that will upgrade our utility role for the 2001 season,” general manager Allard Baird said. “He is a switch-hitter with a high on-base percentage that will also supply us with veteran leadership.”
A native of Puerto Rico, Alicea ranked second among American League second baseman in batting average behind Cleveland’s Roberto Alomar (.310) in 2000.
Alicea is a .260 lifetime hitter in 1,134 major league games, also playing for Anaheim, St. Louis (twice) and Boston. He was a first-round draft pick by the Cardinals in 1986.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Infielder Luis Alicea and the Kansas City Royals agreed Friday to an $800,000, one-year contract.
Alicea, 35, can make an additional $400,000 in performance bonuses, getting $50,000 for appearing in 80 games and $50,000 for each additional 10 games through 150.
Alicea, who made $1.15 million last year, spent the last three seasons with Texas, hitting .294 last year with 85 runs, 159 hits, six homers and 63 RBIs.
He has a .260 career average in 10 major league seasons with 42 homers and 367 RBIs.
“Luis will be a great addition that will upgrade our utility role for the 2001 season,” Royals general manager Allard Baird said. “He is a switch-hitter with a high on-base percentage.”
- Former Ranger Roberto Kelly signs with the
Colorado Rockies – his 9th team.
CLEVELAND (AP) — One year. That’s all Juan Gonzalez wanted to prove he was still one of baseball’s best players.
And the Cleveland Indians were more than happy to give it to him.
Gonzalez, limited to just 115 games last season in Detroit because of injuries, signed a $10 million, one-year contract with the Indians on Tuesday.
He’ll fill the club’s hole in right field and in the cleanup spot created when Manny Ramirez left.
Gonzalez, who has had a history of back problems, passed a team physical before signing the deal, which includes a $14 million mutual option for 2002 and a no-trade clause.
“Last year, I had a lot of health problems,” said Gonzalez, a two-time AL MVP. “My production went down a little bit because of the injuries. But I’m going to come back and put up great numbers. I’m excited.”
So are the Indians, who lost 38 homers and 122 RBIs when Ramirez signed a free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox last month.
Gonzalez was a terror to Cleveland pitching as an opponent in Jacobs Field. He batted .344 (45-for-131) with 12 homers and 36 RBIs in 30 career games at the Jake. The 12 homers are the most ever by a visiting player at the hitter’s-friendly ballpark.
It’s scary to think what he might do in a full season there. Sixty homers? 170 RBIs?
Scott Boras, Gonzalez’s agent, said he did a double-take when a study factoring in the ballclub’s dimensions, Cleveland’s potent lineup and Gonzalez’s production spit out some scary numbers.
Asked how scary, Boras joked, ”268 RBIs.”
Boras was serious when he talked about Gonzalez’s commitment to making things work in Cleveland.
The 31-year-old outfielder struggled with injuries and an uncertain future with the Tigers last season, and hit .289 with 22 homers and 67 RBIs — less than half his average the past four years.
“Juan’s decision to come here was very, very simple,” said Boras, who said he negotiated with five other teams. “Juan could have gotten three times the amount of guaranteed money that he took from Cleveland. The reason he came here was to play for a winner.
“He wanted to get back to an environment that allowed him the opportunity to win, and an environment where he felt there was a future. He wanted a winner.”
Boras said the mutual option allows either side to get out of the deal, and added it was unlikely he would negotiate a new contract with the Indians during the season.
“It’s like a life boat on an ocean cruiser,” Boras said of the option. “You don’t use them very often, but it’s nice to know that they’re there.”
Gonzalez turned down an $143 million, eight-year extension with the Tigers last year and then missed out on a big payday as a free agent this winter while both Ramirez ($160 million) and Alex Rodriguez ($252 million) got long-term deals.
By signing with the Indians, Gonzalez feels he’ll have the best chance to re-establish himself as one of the game’s premium talents. And if things work out just right, he could finish his career with the Indians.
`You always here about players going for the extra dollar,” Boras said. “What Juan Gonzalez will stand for is a player who has turned down the most money to play in a place where he wants to win and is also willing to put forth the greatest amount of risk.”
Before agreeing to the deal, the Indians made sure Gonzalez’s back wasn’t risky. They gave him a full physical on Tuesday and examined test results provided by Boras.
“His health and his back are non-issues,” Indians general manager John Hart said.
However, there were some other issues the club needed to sort out prior to finalizing the deal.
Gonzalez has earned a reputation as being a moody player in the clubhouse. And like other high-profile pro superstars, Gonzalez often traveled with an entourage which sometimes included a personal trainer, spiritual adviser and others.
“I can tell you that that has been addressed,” Hart said. “There will be no one in the clubhouse.”
Boras said when Gonzalez approached him in August with a list of places he wanted to play, the entourage issue was discussed and put to rest.
“Juan will walk into the ballpark like every other player and he’ll leave the locker room like every other player,” Boras said. “And anybody that’s with him in his personal life will be outside the ballpark. It’s something Juan and I took care of. A lot of things are said about Juan because he’s shy.”
Except at the plate where the Indians are counting on him to fill the offensive void left by Ramirez.
Gonzalez has never batted in a lineup like Cleveland’s. He’ll fit nicely into the No. 4 slot behind Kenny Lofton, Omar Vizquel and Roberto Alomar. He’ll also be protected by Jim Thome, Ellis Burks and Travis Fryman.
Playing at the Jake will help, too. He never got comfortable at Detroit’s new Comerica Park and reportedly asked the Tigers to move the fences in.
“The dimensions are better, not like in Detroit,” he said. “It’s too big for anyone. A lot of times, I hit the ball so hard and it didn’t jump out of the yard.”
Cleveland gets to defer $2 million of his salary, paying $1 million each on April 1, 2002, and Oct. 1, 2002.
He would get a $500,000 bonus if he is elected AL MVP, $300,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for finishing third and $100,000 for fourth or fifth.
“This is a very important season for me,” he said. “I want to stay healthy, play hard inside the lines fnd everything else will work out.”