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Cool Picture

As we get ready to go with the playoffs (less than two hours now), I wanted to post this picture. Saw it this morning on Facebook. Someone posted it on Chuck Greenberg’s Facebook page. Unclear if the person posted it created it, or if it was done somewhere else. Don’t know the true source, but I thought it was cool.

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Claws out T-Shirt

We’ve all seen the official claws and antler shirt, but I wanted to point out a quick note about another shirt that was emailed to me.

“This is Our Year”. Check it by clicking on the image above.

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My playoff predictions

OK, here’s my predictions. Wanted to get them in before any games were played. This is hard for me because I have TWO homer teams, one in each league in play. Granted, one of them is really good (Philly) at the moment, so it’s not a true homer pick to pick them. Anyway..
Round 1:
NLDS:
Philly over Cincinnati in 4
Giants over Braves in 5
ALDS:
Texas over Tampa Bay in 5
New York over Minnesota in 4
The Giants and the Braves I know the least about, but from what little I do know, I say Giants over Braves. No particular reason, and I’m sure there will be a lot of sentiment on TV about it “win it for Bobby Cox”. Gut feeling says Giants.
Texas over Tampa? Well, it’s a homer pick. If I was’t living here, I’m not 100% sure I’d pick them. :)
Philly over Cincinnati. That’s the easiest series to pick a sweep, but I have to figure the Reds are good for one win.
New York over Minnesota. Had you asked me this about three weeks ago, I would have said Minnesota over New York in 4. I’m going the other way now as Minnesota has really limped into the playoffs. They seem weak now.
Round 2: ALCS & NLCS
That brings us back to 96/98/99 – Rangers vs Yankees. Despite the Yankees starting pitching being suspect, I don’t see Texas getting by them. Can’t tell you why, other than “gut feeling”. Yankees in 5. Maybe 6.
Over in the NL, I see the Phillies easily going to the World Series again over the Giants. The Giants have a good team, but they’re not the “dominant everywhere” team that the Phillies are, plus the Phillies are smoking right now. Phillies in 5.
Round 3: World Series
Rematch of last year’s World Series. Yankees vs Phillies. This time I see the Phillies taking it on the strength of the starting pitching. Phillies in 6.
What do I really WANT to happen? Rangers vs Phillies in World Series, with the Rangers in 6. Don’t see it happening, though. :)

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Rangers in the World Series?

Someone sent me an email a couple of days ago with an interesting link to a picture. It’s a shot from a company called “Rico Industries”, who is working on merchandise apparently for the World Series. They have some combinations up there of the various teams and what it would look like.
Anyway, this person sent me the following link, as well as this text (which shows they’ve been reading my site for awhile).. :)

As a long time reader of your site (and the games from your former employer) I know you keep mentioning how your head would explode if your two favorite teams actually met up in the fall classic. Well it seems Rico Industries is testing that possibility with preview designs of potential MLB postseason merchandise. They also have all other potential product designs for every playoff team with different championship titles. I thought perhaps it would be something you would want to share on your site.

It is interesting to consider, that’s for sure. Check out the image below, and click on it for a larger sheet. :)
Dare I live that dream? hahahaha.

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Texas Rangers: The Authorized History [ UPDATED ]

Back when I was first married, it was 1996. Ranger fans know that year well. Right after that season, Eric Nadel published a book about the Rangers. While it was mostly focused on the 1996 season, it also spent time talking about the rest of the franchise, going back to DC. My wife bought me this book as a present in 1997, in our first year of marriage.
Here’s what I wrote about the book back in 2001 for my site:

I loved this book. My wife gave it to me as a a present in 1997, and it was wonderful! I can’t recommend this book enough.
I’ve only been a Texas Rangers fan since 1994, and my wife gave me this book as a present in 1997. I knew the Texas Rangers existed before I came to live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Texas area, but I never thought much of them. I didn’t realize the characters and history of the team. If you’re a casual Rangers fan, or a die hard Rangers fan, then you should have this book. It’s filled with all kinds of informational pieces about the team’s history, going back to the early 70′s when they were the Washington Senators. Focuses heavily on the 1996 season in which they finally made it to the playoffs after about 25 years.
As the Texas Rangers now move into the Alex Rodriguez era, the book probably could stand an update, as a lot has happened since the book was published during the 1997 season, but it’s a great read if you’re into team history

I still have the book – at some event years ago, I got Eric to sign it. More than once over the years, I asked Eric when he planned to do an update to it. As it’s 2010, we now have 14 years of stuff (once this year is over) to do an update on. Anyway, Eric told me on more than one occasion that he wouldn’t update the book again until the Rangers got back to the playoffs.
Well, we’re back Eric. Should we expect an update to the book next year? :)
UPDATE: I got an email from Eric Nadel after the game tonight with an update on this. After asking his permission to do so, I’m posting his reply to me below:

Eric: No, I am not planning to do an update to the book. What I said back then was I would do an update when the Rangers made it to the World Series. If that happens, then someone else can do the book. At this point, I am not willing to give up an off-season to write a book.

There we go. I’d still like to see a sequel from him, but I cannot argue with not wanting to give up one’s free time for that. :)

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I’m still here

Getting more adjusted to my new gig. I also ran into a personal project as well, both of which are taking up my time I used to use to write about Rangers games. I’ve had to mostly stop watching the games on TV and listen on the radio just to have them on. However, I’m not missing much here given the way they’ve played in the last week.
My ticket for “Game 1″ of the ALDS arrived in the mail today. That’s cool.
At least we can say this, despite the poor play lately.:

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A few Random notes

  • The Rangers have 19 games left in the season. They have to go 12-7 to get to Nolan Ryan’s 92 win spring training prediction.
  • The Rangers are 8.5 games up on Oakland, who is at 71-71 at the moment.
  • The Magic Number to win the division is currently at 12. It could be 11 after tonight, as Oakland is playing KC
  • Michael Young needs 33 hits to get to 200 (with 19 to play). Not impossible, but he can’t afford hardly any ofers – or even just one hitters from this point forward.
  • I’ve always said my head would explode if the World Series was Phillies vs Rangers. While I’m not making a claim that’s who will get there, one has to say there’s a chance of it happening now that there’s a very realistic chance that both will make the playoffs. I still don’t know what I’ll do if it ends up being those two.

Also, two random pictures. A PR woman sent me these. They were taken Friday night at the Rangers game during the first pitch celebration. For some reason they had the Captain Morgan Rum character there. Oooh, hold me back. I’m even MORE excited about the game now!
Seriously, they had their celebration with Johnny Narron. This is amusing that they’d put Johnny Narron with him, because the whole reason Narron is on the team is to act as Josh Hamilton’s personal “don’t fall off the wagon” guy. What with Josh being an alcoholic, it was a mild eyebrow raiser that they’d put Hamilton’s “don’t get drunk” guy with a character who is there to promote a company whose most famous product is Rum.

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Busy Busy

As those of you who have followed my site for awhile know, I’ve been out of work for some 15 months. This past week, I started up working again. Not full time, but a part time gig. Thing is, the first two weeks of the gig are going to be way busier than any other time, so I haven’t had much time for Rangers stuff.
This will probably extend into next week, so I’m taking a short sabbatical from doing updates while I deal with work stuff.
I will be back, I want to be around for the tail end of the season. :)

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Examining Our Standings

A lot has been written both locally (pro and blog) and nationally about how the Rangers are “running away” with the AL West. That we have the widest margin of any of the division leaders, and that we’re a “slam dunk” to make the playoffs. While all of that may be true, I decided to examine our record and see where it would put us.
I remember some years ago when the Padres make the playoffs (1998), there was talk that they were the “best of a bunch of bad teams”, and that they only make the playoffs because someone from that division had to. There always seems to be some team somewhere that kind of does that – “backs into” the playoffs is what it’s generally called.
Now, do I feel that’s the way the Rangers are in 2010? No, we’re not a bad team. No, we won’t “back” into the playoffs. The way the team has played this year, we deserve to be there. But still, having said all that, I’d like to see where our current record would place us in the other divisions. A lot also has been made about how the other teams besides the Yankees & the Red Sox (and the Rays in more recent vintage) in the AL East would fare better if they were in another division. So here goes:
AL West: We’re in first place, 9.5 games up on second place Oakland. Our record is 73-55, 18 games over .500 – our winning percentage is .570
AL Central: Our record in that division would put us in second place behind the Twins, only a half game behind them. We’d be three games up on third place Chicago. A pretty decent shot at winning that division, I’d say while it wouldn’t be as easy, we could win that division.
AL East: We’d be in FOURTH place here. Right now the Yankees & Rays are tied at 78-50 (.609), and then Boston is in third at 74-55 (.574). We wouldn’t be far behind Boston (one game), and the division leaders (5GB), but we would have to hop three other teams to get there. I’d say this would be the hardest shot to make the playoffs, despite being only 5 games out.
NL West: Our record here would put us in second place, about 3.5 games back of division leader San Diego, and 2.5 games in front of third place San Francisco. Again, we’d be right in the thick of things, and would probably have a good shot at winning this division.
NL Central: Again, second place. This time just one game back of division leader Cincinnati, and 3 games in front of second place St. Louis. A very winnable division if we were in it.
NL East: This time, our record would tie us with Atlanta for the division lead, and two games up on what would be third place Philadelphia. Of the three NL divisions, I’d say this would be the hardest fight, but we probably could win this as well.
So basically, outside of our own division, we could easily win three of them, have a good fight with one of them, and in my opinion, be out of the playoffs in one other.
I realize this is a nebulous thing, if you moved us out of the division, we’d play different teams, different stadiums, things would be different. Yeah, I know that. Just playing a “pick up and put into another scenario – how would be be doing” fantasy. I know that. Still, it’s nice to know where we stand amongst everyone else.
I’ve given Tom Hicks some grief many a time for letting Bud Selig off the hook on moving the Rangers to the AL Central, where we’d more fit in with our division mates and the time zone. It stinks having so many games start at 9PM. However, had Bud not taken the guaranteed home and away series with the Astros every year, and actually moved us to the AL Central, we wouldn’t be in the driver’s seat we are in now. However, we might have won a few more divisions along the way and have been to the playoffs sometime in the last decade.
Still, this year is feeling like no other I’ve covered on this site since the first one I ever covered (1999). 2004 came close, but we fell down at the end. This doesn’t feel like that year at all. How far we get in the playoffs is an unknown, but at this point, I’m ready to say that we WILL get there, and I expect it will not be a first round sweep and out again. Overall, I think the team is too good for that.

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This Week in Baseball

I’ve been watching this show since I was a kid (“How about that?”), but this weekend’s episode should be of interest to anyone reading this site.
The subject is the 2010 Texas Rangers. :)
MLB has some press about the episode here.

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Some Cool Baseball Art

Hey, if you’re on Facebook, and like baseball art, you should check out this page I ran into not too long ago. It’s by a fellow named “Kyle Banister”, and he does some great baseball art. Noticed about a week ago he had posted a nice picture of Josh Hamilton, and I had asked his permission to post it, and he was cool with it. You can see it here. He simply calls it “Hamilton”, and it was hand drawn in colored pencil and black marker. It’s quite nice, and I thought I should let others know about this guy.
While he doesn’t have a website yet, all of his art and whatnot is up on the fan page for him on Facebook. So if you’re on Facebook (who isn’t these days), go check out the Kyle Banister – Baseball Art page, and “like” it. He’s got a lot of good stuff there. I also particularly like his pencil drawing of Ubaldo Jimenez.
Here’s a blurb Kyle has written about himself:

Before admitting he was an artist, Kyle owned and operated a successful sign and lettering company. For nearly 20 years Kyle used his talents to help others communicate and realize their dreams. In 2002 he gave up the sign business to pursue his own dream, to become the artist he was born to be.
While producing signage for others, Kyle learned and mastered a variety of mediums. And he uses all of these in his art today, often mixing them to achieve what he sees as the best look for a particular piece of art. That is why you may see an array of styles in one of Kyle’s shows. He is just as comfortable painting with 1-Shot Lettering enamel on Plexiglas as he is digitally coloring an original pointillism drawing. Some have criticized Kyle’s work saying that the use of so many mediums will slow his march to success. But Kyle is OK with that as long as he can stay true to himself, and his art.
Kyle’s favorite subjects are History, Baseball and Women, not necessarily in any order. He loves to travel doing research for the many projects he has planned. His strongest asset is inexhaustible creativity, he never is at a loss for a new art project. Kyle says, “It’s as if God leaves notes on my forehead after a nights rest.”
Kyle’s art is quite a journey. So come along and enjoy the ride.

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Seattle Mariners

This is a complete duplicate of a post I made back on June 10th, but given the Mariners today fired their manager, bench coach, and their pitching coach, I thought it was time to revive the post…
I’m playing catch up with some backlogged game reports, I hope to catch up with the Mariners series tomorrow. Having said that, I was curious to see what ussmariner.com had to say about tonight’s game. They had a rather funny image posted there about the Mariners’ season:

I prefer this image I posted a couple of years back, originally.

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Greenberg / Ryan get the Rangers

I am so stealing this from Scott Lucas. It sums it up pretty good. ;)

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About me

What a weird couple of days for me. I find out about two days ago that I was to start a temp work assignment in a few days (today, actually). That was cool, as I’ve been out of work for awhile. Then yesterday was a whirlwind.
The auction for control of the team happened. I hopped onto Twitter and followed the proceedings, starting at 9 am, and staying with it all the way through till the end at 12:50am. Was a heck of a ride but Ill write more about that later.
I’m posting this now because I haven’t had the tine to writ about the Seattle settees due to family stuff, plus my church had its vacation bible school tis week (ended last night). Then today I stated my temp assignment, and on top of it, ive caught a cold.
But I couldn’t let the day pass without saying something. I coiled not had be happier with the way the auction turned out. Bring in Chuck, Nolan, and the new stuff. Theres a ton to talk about there, and I will when I feel better. Promise. In the meantime…
Bring on August 12th! Goodbye Hicks, and take the remnants of the stupid Ameriquest bell with you!

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Hall of Fame and Bonds

Did anyone watch the old timer’s introductions during the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies back a week or so ago from Cooperstown? I did, because to be honest, I was more interested in hearing those intros and to see who was there than the new player inductions. Not that I think the class of 2010 wasn’t worthy, but I like the nostalgia angle more.
Anyways, there was an interesting remark by the fellow who was doing the introductions (George Grandy). It was most specifically his choice of words during the introduction of Hank Aaron. Here’s his exact intro:

Our next Hall of Famer is, very simply, everyone’s home run champion. He hit a home run on the baseball field, he’s hit a home run in life. Let’s welcome the Hammer, Henry Aaron.

At the moment he called Hank Aaron “everyone’s home run champion”, my mind immediately lept to Bonds, and all the discussion about is he the real champ, etc.. That someone from the National Baseball Hall of Fame would call Aaron “everyone’s home run champion” was telling to me. Now it could be nothing – it could just be a speech and choice of words for sure. But I felt the choice of words was a small dig at Barry Bonds. Does it imply what the hall is thinking?
If you don’t believe what I’m saying, click here – it’s a pdf with the complete transcript of the entire induction ceremony, including Aaron’s intro (which is on Page 43).
I figure on this day where Arod hit #600 at age 35, and provided he doesn’t break down into his 40′s will eventually pass Bonds, I thought it was interesting to make this observation.

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Vlad Guerrero is MLBN’s #1

Was watching some live late coverage on MLB Network tonight, and in the middle of their reporting they did an impromptu “Prime 9″, only this time on the best free agent signings of the past off season. They had Vlad Guerrero as the #1 best off season signing. Here’s the complete list:
10) John Lackey
9) Troy Glaus
8) ?? – I forgot to write it down
7) Carl Pavano
6) Matt Holliday
5) Aubrey Huff
4) Jose Valverde
3) Billy Wagner
2) Adrian Beltre
1) Vlad Guerrero
What bummed me out was that Colby Lewis wasn’t in on this list. Huff and Glaus on there over Lewis? That doesn’t seem right. And Carl Pavano should be higher than #7.
Still, it was nice to see a Ranger signing as #1 on the list as their best off season move.

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Rangers / Red Sox Series

Earlier today I was interviewed by nesn.com about the upcoming Rangers / Red Sox series. They wanted my perspective being a Rangers fan, and asking me some questions about the Rangers. Most of you who read this site regularly (hello nesn.com visitors!) will know most of this stuff already, but most Red Sox fans don’t. So below are the questions and answers they had for me and what I answered with. Check it out.
There’s more to this article than just my Q&A, so check out the full article over at NESN.com.


1) NESN.com: Considering both short- and long-term effects, was the Cliff Lee trade a good one for the Rangers organization?
Joe Siegler: On the short term, I think it’s an obvious answer. It helps us. I don’t think there’s a club that exists that wouldn’t want Cliff Lee for their team, especially in a stretch run. I mean, if we were the Pirates or the Orioles or something it wouldn’t make sense, but heck yeah, Cliff Lee is great because of who Cliff Lee is and what he brings.
As for long term, it’s harder to tell, as you never know how these things work out. We did import a good relief pitcher, and I expect most people figure he’s all we’ll have left next year (save for a few draft picks) for Cliff Lee (kind of like the Carlos Lee/Nelson Cruz trade the Rangers made with the Brewers a few years back). We’ll make a run at Lee, I’m sure (once our ownership gets worked out), but if he signs back here, I’ll be surprised. But the absolute best part of all this is that the Yankees didn’t get him (at least for now).
2) NESN.com: Julio Borbon has had his ups and downs this year. How has he evolved as a player since his call-up toward the end of 2009?
J.S.: I remember late last year hearing that he was going to be a great center fielder. In our park, you need a guy who is fast out there, or at least could get great reads on balls. Last year, he wasn’t so much a big power hitter that grabs your attention, but he did end last year with a .376 OBP. This year, his bat started off slow, but he’s come on lately, and still has some work to do. But his defense has improved greatly since last year. I don’t think he’s an All-Star caliber player, but he does have speed, and is not someone you worry about their defense. So that’s a big improvement.
3) NESN.com: Now that Justin Smoak has been traded, who will be the Rangers’ first baseman of the future?
J.S.: Well, the easy answer is to say Chris Davis. This is actually an extension of your first question, because now that Smoak is gone, it’s definitely Chris Davis for now. Until Smoak was moved, we had kind of a two-headed monster with Smoak and Davis. Both were projected high caliber, with Smoak perhaps projecting a bit higher due to him being a switch hitter (like Mark Teixeira). Davis however, is the better defender, so in an immediate sense, we’re probably better off with Chris Davis, as he’s a better defender and has some more major league experience.
Davis did crash and burn bad last year, though, and wasn’t exactly hitting up a storm earlier this season. So I guess “of the future” comes down to whether Chris Davis ends up as one of those AAAA hitters. We went through that same thing recently with Nelson Cruz. The light finally came on last year, and he’s living up to it. If Chris Davis figures it out offensively, he’ll be the guy of the future as he’s an awesome defender, just needs more work on offense. We’ll see if his AAA tuneup this year did anything. If it’s not him, a guy in AAA named Mitch Moreland (currently playing right field) would likely be the choice going down, unless we brought in someone.
4) NESN.com: What do you think the problem was with Josh Hamilton in 2009, and how has he bounced back to become an MVP candidate in 2010?
J.S.: I think a lot of 2009 was Josh thinking too much. Plus he was hurt for a decent part of the season. A lot has been made locally about him constantly tinkering with his swing. We do have a new hitting coach here in 2010 for the first time since 1995, so it’s possible Clint Hurdle himself fixed Josh. Hard to tell, but the Rangers TV guys have talked a lot about how Josh has gotten rid of he toe tap in his swing, and since he did that, he’s taken off again.
5) NESN.com: Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler have each missed significant time in 2010, yet the Rangers are still in first place. Who is the one player that Texas simply cannot afford to lose?
J.S.: Since it’s hard to say just one guy, I’ll go for one offensive guy and one pitcher. I’d say offensively, Vlad Guerrero. I’ve always liked Vlad going back to his days in Montreal, and I’m glad he’s with us. I’m more glad he has bounced back, and isn’t just one of those long time guys trying to hang on somewhere and under performs. Vlad’s back. Losing him would be rough, as it would make Josh Hamilton somewhat vulnerable, and would take some of the swagger out of our offense.
Cliff Lee aside, pitching wise, we’d probably be a lot worse off if we lost Colby Lewis. Lewis has exceeded everyone’s expectations when he returned here in the offseason. I think a lot of people (myself included) thought, “Well OK, he sort of figured it out in Japan, but that’s Japan, and this is the MLB — will it translate?” It certainly has. As you pointed out, we’re in first place now, and that’s before Cliff Lee. I say Colby Lewis is our pitching star this season (although I like Tommy Hunter, too).
6) NESN.com: How important is this series against the Red Sox for Texas coming out of the All-Star break?
J.S.: I think it’s important that we stay strong out of the gate. That it’s against the Red Sox isn’t so much important because it’s the “Red Sox;” it’s not like the two teams have a big rivalry as such. It’s more important for us to do well this series, as we need to hold and expand our lead. The Angels, while down this year, are still the team to beat, and I don’t think anyone can take ‘em lightly. The Angels are playing Seattle this first series, and Seattle has been a big disappointment. The Angels should handle them well, so we need to have a strong showing against the Red Sox to keep our division lead.
For more sports news, visit NESN.com (http://www.nesn.com/).

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Seattle Mariners

I’m playing catch up with some backlogged game reports, I hope to catch up with the Mariners series tomorrow. Having said that, I was curious to see what ussmariner.com had to say about tonight’s game. They had a rather funny image posted there about the Mariners’ season:

I prefer this image I posted a couple of years back, originally.

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Batting Stance Guy Book

Those who visit my site know I’m a fan of Gar Ryness, the Batting Stance Guy. I’m particularly fond of his impression of Andre Dawson (he tries to intimidate you even when he strikes out is a particular favorite moment). There’s a ton of others, too. But anyway, he’s got a book out now, and he’s running a commercial for it. I thought I’d plug it to those visiting my site.
I can’t imagine how if you read this site and know baseball you haven’t heard of Gar, but he is a guy who has the ability to mimic baseball players. Started off as a small back yard goof with his friends, and just ended up exploding on Youtube. Gar’s held court for players, been on Letterman, he’s made quite a name for himself doing this shtick.
Two of my favorite collections of his stances are the one I’ve embedded below which is nothing but Texas Rangers stances over the years. That’s on Youtube so I can embed it here. Of particular note are his Hank Blalock, and at the end, Kenny Rogers. :)
The other one I really like was this segment from MLB Network back in January of 2009. Unfortunately, mlb doesn’t allow you to stream their videos (why?), so you have to click over for it. But I guarantee it’s worth your time to watch.

Anyway, Gar’s book is full of his real life background as to why he likes baseball so much, including baseball card fascinations, and how he used to watch games back in the day. It’s some cool reading. His stories about his travels are quite good, too. I urge you to check it out. You can click on the book cover image above to be taken to a page on Amazon.com where you can buy the book. It’s also available on the Kindle too, which is where I got my copy. So Gar, if you’re ever in Arlington, I guess I’ll have to get you to sign my Kindle. :)
Check out the book. It’s a blast.

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Derek Holland is back. Hannah Baugh is excited!

The Rangers are calling Derek Holland up. This will definitely make Hannah Baugh excited for sure. In honor of all this, I’ve decided to repost something silly I did last season. :)

Hello Hannah! :)

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2010 All-Star Ballot

The 2010 All-Star Ballot is available on mlb.com. You can vote now. I decided to cast my first ballot based on looking at the numbers, instead of my usual batch of homer votes, and a few based on merit. So here’s who I voted for.
For the AL, I listed the Rangers player that’s on the ballot, said a few words about them, and then said who I voted for. The NL, I just said who I voted for. Here goes. Any remarks?
American League:
1B – Chris Davis – Good defense, no real serious hitting threat. Won’t even peak the top. I voted for Miguel Cabrera from the Tigers.
2B – Ian Kinsler – Hasn’t played a game yet this year, shouldn’t be on here. I voted for Dustin Pedroia. His numbers are the best now of any 2B in the league.
SS – Elvis Andrus – Off to an OK start, but “OK” doesn’t get you voted in. As much as it pains me to vote for a Yankee, I voted for Derek Jeter.
3B – Michael Young – Off to a decent start, but not enough to take this. I had to vote for Evan Longoria, his stats are better. Almost voted for Young for the homer vote thing, but went with the MLB 2K10 cover boy.
C – Taylor Teagarden – Oh yeah, right. I have a better chance of charting in this category. Despite the surprising numbers of Jason Kendall in Kansas City so far this year, you have to vote for Joe Mauer. There really isn’t another choice for AL starting catcher.
DH – Vlad Guerrero – He probably has a realistic shot at winning this. His numbers out of the gate were fantastic. But going by pure numbers, Jose Guillen is besting him, and Adam Lind is up there, too. But I had to vote for Guerrero. Homer vote.
OF – Nelson Cruz, Julio Borbon, & Josh Hamilton – Hambone is playing like 2009 again unfortunately, probably is too far removed from the HR derby to coast on that this year. Julio Borbon was dropped to ninth, and nobody outside of DFW really knows him anyway. Nelson Cruz is definitely deserving, I voted for him. Beyond him I voted for Shin-Soo Choo in Cleveland, & Michael Cuddyer in Minnesota. Vernon Wells is also doing well, this year but I picked Cruz over Wells. All three guys I voted for had their last names starting with “C”. :)
National League:
1B – It’s either Ryan Howard or Albert Pujols. Pujols will probably get elected anyway, so I voted for my Phillies guy, Ryan Howard.
2B – As much as I like to vote Phillies, you can’t argue with Chase Utley’s numbers. Utley is way out in front of everyone else, he should win this easily.
SS – This is a tossup for me. I like Troy Tulowitski overall as a player, but his numbers aren’t huge. Rafael Furcal has the highest batting average (with the most at bats), but has no HR/RBI numbers to speak of. Orlando Cabrera in CIN has no average, but the other numbers. I ended up voting for Stephen Drew from Arizona. Had Jimmy Rollins not spent time hurt already, I probably would have voted for him.
3B – I was surprised when I looked at the numbers here. Mark Reynolds is who I thought I’d be voting for, and he has the power numbers, but a bad average. Going on numbers, it’s a tossup between McGehee of MIL, and Placido Polanco from Philly. Polanco has a track record, so I went with him based on his veteran status, not because he’s from Philly.
C – I’m sorry. I’m voting for Pudge. Not going to have a ton of chances to do that much more. He does have good numbers too, so it’s not a total “Rangers homer” vote. :)
OF – Went with Ryan Braun from the Brewers, Matt Kemp from the Dodgers, & Josh Willingham of the Nationals. Look up the numbers. :)
I believe it’s the first time I haven’t voted for a Texas Rangers player in awhile. Granted, I did vote for Pudge, but he’s over in the NL.

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Chuck Morgan & The Wave

I meant to post this a few days ago when I first saw it, but I forgot about it. It’s still relevant. Railing against the wave is always relevant. Chuck posted this over on Jamey Newberg’s forums over the past weekend, and I wanted to copy it here for more people to see.
First off, let me add I cannot stand the wave. I think it is the stupidest thing ever created in sports. I cannot stand it, and it just shows me that people who do it have no interest in the game. In my opinion, if you do the wave, you deserve to be ejected from the stadium and never allowed to return. Unless you’re a kid (like under 10) That I don’t so much care about, but adults? No way. Get out. Now. Never return.
Anyway, here’s what Chuck had to say, and I have to say it was QUITE refreshing.

Subject: Thank You and Stop The Wave
As we get ready to start the season, thank you for all of your support of the Texas Rangers during the off season. Lets all hope this turns out to be magical season for all Rangers fans.
Those can attend Opening Day, I hope you have a great time. Anytime you are at the ballpark, remember its a day at a ballgame, try to forget the bills, the traffic, work, etc., just have a good time, again, no worries, its a day at the ballpark. And as always, if you have a problem at the ballpark, shoot me an email and I will get you to the right people that can take care of your problem.
On another note, those of you that were at the exhibition game Friday probably saw a “wave” break out while we were hitting. This came up at Jamey’s Dallas gathering, somebody asked Chuck Greenberg if he could stop the wave. This goes against my old school baseball thinking “that if you pay to get in, you can do whatever you want as long as it is in the confines of good behavior”…but I would like our fans to get into the games like they do in Boston, New York, St. Louis and save the wave for another time. So, I have enlisted the help of Drew Sheppard to build me a graphic that will ask fans to wave at another time other than when the Rangers are hitting. Most of you are familiar with Drew’s work. There will be those that will be unhappy that we asked them to wave at another time…its okay to wave, just don’t do it when we have men on and a rally going.
We will see how it goes. Again, have a great time at the ballpark when you come to the games and if you have any questions any time, send me an email to cmorgan@texasrangers.com
Thanks
Chuck M

What we really need to keep an eye on are people like this. I found this picture I took on a game I went to August 1, 2009. This Ballpark vendor was trying to start the wave. Uh, NO, doofus. I hope you’re not still around.

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Reason for Lack of Updates

Just a quick note. I haven’t updated since last Monday, due to the fact that I’m out of town. I went home to visit my family in Philadelphia due to having a couple of really ill grandparents, and I wanted to see them.
Thing is I drove from Dallas to Philadelphia, and wanted to surprise them, so to make sure my cover wasn’t blown, I didn’t post here ahead of time why I was going to be away from the site for a week. :)

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Here we go!

And it begins today. Rangers on the radio at 2PM.
Speaking of Radio.. I see Victor Rojas has left MLB Network to be the play by play guy for the Angels? Oh Vic. If you were just going back to play by play, you should have stayed here. Oh, you just don’t love Texas. I see how it goes. :) j/k.
Hope it goes well for you personally, just not your new employer as such.

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Nolan Ryan’s 5000th Strikeout

Batting Stance guy (Gar Ryness) is awesome. By far my favorite one of his is Andre Dawson. A ton of Gar’s stuff is great, but for some reason his version of Hawk is spectacular. Watch this clip from Gar’s appearance on the Letterman show last July. He doesn’t do Dawson, but it’s a great clip, as most of them are shticked up due to being on Letterman. :)

Finally, click this link to head over to mlb.com. It’s a video from Gar’s appearance on the MLBN “Hot Stove” program from last off season. At the 1:00 minute mark, he does Andre Dawson – this is my favorite single impression Gar’s done by anyone.
Silly MLBam not allowing streaming of their MLBN video. That would be rather cool.