A Few Thoughts About Chuck Greenberg

This morning when I got up, the first news story I saw was about Chuck Greenberg and the Rangers. I read a bit about that, and then was planning to write about it.
Then I read about the Earthquake & tsunami in Japan, and to be honest, I don’t feel like writing about Chuck Greenberg at the moment. I will, but there’s more important things to think about at the moment than Chuck Greenberg’s departure from the Rangers.
In the meantime, I suggest checking out what Joey M had to say over at Baseball Time in Arlington about it. I’ll have my own opinions later in the day. There’s also this story with a few reactions from Rangers players.
I’ll just say this for now. Last year we had the drama in spring training with Ron Washington and cocaine. This year it’s the Chuck Greenberg thing. Distraction yes. But if what I’m reading about “overstepping bounds” is accurate, then I can understand it.
More later once I have a chance to mentally digest it.

Sunday’s Rangers game changes TV channels

A few minutes ago, I got a press release saying that Sunday’s TV debut of the Rangers for 2011 has moved from Fox to Fox Sports Southwest. Here’s the press release.

SUNDAY’S RANGERS-GIANTS SPRING TRAINING GAME TO AIR ON FOX SPORTS SOUTHWEST PLUS IN DFW
AND OTHER SOUTHWEST TELEVISION MARKETS

Sunday’s (March 13) Texas Rangers-San Francisco Giants Spring Training game from Surprise, Ariz. at 3:00 PM CT will be carried on FOX Sports Southwest Plus in Dallas-Fort Worth and other Southwest television markets. The game was moved to FOX Sports Southwest Plus when FOX Sports Southwest recently added the Los Angeles Kings-Dallas Stars NHL game originally scheduled to air nationally on NBC.
FOX Sports Southwest Plus is a channel used by FOX Sports Southwest to simultaneously show multiple events on two channels, giving viewers another option to follow their favorite teams.
FOX Sports Southwest Plus is available in Dallas-Fort Worth on Time Warner Cable channel 960, Charter Cable channel 300, DirecTV channel 677, Dish Network channel 451, AT&T U-Verse channel 756, and Verizon Fios channel 77.
Other markets that will offer the Rangers-Giants game on FOX Sports Southwest Plus include Abilene-Sweetwater; Amarillo; Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale; Little Rock-Pine Bluff; Lubbock; Monroe-El Dorado; Odessa-Midland; Sherman-Ada; Shreveport; Tyler-Longview; Waco-Temple; Wichita Falls & Lawton.
Visit http://www.foxsportssouthwest.com/pages/tvlisting_foxsportsplus/0 for channel information.
All other Southwest markets will carry the game live on FOX Sports Southwest. The game also will be replayed on Sunday at 8:00 PM CT in all markets on FOX Sports Southwest.
– FOX SPORTS SOUTHWEST –
www.FoxSportsSouthwest.com

CJ Wilson named opening day starter

Much to nobody’s surprise, the Rangers named CJ Wilson as their opening day starter for 2011. With Cliff Lee out of the picture, it pretty much was down to Wilson & Colby Lewis.
It’s an interesting case, as before last year, both of those guys weren’t starters. Well, Lewis was, but he was off in Japan, having “ended up” there due to his failures in the major leagues. CJ Wilson was a reliever. The battle for the 2011 Opening Day starter was between two guys who weren’t starters for the Rangers a year ago. Well, Lewis technically was, as he had signed by then, but you know what I mean. :)
Don’t think you would have gone wrong either way, but let’s home the pressures of opening day starter don’t get to CJ Wilson. He feels in much the same position to me as Scott Feldman was going into last year. And Feldman tanked. There’s a lot of talk about how the increased workload on Wilson could impact him in the upcoming season. Hope not. Be nice to get one of these things to go right long term, eh?

I also need some more players on my fantasy teams. Please see the signup information. It’s free. Thanks.

Uniform Numbers

As we get closer to the start of spring training, I decided to do some work on my site. Last night I brought the uniform number history page up to date. If you’ve never visited that part of my site, it’s one of the two totally unique features my site has that no other Rangers site/fan blog has.
What it is is a history of each number from zero through 85+ from 1961 through 2011 (including, obviously the Senators years). I started doing this about 10 years ago, so for the most part I have all the fiddly details from then onwards for guys who were up for just a day or two and never returning. It’s one of those things I enjoy keeping track of, and as everyone has become more connected, I find it’s easier to find out what people’s numbers are. Shout out to Anthony Andro for putting up with my requests about unif numbers during press conferences. Thanks, dude. :)
Anyway, the Rangers have posted uniform numbers for all their 40 man roster guys, so I decided to go update 2011 with that. However, the spring training invite guys don’t have their numbers posted, so I’ll update with them later on. The guys we have right now as NRI’s to spring training are:

  • P Zack Jackson

  • P Seth McClung
  • P Ryan Tucker
  • C Kevin Cash
  • IF Brian Barden
  • IF Esteban German
  • OF Endy Chavez
  • OF Doug Deeds

Now, German has been here for a few years as a end of the 40 man hanger-on, and has had the same number (6) all that time, so I’d say it’s a safe bet he’ll have 6 again in 2011, as it’s otherwise untaken.
There is one thing I was hoping fans could help me by contributing. If you’ve ever looked at my uniform number history page, I’ve gathered over the years pictures of the various numbers being worn on players. I’ve posted some of them on the bottom of each number’s page as an “example” of that number. The Bo Porter picture above is one of those. But check out the pages, and look at the bottom. I think it makes for a nice little archive of pictures.
The part you can help with is with pictures. Take a look. If you have pictures of any of the players who I do not have a picture of, I’d love it if you could send me the picture for inclusion on these pages. I’m specifically looking for ones that show the player’s name along with the number. Not just the front where the number is, I really want one with the player’s name and number from the back being shown. I know a ton of you have picture archives (I’ve seen ’em on Facebook & Picasa Web Albums), but I’m sure there’s a ton more I haven’t seen.
Please take a look at what you have, and if you have something useful for this project, let me know, I’d love to get it online. Danke. Here’s some of the ones I’ve collected. It’s the guys who are only up for 2-3 games in a season and then never to return are the hardest to get shots of. I’ve started taking pictures off the TV of guys like that – with everything in HD now, it makes for an “ok” picture once reduced in size to about 450 pixels on that page. But it’s not the same as a real pic of a guy in action. So if you have any, I’d really like to hear from you.
Danke, and thanks for visiting.

Rangers Prospects in MLBN Top 50 Countdown

MLB Network ran a show tonight on the top 50 prospects in baseball. Wanted to mention the Ranger players they had there (Feliz was #7 on last year’s list). They had a countdown that was mosty put together by writer Jonathan Mayo. He had a few rules about the players. They are:
Player must have rookie status.
Based on input from scouts and front office personnel
Ties broken by Jonathan Mayo.
They also had John Hart to do commentary too (which seemed lke some more detail on Rangers players). Anyway, the Rangers players on the list are:
#43 – Tanner Scheppers
#23 – Martin Perez (compared him to Johan Santana & Ron Guidry)
3 was Bryce Harper (WAS), 2 was Jeremy Hellickson (TB), 1 was Mike Trout (ANA).
A bit surprised we only placed two out of 50. A lot of guys we moved out the last few years weren’t in there, either.

Cliff Lee to Philly again

Well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want him to stay. I did. Rather a lot. But I’m most excited about the fact that he’s not going to the Yankees. Even though I’m a known Phillies fan, and I’d be lying again if I said I wasn’t excited about Halladay / Lee / Oswalt / Hamels, I’m truly most excited that the Yankees did not get them.
Thanks to Cliff Lee. Had fun when you were here, rode you to the World Series, which was way cool (even though we lost). Hopefully we see you there in 2011.
Nice that he didn’t just go all Rod Tidwell on baseball when choosing his contract. Also nice that he called Jon Daniels personally to say he was going to Philly.
Finally, I hope this guy didn’t rip holes in his shirt converting it back to a Cliff Lee shirt. :)

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.

New Scoreboard News!

Last night I posted this on Chuck Greenberg’s Facebook page:

Chuck, it was said a few weeks ago that you guys would know by Thanksgiving whether the new scoreboard plan for 2011 was doable. Its now past that, any news?

A few hours later, Chuck wrote me back and said this:

Major announcement should be coming by the end of the week :-)

Yay! Looks like something big is happening this week!!