Tag Archive | "Texas Rangers"

I Really Don’t Know What to Say….


I’m still in shock from Friday nights games. I think it’s going to take me a while to find the words to describe what happened.

All I can say for now is:

Bad call but that’s not what cost us.

and

Where did they disappear to?

I’m really lost for words. More later after I wake up from this “dream”.

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Postseason Baseball – There’s Nothing Better


The end of the 2011 MLB season was a painful one for me. For the past 25+ years I have rooted for a pair of teams. One I fell in love with because they had a great power hitting outfielder and they were on TV every night of the week.

Yes, the Atlanta Braves. I have been a die hard fan since the mid-80s and the collapse last year was difficult to swallow. Seeing that great bullpen collapse at the end of the season was tough to watch.

The other team is the Texas Rangers. I grew up in Texas and old Arlington Stadium is where I got to see the few live games during my childhood. I remember it fondly, and I got to see some of the all-time greats there like Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, and so many more.

They were the other team I could watch on TV, and I rooted for them in the AL for as long as I can remember.

So being 1 strike away from a World Series victory was a hard pill to swallow. Game 6 in 2011 reminded me all too much of Game 6 in 1991. Both were hard to watch, and honestly I am not sure I am over either one. I mean really what was Lonnie Smith doing?

Anyway, the 2012 season I am hoping for redemption. Both teams are in the playoffs even though they both might wind up as wild card teams depending on what happens with Texas and Oakland later. I’m okay with that.

Atlanta is playing really good ball this year in September, and I like their chances. Friday they get their chance at redemption in the one game playoff against the team that edged them out of the playoffs last year the St. Louis Cardinals.

Texas on the other hand is really struggling and after leading the AL West for most of the season it all comes down to 1 game in Oakland for the division title.

No matter what happens this year, it can’t be as bad as it was last year. That really tore my heart out. I’m excited about both teams chances. And if they happen to meet in the World Series by chance, I hope Atlanta sweeps ’em.

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Who Would Have Thought…..


Who would have thought…..

There are several of these this season so far. I think the biggest one is who would have thought the Baltimore Orioles would be this good?

Heading into tonight’s play, the Orioles are atop the AL East with a 27-15 record which is the best in the American League. Not only are they in first but the whole division seems to be turned upside down with the Yankees and Red Sox in 4th and 5th place.

There seems to be a surprise in just about every division.

AL Central

Who would have thought the Detroit Tigers would be under .500 and trailing not only the Cleveland Indians but the Chicago White Sox?

AL West

I think everyone though the Rangers would be at the top of the division, but who would have though the Angels would be bringing up the rear? They are 8 games out of first and 6 games under .500 already this season. Albert Pujols just hasn’t hit yet but they could easily turn it around. Maybe.

NL East

I think we thought the Washington Nationals would be good, but this good? They are trailing the Braves by a half game and have played really well this season. Perhaps the bigger surprise is the fall of the Phillies. So far they are in last place 5 games out and a game under  .500 but they have had a lot of big injuries.

NL Central

Not any huge surprises here. Cincinnati and St. Louis are tied for first, but Pittsburgh and Houston are next in the standings which might be the biggest surprise.

NL West

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best record in baseball. Not sure anyone saw that coming with all the off the field issues they have had. They are hot of late (8-2 in last 10) and are almost unbeatable at home going 19-4.

I think the Orioles are the biggest surprise so far. I hope they can keep it up. It’s nice to see teams that haven’t won in a few years return to the top of the league. It’s time for some new blood in the playoffs.

What do you think is the biggest surprise so far?

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The Good Side of Baseball Fans


I have seen baseball in a lot of places, and have seen good and bad fans. However, the bad ones seem to stand out more than the good. I can understand fans that don’t like another team and/or player for that matter. I have a lot of teams I can’t root for. But the one thing I can’t stand is an ignorant fan.

I’ve seen lots of them, and I don’t think I am the most knowledgeable fan out there. But I have seen a few things in the past few days that has reminded me there are good knowledgeable fans out there.

First of all, Josh Hamilton had an amazing night in Baltimore. He did what only 15 other players before him had done which was hit 4 home runs in a single game. It’s an amazing feat. The thing that stood out the most, even more so than Hamilton’s historic night, was the fan’s reaction in Baltimore. Despite a player tearing up their team with long ball after long ball, the fans recognized the greatness in the feat and gave Hamilton a standing ovation. It was a thing of beauty.

Secondly, what happened next was a little more expected. Chipper Jones is making the rounds one last time having announced his retirement after the season. Each place he goes he is honored in one way or another. However, before the start of the first game Friday night another number 10 was honored as former Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa’s number was retired.

Then as Chipper came to bat in the first inning, he received a standing ovation from the crowd. This isn’t a former Cardinals great making one last trip. It’s a player who has been a foe for many years, yet the fans in St. Louis still acknowledged the fact that this was his last trip through. This wouldn’t be the case for just any player, but they see the Hall of Fame worthiness of Chipper and what he has done for baseball in Atlanta. Some say that the Cardinals’ fans are the best in the game. To me this only reinforced that idea.

My hats off to the fans of Baltimore and St. Louis. It is nice to see there are some great fans out there when all too often all we hear about is the booing of fans.

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Today in Baseball History – April 28th


April 28, 1998 – Rangers right fielder Juan Gonzalez sets the all-time Major League record for RBI in April when he crushes a two-run home run in a 7-2 win against Minnesota. The home run gave Gonzalez 35 RBI setting the record.

Gonzalez would go on to drive in 157 in 1998, a career high. He would finish with 434 career home runs and drive in 1,404 runs.

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Today in Baseball History – April 26th


April 26, 1990 – The Texas Rangers defeated the Chicago White Sox 1-0 behind Nolan Ryan’s record tying 12th one-hitter. Ryan tied Bob Feller’s mark by striking out 16 and allowing only Ron Kittle’s check-swing single to right field in the second inning. He was 43 years old at the time.

Ryan is the all-time leader in no-hitters with seven and he also threw eighteen two-hitters. Ryan would finish the year with a 13-9 record and a 3.44 ERA.

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Why I Love MLB.tv


As you might expect, I love watching baseball. I grew up watching the Atlanta Braves on TBS most nights during the summer. When I got older I moved to the Dallas area and started watching the Texas Rangers about as often. However, when I moved to South Korea there wasn’t anyway to keep up with the nightly games on local TV.

I could watch the KBO (Korean professional baseball), but I work nights and miss most of the games except on weekends. Luckily for me there is MLB.tv.

I don’t know what I would do without it. My first 2 years here I tried to do without it which was just plain stupid looking back. I would catch the occasional game online. But I mostly watched highlights and just the postseason. Occasionally I would buy a month of MLB.tv and watch games. This year I decided to go with the whole year package.

And I couldn’t be happier. I work afternoons and nights here which makes it perfect for watching games back home. A 7pm game on the east coast comes on here at 8am. So my day consists of getting up in the morning, making breakfast, and turning on baseball. It’s great.

Right now it is 11am locally and I am watching the Rangers/Yankees game as Yu Darvish is pitching a shutout in the 7th inning. Here in a few minutes I’ll turn on the Braves game and watch it until I have to go to work at 1:30. It’s a great life.

Not only can I watch any game I want any day of the week, but I can choose the home or away broadcast. Normally I would watch the broadcast of my favorite team, the Braves or Rangers. But today I am watching the Braves and the Dodgers and its a cardinal sin of baseball not to listen to Vin Scully.

If you travel or live overseas, you have to make it a priority to check out MLB.tv. It is the greatest thing for me living in Korea since here there are no blackouts.

Now back to the games.

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Ivan Rodriguez Retires a Ranger


Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez was honored today before the start of the Texas Rangers game with the New York Yankees as he announced his retirement from baseball, and this baseball fan couldn’t be happier.

Pudge will go down as one of the all-time Rangers greats, and easily the greatest catcher of our era. He played 21 seasons breaking into the major leagues at the age of 19. He was a 14-time All-Star and a 13-time Gold Glove winner, including 10 in a row.

He set the standard for catchers defensively during his time. Over the course of his career he had a caught stealing percentage of 46%. That is 15% higher than the league average over the same time period. He led the league 9 times and had 7 seasons where his percentage was over 50%, including 1 season at 60%. He was simply the best defensive catcher I’ve ever seen.

During the 90’s fans go so much pleasure out of seeing him throw a runner out or even better pick a runner off first base. His throws were not only hard but very precise which was what made him so good.

Don’t let his defense fool you though. Most catchers who are great defensively aren’t as good offensively. This wasn’t the case for Pudge. When he first came up to the Majors he was strictly a defensive call up. However, that soon changed as he continued to better himself at the dish culminating in his 1999 MVP season.

In his MVP season, Rodriguez hit .332, 35 home runs, 113 RBI, slugged .558, stole 25 bases, won a gold glove, a silver slugger, and was an all-star. It was quite the year for Pudge. And he would have had a better year in 2000, but he was sidelined late in the year with a broken hand.

In his career he hit 311 home runs, drove in 1332 runs, hit .296, and had an OPS of .798. Not bad for a defensive catcher.

He’ll always have a place in the hearts of Rangers fans. He was a huge part of the Rangers 3 AL West Titles in the 1990s, and he is a sure fire Hall of Famer.

Thanks for the memories Pudge. You will be missed.

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Yu Darvish Struggles in First Start Against Seattle


The most anticipated match up in the 2012 MLB season so far took place last night, or this morning depending on your location. Yu Darvish took the mound for the first time as a Texas Ranger and went face to face with one of, if not the most, popular Japanese player ever to hit America, Ichiro Suzuki.

Darvish didn’t look too impressive but did show signs of what might come as he gets more comfortable with the baseball here in the States. He lasted only 5.2 innings, gave up 5 runs, walked 4, and struck out 5 to pick up his first, of hopefully many, MLB win.

In the celebrated match up he didn’t fare so well. Ichiro got the better of him going 3-for-4 including a double and 2 runs scored.

Darvish looked nervous and couldn’t find the strike zone early on. He settle down after giving up 4 runs in the 1st inning to only allow 1 more run over the next 4.2 frames.

What Darvish will surely like is the offense he has behind him. The Rangers put up 11 runs, including 4 home runs on the night. Darvish will need offense like this behind him on nights. Then again everyone does. He has a learning curve to go through, so don’t expect him to be dominating every time out. He did show he has the stuff to be dominating. He just has to get comfortable and that will come with time.

I know I am excited about what is to come with Darvish, and I can’t wait to see him pitch again. Based on the schedule, it looks like Darvish will pitch against the Twins at home on Saturday afternoon. It should be a good game to watch. I know I’ll be up early Sunday to catch it here on MLB.tv (game time 2:10am KST).

If you watched the game, what did you think of Darvish?

Yu Darvish’s Record – 1-0

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This is a Great Time of Year – Baseball is Back


The baseball season is upon us, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was needing this distraction.

I’m really looking forward to the Braves and Rangers seasons. I’ll be blogging about the Braves, my all-time favorite team, at a new site, Braves Baseball World (I’m just getting it up and going – should be finished soon).

I’m looking forward to watching a lot of Rangers as well, but not because I think they will win the World Series. But mainly because of the intense rivalry with the hated Angels this year.  It hasn’t been this exciting since Vincente Padilla pitched for the Rangers and loved starting bench clearing brawls by throwing at hitters.

C.J. Wilson is now an Angel, and has already started heating things up by Tweeting Mike Napoli’s phone number. Sure he may have played it off as a joke or accident, but nobody really thinks so. He can be a douche that way. I look forward to the games when he pitches. Not that it will be easy. He is a solid pitcher.

Then add in that the Angels signed Albert Pujols, and you have the makings of a really good pennant race. And let’s be honest, there is nothing better in baseball than a good pennant race. This one could go down to the final day of the season. We’ll just have to wait and see how things go.

I’m am really anxious to see Yu Darvish pitch as well. I watched him a bit during the spring games, but nothing is like regular season competition. I’ll be tuned in with millions of others in Asia watching his first game against Ichiro and the Mariners on Monday night.

There are a lot of other interesting teams this year too. Washington could do some damage in the NL and Toronto could make it a four team race in the NL East.

I love this time of year.

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New Era (eFashion Solutions)

Quote of the Month

There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit. ~Al Gallagher, 1971

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