Archive for the ‘Texas Rangers’ category

Home Run Derby thoughts

July 15, 2008

Another Home Run Derby has passed and Josh Hamilton made some history. Hamilton hit 28 home runs in the first round, breaking Bobby Abreu’s record of 24 in 2005. His multiple 500+ foot homers were definitely the highlight of the night. He found a way to lose to Justin Morneau in the finals though which served as one of the most anticlimactic endings since Kelly Leak got thrown out at home.

This year’s Derby was, as usual, plagued with some things that need to stop.

  • Berman’s “Back, back, back!” call. This works better in a game, when home runs aren’t happening every three pitches (unless Brett Myers is pitching).
  • Hamilton’s drug history. It makes a good Oprah, but he appears to have his life in order now. Let’s focus on Josh Hamilton the MVP candidate.
  • Terrible camera views. ESPN gave us some views I had never seen before and don’t want to see again. Keep the camera over the pitcher’s shoulder and stop slow mo-ing everything.
  • Erin Andrews’ outfit. I sound like People Magazine here but she looked like the 1800s. Still way hot though and it was funny watching Josh Hamilton try to get in her pants.
  • Players looking for face time. Edinson Volquez leaving the briefcase on the plate was not funny, and David Ortiz leaving was only funny because Yankee Stadium unleashed a giant boo upon him.
  • That contest before the last round.

On the bright side, we did get to witness some history with Hamilton’s performance. Perhaps the coolest part of his Derby performance was him bringing his 71-year-old high school coach to pitch to him. He did a pretty good job too. Also, no one left a goose egg on the board like Jason Bay a couple years ago.

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Triple Crowns for humans and horses

May 23, 2008

Big Brown may have a much better chance than Texas Rangers OF Josh Hamilton of attaining a Triple Crown, but Hamilton is having a noteworthy season. In his first season in Texas, Hamilton’s .335 batting average, 12 home runs, and 52 RBi (14 more than the next guy), rank first, tied for first, and first respectively in the American League. The last Triple Crown winner was Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox in 1967.

Hamilton has an exceptional amount of talent, and he is also surrounded by some good hitters in the Texas Lineup. Guys like 2B Ian Kinsler, OF Milton Bradley, and SS Michael Young provide Hamilton with plenty of opportunities with men on base. He delivers too, batting .339 with RISP. The odds are certainly stacked against Hamilton to get the Triple Crown. Come season’s end, I think Hamilton could rest upon top of the AL leaderboard in BA and RBI, but he will not get the home run title. Hamilton is not a guy who goes to the plate looking exclusively for home runs (ie. Ryan Howard, David Ortiz, Adam Dunn, anyone tall and strong). Hamilton keeps his strikeout totals at acceptable levels (27 as of now), and will take a walk.

Even if he doesn’t get the Triple Crown this year, the Texas Rangers are certainly improving over past seasons. They are 24-25 and 3rd (not last, shocker) in the AL West. Unfortunately for the Rangers, their offense is the only great aspect of their team. They are currently 3rd in the league (2nd in the AL) in runs scored with 252, but their pitching has given up 270 runs, which is the worst in the majors. It sucks to see their pitching nullify such a potent offense, but at least Texas fans get to watch Hamilton continue his rise to elite status.

While we’re on the topic of Triple Crowns, I might actually watch the Belmont Stakes to see if Big Brown can pull it off. It might be interesting, especially with this horse racing shit-talking happening. So until September, we’ll just see if Josh Hamilton and the Rangers can jockey for position in the AL West. Get it? Jockey? Huh? I’ll go now.

Also, don’t Google Image Search ‘big brown’ with little kids around. Make sure the windows are shut too.

Richie Sexson gets angry; helmet throw is a punk move

May 12, 2008

Mariners Richie Sexson charged the mound after Texas Rangers pitcher Kason Gabbard threw a pitch at his eye level. Sexson is 6’8, so if you put a pitch that high, it is obviously on purpose. Sexson charged the mound, chucked his helmet at Gabbard, and tackled him but didn’t land any good punches. And the benches cleared and MIlton Bradley actually played peacemaker, pulling C Gerald Laird from the action. Sexson was initially suspended for six games. However, he appealed and had the suspension reduced to five games.

Sexson said he would have been a lot less angry if Gabbard threw at his body, which is taller than most people. A baseball to the buns or back is a lot safer than one to the noggin. But Gabbard went up top and headhunters get what they deserve.

I do not mind watching athletes get angry and I do not believe in suspensions for anyone who leaves the bench (ie. NBA David Stern crackdown on fun). Checks and balances apply to baseball as well as government, so batters must keep the opposing pitcher in check if he is throwing at guys. I do believe however, that people fighting need to observe proper etiquette, if you will, when it comes to baseball violence.

  1. No kicking or other martial arts moves.
  2. Don’t throw the helmet. Or for that matter, no weapons (we’re looking at you Juan Marichal).
  3. Pitchers: don’t headhunt unless you’re Kyle Farnsworth and can defend yourself.
  4. No spitting.
  5. Leave Zimmer alone!

Sexson suspension to 5 games (Sports Illustrated)

Josh Hamilton pwns J.J. Putz so much that Putz goes on DL (and other happenings)

April 2, 2008

Josh Hamiltowned!

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After last night’s go-ahead two-run home run by Josh Hamilton that put the Rangers ahead of the Mariners 5-4, [va]J.J. Putz is headed to the disabled list with a ribcage injury (Yahoo). Putz, one of the best closers last year, is not having a good start to the 2008 season. Josh Hamilton meanwhile, has more strength than most Greek and Roman Gods.

Larry Bowa suspended

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Looks like Larry Bowa, the third base coach for the Dodgers, got suspended three games for coloring outside the lines being out of the coaching boundaries, and promptly arguing. You know it is baseball season when Bowa gets pissed at something.

Joel Zumaya still plays Guitar Hero well, does other things pretty good too

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A recent Deadspin article a couple hours ago shows a Facebook photo of everyone’s favorite Guitar-Hero playin’ Detroit Tiger Joel Zumaya still playing his axe, even if he injured himself in a dunebuggy wildfire accident. No comment.

Josh Hamilton is doing pretty well in ST and projecting 2008

March 22, 2008

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(AP image)

Of course in the past year, we knew about OF Josh Hamilton’s drug troubles, etc etc. Right? Right now, Hamilton is hitting .512 for the Texas Rangers in Spring Training with an OPS of 1.437. With a minimum of 20 ABs, he is only behind bench guys who are not projected to do much this year, like Baltimore’s Scott Moore and Oakland’s Todd Linden, as well as Seattle utility player Mike Morse (who will do decent in regular season play in 2008). (more…)

Division Preview: AL West

March 11, 2008

A competitive division race appears to be in store out west this season. Everyone but the A’s made major noise this off season with high profile moves, though the A’s did can Nick Swisher in one of the Moneyball, minor rebuilding efforts. Also, this division has four teams while the NL Central has six teams. I would not mind MLB making the simplest realignment in its history by moving one more team to the AL West for the sake of symmetry. Enough of that sidebar, we’ll get to the teams. (more…)

Rangers Sign Sidney Ponson

March 9, 2008

What do you expect to believe from Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels these days?

This:

“He’s thrown all winter, and we’ve seen him a few times,” general manager Jon Daniels said of Ponson. “He’s down 20 pounds from what he was when he struggled the past couple of years. We talked with him about our expectations, and he understands where he is at this point of his career. He feels he has something to prove.”

or this:

(Actual photo taken in his house at Aruba)

Rangers sign Ponson (MLB.com)