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For sure. Jenkins isn't exactly the key to the deal from a Texas perspective.
Speaking of Encyclopedia Brown, did Bugs Meany ever play baseball?
What does <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31789">Robinson Cano</a></span> have to do with <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=49786">Clayton Kershaw</a></span>?
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=104759">Braxton Davidson</a></span> plays at High-A Carolina. Mississippi is AA.
Great article! This is when I first starting watching baseball as a kid and I loved the references to so many key players of that era.
I doubt Igor would access this site or comment on it because he was an athlete who did not do much of anything in English. During his heyday, many players of that era were collecting lots of endorsement money but the two-time MVP was doing all of his endorsements in Spanish and none in English.
Thank you for sharing your heart wrenching story. I hope baseball and time give you and your family hope and peace.
Thanks for the earworm for today!
The article never referenced the fifth option: none of the above. Not that anyone thinks that will be an option. Daniels may have a fan riot on his hands if Beltre goes to play somewhere else. Let's see how many games Beltre plays as a DH or sits out while either Alberto or Desmond man third. That'll tell you a lot.
Trying this with a good hitting pitcher (as you mentioned with Arizona and Greinke subbing for Ahmed) seems to be a better plan, particularly if the good hitting pitcher has a track record for doing so.
This article is too cool for school.
This made me laugh out loud.
Why is there a reference to <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=50073">Travis Snider</a></span> and the Royals in the Blue Jays section about <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31534">Gavin Floyd</a></span>?
Fabulous <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/column/transaction_analysis/">Transaction Analysis</a> article.
I really enjoyed this fun little read, and laughed very loudly at Colin's account of the event in Midland. I also grew up (like Kate) in easy proximity to Arlington, but it was the old Arlington Stadium with all the truly bad baseball teams that played in it. In that day and time, little leaguers in the Metroplex were allowed in free after the third inning of non-sellouts (virtually every game) because there was almost nobody in the park for most games. I got in free to something like 50 games a year for 6-7 years in a row. Like most, I never got the elusive foul ball and am still waiting for one that I can catch and give to a kid at age 52.
This was written specifically to torture Rangers fans. :-)
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=56723">Danny Salazar</a></span> had a bad outing against Texas, but it was in Cleveland.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=56792">Jake Smolinski</a></span> is currently in Round Rock.
This was a fun read. Since I have read in just slightly more than a thousand places that Bakersfield is the armpit of Minor League Baseball, I enjoyed the "counterpoint" angle to this article. I love your stuff....
Of note - mannequin <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=50191">Craig Gentry</a></span> looks African-American. Is that part of the overall joke, since Craig is racially mis-profiled as well?
I really enjoy your contributions here, Mr. Kusnick. I'm 52, so I've got a lot of baseball watching under my belt and hopefully 52 more. I look forward to telling my grandchildren about players who were good in the 1960s and 1970s who were good, everyday players but will be disappearing from memories then. I love the sentiment, and thanks for the suggestion.
I absolutely love these articles. Keep 'em coming!
And as a Rangers fan, even I will admit that we could start a drinking game around BP mentions of <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Nick+Williams">Nick Williams</a></span>.
Absolutely love these stories. The whole series has been great, and I never thought I'd cheer for an agent or his clients (or former clients) by reading Baseball Prospectus.
Sorry for the typo. Weird Al Yankovic can't spell Albuquerque either. :-)
Uhm, Albuquerquw's elevation is also approximately a mile high....just like Colorado Springs and Denver....
Great article. Now I'm cheering for Jim Miller. And if, by chance he winds up at Durham, I'll be there cheering him to get back to the majors since that's my local minor league team. Thanks for the insight.
I've been wondering why #8 hasn't already happened, and Mitch Moreland became the new Brooks Kieschnick. But what do I know. I think "Mop Up Mitch" has a nice ring to it.
Was there any mention of Scherzer in the article?
Babe Seager just homered again against the Rangers in a Strat-O-Matic game.
Fabulous article. Thanks!
Wouldn't it make more sense for Theo and company to give C.J. Edwards one more crack as a starter in the minors before the permanent conversion to a reliever? I still think her has a decent starter's makeup, and he might be able to save them from signing four free agent starters to line up with Arrieta to complete the puzzle.
Really enjoyed this one!
Alex Rios hit four homers and played in Texas. Tells you everything you need to know about why Texas didn't pick up his option.
"Even if the Royals had simply walked into the Division Series like they did during the heyday of the Spice Girls..."
In 1985, no one had ever heard of The Spice Girls. And unfortunately, a little more than a decade later, most of the world had.
+1 for the Cervelli comment.
Also, kudos to Kate Morrison for highlighting the Guilder Rodriguez story in Texas. As a Rangers fan, it's been a painful season to watch, but one silver lining is that it has enabled Texas to call up Rodriguez to get a well deserved moment and ride off into what will likely be a long career as a coach. Great story.
Thanks for all the good work in putting this together this year. I look forward to seeing it every day and have been a loyal reader all year. Much appreciated!
Great story. I love features like this at BP.
Boy, as a Rangers fan *and* a forever reader and subscriber of rec.sport.baseball and BP, this one hurts. I knew it would be inevitable, and I'm forever grateful for yours and Kevin's appearance on behalf of BP at a Newberg Report night in Texas that I flew in from North Carolina to attend. It was a pleasure to shake your hand and thank you for your insight and enjoyable writing style. You've provided me more laughs than any writer ever at BP, and that includes the guys who wrote the humorous articles.
I sure wish it had been Texas you joined, but I know this will be a great opportunity with the Cubs and I am thrilled you were able to take the trek you made through BP to get to the job you wanted. Congratulations, and best of luck. You are now solely responsible for moving the Cubs up on my list of teams I will cheer for should my Rangers have another stinker season like this one. This year is for Rany and his Royals, but when the Cubs make their run we know will be happening soon, we'll be cheering for you. Good luck, and thanks.
Jake Thompson in the majors by next season? Heck, he'll likely be in the majors next week after the Rangers put six more pitchers on the DL with various ailments... (sarcasm off)
I think J.D. Drew actually chose the "latter" and not the "latte", but I guess it was possible that a latte was involved in negotiations.
I think the Rangers are also sellers, and Joakim Soria should be on this list.
As a long time subscriber and reader dating back to conversations on rec.sport.baseball, I can only dream of what it would have meant to me to have given you $250 for a lifetime subscription in 1996. Sigh. :-)
All jokes aside, I really, really, really, really would love to see you all come up with a multi-year subscription capability. I think a lot of us who have been with you since the beginning would love that.
I would just take a Wegman's gift card for the free pie.
Fantastic article. Thanks for having a player contribute an excellent article, and I hope it's not the last we see of Gabe Kapler's work here.
I think Colby Lewis will be pitching in Frisco Sunday. Your article reads as such, but also lists the earlier news of him starting in Round Rock on Sunday.
Ron Washington needed this article to be written last year. :-)
I'll eat my Rangers cap if Texas isn't a buyer. I'd love to see the staff thoughts on their needs. Sort of a bummer that the Orioles were listed twice as potential buyers. How about add another obvious team (there are several) and just say the Orioles need a starter *and* a second baseman. :-)
I'm a Rangers fan, and I am still amazed Game 6 of the 2011 World Series was not included here. And I try on all fronts to purge that game from my memory....
Profar: "Hey Ian, I can't afford to pay money for you to face plant yourself again while sliding, but what will it take to develop a new owie right before they get ready to send me back to Round Rock? And, no disrespect, but I'm only asking because Elvis makes more money than you do, and he's got better body language. Quite frankly, he scares me. You're my only hope, because I just really don't want to be a Marlin."
Kinsler: "Learn to play corner outfield, kid. I don't have to worry about being a Marlin and we'll see how much extra cash I can get from them to move me to left field next year. Damn that Mitch!"
"That includes all three years of his first stint with the Marlins back when they played in Florida."
The Marlins have been rescued from Florida??!! That's the real story here. :-)
Thank you for bringing the scouts' views back!
No love for Wade Miley's dinger?
Fantastic article! Keep this series up!
No mention of Neftali Feliz or Joakim Soria? I assume that is because they would not supplant Joe Nathan, correct?
No more burritos in the clubhouse!
This was a very interesting article and one that plays to a lot of my thoughts around MLB expansion. You briefly mentioned the Rangers and Astros passively playing toward expansion of the Mexican market, but I think that appears passive because the real goal is the not-so-passive attempts for one franchise to win the Austin and San Antonio television markets. Mexico is just an extension of that effort.
Meanwhile, we've had much talk over the years of the potential expansion to two additional to "even" the MLB landscape at 32 teams. I can't imagine MLB's current "braintrust" having the vision to put a team in a huge market like Mexico City or a hotbed like San Juan without dollars being dangled in front of them. However, it sure makes baseball sense.
To your credit, you didn't mention his stolen base. I believe that is the actual reason for the craziness at the end of the game. Nathan, Pierzynski, and Marty Foster were all still in shock. :-)
I very much enjoyed this, Geoff. Excellent stuff.
Amen. I'm a tried and true Rangers fan, and I've seen Rangers caps in places that they had never been spotted before the past couple of years. I'll watch the Astros carefully as I always have, but any true baseball fan has to like what they are doing. I admire the approach, and wish them luck. I don't want them infringing on "Ranger territory", but I do know that two great baseball teams in Texas would make both stronger. Best of luck to them, and moreso to my Astro fan friends who have suffered equally for 40 years cheering their team.
No. Not "see". "We". (sorry...this is really obscure but could not resist.)
Still waiting for Strat-O-Matic for the Xbox. :-)
I will say I liked last year's "Worst game of the Year" story slightly better, but this is a feature I'll look forward to each year.
And yes, I know the team name changed when they moved into the "Eighth Wonder of the World". But the same base of players moved from Jeppeson Stadium and the numbers obviously changed.
I think one of the great things about being a long time BP reader/subscriber (including the days of rec.sports.baseball) is the ability of writers to point out what past eras might have been like with current era coverage. Those of us who watched the old Colt .45's/Astros teams of the old Astrodome know those players were much better than their statistics, but that park was just a total killer. That said, their pitchers benefited mightily from numbers that were inflated by the same park.
I would love to see that as well.
I don't think it will be Pujols taking Hamilton under his wing. I think it will be the influence of CJ Wilson will be the key to protecting Hamilton in SoCal.
"I see", said the blind man, who picked up a hammer and saw.
If you have already won multiple World Series', what baseball challenge is left. Aha! Cleveland!
FYI - The Angels aren't hosting the Rangers. The series between Texas and the Angels is taking place in Texas this weekend.
First ballot. No question. Done deal.
For me, it boils down to which player of each era I would most pay money to see play, regardless of team and fandom.
Ichiro is the clear winner of the past 10 years. He made the two hop grounder to the third baseman an exciting play.
Hargrove's schtick sure did net him a lot of walks....
If this article got a defensive rating in Strat-O-Matic, it would be a 5 in a corner outfield spot.
Larry still rocks. I've always wanted to dig deep on Amazon purchases and this was perfect, saving me the trouble.
Loved this article - thanks Doug.
I agree. I hope it continues. It gives subscribers a pre-defined place to start your reading of the articles. I appreciate using it as a starting point for a suite of articles I am going to be reading.
Jason, that Michael Young AB you missed was almost certainly another GIDP, but he showed tremendous leadership running down the line.
Excellent article. Thanks!
I thought Dave Pease was spot on with his article at the time. Ben Christensen should have a criminal record as a convicted felon. If I found out he was working on an account for my business, I would find another account manager.
This was a lot of fun, Larry. Great read.
Really enjoyed this one. Good stuff.
I really don't see how there can ever be a pitcher more maddening than Bobby Witt.
That was a fun read - thank you for this one!
I concur. I'm looking for Ackley's head already.
At least he didn't throw a chair.
"In fact, it's the highest combined Game Score since July 14, 1972, when Gaylord Perry and Mike Paul registered 196."
Mike Paul had a fine season for those horrible 1972 Rangers. I think this was the first mention of Mike Paul in a BP article that I've seen in a long time, and this caught my eye because I was a 10 year old that attended this game. What I remember about it was how fast it was over and that I only got one hot dog. Time to go hit Retrosheet again.
I'm surprised you didn't use Davy Jones of the Monkees instead of David Bowie.
Fabulous article and thanks to BP for including this one in the ProGuestus series. I have done business in Australia for many years, and personally find that nation to have a competitive sports psyche on par or even better than any other nation in the world. I have always thought that MLB could bring lots of strong talent into the league through the proper channels in Australia and New Zealand as well. This article really gave me a lot of insight to clarify my thoughts and observations. Thank you!
Well, I enjoyed the article. I remember the "Dog Baseball" sketch on SNL, so I thought the whole concept was hilarious.
This was a fun read. I'm sure Mike Ekstrom absolutely loved it.
Travis Snider has been freed. Pittsburgh is going to make out like a bandit on this deal.
Count me among the optimists, but I don't see the Rangers being forced to answer the Angels' trade for Greinke. I see them as the team that forced the Angels to make that trade. They aren't going to give away any of their top three prospects for a rental pitcher.
Mr. Parks - a Texan criticizing another state's goofy alcohol laws? Come on - you know a part of Texas pride is knowing where you can buy that alcoholic beverage of your choice, and more specifically where you can't. Sure, a few things have gotten a bit easier in Texas over the past few years, but it's always been fun to explain why people traveling in Metroplex suburbs had to buy a "membership" to drink or explaining why some municipalities over 100,000 people are totally "dry". I think the foot might be on the other hand now, huh? ("Airplane" joke.) It's just the NJ folks sticking it to the Texan when the opportunity arose. :-)
Man, I hope he's traded at the deadline. It's pretty obvous the Jays either don't think he can play in the majors or just have a personality issue with him. Trade him to a place that will let him sink or swim in the big leagues. Please.
My favorite part of the All-Star game is the pre-game introductions. After that, I usually tune in and out, whether the game is close or a blowout because all I am watching is individuals.
Was he pitching right handed?
I agree with Matthew Avery's comment above completely. they have an "opportunity" (realizing that MLB controls their own "opportunities") to relax some of the ridiculous blackout rules currently in place and at least acknowledge that they could be relaxed without harming the gate or the network coverage.
Also, could MLB at least start showing all the games at "bad times" where national audience share would be poor plus no other game in going on in any other market? That could be done now on MLB network or even a network like NBCSports Network after the new contract. More games at any time make for happier baseball fans in general. ESPN usually shows the Patriots Day game in Boston nationally each year (the game with the worst start time of the year), so why can't that be done with other games?
I remember when the Rangers tried this with Ricky Williams and now again with Jordan Akins. Is this something a lot of organizations do in hopes they get lucky with a flier?
Fabulous. Thank you for sharing this.
I believe that in bowling league terms, Matt Cain has to throw a shutout tonight to avoid buying the beer....
Every Adrian Beltre at bat is fun to watch. This just in: Adrian Beltre is fun to watch.
The Rangers would not part with Profar for Greinke unless they knew they could sign Greinke long term. The two supplemental draft picks for loss of a Type A free agent (which Greinke would undoubtedly be) aren't there anymore if a team fails to sign said free agent.
Oh, I just thought these were the newly designed Strat-O-Matic cards. :-)
Maybe that is what Hal Richman needs to do to infuse youth into the great game....
This really bummed me that I wouldn't be at the event you were attending, Jason. I was there last year, and meeting you and Kevin was a personal highlight.
If you get on a plane and the female passenger next to you loves baseball and converses with you about the Rangers (hell, even the Marlins) for the duration of the flight, make sure to include that experience in your BP writings.
Imagine how much fun baseball might be again if there were a Gaylord Perry like player in the league. What an incredible distraction he was - the media couldn't focus on anything else going on (good or bad) with his team because all of the attention was on Gaylord and trying to figure out where the kentucky jelly was.
Absolutely loved the Vaseline post card story - hadn't heard that one.
This was a very entertaining article. Thank you for mentioning Toronto's Man In White. I thought that story flew under most radars.
IT'S A LIBERAL CONSPIRACY! SOX TRADING WITH SOX! YOUKILIS IS A PAWN IN A SOX TRADE BETWEEN TWO LIBERAL CITIES WITH BLEEDING HEART LIBERALS TRYING TO OUT SCREW EACH OTHER!CLARK HOWARD AND DAVE RAMSEY BOTH THINK THIS IS A ONE SIDED DEAL, SO IT HAS TO BE A CONSPIRACY! GO SOX!
Matthew - as a father of four boys including twin sons who has his kids cheering for the Texas Rangers like I did as a boy (I live in North Carolina), the MLB extra innings was the key to the deal. Of course, not having a local team was probably the most important factor. But it is great having all of cheering for the same team, and they got the benefit of skipping those first 35 or so crappy years. :-)
I've enjoyed this series Jay, and am glad you are finishing it. I wondered how you would address the Dodgers, and found it an enjoyable read.
Cool article. I took a science fiction class in college and this is the kind of stuff that came out of it. I enjoyed the read.
Snider desperately needs a change of scenery. The Orioles seem to be collecting these types of guys and doing pretty well with it...
Looks like John Perrotto is pulling a Jason Parks on those intangibles from the local region. (albeit Jason references them from the whole state of Texas) :-)
As a Ranger fan, I really enjoyed "Seasons
In Hell" by Mike Shropshire and I have it on my admittedly biased list.
Glad to see this feature return! Thank you.
Don't write him off yet.
Nothing is worse than Wes Littleton's save in a 30-3 Rangers win over the Orioles.
Should we start an informal wager as to where Denard Span will be traded? I have been hoping the Rangers trade for him and send the Twins young pitchers who actually have a future and make it a win/win trade. Other teams that need a solid center fielder could do likewise.
Thank you for the additional links about Major Neighbors.
I've waited since 1972 for a writer to describe the team I've followed since the beginning like this.
Now I just hope they can close the deal.
Those "bogus cards" that represent the small sample size wonder cards in Strat-O-Matic are all well known amongst the Strat-O-Matic crowd. (Especially if your team possesses one of them and it lies in wait as a pinch hitter on your bench over the course of a season.) Thanks for using this example in your article, which I enjoyed reading.
F yeah! Is the next one going to be a roll call of players who have done something well to get an "F" for a middle initial?
Only in Philadelphia...
Absolutely fabulous article, Bradford. Thank you for a great effort.
The Chris Davis/Adrian Gonzalez strikeout pitch is priceless. Thanks for adding that.
And again, no Rangers...
Sounds like the Angels might be taking a page out of the Rangers playbook. Look what the Rangers did after they fired Thad Bosley.
Great article! I have no dog in this particular hunt, so I'm neutral to both teams. After seeing this played multiple times today, I don't see how the umpire can get away with no repercussions. Your detail of the pitch to Molina confirms that the umpire did an extremely poor job with the strike zone. Any umpire should know that if they do a poor job calling balls and strikes, then all sorts of negativity is bound to happen as the game progresses. Miller gets an F for performance.
I want Johnny Damon to get 3000 hits. If he does, the discussion will have to be that there is no longer any "automatic" statistical milestone that get a player into the HOF. I assume most of us have been watching him play during the bulk of his career, and we all know he's no Hall of Famer. (He is, or at least was, a very good player.) But if he gets the hits and goes into the HOF, power to him.
I'm old school and like nicknames like "The Human Rain Delay", etc. That said, there is only one Bam Bam in baseball and it is Hensley Meulens. Hopefully there's never another player claiming "Pronk", but as we all know there is more than one "Babe" and there will soon be two named "Pudge" in the HOF.
Hilarious article, Sam.
Still laughing at the Kip Addotta reference...if you can go back and re-write this article with all words that can make bad references to the oceanic world, I'd renew my BP subscription a year early.
Trevor Story is a Texan and a member of one of the pioneer families from my home town. Future All-Star. :-)
Congratulations, Jay! I'll continue reading all of your great work.
Fabulous article! Ranger fans already knew the role Gentry plays and how good he has been in it, but it was great to see all of the defensive numbers backing up what I see with my own "fan only" eyes.
Enjoyed reading this one - now trying to find more names to plug in...
No Chris Davis on this list? :-)
Chris Davis - monster.
Hilarious stuff. Now if we can just get that specialized article on pitchers that hit home runs over an entire season...
I got ahead of myself and combined thoughts. I'm a long time Strat player worried about the eventual demise of Strat and wondering if OOTP is a superior long term product.
As a long time Strat-O-Matic player who still plays with cards and dice and hates their computer product, how does OOTP compare with the actual game management capability of classic Strat?
Chris Davis has been on this list (if not at the top) the past three years and he's now "lighting the league ablaze".
Small. Sample. Size.
Yu still hasn't given up a dinger in the States. Since that E5 shot last night was in Toronto, you might want to change "the States" to MLB. :-)
Excellent article. Please keep sharing more jewels like these.
That's a great story! Thanks for sharing, Larry. I love your use of sources to find these little gems.
Robbie Ross vultured his 4th win of the season last night for Texas.
...and me, I'm flyin' in my taxi. Taking tips, and getting stoned.... Was Rocketship an alter ego for Harry Chapin?
I'm still seeing Rusty Greer saving Kenny Rogers' 1994 perfect game as I type this.
This was hysterical. Thanks for the laughs.
I concur with Diane. I got a good laugh out of that headline.
Thanks for the inclusion of the Walter Johnson video links.
Very enjoyable. This is the type of stuff only BP offers. Makes you wonder who the worst pitcher in major league history is at several career milestones.
Thank you, Mr. Cthulhu. Couldn't have said it better myself.
If you have the 45th slot in the draft, you're screwed. :-) Who has that slot this year? Sounds like a place to draft a kid who says he won't sign for anything less than a 100 bozillion dollars and get a replacement pick the next year.
If there is anyone who reads this site who does not know who Brett Lawrie is, I would be amazed.
Yes, Bourjos is fast. But Bengie got a cycle that night. :-) Plus, if Craig Gentry had hit the Bengie ball, he would have made another lap....
I noticed that Rangers graph looks like a big "W". Either an ex-President could be involved or it's just a mad, mad world...
Unfortunately, some great humor is wasted on some. Personally, I thought the dog carrying a noose in its mouth was hysterical. Thanks for the good laughs. My dog was laughing too.
Jaff Figgins is better. Say it as one word....
This was fabulous!
If Bengie Molina could hit a triple, how tough could it be? :-)
I'm surprised the Rockies didn't sign Kazmir and Prior for the open cattle call they had for their starter and bullpen options.
Excellent. I really enjoyed reading this.
The first time Napoli hits against Wilson this season will be interesting....
Thank you for this article. You detailed the team (the lovable 1972 Rangers) that my 10-year-old self grew to love and listen to on the radio as my 50-year-old self continues to do. I can't believe another team was ever that bad, although I know there have been some. Nobody came to Rangers games for years, which was great for little leaguers like me in the area who got into the stadium for free after the third inning and got to see some of the great players of the era hitting moonshots off the Stanhouses and Brobergs (and later Umbargers and Comers) of the world while watching young players like Toby Harrah and Jim Bibby develop. Kudos for the Don Mincher citing (he and Lindblad got to escape to Oakland) and don't forget the most omnipresent Ranger of them all, Tom Grieve.
Harrah will always be my favorite player because of this team - he was the young player who represented hope. They were fun to watch for a kid, and man they were terrible. :-) God bless 'em.
This is a classic. Makes me proud to have shaken your hand once and I look forward to the inevitable dinner in a secret family Tex Mex restaurant in an Arlington neighborhood. :-)
If Chris Davis performs above his 90th percentile rating, it will be his name penciled in at 3B. He's a better defender there than Reynolds, which isn't saying much. That said, he's still Chris Davis and he still has a bad shoulder.
I tend to read Jason's work during respites in my crappy work day. His work makes me imagine him with a face of bronze, his body draped with the cloth of kings, and his skin wet with the tears of innumerable virgins. His prose is delicious, with a robust finish that was assertive and aggressive, yet tender and passionate. Or maybe I read that somewhere.
Then the phone rings and reality sets back in and someone has another pissy network issue. My write-ups of the network issues, however, are getting more interesting. Mr. Parks has no idea how much his writing influences even the most mundane of circumstances. Children will soon be lining up to kiss his feet.
If he doesn't make the maturity adjustments, we'll likely be asking the constant question about him just like we do when we ask "Is this the year Travis Snider steps up?". Makes you wonder if AA has a "quick jettison" button at his disposal.
Hopefully, Joe Schultz met him at the gates and said "Welcome, Don. Let's go pound some Budweiser!" (This article mentions nothing about his frequent appearances in "Ball Four", sadly.) RIP, Don Mincher.
Adam, how could you leave out Lenny Randle and his escapades with Frank Lucchesi as another lovely example of baseball in the 70's? :-) I really enjoyed this article. Thanks!
Awesome, Larry. Looks like you guys need to go find Mark Haas and interview him for a good follow up article.
RIP Don Mincher. I loved this article when originally posted, and he was an original Ranger that captured my 9-year-old attention at my first MLB game.
Note the license plate blurred out in the picture in case Dr. Evil in the van is a BP reader. (Does BP have a link to Dr. Evil in its player card section? Maybe it should. But I digress...) In all seriousness, things like that van do stick out and as a father of four, I would never let my kid buy ice cream off that truck.
Good luck, Steven. I've enjoyed your writing here and wish you the best of luck.
I enjoyed this one. Thanks, Steven.
Great article, Larry. MLB really blew this one, and they're going to unfortunately pay for it. Of course, as fans we will pay as well when the next CBA time comes around, because this episode will not be forgotten.
The thing that chaps me in seeing the A's sign Ramirez is that they (nor anyone else) has signed Johnny Damon. Or even Vladimir Guerrero. Both of these guys are DH types who have a pedigree of being good guys in the clubhouse, and Damon has always been a guy who does a lot of the little things right when needed. But they obviously won't sell as many tickets as Manny. I'm with Shaun P. above - this is Billy Beane pouring gasoline on the stadium embers. If Frank Francisco throws a chair now, it hits no one. What's next? CJ Wilson voodoo doll night? 81 days of A's bobbleheads?
This was hysterical. Thank you for making me laugh out loud at work. I also got about a dozen co-workers wondering what I was laughing at (yes, it's a slow time) and half of them had never heard of the site and may be checking it out. Special kudos for pointing out the fans changing behind the plate and the usher.
Also, I think this is funnier when you get stuck buying tickets to one of these turkeys. We've probably all had them - the outlier games. If you buy a season ticket package and go to every game of a baseball season, there are going to be 10 games you wouldn't have missed and 10 you wish you would have missed. Then there's the super turkey like this one and you have to do a lot of people watching. This was a masterpiece. :-)
That was a fun article. Thanks!
Oswalt will play for (insert team here with first major pitching injury).
Is Jim Bouton remembered more for his pitching or his book?
Loved The Bullpen Gospels and I'll be waiting to read the book from Italy. Dirk is learning the concept of "deferred payments" by writing excellent books. I'd love to see him get back to the bigs.
I despise the Oakland A's. I sure do hope they get a new stadium deal and can stop being the step child of MLB so I can keep on despising 'em.
This is how we did high school football on radio in the late 1970's. I was the representative at my suburban Dallas area school, and I would dial in to a live radio show with an update each quarter and a full update at the end of the game, which would be broadcast live over the air on KRLD radio in Dallas.
I've found it quite fun to see this format adapted to virtually every sport, and I love that ESPN radio uses it on game day for NFL football to this day. I remember when this idea was discussed for baseball, and also remember that a huge hurdle was getting the local team to give access for this "fan" to call in with periodic updates.
Actually, Pete Incaviglia might be a better example than Hostetler. And if you wanna go infielders, then David Eckstein might qualify.
Thanks for the Gary Carter link. Excellent.
Since I live locally and have seen about 1000 Bulls games since moving to Durham in 1986, I loved this article. It's spot on. That old park is a romantic gem for the baseball fan and seeing the one game a year that the Bulls play there is bittersweet. Bulls baseball is always good baseball, even in a more modern venue. However, "Bulls Hit!" disappeared with the old park, and it's the best to hear it reappear once a year. A bygone era, yes, but forgotten? No.
Thanks to BP for hiring Adam.
Texas spent the tail end of last season trying to ease Leonys Martin into baseball life in the United States, and his signing was much ballyhooed. There are a lot of hopes among Ranger fans that he can succeeed and win the CF job in Texas in what is obviously a good clubhouse. I remember reading this when initially publsihed and it stuck with me at the time of the Martin signing. Now that these Cuban players are being handed huge signing bonus checks after defecting, it seems that it makes that transition even more difficult. Buyer beware.
A Logan's Run reference. Wow....
Thanks for the references to "The Fan", which is a truly awesome movie. "Bingo Long" is another old favorite I saw as a teenager and really enjoyed at the time, and I guess it's impact on me was to take a deep look at the Negro leagues and open that door that every true baseball fan needs to walk through.
Who is to say Michael Cuddyer will retire with that pitching line? He may pitch again!
Hornsby's the best. "The Way It Is" is a classic, but it was just the start of a career that just gets better. When he and Branford Marsalis did the national anthem in Cleveland in the '97 World Series, it was truly a spectacle. Fabulous. (Even though his sport is basketball, and "Take Me To The Old Playground" is an anthem for basketball players.)
As for Posada blah blah blah Hall of Fame blah blah blah will he make it blah blah blah third string Yankee etc., I liked the rundown of positional Yankee greats and where he fits. I just hope the Posada HOF discussions die soon and never are revived. Very good player. Can't even carry the bags for HOFers.
I'm amazed a politician in Florida would have that sort of foresight. I can see a new Carl Hiaasen book with this being referenced.
After all, what is done in MLB stadiums the "other" six months of the year? At least half of every park is going unused.
I really liked this article. I'm a Rangers fan, and I've watched the team through all those bad times, listening to Eric Nadel and his predecessors use the term "former Ranger" when at least three members of any team came to the plate. But I've also watched all those other franchises and love it when they have a player that stays forever. I hold out hope the Rangers find a way for Ivan Rodriguez to finish his career in Texas, because he's the best player ever to wear the uniform for the most years. (Sorry, Nolan.)
I too was disappointed that Pujols left St. Louis, and not because he joined the Angels. He's supposed to be a Cardinal.
As for the Brewers, they'll always have Yount, and Molitor should be in the mix too. The Twins are Killebrew, Carew and Puckett. The Royals are George Brett, etc.
If you were a baseball player and you needed an agent, there's no way you wouldn't at least look at what this guy has to offer. If it were me, I'd want to never worry about the money end of it and just play the game and enjoy every last second of it.
"Statistics are like a girl in a bikini; they show a lot, but not everything." - Toby Harrah
Harrah for President in 2012. He was ahead of his time as a player, so why not as a President?
Loved this article. Keep up the good work, Adam.
Travis Snider *still* has options? Time to give the guy a change of scenery.
As a fellow 49 year old, I cheer for Jamie Moyer every day. :-)
I agree with Richard. I loved the piece, Larry, but would have like to have seen "61*" included. Was it skipped over because it was not a big screen release, and therefore Ebert didn't review it?
Also, I think the assumption is being made that the other baseball movies made during this era were just stinkers from Ebert's perspective, right? (The Major League films, "The Scout", "For The Love Of The Game", etc.) If that's the case, did Ebert think "Eight Men Out" or "Bang The Drum Slowly" was a turkey?
"Bull Durham" is my favorite, but it's because I lived there and went to hundreds of games in that old fantastic ballpark. I have some issue with Rebecca Glass' portrayal of "A League Of Their Own", however, which is my pick as the best baseball movie.
"There's no crying in baseball" has to do with the snot nosed little kid that irritates the crap out of the viewer during the movie. Maybe we saw two different movies. As a kid whose mom taught him the basics and love of the game in the 60's, this movie (especially the Madonna song at the end with the old women playing a game at the HOF) really tugs at my heart.
Thanks to you, I started paying attention to Doobie when I saw Hickory play in person last year (when not checking to see if Jurickson Profar wasn't older than Elvis Andrus) and I had barrels of fun watching that guy. If he winds up at Myrtle Beach this season, I'll keep on watching in person until he hits the higher minors. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, Doobie is a lot of fun. I can't wait for that philosophical Ron Washington snippet of the future - "That's the way Doobie roll."
Fabulous article, and I really appreciate the point of view. Every baseball historian I know has told me similar stories, which means to me that he already is in baseball's hall of fame. The letters just aren't capitalized yet.
Chris Davis gets labeled as a AAAA player and he is a good fielder. Is he still possible for a breakout in Baltimore?
This is fabulous. As a local reader of the Independent and a consistent watcher of the Durham Bulls, I really enjoyed this. I'm looking forward to more, and am glad to see Adam on the payroll here. Excellent!
I hope Elliot gets another shot at that big cheer from the Rays fans.
Don't forget Ian Kinsler and James Franco. Or David Murphy and Alan Ruck (Cameron from Ferris Bueller's Day Off).
Thanks to BP for remembering Greg here. I was a quiet reader of RSBB in the Usenet days, and ported RSBB to the BBS community for WWIVnet for several years. I've been an avid baseball fan all my life, and the folks who were posting all those monster messages in the early '90's always have a place in my heart. My BP subscription is a direct link to those great days when the (now) Internet was in its infancy, and #1817 specifically represents the trepidation I had initially to pay for something I always had before for free. RIP Greg, and thanks for all those posts and for counting my ballots. I promise I always voted fairly.
I've been reading these articles all along and enjoy them thoroughly. However, I don't want to take the time to go back and see who you have already reviewed in fear I might request one of those players. Is there any way to keep track besides going back and re-reading every Keeper Reaper article?
I love R.A. Dickey - always have. He's a player that I like because he's such a gamer, and keeps finding ways to pitch in the major leagues. It always seems like the guy gets the short end of the stick far too many times in a game that is desparate for guys like him. I'm with Greg's comment above - how many "likes" can we give on this article?
Or, when you win a playoff series by rolling snake eyes in a tie game with that GbA machine catcher in Strat.... :-)
I've noticed that Ron Washington uses the hit and run a lot with the Rangers, but I it looked your data was not mature enough to have specific data points for him as a manager. Are there a few of the other managers with less than 6-7 years experience doing the same thing?
Maybe this explains why Minnesota didn't hold on to Cuddyer. He was getting ridiculously better offers....
As a Strat-O-Matic player, Cuddyer is fabulous. Not quite so in real life. But I'm thrilled to see a good guy get a big contract.
harderj - I like your logic, since it is an 11 team league. All but the very best lefties lose their value, and you have Fister valued as I would amongst the righties.
Excellent, Larry. Nice use of quotes. Gotta bow to the baseball writers - they accomplished their objective. Thankfully, the Veterans Committee got it right. Just too late.
And also (since I can't reply to a thread with my browser), I totally agree with Randy Brown's commentary. The comments were something I thought would be a complete waste of time, sort of like the comments from your local news station web bits. Boy, was I wrong. I love reading the comments, and always have. If I go on the road and get a chance to see a game in another city, I always want to match up the names and see if I could get lucky enough for a good face to face chat about their team in their home turf.
A new article from Gary Huckabay will cause me to buy it. It sounds sort of like the musical artist that has five greatest hits compilations, but each with a new song so you'll essentially buy the same product you already have again at full price. :-)
As long as I don't have to explain to my wife that I already own 95% of the content these two volumes already contain, I'm safe. Shhh....
Sorry...still laughing about El Pulpo....carry on.
Amazed that the Rays would acquire Josh Lueke. In fact, amazed that anyone would acquire Josh Lueke....Seattle must be relieved to be rid of their PR nightmare.
I was a huge Igor fan in his day, and I've always been of the opinion that he would have been viewed far more highly if he would have just listened to people who tried to steer him away from terrible choices. The snarky part of this feature is entertaining, and there's been a lot of entertainment for writers over the years regarding Gonzalez because he made it pretty easy. Besides, I called my fantasy teams "Igor's Wives Club" for at least 10 years until he finally left the baseball scene. His "Igor" commercials in Puerto Rico were quite entertaining.
What the flier should say is he was a great and feared player - feared as much as any of his contemporaries when he played. He was just a guy who made a lot of very poor choices.
I'm amazed you didn't find a place to comment on the huge contract he turned down from the Tigers.
Excellent, Larry. Thanks to BP for re-running this. For those of us not familiar with Larry's work before he came here, it's a great change of pace.
Good stuff, Larry.
The communal cheese had me in the floor. I love both the humor and the legitimate suggestions stated here, and as a fan who got to see only one game at Tiger, and sat on the first row in the left field jut with a big turkey leg and a big brat before that - I say bravo. Now if I could have just had a bit of poutine spread over that....
Also, the poutine should only be served by truck. Same with the burritos. :-)
Imagination is always better than reality. I'm a Rangers fan, so the theory is proven. I sure wish the Rangers had lost to the Brewers, but there's that reality again.
I enjoy reading your stuff more than any other writer here, Jason. It's not a slam on the other writers, but an acknowledgement that I like your style of writing and look forward to reading more of it. I really enjoyed meeting you earlier this year at Newberg Report day/night and hope like the other commenters that we continue to enjoy your writing, whether it is here or any place else. You can always do both writing and scouting.
Thank you, as well, for the analysis of why writing down the information on paper in your own notebooks is so important to you. In this digital age, it becomes increasingly difficult to explain why my written notebook is so much more valuable to me than my digital notes. As a former writer who has been in the IT industry for many years, my colleagues view me as a throwback at best and an idiot at worst. Your detail of the notebooks containing the photographic trigger of your memory is absolutely spot on, and the digital equivalent is simply a transposition, like a good book being adapted into a screenplay. The book is always better.
Thanks for this follow up. This has sort of a Paul Harvey "Rest Of the Story" feel to it. Would love to know how this negotiation will compare to the one that surrounded Leonys Martin last year. If Martin shoots out of the gate as the Rangers starting CF, will it give the entire Cuban defection process/player negotiations even more media coverage and inflate those salaries even more?
This is an enjoyable twist. I'll keep reading.
Isn't this an improvement over last year's bottom of the barrel report for the Astros? It seems like the trades they made at least gave them something to develop in their farm system.
Rangers fan here - and I appreciated the overall coverage I received from multiple sources throughout the playoffs. My only issue with BP coverage was that we didn't get more BP writers giving analysis of the World Series. I enjoyed Jay's writeups. I would have liked to seen the impressions of other BP writers, though. I've said that multiple years running and still feel that way. You guys are baseball writers, so I'd think you'd all want to write about it. if it increases the number of articles for a couple of weeks, so be it. I'd be one that read 'em all.
I totally agree with the umpire comments. Was that the best MLB had for its ultimate showcase? Would love to see a breakdown of the umpiring for the Series. I thought it was bad all the way around, and not just toward one team.
Finally, it's hard not to state the obvious from a Rangers perspective - one of the past two years would have been a home field advantage if not for the stupid rule of home field advantage for the winner of the all star game. It's more extreme for a team like Texas, which plays to an advantage in a huge hitters park. It's a dumb rule - it needs to go away. (I'd say the same even if the AL had home advantage the past two seasons. It needs to alternate since the series can't and should not be played on a neutral field.)
How about that enigma in Texas - Derek Holland?
Craig Gentry comes to mind among current players - a role player who really has one great skill - speed, and absolutely cannot hit righties. He's the kind of guy who might get the spotlight in a big game with speed.
Thanks for Joe Shlabotnik. And thanks for Wayne Tolleson. Ken Phelps should have been mentioned by someone along the way, as well as "The Human Rain Delay", Mike Hargrove.
Bastard. I'm a Mexican food loving Rangers fan in North Carolina (Mexican food hell) and Professor Parks feeds me this. :-)
First time I've seen John Lamanna mentioned in a BP comments section. He also has Gerald Laird as an * runner for a catcher but he gets picked off on a 9. In that instance, no wonder LaRussa ran Laird. Then again, maybe he just wanted Laird to see the field against his former team, while saying "They have Napoli and I have Laird - I'll show them." Next I'll expect to see Adam Morris mentioned with a Laird love-in comment.
Look - bashing the Cardinals and LaRussa is sort of pointless in my opinion. I think the national media should turn their binoculars the other direction - to the daring (and excellent) baserunning that kept the Rangers from going back to Arlington down 2 games to none. Kinsler had the most narrow of windows to steal that base against one of the better catchers at stopping the running game, and just barely did so. Elvis Andrus is one of the best baserunners and the league,a nd it showed last night. Elvis forced the most minor of mistakes by taking second base, and it won the game for Texas. give credit where it is due, and stop bashing LaRussa.
Sometimes, that's just the way baseball go.
Arthur Rhodes is this year's Bengie Molina. He'll get a World Series ring regardless.
No Travis Snider porn 'stache or Derek Holland peach fuzz? :-)
I predict he'll be writing his first film script in roughly two weeks. :-)
Oops - column-ist.
You're a 1e7. At shortstop. I really, really enjoyed this, and I also enjoy your comments, Diane. Kudos to the staff for picking out a great guest column from the regular common taters at BP.
Actually, since you're a Yankee fan and you're making your only guest appearance at the position, maybe you should be a 2e10. :-)
(I'm still thanking Hal for that one.)
Chris Davis covers all three. :-)
Thank you for the Meathook sighting. My Strat team longs for his return.
Will there be an ALCS version of this?
I'll be discussing it in ten years, so yes - you are a party pooper. :-)
I also enjoyed this very much. I've got four boys, all of whom are within four years of beginning to drive. I'm already telling these types of stories from my own lexicon to them as I play "kid taxi" to various events. I'll pass some of these along.
I'd like to give special kudos to the laugh I got from reading Professor Parks, and the "I know how you feel, sir" feeling I got from reading Mr. Goldman's piece. I always fantasize about having the window slightly down and trapping his arm as it tried to hit me, then driving around with him attached. Alas, I had the exact same experience as Mr. Goldman, only that my wife and mother were in the car with me. And afterwards, for the only time in recorded history, neither ever said a word.
What a great night of baseball. A sub chapter should be included that games were played by the Rangers and Brewers that had to be won to clinch home fields for the ALDS. Therefore, four other games (including those being played by the Diamondbacks and Tigers) were also meaningful. Eight games that meant something to the playoff alignment on the last day of the season. Wow.
Who needs a second wild card team in each league to manufacture more drama? And thank goodness this day was on a stage by itself - no football competition at any level.
Now, on to the analysis of why it wasn't Mo Rivera pitching to Dan Johnson, or why the Yankees were playing the C-Team in a meaningful game, etc. Would love to hear Mr. Goldman's Yankee-centric analysis on what appeared to be a three game Yankee effort to stick it to the Red Sox.
Thank you, Jason. My day is better after reading this. :-)
Thirded. As a daily reader of your site, I like this sort of feature tremendously.
This bulletin from the Department of Redundancy Department: He doesn’t have to have surgery, but he is risking significantly more damage in his shoulder if he chooses that route. Moylan doesn’t have to have surgery, but if he attempts to pursue the rehab route, he’ll be risking significantly more shoulder damage.
Congratulations to your Brewers, Larry.
Gotta love players like Craig Gentry. I'd love to see what that time would have been had he been running full speed the whole way. There aren't many guys in the league faster than Gentry.
It's almost the end of the season, Larry. Where's that article dedicated to the pitcher trots? :-)
You are Baseball Prospectus. Offer up every sortable stat under the sun. At least three times more than you can get anywhere else and even make up a few that stump your stat base.
I want to see pitcher stolen bases and pitcher stolen base percentage. I'm talking about pitchers as offensive players. Heck, throw in pitcher home runs as well. Break down each pitcher's offensive stats. (I know a lot of this is available already.)
The more, the merrier.
I agree with the "trade Chris Iannetta" sentiment. That's a guy who can't get a break in Colorado, and there are plenty of teams who would love an OBP machine with power at the catching position.
And speaking of Rany or other folks who wait decades for a good team... Reading the Rangers entry is like reading the prelude to Jamey Newberg's idea (The Newberg Report) that liberated Ranger fans from the gates of hell. Worst. Farm. System. Ever.
I guess the foot's on the other hand now. :-)
The 1996 Baseball prospectus just reminds me of the conversations from rec.sport.baseball. Yes, it's much cleaner now and yes, I have to pay for it. :-) However, I so enjoyed throttling everyone year over year in my roto leagues because of the details from the great contributors of the day, and now it is not such a huge advantage anymore.
I sincerely hope Rany gets a decent team to cheer for soon. He hasn't had one since those days....
I enjoyed this very much. Keep 'em coming with different subjects. The humming angle was quite funny.
As a Strat-O-Matic player for many years, I'll echo dianagram's comments. Trust me, playing Strat-O-Matic alone gives you the knowledge of in game management that is almost always consistent with what the real manager does. (Or doesn't, when the manager says "he had a hunch") Hal Richman's story is a great one, and the book is a must read for the Strat fan.
BP Editors - Thank you for running this article. I'm local to the Durham Bulls and I have enjoyed Adam's writing in the Independent Weekly. (The Independent Weekly is the the Raleigh-Durham version of those papers that everyone in a metro area sees on free newstands in some of your more frequented local merchants - most cities have one.) The Bulls are an outstanding minor league organization and put a great product on the field every year - and did so even when the Devil Rays were an awful team. That good product gives us some good local baseball writing talent.
Sign him up!
I'm generally not a huge fan of Steven Goldman's NY centric writings. I also know that I'm not a fan of either NY team, nor a New Yorker. That said, I'm thrilled to see a New York centric writer acknowledge a few things about the relationship between 9/11 and all of baseball. I tend to agree with the political rant this time, although I'm with CRP13 and would love to see them disappear completely.
I think it is time for baseball as a whole to move on from 9/11. God Bless America at every game's 7th inning stretch (not just Yankees and Mets games) is like a rain delay at the Indy 500. It simply does not fit at non-New York venued games.
The Mets and Yankees should be able to do what they want surrounding 9/11. The Nationals didn't exist in 2001, so they shouldn't get special 9/11 consideration. So, 28 franchises should play baseball and do what they want for their regional recognition as well. 9/11 certainly wasn't regional, but when it comes to baseball, I think it should be a New York regional baseball event.
Good column, Steven.
Do the Rangers have a scout buried deep in their organization who deliberately finds players with odd names? It could work long term for merchandising, but you still have to align the planets. After all, Miroslav Satan has never played for the New Jersey Devils. If he did, can you imagine the revenue from that hockey sweater?
So, when the Rangers inevitably promote Rougned Odor, is the jersey going to have built in anti-perspirant under the armpits? And if it does, will it create a fashion craze world wide, especially in the stinkier countries? Will his claim to fame not be that of a great baseball player, but the birth of an idea that allowed men worldwide to have just a single shirt they could wear 365 days a year? Inquiring minds want to know.
No one has mentioned yet that this cat on the field almost went unnoticed because the game was in Florida. Since no one was there, how could anyone have noticed? If a tree falls in the woods....
CJ Wilson to Florida. CJ might not be the most tactful guy in the league, but he definitely isn't stupid. Even if he follows the money trail and leverages his substantial bargaining position, he'll still be smart and choose a stable situation. Who knows? That might change a bit if the Rangers win the World Series and he already has a ring, but I still can't see a guy like Wilson taking what would have to be a super inflated offer to go to Miami.
Larry - looking forward to your piece on the pitcher home run trots of the year. Since there were two pitchers on this list with big homers, it will be fun to see them separated from the "regular hitter" taters.
This is absolutely fabulous. I hope it is registered as your intellectual property because it can/will be sold on t-shirts and scrolls in many souvenir stands nationally. I'll buy one.
I like Jason Parks a lot as well. I don't see any bias, but just more detailed knowledge of the Rangers because of his blog. I like the tandem of Goldstein/Parks because they play to their strengths well and I think that is a great thing for BP.
The Texan thing is fun. As a native Texan who has lived away from the state for over 20 years, I love the angle. Yes, it is aimed to make Texans chuckle and might make others roll their eyes, but he markets to Texans. There are a lot of them, and you start in smaller markets and get bigger. Guy's gotta make a living. American by birth and Texan by the grace of God. :-)
No CJ Wilson?
Here come the Hamburger Helper jokes.
Well, Jamey just killed one of Wilson's negotiating stats. :-)
Rangers fans got 40 years worth or articles like these - articles that made the front office sound like buffoons (rightfully so) and comments that their division rivals were playing to win while Rome (well, Arlington) burned.
I'm a Rangers fan and always have been, so I keep wondering when they are going to go back to being the same old Rangers. With every day that goes by, that era gets more distant in the rear view mirror. I'm just so glad to see these same sorts of articles wrtten about division rivals instead.
Great article, Larry. Coming from the land of six-man football (west Texas), I actually participated in this modification as a kid in the seventies. One of the parents among the kids I played with mentioned the game and said it came from an old magazine and might work for us. We were always short of players but always had at least six, so we tried it. The biggest frustration (as always) was chasing down foul balls, and there were a lot of them. We drew the baselines with string and measured it out to try and use an existing baseball field. We did it for about three weeks and got frustrated, eventually going back to the same modifications you mentioned.
I'm glad you write about so much of this stuff that takes you back....
Chris Davis is freed. There's not another 1B prospect behind him in Baltimore, so he'll have as long of a leash there as anywhere. That 80-grade power makes fans fall in love with him if he can cut down those strikeouts. I'm thrilled for both players. Hopefully the Orioles airplane has a couple of big seats.
Any speculation on whether Arthur Rhodes remains on the Rangers roster after today? It seems as though he'll be released or have a mysterious freak injury petting the cat that will last conveniently until September 1st. The two Ranger bullpen transactions will almost certainly impact him.
I also love the deal for both teams. For those of you who play Strat-O-Matic, the Adams card has been the best or one of the best relief cards in the deck the past three years. reading a pitcher's strat card gives you an idea of the results he forced over the previous season, and knowing what those results are excites this Rangers fan. Both of these young pitchers are going to be great in San Diego, and it's quite possible neither of them could have cracked the Ranger rotation within two years. Good for all parties.
Davis was traded to the best place possible for him. He'll get a chance to play every day and there's not another guy coming up right behind him. If he washes out, the pundits are correct. But I've always been a Davis fan and I'm one Rangers fan to see him get the best change of scenery possible. I've asked in these comments and on chats several times what it would take to make Chris Davis an Oriole.
Jon Daniels gets an A+ for this year's set of deadline deals. And the other two GM's are happy to boot. Awesome.
Jason, it was a pleasure shaking hands with you last Sunday at Newberg Night and I can't reiterate enough times how much I enjoy your writing. You did just fine in front of that crowd, so you're good at deflecting that anxiety. Keep up the good stuff.
Can the Astros be run further into the ground?
One thing about Johnny Damon that doesn't come up when writers start having this HOF discussion about him is his perseverance. Although he is a player with eroding skills to some degree, the chance remains that he could hang around for many more years. His speed is not gone, and until it is, I can see him being around as the guy off the bench in a spot role with occasional pop for several more years. He has those "clubhouse intangibles", you know....
Jurickson Profar and Bryce Harper must have been 0-4 last night. I can't remember your last report that was minus both of those players. But I love the Trevor Story update!
Maybe the trade comes with an agreement that Daddy can't get into Canada....
I went to the Trop once when I was on a trip to Tampa. I was staying in the middle of Tampa and had to make the drive across the bridge and back. As a Dallas area native and Rangers fan, I equated it to driving from Frisco (where Texas AA is) to the ballpark in Arlington in rush hour traffic. It was easier going back because it was not rush hour, but it was quite the drive.
Don't complain about the (lack of) editing. Your subscription price will increase. :-)
Sal Brando was Marlon's little known brother. I think the article is slightly off though when talking about baseball, because Sal didn't just steal baseball signs. He literally stole signs from public places. One obscure picture of him is stored in the archives of the future Sign Museum of Texas, standing in front of an Earth, TX city limits sign reading "Earth, city limit. Pop. 4250. "
Larry - are you ever going to produce those Total Pitcher Statistics reports?
I'm in CRP13's camp, so I'll abstain (courteously) from any more references to Burke, 1776, or any later political ilk. I definitely like to keep my politics and baseball separate. You know, like that thing about separation of church and state. :-)
When you and Jason are at Newberg Report night on Sunday, can you please verbally pronounce Rougned Odor's name? I have been trying to get that name said out loud by someone who knows how to pronounce it and have not succeeded. He might be in possession of the second best name ever to go on the back of a jersey behind Miroslav Satan. I've still never figured out why the New Jersey Devils never have traded for Satan just for the hockey sweater revenue.
I still subscribe but can't abide anything with Dibble on it. That's what the hockey channel is for, even this time of year. Then wait until the idiot is off and turn the channel back to 89. Sorry I missed Jon Daniels. Still wanna see it in podcast form since it's on at a horrendous time for me.
Agreed. The only thing worth watching in the NL Central is that the Pirates keep hanging around. Most of us non-NL Central fans have a friend who is a long suffering Pirates fan and are secretly cheering for them in hopes that our friends get a bone thrown their way. :-)
I missed the comments on the notable pitcher homers while you were in absentia.
I've been a Rangers fan all my life, but I was in college during that time and so many of my friends were Astros fans, and I've followed the team ever since. The JR Richard story really got to me at the time, and I was thrilled to see this article. The event was a watershed moment in not only sports medicine, but the continued public information campaign of recognizing the symptoms of a stroke.
I don't see Holland being replaced either. Texas seems determined to harness him and mature him a bit by letting him pitch through it. I think there may be a big deal by Texas in the next 1-2 weeks that answers pitching questions, and they are just juggling until then. If no deal gets made, they may just have to eat Feldman's contract. Feldman certainly doesn't give me the warm fuzzies when starting, and certainly not over the current five.
Just as an aside, I asked the above question because of the timeslot. At 11pm on a Sunday evening, I'm not generally listening to MLB Network Radio. I listen to it very often, but almost never at that time. Thus, I'd love a podcast I can listen to at work.
Will this be available for podcast content for XM subscribers? When Sirius and XM merged, many of the good XM baseball programs (Baseball Confidential, etc.) disappeared and were never replaced.
I love articles like this and feel for the writers trying to piece them together for the exact reasons Steven Goldman said.
Mine? Toby Harrah - I was in my 20's when Incaviglia came through Arlington, but I was 9 like Jason Parks was for Inky when Toby and the horrible Seasons In Hell Rangers came to Arlington. The guy had a palindrome for a last name, a huge bat for a shortstop and drew tons of walks. I practically cried when he was traded for Buddy Bell (another very good player, but I still followed him while he was marrooned on the late '70's Indians, knowing he was from close to that area and probably happier. When some guy named Ripken burst on the scene in Baltimore, I thought "Hey, that guy plays like Toby Harrah!" :-)
Blah blah blah Yankees blah blah blah Red Sox blah blah blah Yankees blah blah blah Red Sox.
90% of the readers here see through most of this and look at numbers, etc. If you are a fan of either team, then it can be fun. If not, then it's just more saturation of coverage.
Anyone know who the biggest turd is on the Pirates? The Royals? Do you care?
If Snider shaves off that stache, he'll be back in AAA to make "more adjustments". It's all about the TV ratings, and we all know chicks dig the porn stache. :-)
But I'll fly from North Carolina to Arlington to see Kevin speak at Newberg night, where I wouldn't cross the street to hear McCarver. :-) That and a dollar....
Kevin - I'm willing to bet Tim McCarver gets paid more than you do. Sucks to be in the minority, huh? Apparently the majority likes that pablum....
I got a rock.
Excellent! And not just because someone is finally thinking that there should be a team in North Carolina...
Something tells me we'll be seeing Yu Darvish in MLB at some point.
I'll second that. Thank you for bringing back one of the most fun things ever done here. Now if you can put HACKING MASS back into play.....
I really disliked the tone of this article. Wieters could still bloom into something, but maybe he won't and the general "factual-ness" of the article remains the same. That leaves us with the "nyah" portion of the article. Since the referenced message was included for all of us (it was originally a private message), it seems as if it was used to represent a response from a higher post - from the editor's chair of the site.
Leadership, this ain't.
I have always been a huge fan of Jim Sundberg. Too bad he got referenced in this exchange. I'm sure he'd look at his World Series ring and laugh.
Blake Beavan? Who is Blake Beavan? (sarcasm off)
One of the things I miss about Transaction Analysis is that players making their major league debut usually got a blurb about who they are and how they got there. I miss the "completeness" of the TA reports.
I'm probably over sensitive, but I've been waiting for his debut for a while, and he's the first person in 30 years from my high school to make the major leagues.
Excellent! I love the ProGUESTus series.
I like your last sentence, Joey. No, it isn't acceptable. that's the difference between these Rangers and the old organization we saw for 38 years. This one is a winner. Therefore, it's why this team is frustrating the absolute hell out of us Ranger fans. There is absolutely no reason the Rangers shouldn't win the AL West. It's theirs to lose.
Chris Davis gets a lot of "ink" on your blog, but I keep thinking he's going to make a difference in either a trade or a positional switch. He has "I can be a star in Baltimore" written all over him. Is there a trade you see that Baltimore can make that will help the Ranger bullpen woes?
Nice trade for the Rox.
This article will make Dan Uggla feel better. :-)
I guess Baltimore won't give anything up for Davis. He seems like such a great fit there.
I never understood why the Rangers released Brazoban earlier this year when anyone that could lob the ball toward home plate was getting a look. That said, proceed with caution.
Oh great. Travis Snider gets to play CF now. That's the next reason they'll keep him in AAA or send him down again when he fails.
It's funny reading these types of articles. I think they do a good job of polarizing readers, which is what the media has become in the past 15 years. BP is better than Grantland because they know sabermetrics and Grantland is folderol! Christina crossed to the dark side when she went to ESPN! Blah blah blah.
Personally, I like having more sports content as a whole to read, and I'll make my mind up. The key to me as far as BP is concerned is whether I renew my subscription. Otherwise, if they cared so much about me as a reader then there would have been a pizza feed at the Durham Bulls ballpark. C'mon - that will never happen because it isn't in BP's best interest any more than ESPN's dive into deep sabermetrics is in their best interest. ESPN gets subscribers because they are ESPN. I'll bet 75% of us here read articles there before they read them here. And ESPN gets writers because they can pay them more, and everyone wants to make more money if they can. That's why most baseball fans hate the Yankees but don't hate their players.
The article was a fun read. Grantland has some interesting articles. Fortunately for me, I read here first and keep sending my checks in. Keep up the good articles, and remember that the way to beat your competition is still to be better than they are.
Larry rocks. Best addition to BP in many years. A real baseball writer.
Baseball is my refuge. Keep that other crap off these pages since it is almost everywhere else. I agree with the basic sentiment of the column, but just don't like seeing the subject here. I'm sure a few more other franchises will be affected by the ecopolitical times before the pendulum swings back the other way.
And also, I'll join in on beerchaser's rant. It's stupid not to have a franchise in North Carolina. The support is here.
I love this because it rings so true. I grew up a Texas Rangers fan and always could listen from college at night because WBAP carried the Rangers over a clear channel AM station. Listening to a Rangers game followed by Bill Mack's Midnight Cowboy show (with the Orange Blossom Special lead in) was classic, and I knew I had it every night until I moved to North Carolina in 1986. The timing of the article coincides with my actions of trying to listen to any baseball broadcast and I became a more overall fan, until Jamey Newberg (God bless Jamey) and his blog got started in the late 90's and brought me back to the Rangers. Now, I can hear anything I want via audio, which is how I like it. Now baseball fandom is a community, and I feel pain for my fellow fans when they lose icons of their franchise (especially announcers) because I had to lose it a while before I got it back.
Now if we can just get rid of those idiotic blackout rules. My fellow Orioles and Nationals fans are getting screwed in North Carolina.
A Christina Kahrl sighting! Awesome.
Thanks for this article. This is a subject I love to explore and I always love it when a pitcher helps his own cause. (especially with a dinger)
So the Rangers are playing Chris Davis in the outfield now to increase his marketability. Plus, he has shown some progress this year in his limited at bats in the bigs in fighting off the pitches he was swinging through in past showings. Are they going to get anyone to give them anything of value for him? I can see Davis playing third for several teams, first for a few, and maybe even playing some outfield. (Hello Baltimore!)
Er, reading. :-)
While you were readign this, Taylor Teagarden struck out swinging.
Thanks for the link to the Jeff Schultz blog/article about the Rangers press conference in Atlanta. The follow up stories to the Johnathan Taylor draft pick just keep getting better.
Are they gonna get "L'il' Ron" from the World Series last year to play Ron Washington in the Oakland dugout? Oh wait, there probably won't be any on field scenes.....
As a Ranger fan, I can say that I was hoping the Rangers wound pound the bullpen after Gordon left the game, but it's a great story. I would love to have been a fly on Nolan Ryan's wall during and after the game.
Is Travis Snider showing the hitting style that the Jays sent him to Triple-A for? Regardless of the lack of power, is he making the adjustments they wanted?
Mauer, Morneau...same guy. Both start with an "M". Close enough. Here at Baseball Prospectus, the copy editors put the "K" in "quality". :-)
Who hits more taters this year? Zach Duke or Yovanni Gallardo?
I'm just happy the Sporting News tries to be a daily online sports presence. And yes, it is just a shadow of its former self. But fortunately, all that information is contained in other places we can all fortunately find quickly, if at a potential cost.
At this point, it appears that Alexi Ogando is doing just fine going against conventional baseball wisdom. Perhaps major league hitters will be able to make adjustments and hit the two pitches he offers. All thinking appears to say so. For now, I'm really enjoying the ride.
Jason Parks appears to be rubbing off on you. :-) Very entertaining article. The surprise ending at the end was quite well done. And the first guy you were talking about - I think he plays in my Strat league.
Man, I miss Gary Huckabay. I'd love it if he wrote a follow up to this article based on today's knowledge.
It was a true bummer that Andrus hit the homer in Cleveland, depriving fans of the rare sight of the ribbon board in Arlington saying "Elvis has left the building".
Chad Billingsley - power hitter.
Larry rocks. I've been collecting items for my Larry Granillo shrine and I'm scouring the net now for a Sabean voodoo doll. It'll go nicely with my potato shaped like Babe Ruth's body, my County Stadium 1/2000 scale model, autographed Joe Shlabotnik baseball card, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off VHS tape. Now if Jon Daniels will just go on record saying "We'll have a long memory, and that Tim Lincecum guy is toast after what he did to us last year.", then the stars will be aligned and I'll know that 2012 is indeed the year of the apocalypse.
Larry - since you're becoming a celebrity and all with all these shrines and stuff going up, is the "ll" in your last name an anglicized pronunciation or a Spanish pronunciation sounding like a "y"?
Oh yeah, most importantly to Mr. Goldman. The man needs a raise. :-)
Zach Duke Strat owners will get the "N" power rating, but also will get stuck owning Zach Duke. :-)
J.A. Happ Strat owners rejoice! "N" power.
I'll ditto WoodyS' comment. Any content related to Strat-O-Matic really makes me feel appreciated as a subscriber. :-)
As a long time reader, I particularly appreciated this column. An article needed to be written by the editor to address the big elephant in the room - the turnover of writers. It is good to know as a subscriber exactly what it is you are subscribing to, as the nature of the sportswriting biz gets turned on its head as years go by. I trained to be a sportswriter and was one for a time, and the business is dramatically different than it was in the late 1980's. So for my money, I like knowing what the decision makers are thinking as the product matures. Since I am old enough to have been reading those rec.sport.baseball posts that eventually morphed into this site/publication, I very much appreciate this column, Mr. Goldman. Thank you.
Fun article. I went 3 for 6 and realize that I need to be more patient and think it through before making my guess. Keep these up!
Greinke's tater assures me he gets an "N" power rating on his Strat card next year. :-)
Summarizing the last three bullets: Kazmir is a head case, McCarthy is hopelessly fragile, and Hamilton is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Right?
Like you said, water is wet, etc....
As a former sportswriter, I love seeing any new cliches introduced in the modern era. There aren't many, but one of my favorites from the last few years included: "Thankfully, I praised Bob before I got in the box."
Those 22 intentional walks sure do inflate the OBP.
Everyone is always working on that god pitch.... :-)
The corny dog is only good when chased with Blue Bell, Jason. You can get that combination in other cities within the Carolina League. Take it from another displaced Texan, currently stranded in North Carolina.
Oh, and sex, baseball scouting, and good baseball writing appeals to a fairly narrow demographic. Looks like you found a home. :-)
I always wondered why Bobby Witt wasn't included in that "Texas Rangers - In Dangerland" comic. He was scarier than any of those other guys because no one had a clue where his pitches were going.
In your research, would you consider a series on the height of certain pop-ups and how they compare to the trots? For instance, you could write an entire book on Ian Kinsler alone....
Ever notice that when managers say really dumb things, the media is present? Could there be a connection?
Historically, I'd love to see this question asked to ex-players: "Was (insert manager name here) really as dumb as he sounded when he said (fill in soundbite)?"
Let's go pound some Budweiser!
Free Chris Davis! Be ready for the upcoming trade that makes him an Oriole, a Ray, a Diamondback, etc. Just giving notice to my friends looking for some decent FAAB investment dollars...
I was fortunate enough to see him play, although it was toward the end of his career. For some reason, I remembered a game he played with Kansas City that I went to with my little league team with tickets we used to get every season. (Can you believe our little league teams in the D/FW area got five passes a year to a major league game? - another story...) I went back to retrosheet.org and it turned out to be the last game he ever played, when he was a pinch hitter in September of 1975. I remember that the Rangers were in trouble when he came out of the dugout to pinch hit because everone knew who he was and could hit a ball further than any player in the major leagues. It seemed weird seeing him with the Royals and not the Twins.
Class act. Class guy. God bless him and his family.
Awesome. I love this series, BP.
It's nice to see a transaction covered that's not a huge one. I miss the total coverage of transactions.
It appears Chris Iannetta may have finally been freed.
The Rangers dot race dates back to old Arlington Stadium, which makes it 1993 at the latest. I believe I saw it in the late 1980's. It was completely done on the scoreboard with all fans getting a little square of paper with a colored (red, yellow or green) dot when they came in the gate. Might be worth a check from the team.
As always, great entertainment here.
I'm piling on here, but I'm in agreement with the rest of these folks. The inclusion of Larry amongst the writers at BP this year has been a real breath of fresh air, and I'm also glad because I had never read his material before. He's the only writer going that makes me think I might actually see fresh new material on the baseball teams of my childhood. The fun angle for writing has made it fun to read as well.
There's probably a one in two chance he/she has some relationship to BP. :-)
Every player who signs a free agent contract in baseball should be required to donate 1% to Flood's family. If the players "uniformly" honored Flood in the same way baseball mandates the Robinson uniforms, wouldn't that cause quite the scene?
I'm also in the camp that Jackie Robinson is the single most important player in modern baseball history. But I think Curt Flood is the second.
I read this and just imagine what younger leagues like the NFL and NBA will do when going back 100+ years. Baseball is far more fun. But Larry - do you ever think that when you are doing some of your archive dives that you might be going down the path of Robert Nathan's "The Weans"? (one of my favorite reads ever)
Keep it up - I love your stuff.
I've used that Toby Harrah quote for years. He was my favorite player as a kid and that quote might have been why. There were a lot of girls in bikinis at bad Ranger games in the '70's. ;-) Most weren't really there for the baseball.
In the words of the great Fred Flintstone, "Drool Barney. Very drool."
Happens. Every. Day.
Extend the nets. I was an NHL season ticket holder (Hurricanes) during the time when the girl in Columbus was killed, and remember well when the nets went up. After about 15 minutes, the whole thing became a non issue.
A great boss I once had took me to a game in Tiger Stadium in the late 1990's, my only time in the great old stadium. He got us seats sitting in the first row right where the left field foul line stopped - the "jut out" of the stands. It was field level, and I felt like I was playing deep third base just into foul territory. It was fantastic, but scared me for others who might not be able to focus totally on the game. My boss and I never made eye contact the whole game, and Phil Nevin fell into my lap to catch the pop fly that was straight to me but instead was a Tigers out. I was not Bartman, and the experience to me is priceless.
Still, put up the nets.
Fabulous. Absolutely love this stuff.
Loving this daily series, Larry. At some point, can you do a focus on the pitchers that have hit home runs and compare their trots against each other? I know there are only a handful of pitcher home runs each year, and it seems like they might be fun to track at some point. (Your pointing out the Latos tater made me think of it again, and got me to actually type it in.)
When Hamilton returns, is there any reason in the world why Texas wouldn't send Borbon back to AAA and call up a solid defensive CF replacement (Endy Chavez or Craig Gentry)? That way, their best lineup, with David Murphy in left full time, would be on the field most often. Mitch Moreland could be the fourth outfielder.
Ditto what R.A.Wagman said - he beat me to it and said it better. Keep writing, and keep writing good stuff like this.
I miss Gary Huckabay articles on a consistent basis.
Matt Harrison was the other current Ranger I was thinking of.
I'm also in fbraconi's camp. I think the Jays have really mishandled this guy. I know that some of the hardcore Jays fans here (like R.A.Wagman) have probably a more educated opinion on Snider, but I've been watching him since his initial callup to Toronto and it's a frustrating tale. At this point, I'm thinking he might be better served with a trade to another organization who has a similar situation in their organization with a player whose confidence might be getting destroyed. Chris Davis? Francisco Liriano? Josh Reddick? Just throwing examples out there off the cuff.
Hopefully he stays suspended a few more after the Texas League suspension expires. After the Frank Francisco chair throwing incident a few years back, the Rangers organization has its own internal organizational rules regarding player interaction with unruly fans. (And to take it a step further, hopefully the other 29 organizations have those internal rules as well.)
Give it a look, Corey. I know there has been article or two over the years from a couple of the long term Ranger beat writers, but I actually do think it's worth exploring. I started to wonder about the dugout bench specifications of the Rangers home dugout compared to other teams', or maybe the bullpen mounds, etc. I believe Kenny Rogers, Hank Blalock, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and a few others have been afflicted with TOS over the years. Blalock and Salty specifically had their prospect stars aligned before the affliction and never seemed to recover.
What a great article. This fills in several blanks for me. I'm a 48 year old only child of the ABPA and Strat era described in the article, and a lot of the things mentioned fit me to a tee. I just never knew the origins of how I got involved in playing all these games and meeting others that eventually did the same.
And now, here I am a yearly subscriber to BP, a Strat-O-Matic league member, a rotisserie baseball league member, and a complete baseball fan and gamer. So I am either a) pathetic of b) in heaven. Please don't tell me this is Iowa. :-)
er, bloomer. :-) That'll teach me for making a comment about a "sconed jack".
Love the article on Ryan Vogelsong. Hopefully he is indeed a late bllomer.
It can't be TOS. He doesn't have any affiliation with the Rangers.
All jokes aside, I'd love to see that database as well because it seems like the Rangers have an uncanny number of TOS injury culprits over the years.
I'll second the affirmative response for including all trots at the end of the article.
One thing I missed though, was Helton's home run #336, that sconed jack. Did he get a scone for his troubles? :-) I might like that better than the local park here in Durham which reads "Hit Bull, Win Steak".
Some hither, others yon....
Thanks for mentioning Blackie, Joey. That was my favorite column as a kid, prompting me to go major in sports journalism. Looking back, it was probably the first true blog.
Thanks for the article, Jason. As a Rangers fan, I love seeing your stuff here at BP and find it spectacular that there is quality in depth reporting of the Rangers farm system in so many places now. I'll be seeing the Hickory Crawdads play the Greensboro Grasshoppers on May 7th and I'm thrilled at your timing of this article. It should be a good day to sit back and enjoy a Doobie. :-)
I hope the kid becomes a baseball writer and gets to write as poetically as this about what a jerk his father (if that was his father) was. I don't think I could have stood and watched that without doing something.
Fantastic writing. Thanks for bringing in guest writers, BP.
David Murphy must have Bourjos nightmares after this series. Bourjos tripled to center last night with Murphy in CF. (Bourjos would have easily caught that ball.) He was on third faster than any player I've ever seen leg out a triple. As Tom Grieve pointed out on the Rangers TV broadcast - he turns the corners on the bases better than anyone he had seen. (paraphrased because I couldn't exactly quote him)
Painful reading. What baseball did to Montreal still borders, in my opinion, on criminal.
From a Ranger perspective, it just seemed like a shutout. :-)
I've read 50 "What's wrong with Colby Lewis?" articles in the past few days. Not one of them mentions the birth of a new child as more than just a factual statement. This just in, but life events alter performance in the short term. Let's see if the Rangers say a word about it until he has 3-4 more bad starts.
Fabulous. Thanks for this gem, Larry.
Who is this Josh Wieters character? :-)
I'm surprised that the demotion of Mark Lowe wasn't added to the Rangers section. Train wreck avoidance is usually noted and rewarded. :-)
Like you said, injuries will happen. The Rangers don't care about our collective fantasy lineups and they should be given credit for having contengencies. I wouldn't be surprised if they play Davis enough to show that he's worth something as a trade chip, which would cut into even more of Napoli's playing time.
There's no link for the Evan Grant article.
Great article, Larry. As a "purist" of the era who still actively plays in a face-to-face cards and dice Strat league (playing tonight!) with 15 other local throwbacks, I love the articles that are done on the great games before the era of computers or video games. I have played in ABPA, Statis Pro, and OOTP leagues as well as Strat-O-Matic leagues, and there is something about the season simulation that the computer games just don't seem to get right. As this era slowly rides off into the sunset, there are plenty of us who fight it and would love to see more on the subject of baseball board games. Thanks!
Please keep us posted when some or all of these guys go to the DL for things like "flu symptoms" and wind up needing all 20 days of their rehab assignments at Double-A. Also, is there a pool going anywhere to see which one is the first to go on the new 7-day DL with "concussion symptoms"? I'd like to join. :-)
I like buying tickets on rows with no one behind me. This exact question is why I prefer those seats.
I want to stand when I want, and sit when I want. If someone is enjoying the game and stands in front of me, I will also stand. If not, I stay seated.
If you've ever attended a Bruce Hornsby concert, you know that Bruce likes to have the audience come up as close to the stage as they want and stand. In some venues, this blocks the views of the folks who buy the seats up close and some get ticked off. There's nothing to appease those who get upset, and they feel like they got somewhat robbed even if they could have stood themselves.
It's a tough question, and I'm glad you devoted an article to it, Larry. My suggestion is to consider that this scenario might happen to you at any public event, so pick your seats accordingly.
I'm glad to see the disgust in some of the reader comments, and I'd like to join the crowd. "Yankee whining" is so unbelievably offensive to most true baseball fans, and I'm really disturbed to see it here. Now if you included this article with 29 other baseball blogs representing every other team in MLB, then fine.
So far, we're seeing too much "waaaah, Yankees" and "What's Wrong With the Red Sox?" stuff here in this early part of the season. Sure, those two teams have huge fan bases and many subscribers here, but I'd bet those folks don't have any problem hearing those stories from lesser and more mainstream media.
This game was a joy to watch. Pineda stifled the white hot Ranger bats while Ogando channeled CJ Wilson and threw a fabulous six innings in his first start from a bullpen conversion.
Do not be a bit surprised if Tommy Hunter has trouble getting his job back. Look back in the archives one year and pull up CJ Wilson.
Pineda is the real deal. He's very, very impressive.
The Dallas Morning News is the biggest one. Same with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In general, it is the big daily newspapers that I speak of.
Please give us the rundown on the new stats! I'd love to see the BOR for pitching staffs and see which were deemed the "big outs". :-)
Hysterical. A fun read.
Thanks for this series - I appreciate it very much. However, I have one quick question. Some of the links to these newspapers require a subscriber login. Is there a sponsorship or contract required with each source to allow us to see the entire article without being individual subscribers?
Time to get an over/under on how many Royals go in fantasy keeper first rounds next year....
Amen. I never use the +/- rating. This isn't a place where people bash each other, thank goodness. I like to hear the opinions of other true baseball fans, period.
Thanks for the mention of Mason Tobin. For all of the articles I've read in national media sources involving the Rangers bullpen woes, this guy's name never came up once. They clearly want to give him a chance and they've had success with Rule 5's (Darren O'Day) moving into prominent bullpen roles.
I've read this site from the beginning and have all of the annuals. As a "reader" from rec.sport.baseball who never commented a lot but read religiously each diatribe, argument, discussion, etc., I recognize that you are essentially the last and most consistent constant from those days. I'm glad you'll still be contributing, but am ticked I'll have to subscribe to the evil empire to see your contributions. Thanks, Christina, not only for the baseball writing, but allowing your readers to see who you are and how it contributes to the great writing. Now go get the PhD in history, too - after all, you're already a writer of history and should be academically recognized for it. Good luck!
Fabulous, fabulous stuff. Thank you for attaching the video clip.
Wow! Baseball has done something right with the creation of the 7 day DL. Will BP have an article explaining the mechanics of how this will be used, and better yet, point out a few loopholes that I'm sure GM's will use to find a way to have say, a starter skip one start for another ailment?
This break in the action for the Bob's Maple Bat Company fragment injury to Pujols at first is brought to you by Damitol. Side effects from Damitol when hit with Bob's Maple bat Company fragments include light dizziness, nausea, and in some extreme cases, death. Ask your doctor about Damitol.
Don't be fooled by the "sore leg" for bengie - it was really just not to embarrass him when they sneaked an oxygen bottle to him in the dugout. :-)
In all seriousness, this is great fun to track. Larry - do you happen to have the timer on Bengie Molina stealing second base during the post season? :-) This is probably a Top 5 all-time highlight within the secret confines of the International Brotherhood of Catchers (Backup or Otherwise), and it would be fun to have the details.
Tommy Hunter has good juju. All those hard hit balls he allows either go straight into the ground or straight into a glove. He's as bad of a statistical anomaly as projecting Matt Cain. (And that's where their similarities stop.)
More good stuff from Larry.....
I'd be interested to hear a little more about Asdrubal Cabrera as well. Without his health, the Indians middle infield looks extremely thin.
Admit it - you were just hoping for Bartolo to be relevant enough again to use "Bartolo Colonoscopy".
Sounds like a Rusty Greer starter kit.
He was absolutely the best Riddler. In fact, there should be a Gorshin-esque riddle applied to the great Neftali Feliz question. I just wish I was creative enough to write it. Anyone?
I have a feeling that the next Derrek Lee owie will make Chris Davis an Oriole. He'll get one more shot somewhere regardless. I love the guy and can't fault the Rangers for skepticism, but I just have this sinking feeling he's going to bust out somewhere else.
Absolutely hysterical. Blue Glove Ranger apparently didn't want to comment for the article.
On a serious note, adding Larry Granillo to the cadre of writers here has been a great, great addition.
Enjoyed the article, Jay.
You know, the beauty of baseball to me is that it accomodates both the left and right brainers of the world. You can write more prose about baseball than all the other sports combined, but you can also take more statistics and make more statistical arguments as well. As a fan, I don't have to take either side and can see the beauty of both!
No wonder it's the best game. And it still has no clock.
Now, off to read more sportswriters bashing each other....deadlines, you know....
This sort of transaction seems to underline how some clubs can repeatedly build successful bullpens while others never seem to be able to. I'm just shocked he made it through the American league, since Tampa Bay employs a similar strategy of retreading quality bullpen castoffs from other clubs. I predict Pat resurrects his career in Padville.
I'm in the RDU market as well, and my father in law is a diehard Braves fan 80 miles away in Greensboro. He won't make the trip to Raleigh during baseball season because he can't see the Braves because it's not our "local" market. The fact that Greensboro is "local" to Atlanta is just as absurd as Raleigh being "local" to Baltimore and Washington. Since I have to drive 4 1/2 hours to my nearest MLB stadium (Washington), I shouldn't be in anyone's "local" market.
Maybe MLB will one day realize this keeps people like me (diehard baseball fans living 3 or more hours from a stadium) from buying any of their packages besides the radio package. They leave my $100-$150 a year lying on the table. My local diehards all feel pretty much the same way.
Fabulous job. Very well written.
Thank you for the excellent follow up on my question from a couple of days ago. ;-) I think you covered it pretty well - Mark Lowe is a very shaky option at best in the closer role. I'm also, BTW, in the Ogando camp. And if they'd just quit futzing around with Tanner Scheppers....
Does the projection take into consideration that the Twins played on horrible turf in two of the three previous years of data points?
I agree on Cruz - I see a breakout year for him. I also think the overall depth of pitching and hitting/offensive flexibility is a distionct advantage over their divisional foes. They can take on more injuries without serious offensive hits.
I still don't see Elvis Andrus as a #2 hitter and expect to see Michael Young back in that spot before April ends.
Christina - please use your influence to have Strat include T-ratings on outfield arms! That had me rolling....
Also, if you are focusing on the Rangers tonight, please see if there is any traction to the Mark Lowe as a closer story.
Is Pie Traynor anywhere on the career pi list?
The fans love Chuck, and I'm just one who has sent him a thank you card and will always look among him favorably. He was one of the two public faces who have brought the team I love out of the land of the laughing stock franchises.
The other face is a guy who already has a statue built in the stadium, has his face entrenched in Cooperstown, and is as Texan as the land itself.
Best of luck, Chuck. There's a baseball team and a fan base in Pittsburgh that needs you. If you become the second face there, let it be the smiling comedy face.
One quick observation - is the lack of an underlined "elite" on the Texas side (which would represent Hamilton, the AL MVP) because of his position splits between LF and CF, with Borbon bringing the CF numbers down and Murphy bringing down the LF numbers? I was just curious how this breakdown works on the opposite end of the spectrum - finding the "elite" position players.
No Josh Outman, perhaps the greatest name for a pitcher? Or Toby Harrah, the palindrome? (As an aside, I keep waiting for Sarah Palin to make a new word/campaign slogan with a variation of "palindrome". If the shoe fits....)
I totally agree with CRP13's comment. I don't know why they would give up much to get Flores even though there is almost nothing out there on the waiver wire. This looks like a grand opportunity for Towles to fish or forever cut bait. Since the Astros have little to trade and the Nationals have the supply in a high demand market, I see Flores somewhere else besides Houston.
I'm really enjoying the Wezen-Ball articles! A fun article down the road might be about the speculation of who Joe Shlabotnik really represented. I've had a rotisserie/fantasy team for 20 years now called "Sons of Shlabotnik" that was a reprise of an old softball team from the '80's, and it's fun to talk to fans from that era who used to love these Peanuts baseball strips. Thanks!
Great article - really enjoyed reading it. The script is still being written for the inevitable Josh Hamilton movie, but it's one that will be made down the road. Hopefully it's not the next big baseball movie and some of your ideas come to fruition.
David Clyde has to be at the top of this list because of how he was used. Literally. I remember my 10 year old self listening to his MLB debut on the radio in awe, and I won't forget it as my now 48 year old self remembers the whole fiasco in disgust. There should be a clause unique to him in every MLB collective bargaining agreement.
Amen. I've made comments on articles the past few weeks that the solution to the Michael Young situation in Texas is to do what Maddon has done with Zobrist. I don't understand why more managers and more teams don't do this with players who are versatile enough to be a good bat that plays multiple positions. Of course, I wondered the same thing when LaRussa did it with Tony Phillips and LaRussa still managers, so maybe there are very few of these types of players. But on the surface, it does not seem so.
Fabulous article. I have a scaled down version of that poster (released by Kellogg's in the early 1990's, along with two other posters depicting caps and uniforms, and given away free with boxtops from cereal boxes) framed and on my wall, and I have the same visions of World Series past.
Since we get to read about the iterations of Scoresheet leagues during the year, is there any chance we can get the same commentary from a writer who plays Strat-O-Matic? I love the details, but would love a "classic" viewpoint as well. After all, this is the 50th anniversary of the great game.
Prediction: Within 10 years, the Rays swap locations between their major league and AAA affiliate, and the Durham Bulls ascend to major league status.
Fabulous article. I'm a Rangers fan and I really appreciate the article because the subject was the team I follow, but I'd love to see this level of analysis for every system. Fantastic stuff!
I'm in the same camp as Jivas, and this was awesome. (Like Chris Farley saying "that was awesome")
I'm surprised at no reference to "the poor man's Paul Molitor" when describing Young - the same kind of player without the high OBP.
If you make $16 million a year and will do so for three more years, you need to be loyal to your employer no matter who gets brought in. If Young is the utility player, the Rangers have a better chance of winning than any of those eight other teams on his list do when he anchors (literally) a position on the infield. Baseball is a business, and he of all people should know that.
Maybe he needs to call Paul Molitor and get his opinion. :-)
I miss Gary Huckabay. I loved his stuff when I read rec.sport.baseball religiously every day until the beginning of Baseball Prospectus, when I praised Bob seeing my 1997 copy in my hot little hands. His legacy publication is doing a helluva job at providing us the best baseball reading on the web. Keep it up. Love the new additions to the staff.
Makes you wonder how much smoke the Rangers are blowing, huh? I agree with Kevin's assessment, which echoes what so many who follow the Rangers say about Feliz being a top tier starter and Scheppers becoming a potential top tier closer. Meanwhile Andrus is in the wrong spot in the lineup, etc., etc.
Something tells me that when the season starts, we'll see Kinsler leading off because Borbon's not ready yet, with Andrus hitting ninth, Feliz and Holland mixed in with Wilson, Lewis and Webb in the rotation with Hunter "on the DL" while Scheppers and Ogando fight it out for the closers job.
What a fun article. Brian Harper has always been one of my favorite players, and I was the happy owner of his Strat-O-Matic card for those five great years he had with the Twins. Bill James was dead on - the guy could hit .300 in his sleep, and I know a lot of major league teams now would kill for a catcher who could do that.
As a man who was crushed by the initial dream partner consuming their strengths only to find true success on the Internet dating site, I look forward to your Rule 5 draft analysis in the future. :-)
Added: Marc Kroon to the list of guys I'll be cheering for this year
Ranger fan here - and I want to chime in on RA Wegman's comments about the Jay fan base. As a Ranger fan from their beginnings in Arlington, I'm starting to think about what the statue to Daniels will look like, and he hasn't won anything yet. It's all about the hope he brings, and combined with all the pieces falling into place last year, we saw magic in the stands and the Cowboys knocked off the front sports page for the first time ever. AA has that same dynamic going, and he didn't give away Adrian Gonzalez and John Danks. Better times are coming to Toronto. Does the guy have a fin growing out of his back?
To Christina - I think you are spot on with Young's role. If he does well at it and plays six positions while Wash molds Moreland into a fine first baseman, the Rangers won't have the crappy bench they had through the playoff run last year.
Sorry, I'm still laughing five minutes after reading. :-) One of the most enjoyable things I've seen written here. Thanks, Ken.
Fantastic interview. As a 9-year-old who at his first major league game saw Don Mincher play first base for the Texas Rangers in his final season while sitting about 12 rows behind the dugout, I really appreciated this article. It was nice to hear how he was liberated from that pre-"season in hell" to get his final hit in the World Series for one of the greatest teams ever.
I'm thrilled to see Blyleven in the HOF. I was a kid listening on the radio when Blyleven was in his short stint with the Rangers, and I loved his confidence in throwing that curve when everyone in the stadium and listening on the radio knew what was coming. That's why he gave up so many solo shots late in games - he was throwing his pitch with a comfortable lead and didn't care if the batter knew it was coming. To me, that was the characteristic that made him an unquestionable HOFer.
One for two from this Ranger fan's perspective. McCarthy needed the change of scenery regardless of the shoulder injuries, and moving his flyball stuff into a pitchers park will make him effective. Plus, I'll bet he'll stay healthy with a better attitude being away from Texas, where he fumed after being traded from the then championship caliber Sox.
Harden to the bullpen makes sense too, but I'll stand in ScottyB's corner. He can't stay healthy, and he clearly wasn't healthy last year.
Very enjoyable. I'm a fan with no dog in the Cardinal hunt, and I really enjoyed it.
In this agrument, the sabermetrics lose out. In my opinion, this is the sentence uttered by an opposing manager that defines an ace: "Oh crap, we have to face this guy today."
Strat-O-Matic breakdowns for simulations can filter out your aces each year. Take the list each year and see the pitchers that repeat three out of four years and you have your aces.
Using this example over some of the prior lists, guys like Greinke and Kershaw aren't aces. Greinke has been a bit inconsistent and Kershaw hasn't pitched long enough. Young pitchers like Lincecum are because they have been dominant since joining the league with only smatterings of inconsistencies over short time periods. And folks like Halladay are obviously aces because they've done it multiple years over a greater time period than five years.
Yep, it's subjective.
Christina - you forgot to mention that in the Nationals/Rockies trade for Colorado to get a mediocre catcher to force Chris Iannetta to the bench again.... The Nationals would have to throw in a catcher in the deal to allow this trend to continue. Free Chris Iannetta!
Great interview. Tony Sipp just got another fan. Maybe he'll be available in my Strat league draft.
Nice lie on the fairway for a holiday weekend. In other news, it gets hot in Arlington. This was a conglomeration of every general conversation piece in the national media about the Rangers turned into a column with a little wit. That's fine, but I'm pretty disappointed as a Ranger fan after reading some of the excellent pieces done in this series. But there have been some turkeys too, and I'll join the ranks of those who gave ratings of C- to said turkeys. No Greinke talk? No Barret Loux? No detail on 1B? And not a word about catcher, which is pretty commonplace in Ranger land. Pfft.
If I was satisfied with having Mark Cain in my rotation, I'd be on the horn asking Brian Sabean if I could send him a nice box of baseballs for Matt Cain. :-)
I'll second hhbliss. I absolutely love Neftali Feliz, but I'm not sure why everyone wants to call him Perez. I actually had to read the paragraph twice to see who the winner of the ROY was since the name wasn't highlighted. I think if there was a Neftali Perez buried in a farm system somewhere, his name would get highlighted and there might be a reason for the confusion.
Love the large font size. Please keep it.
According to your many podcast references to Lueke (and those of many others), it seems very doubtful that any MLB GM wants to take the heat for bring him to the majors. As a Ranger fan, I'm torn between being happy that he was sent to Seattle in a trade vs. that the Rangers didn't cut him loose in the first place. His makeup is a negative game changer, and I'm glad to see you reflected it in your ratings.
I loved the Anthopolous maneuver on Olivo, and they get the prize for doing it before the league puts a stop to it. It sort of reminded me of some of the chicanery from my local Strat league, where a manager would come up with a back door deal that no one else had thought of right before the annual rules check. Then, all the other leage managers would make a rule change to make sure it didn't happen again. Watch for something around this space in the Winter Meetings. :-)
Excellent article. As a fan who loves listening to the game on the radio, I've come to appreciate all of the MLB announcers for what they bring to the game. I enjoy listening to Jerry because it is different hearing the game broadcast to a largely Canadian audience, and it's fun listening for the subtle differences. Thanks for the interview and writing the article.
BP has become the mainstream baseball media. These writers are quoted throughout the baseball media and there are voters amongst them. BP's quality is fantastic and I have been a subscriber since it became a pay site and I have every Baseball Prospectus book. As a former journalist, my point is that there are errors in virtually every article posted lately. I realize part of that is because of expediency, but there is a significant part that is not.
Why am I here? I am here to read the great content, of course. I'm not going anywhere and will keep subscribing. Hopefully, the professionals here will appreciate the commentary. I'm certainly not taking potshots at Christina, and I really appreciate her work and everyone else's I read here.
Just another error - par for the course when describing this game. Copy editor, anyone?
This article is yet another example of need for a copy editor. You guys at BP have great articles and I'm certainly going to continue paying to read them. However, as a former journalist who has spent his share of time in the unemployment line, I wonder why you all keep letting sloppy mistakes keep getting through. It seems like every other article has multiple typos in it, and there are many instances of corrections after the fact after comments from readers.
Do you all self edit your own articles? If so, you might want to up your game a bit and have an editor who reads/checks before submission.
Thanks for noting the contribution of Derek Holland in this game, Christina. This game screamed of the Rangers minor league philosophy of "tandem starter". With CJ Wilson going in game five, this was the game that use of the long reliever could almost be planned, especially with Tommy Hunter being a poor match for the situation. Plus, should the Rangers need a long reliever in game five, they still have Michael Kirkman to eat innings.
Also, that guy taunting Cruz from the right field stands after the Cano homer might have actually been Jeffrey Maier. :-)
As a Rangers fan, I felt pretty sure the pitching strategy in this one was going to be to leave Hunter in for 3-4 innings, then bring in the second starter. In other words, the "tandem starter" method the Rangers have been employing in their minor league system the past few years. The situation called for it, and Derek Holland delivered.
Thanks for this article. I commented in your earlier "Turnaround Kids" article that the CJ Wilson "improvement" was probably on a different level and was likely a different topic. This really proved that theory. :-)
Two weeks later, the Wilson start in Yankee Stadium is now likely the most critical in the series for Texas.
There is one "turnaround" player that probably can't be measured in your statistical breakdown: CJ Wilson. Where would he fit in because of a change in role from reliever to starter? I can think of a couple of other players in this category as well. Maybe a different column?
As a Ranger fan who was on rec.sport.baseball, has all of the BP books including 1997 (as well as all of the Jamey Newberg books - 97 was a vintage year), and stayed this long with your group, I'll miss your column very much. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do next while feeling disappointed that I won't be seeing those detailed injury updates. I have liked your role as the non-stathead around here and fear that such a role won't be reprised. Best of luck!
To me, Elvis reminds me of a young Ozzie Smith. He's never going to have power, but he's a defensive monster that will gradually improve his on base throughout his career. The improvement will be gradual, but the gold gloves may start showing up quickly.
Don't underestimate the long term value of Beavan in this deal. He is going to be a big league starter for 10 years, eating innings with the best o them. He'll be a valuable 4th/5th starter that does not give up walks in a park that favors a pitcher that makes the hitter put the ball in play.
That said, it's a great deal for both teams. The Rangers already have that same pitcher in Tommy Hunter and Davis is worth the risk with the lineup they already have.
I just wonder why the GM's didn't fix their own problems by adding Bradley and Harden in the deal. Bradley already has success in Texas and Harden might rebound in Seattle. I predict they both get released before the season's end.
I guess I am uncool as well. OOTP is a nice game, but the feel of playing a face-to-face Strat game with the dice and cards still beats all the gaming experiences. Our 14-team league of uncool guys still really enjoys the game.
As a Ranger fan, I loved the double catcher demotion. Sometimes younger players need a kick in the tail, and it's nice to see the Rangers kicking some when the performance is lackluster. Nothing like a trip back to bus rides and roommates at lower end hotels (plus 1/10 or less of your salary) to motivate you to get back to the bigs. My guess is that they'll both be there a while.
Saltalamacchia for Iannetta. A win-win for both teams. Then we'll find out if both catchers are underappreciated or if they really do just stink.
I think Elvis was robbed as well. He's the single player that made all of the difference in the Rangers' drastic improvement in both pitching and defensive statistics. I think he had a greater impact than Porcello because of his consistency during the season as opposed to Porcello's spiking graph of seasonal inconsistency. Either way though, both players are exciting rookies that will be around for a long time.