Tom Hicks has come to terms on the sale of the Texas Rangers to a group headed by Chuck Greenberg,Nolan Ryan, Dallas Billionaire Ray Davis. Heres hoping that now the Rangers act like the 5th largest media market team that they are.
That’s the way I.C it!
Hello to all and a happy thanksgiving,merry christmas,happy new year and soon to be mlk day since I last wrote.The Rangers 2009 season review seems to have disappeared and too much time has passed for it now..possibly might have it before 2010 season along with the season preview. Theres been alot of activity since my last post so lets get to it.
I knew the Dodgers were running things tight,but I didn’t think it would be Jeffrey Loria tight.Since Being eliminated from the NLCS, the Dodgers have yet to make a splash with a free agent.The acquired talent from the stretch run has also been untouched, This should logically be the time to add payroll to complement the breakout young stars,but ultimately should be referenced as the time when L.A took a step back in their progression.Blame will most likely fall on Joe Torre & the coaching staff for not returning to the Playoffs,but should be given to their terrible owner’s situation that has handcuffed the franchise. The team has made no attempt at bringing back Jim Thome,Jon Garland, Randy Wolf,Orlando Hudson,and playoff hero Vicente Padilla. Breakouts Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier will lead the offense along with a $ motivated Manny Ramirez. Young pitchers Clayton Kershaw,Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda will lead the rotation along with whatever scraps are left on the F.A market.The bullpen was an incredible strength last season with a great balance between flamethrower Jonathat Broxton,soft tosser George Sherill and Co. Free agent additions that are needed include an ace caliber pitcher to put them over the top. Cliff Lee would have fit the need,but L.A didn’t want to put up the prospects(and more likely $) to get him. The NLCS showed that they made the wrong choice on that end.I kind of miss FOX being the boss, They made some dumb free agent signings (see Dreifort,Darren) but at least they made some moves. Signings for the sake of signings are not necessary, but L.A also needs ownership to offer more than what a Florida or Kansas City do.
Speaking of budget-conscious…Texas has made a bad situation and handled it incredibly.Like the Dodgers (2nd largest U.S Market), the Rangers (5th largest U.S Market) have been playing the role of small market franchise.the Rangers have minimal money to spend this offseason (even with the departures of Vicente Padilla,Andruw Jones,Omar Vizquel,Hank Blalock,Marlon Byrd,Eddie Guardado,Kevin Millwood,and Ivan Rodriguez) and entered the offseason with many holes with little $ to plug them.
The Rangers needs are a utility infielder to replace Omar Vizquel. A DH to replace Andruw Jones/Hank Blalock, a backup C to replace Pudge, and frontline starting pitching. The utility role will be filled by former Padre/Cardinal Khalil Greene, who would go in and out of the lineup for the cards last year while battling social anxiety disorder, the 2009 version of Tommy John surgery. (didn’t it seem like every other player was dealing with this?) when he’s in the lineup, he’s got pretty good pop and defense is above average. If needed, he will spell Elvis Andrus, and possibly Kinsler and Young.
Mr.Ranger Killer is now in TX Red, as Vladimir Guerrero will be coming in and taking over the DH void. While we wait on the Hicks/Greenburg situation to play out, it can be argued that the Rangers owner is actually Vladdy. He’s hitting close to .400 on Ranger pitching the last 6 years. This is a guy I have always admired, with the no gloves while batting , incredible reach, and incredible power arm. Vlad is 34 and is not the same player as he was in 2004 when he won the 2004 AL mvp, but he is still an impact bat and fearless cleanup hitter.
Kevin Millwood had a great 2009 (based on his horrible 2007 and 2008), with 1 year remaining on his deal, he was shipped to Baltimore for once promising reliever Chris Ray in what was essentially a salary dump. The money saved in the trade allowed the Rangers to guarantee enough money to pluck Rich Harden from signing with Seattle. (who then traded for cliff lee.) Harden is nasty, and an elite pitcher when healthy. The Rangers essentially traded a low risk guy in Milly who would give the team 180-200 inn with a 4+ era and 100+k’s for a guy that can give a 2+ era with a crazy k ratio, but considerably less innings. I believe another SP will be addressed. (that will be an innings eater (think Jon Garland, Doug Davis) or maybe another high risk high reward sp (ben Sheets, Erik Bedard)). To go with 17 game winner Scott Feldman, and the likes of Matt Harison, Brandon Mcarthy, Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, and possibly Neftali Feliz and CJ Wilson. The bullpen should be the team’s strength this season. With Darren Oliver and Chris Ray joining closer Frank Francisco and setup men Darren O’Day and CJ Wilson.
Quick Thoughts and Non Baseball Tidbits.
Adam Laroche:I guess Arizona has a better school system or something. He reportedly turned down a 2 year 17 mil offer from S.F, and has now signed with AZ for 1 year and 5 mil.
Cowboys dominated the Eagles. Defense was incredible. Tony Romo and Wade Phillips can breathe a little easier. A showdown with Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen await ‘the Boys. Btw the only reason Mike Shannahon went to Washington is he saw that there was no chance of the Dallas job opening.
Im no texas tech fan, but even I can tell that Mike Leach got played.
Lane Kiffin came from USC, I see why UT would be mad, but they had to see that one coming.
Pete Carrol to Seattle:kind of fishy to me with all the NCAA investigations in USC. Besides,i thought he would stay there a couple more years til his girlfriend graduated.
Cant end this MLB blog with out talking about the late night war. I have always been a Conan fan, but I see why NBC is in this mess.
o In 2004 conan was promised the Tonight Show in 04 when NBC didn’t want to lose him to fox or abc.
o Jay leno was forced out in 09, nbc did not want to lose him either, so they gave him a show before the news (primetime).
o While host of the tonight show, leno was the clear cut #1 ratings draw in latenight.
o Conan’s tonight show is losing ratings to Letterman
o Leno’s primetime show fails but he has an audience at 10:35
o Nbc wants leno at 10:35, conan at 11:05, Fallon, Daly etc.
o Bottom line : I love conan, he’s my fave late night host, but his show is not delivering the ratings Leno was, and that’s the bottom line for success on T.V.
that’s the way I.C it!
Wow anyone catch the twins vs tigers play-in game? incredible.
I will still be getting to the Rangers 2009 season review but I didnt want to get too far behind and want to put my predictions down before the playoff begins. Im calling another Yankee victory in October as much as it pains me to say that (Ranger fans remember the trouncing.)
Keep in mind this is all personal taste and everyone of course is entitled to their own opinion.
To keep it short & simple: The Yankees will defeat the Twins in the ALDS,
Boston will defeat Anaheim. Los Angeles will defeat St.Louis.Philly will rout the Rox.
New York will win the Pennant over Boston, and in the senior circuit the Dodgers will defeat the Phills to set up a match up weve all beeen waiting for.
New York Vs. Los Angeles.
im not just talking about Yankees-Dodgers,which in itself has a storied rivalry.
im talkin NY VS LA BABY.
Weve been waiting for it since Torre was dismissed after going to the playoffs and WS X amount of times. Hell, ive been waiting for this matchup since the Arizona WS win in 2001. After reading the Yankee years,it just made it that much sweeter. The only regret is that Steinbrenner isnt in his prime and wont fire Girardi a minute after defeat.
CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN NEW YORK OF TORRE COMES INTO NEW YANKEE STADIUM AND GETS A RING?????
Thats baseball for ya, but this rivalry geos wayyy beyond baseball.
Fiddy vs Game
East coast v West coast part II.Everybodys been waitin for the resolution. Plus The games got a dodgers tattoo on his face. NUGH SAID. this rivalry was more relevant say in 2004,but needless to say still shows what ny vs la is all about.plus the game has THE DODGERS LOGO ON HIS FACE. LOL.
Notorious VS Shakur
Sorry David Ortiz, but Biggie out da NYC still resident Big Poppa.This beef started East vs West coast. If anything represents ny vs la,its BIG V PAC.Tupac had plenty of California Love,will it be enough to steer true blue over gotham? (Yes i know its big papi)
Dave vs CoCo
Like Joe Torre before him. Conan moved west to greener pastures and left NY behind. The battle for late night continues with Mr. Controversy David Letterman and Obrien. Can you imagine how pissed Letterman must have been when Conan got the Tonight Show gig,after Leno got the gig over him so many years ago? (beware fantasy owners, Conan’s dealing with mild concussion after a head injury, and Lettermans pulling a Barry Bonds/AROD in his personal life.)
AROD VS MANNY
The 252 million dollar man vs the 160 million dollar man. Both are camera magnets and after some new evidence will forrever be linked to PEDs.Without question they are 2 of the biggest boppers to come out of the 90’s and are still considered front line sluggers.they were nearly traded for each other in 2003 and are fondly remembered as the centerpieces in the 2000 winter free agent bonanza that also saw Darren Dreifort (who?) steal 55 million from the dodgers,and Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle setting the Rockies back 10 years. but they have such good schools on Colorado right Mike?
Jerry vs Larry
so whos realllly responsible for all the sucess of Seinfeld?. is it Larry David:Super writer? or Jerry Seinfeld: you know..the seinfeld guy. With Curb your enthusiasm Larry David shown hes not a one hit wonder (if you havent checked curb out please do,its HILARIOUS.) while Jerry has kind of just let himself fade away.Even Michael Richards has been in the limelight more (and for the wrong reasons) Elaine is on cbs and George is into his 567th failed tv pilot.Seinfeld symbolized New York to a tee during its run, and likewise Larry David symbolized California life on Curb, (hes even gone to a dodger game with a prostitute!
Had to get the Fred Armisen parody in somehow. Schwarzenegger is carrying Jason Schmidt’s dead weight.
Gov.Patterson vs Gov.Schwarzenegger
The Rangers are starting a series with the Baltimore Orioles this Friday and it got me thinking about the players they have shared over the years. I hope to make this a recurring theme in the blog every time the rangers play a new opponent. With trades and free agency and players shuffling from organization to organization these lists might get a little out of hand.
Rafael Palmeiro. Spent the 90’s with the Orioles and Rangers putting up monster numbers for both.
Johnny Oates.-The former Oriole manager was fired and promptly signed by Texas,then led us to the AL WEST div. title 3 out of 5 years.
Sammy Sosa? Toss up. he was the man with the Cubs but had a disappointing Oriole run.He redeemed himself a bit in 2007 and put up respectable numbers with the rangers but was out of the league at the end of the season.
Adam Eaton -definitely a miss. we traded Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young to San Diego for 1 terrible year.
Other notable names include David Segui,Mickey Tettleton,Mark Mclemore,Fernando Tatis,and Kevin Brown.
Scott Erickson (Mr.Lisa Guerrero) had a cup of coffee with the Rangers in 2004.
TEXAS RANGERS PROBABLE PITCHERS.
Fridays matchup brings the dependable and surprising Scott Feldman (14-4, 3.72 ERA)
Scott has been vastly underrated this season (even by his own team). He started the year in the bullpen as the long man while the rangers gave Kris Benson (shout out to Anna Benson) the 5th starter role, but was back in the rotation within weeks and has become the rangers most dependable starter. doesnt K too many, but features a nasty cutter that leaves many broken bats and weak ground outs.
The Rangers are off today while traveling to Baltimore,and they find themselves in the thick of a pennant race for the first time in half a decade. (shout out to David Delluci and the 2004 squad)
The last time the Rangers were in the playoffs they ran into the team of the 90’s and were promptly dismissed. Among the names:
*Will The Thrill left for Baltimore,but was replaced by a familiar face.
Rafael Palmeiro (47 HR,148 RBI)
returned to texas after a 5 yr abscense
and was an all star& gold glover in 1999.
Pudge Rodriguez (35 HR,113 RBI)
the MVP award in 1999 with 35 HR.
Juan Gonzalez.(39 HR,128 RBI)
The Rangers MVP of the 90’s was in his
the Rangers before the blockbuster trade with Detroit.
The former independent league pitcher burst
onto the scene and made the all star team as
the setup man for John Wetteland.
After closing the door on the Rangers playoff
hopes in 1996 with the Yankees, John became a fixture
for the rangers as a dominating closer.
Other key members of the 1999 squad was left fielder Rusty Greer (20 HR,101 RBI), and the power hitting corner infielders Todd Zeile(24 HR,98 RBI) and Lee Stevens (24 HR,81 RBI).
The 2009 Texas Rangers season is less than a month away (playoffs?)
Take a guess at the Home Run leader for the team.
Josh Hamilton? The home run derby highlight reel has suffered through injuries and has 10 hr.
Andruw Jones? The gold glover led mlb in 2005 with 51.
How about Nelson Cruz. The 28 yr old has finally had the breakthrough year the Rangers have been waiting for since he was acquired in the Carlos Lee trade in 2006. After being put through waivers and rebounding to win the Pacific Coast League MVP (AAA), Nelson Cruz has had a monster 2009 season that includes his 1st All star game selection (by the players vote no less) and as of September 02 2009 leading the Texas offense with 30 HR.
Now that the dog days of August have come and gone and the playoff races are taking shape, its no surprise to anyone that familiar teams like Kansas City,Baltimore,and perennial loser Pittsburgh have found their way to the back pages as the 600 lb gorilla NFL begins its season. However that is not the case in the most unlikely of places.
I know I know, come on everyone knows this is Cowboy country. We all know the Cowboys are the Yankees of baseball and their popularity is worldwide. But tell that to the metroplex, and most will be quick to point out that their baseball franchise is 3 games back in the west and a game out of the playoffs.
For a team that hasn’t sniffed postseason baseball in a decade that’s saying something.