Tagged: Big Papi

Just Say No

A few days ago, I started hearing rumblings about the Rangers and Manny Ramirez. Uh oh…

Last year, the same rumors began to circulate after Manny was put on waivers in late August. I prayed fervently that Manny would stay away. And he went to the Chicago White Sox, so the Rangers escaped unscathed.

I can only wait and hope the same thing happens again this year.

With the signing of Adrian Beltre, something like this was bound to happen. With Michael Young moving to DH/1B, Vladdy was practically guaranteed not to re-sign with the Rangers. Vladdy wants to play every day, and that’s not gonna happen on the Rangers in the near future.

So the Rangers are looking for a big right-handed bat to come off the bench late in games. (They want him to be right-handed because Mitch Moreland is a lefty, and Moreland would be riding the bench if Michael Young was in the game at 1B.)

Jim Thome was a possibility, but he’s a lefty. And he also decided to re-sign with the Twins for 2011, so he’s no longer an option.

There aren’t too many veteran righties left on the market at this point. It’s pretty much down to Vladdy and Manny. And we already know that Vladdy wants a more active role.

{Sigh}

I’m not saying that I won’t root for the Rangers if Manny is playing here, or even that I won’t root for him when he’s up to bat, but I’d rather have someone else.

I used to like Manny. I remember when the Red Sox has their heyday in the early 2000’s (culminating with their World Series win in 2004), and I loved to watch Manny alongside Johnny Damon and Big Papi.

But soon after, I started hearing lots of negative things about Manny. He publicly discussed his displeasure with the BoSox and requested a trade. It was suggested that he was not a team player.

Then during a game in 2008, Manny was shown slapping teammate Kevin Youkilis during a spat in the dugout. He had another altercation with the Red Sox’s traveling secretary, with Ramirez allegedly pushing him to the ground.

He also stopped hustling on the field, and Red Sox fans assumed it was because of his desire to be traded. But it may have had something to do with sore knees. Who knows?

Manny spent most of the next 3 years with the Dodgers, which just caused me to like him even less. I hate the Dodgers. They’re my least favorite NL team, and their my 2nd most hated team in all of baseball (behind the Yankees, of course).

During the 2009 season, Manny was suspended for 50 games because he voilated a drug test. He tested positive for HCG, which is a female pregnancy hormone thought to help reset an athlete’s body after a steroid cycle.

Later in the 2009 season, it was released that Manny had also failed a drug test in 2003.

The Dodgers put him on waivers in late August, and on August 30 of 2010, Manny was claimed by the Chicago White Sox. His performance for them was decidedly lackluster during his 24 games. Now he’s a free agent, and the threat of Manny looms on the horizon.

TR Sullivan reported today that the Rangers, Angels, and Rays are all in the mix for Manny. MLBtraderumors.com agrees, they report that the Rays are also discussing a deal with Johnny Damon. So if the Rays get Damon, does that mean they’ll quit pursuing Manny? {Gulp}

Manny is reportedly very focused on baseball, and he’s had some amazing stats. But if he’s been taking steroids for at least the last 7 years, his accomplishments are greatly diminished.

With all of the stunts he’s pulled in the last decade, I’d just rather not have him in Texas. Period.

In other news, John Rhadigan has been named to replace Josh Lewin as the play-by-play announcer on television. I think I like this, but I won’t be able to give a definitive diagnosis until after I hear him call a few games.

You know who I would love to see calling games on tv? Steve Busby. I love when they bring him in to talk pitching. But he probably would need to be the color guy as opposed to the play-by-play guy.

I love Tom Grieve; he’s a very nice guy and he’s Mr. Ranger. But I would prefer Busby over Greive any day. Can’t you just imagine Buzz and Rhads together?

Well of course you can, because you’ve seen them do pre- and post-game shows together. It would be awesome, I’m telling you.

Maybe some day.

This weekend is the first 2-day Rangers’ Fan Fest, and I’m excited/nervous. It’s at the Arlington Convention Center this year, which is definitely different from having it at the Ballpark. But last year it didn’t get above freezing all day at Fan Fest, and spending most of the day outside was not easy.

So at least we won’t be cold this year. But I’m dreading all the running back and forth. I’ve seen the layout, and it looks like I’m going to be running around or standing in line all day tomorrow. All by myself, because I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. Great.

A crushed pelvis + arthritis + a long time on my feet = lots of pain for Katie. And since it’s a 2-day thing, if I get up on Sunday morning incredibly sore and beat up, I’m screwed. But it’s a new experience, so we’ll see how it goes. Maybe I’ll bring my cane.

I just need to remember that if I don’t get somebody’s autograph, it’s not the end of the world. I’ll get it later. I shouldn’t push myself too hard, but just try to have fun! Woo hoo!!!

Oh, I just remembered that I hadn’t told you about the autographs I got last weekend. The Rangers Winter Caravan made a stop at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco (I LOVE that place!), and there were a lot of guys signing autographs.

For myself: David Murphy, Dave Anderson, Steve Buechele, and Mitch Moreland
For my step-dad Larry: Derek Holland (smeared everywhere unfortunately) and Chuck Greenberg
For my dad: Steve Buechele, Tommy Hunter, and Mitch Moreland

My step-sister Faith went with me, and we had a BLAST! So hopefully this weekend will be more of the same!

Pitchers and catchers report in: 26 days
Advertisements

Heartbreaker versus BoSox

Oh man, this one hurt. You remember the first game in Oakland where we lost it in the bottom of the 9th? Yeah, it’s like that.

Kevin Millwood
Kevin Millwood started off the night by throwing 5 2/3 scoreless innings, but the Sox really wore out his arm in the process. He just had to throw too many pitches. Millie came out of the game immediately after walking Mike Lowell in the 6th inning, with the score in the Rangers’ favor at 2-0. [Back in the 1st inning, Omar Vizquel got a lead-off walk, and Michael Young came up behind him to hit a dinger, giving the Rangers their 2 runs.] Millie had already gotten the first 2 outs of the inning, but he knew he just couldn’t get that third out.

David Ortiz
So Wash took Millwood out and brought Eddie Guardado in from the ‘pen to face David Ortiz with a man on 1st base. Eddie and Big Papi are really good friends off the field, going back to when they both played for the Minnesota Twins from 1997-2002. And unfortunately, as Papi is known to do, he hit one out of the park, tying up the score at 2-2.
That was the first sign of trouble.
 
Marlon Byrd
It didn’t seem like the Rangers had too much to worry about, though. In the bottom of the 6th, Marlon Byrd hit a double that was immediately followed up by a single from Andruw Jones, allowing Marlon to score. And so the Rangers took the lead again, 3-2. They also manufactured another run in the 7th, taking full advantage of Taylor Teagarden’s walk. Elvis Andrus bunted Taylor to 2nd base, then Omar Vizquel singled to allow Taylor to get to 3rd base. Next Michael Young got a pop fly, allowing Teagarden to score. So the Rangers went into the top of the 9th inning leading the Red Sox 4-2. Two runs is a pretty comfortable lead, right?
Wrong.
Franky Francisco
Frank Francisco, our closer, came in to pitch the 9th inning. This gave me no reason to worry, since Frankie Frank normally does a solid job in these situations. I mean, that’s why he’s our closer, right? Because he can come in during a close game and keep the other team from scoring. Oh, Frankie! What am I gonna do with you, m’boy? First David Ortiz hit a double, then Jason Varitek got a single, moving Papi to 3rd base. Next Jacoby Ellsbury got a single, allowing Ortiz to score and moving Varitek to 2nd. That brought the score to 4-3.
 
Clay Buchholtz
They brought in rookie pitcher Clay Buchholtz as a pinch runner to replace Varitek on 2nd base, and Frankie struck out the next batter. Okay, good, one out. Then Dustin Pedroia came to the plate and bounced a double to left fielder David Murphy. Luckily Murph is a superb ballplayer, and Clay Buchholtz doesn’t have much experience with running the bases. Murphy was able to hit the cut-off man, Michael Young, with no problem, and Michael whipped around to fire the ball to Taylor Teagarden at home plate. And Clay Buchholtz was tagged out a home!! What a beautiful play! Now there were 2 outs in the inning. If Frankie had been able to get the next batter out, then we still could have won the game right there.
No such luck.
Jacoby Ellsbury
Victor Martinez came up to bat next, and he hit a double, allowing both Ellsbury and Pedroia to score. So now the score was 5-4 in favor of the Sox. If it had ended there, we might have been able to come back in the bottom of the 9th to tie it up.
But it didn’t end there.
 
Jason Jennings
Next Jason Bay singled, scoring Victor Martinez. 6-4 Sox. Freakin’ A, have they batted around in this inning yet?? Will the runs ever stop?? Then J.D. Drew came to the plate, and he knocked one out of the park, bringing the score to 8-4. After Drew’s homer, Wash finally took Frankie out of the game and brought in Jason Jennings to get the final out. So the Rangers went into the bottom of the 9th inning knowing that they would have to score at least 4 runs to have a chance at winning the game. And that was just too big a defecit for the Rangers to overcome. So we lost the game 8-4. Sad day.
 

I’m not going to talk about “tomorrow’s pitching matchup” because I’m a little late getting this summary out and they’ve already played the next game. I won’t keep you in suspense… we won!!! But it’s too late to post that game summary too. It’s already 1 am, and I need to go to bed. Tomorrow’s game is a 1:05 p.m. start time, so I’ll try to get the next game summary out tomorrow morning (well, I guess technically it would be this morning, since it’s after midnight). Anyway, I’m off to bed, so I’ll leave you with a little CD to lift your spirits…

 
My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband, Chris Davis

Days since CD has been in the majors: 41

Rangers beat the Red Sox… again!

Tonight was the second game of a 3-game series in Rangers Ballpark versus the Boston Red Sox. Last night, the Rangers won 6-3 over the BoSox, and tonight we took ’em 4-2! I love when the Rangers play the Red Sox! Boston is my 2nd favorite major team. They have an amazing history, they hate the Yankees too (YAY!), and they have some incredible players! I mean, how can you not love David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis? They’re awesome! And how about Terry Francona? Great manager. Daddy and I are going to the final game in the series tomorrow night, and I’m so excited!!

I knew that last night’s pitching matchup would be more evenly matched, with our veteran Kevin Millwood going up against his former Braves’ teammate and mentor John Smoltz. Smoltz said that if Millie is considered a veteran, then he must be an antique! 🙂 But Millwood was able to secure the win last night, and we were on to a seemingly uneven matchup tonight.

Tommy Hunter

Tonight it was our baby-faced rookie Tommy Hunter up against the Sox’ All-Star Josh Beckett. I told my dad, “Seriously?! Do the Rangers know how good Beckett is, and how green Hunter is??” But I settled in hoping for a decent game, especially considering how well the Rangers have been performing at home this season. I tried to force myself to forget that last year, Tommy Hunter gave up 9 runs to the Red Sox in the 2nd inning of the game he pitched at Fenway.

Josh Beckett

But I guess tonight is a prime example of how once the game starts, the stats don’t mean nuthin. Especially if you’re pitching with the Rangers’ defense backing you up in the field. Ian Kinsler made 2 running catches in the infield on 2 pop-outs. And Marlon Byrd had another 2 running catches, in addition to throwing out Big Papi in the 2nd inning when Ortiz thought he could stretch a single into a double. Oh Papi, honey, I love you to death, you’re a fantastic player, but you’re not a runner. You don’t try to beat out Marlon Byrd. Sweetheart. I was just shaking my head. I want Papi to do well, but I want the Rangers to do better! 🙂

David Ortiz, a.k.a. Big Papi

Sorry, I’m too tired to go into an extensive play-by-play tonight, so I copied a recap by T.R. Sullivan from the official Rangers website.

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090721&content_id=5976230&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=tex

Okay, now I should go to bed, because I’ll be up late tomorrow night at the Rangers game. I would promise to take pictures, but my digital camera is messed up and doesn’t seem to be working. 😦

Originally published July 21, 2009