Tagged: Johnny Damon

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

Elvis Weekend was great!

Elvis Andrus
Yes, I know I haven’t posted anything since Friday afternoon. I realize that there have been 3 Rangers’ games in that time period. But I attended the games on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday was dedicated to watching the game on tv and trying to get everything else done that I needed to do this weekend. So I’ve been kinda busy.

This was a great weekend for baseball. The weather was absolutely perfect, and Elvis Weekend was a can’t-miss gimmick at RBIA.

Friday
I went to the game with my friend Mary, and we met Wes Wilson and his son Brady at the stadium. Brady is an absolutely precious 5-year-old with a passion for baseball. He was really interested in the game, and he kept asking Wes questions about the game. So cute!!

The Rangers jumped out to a lead early in the game, scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. They tacked on another run in the bottom of the 4th before the Tigers were able to answer with 2 runs of their own in the top of the 5th. 3-2 Rangers.

But then the Rangers scored another run in the bottom of the 5th, taking the score to 4-2 Rangers. And that’s where the score stayed until the top of the 9th inning.

Neftali Feliz
The seemingly invincible Neftali Feliz took the mound, striking out the first batter. The second batter lined out to the 2nd baseman, so the Rangers just needed one more out to win the game.

Austin Jackson singled. Then Johnny Damon doubled. Uh-oh. Next Magglio Ordoñez singled in both runners to tie the game at 4-4. Nooooooo!!!!!!!! Then Miguel Cabrera flied out, ending the inning. And the bottom part of our order was coming up.

As Justin Smoak approached the plate, I was nervous. He’d just been called up from AAA and hadn’t gotten a hit yet in the Bigs. But he has been very patient at the plate, and he worked a walk. Nice! Then Matt Treanor laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Smoak to 2nd base.

Joaquin Arias went in to run for Smoak, and Ryan Garko pinch-hit for Andres Blanco. They decided to intentionally walk Garko, giving us runners on 1st and 2nd with one out.

Then came the big guns. Nelson Cruz came in to pinch-hit for Julio Borbon. And he took another walk, loading up the bases for the player of honor, Elvis Andrus.

And Elvis singled on a line drive to center field!! Joaquin Arias scored, bringing the final score to 5-4 Rangers! Wow, that was awesome! Then we got to see a great fireworks show set to Elvis (Presley) music! Also of note: Frank Francisco pitched a perfect inning of relief in the 7th.

Saturday
Elvis bobblehead

This game wasn’t anywhere near as entertaining, although I was looking forward to getting the Elvis Andrus bobblehead and seeing Scott Feldman dominate the Tigers. Too bad the bobblehead was the only good part of the day.
The Rangers got out to an early lead of 4-0 in the first two innings.

And then the game went in the crapper.

Feldman gave up 3 runs in the top of the 3rd, and two of those were scored before Feldman was able to record the first out of the inning. Things were starting to look ominous. But the Rangers still had the lead, 4-3, so there was promise.
Scott Feldman
Until the top of the 4th, when the Tigers scored 5 more runs. Yikes. It all started off with Feldy giving up a lead-off walk to start the inning. Don’t you know that usually comes back to bite you???
Then, with runners on 2nd and 3rd, Scott Feldman threw a wild pitch, allowing the runner on 3rd to score. Michael Young came in from 3rd to grab the ball and tossed it to Taylor Teagarden, who missed it as the other runner came in to score from 2nd base. Doh!!!
And it just kept getting worse. We finally got out of the inning, but there were 5 more runs on the board by the Tigers. Feldman only lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up 4 earned runs. It’s not so bad, I thought. We still have 5 1/2 more innings of baseball to play. We could come back.
But nothing else happened for the rest of the game on either side, and the Rangers lost 4-8. Oh well. At least I got an Elvis bobblehead, and I got to hang out at the ballpark on a beautiful day!

Sunday
It was an afternoon game, and they said the weather was perfect once again. Sunday’s giveaway was a red Elvis Andrus jersey to kids 13 and under, and you could see them dotted throughout the crowd in the stands. I was feeling optimistic, and I couldn’t wait to get the bad taste of Saturday night’s game out of my mouth.

Colby Lewis

But it didn’t start off too well for the Rangers. Colby Lewis allowed 8 of the first 11 batters he faced to reach base. The Rangers came up to bat in the bottom of the 1st inning already down 3-0.

Michael Young, who is always reliable, got on base with a single. Then David Murphy went yard, bringing the score to 3-2 Tigers.

In the top of the 2nd inning, the Tigers added another run, making it 4-2. But Mike Maddux must have said something to Colby that really made a difference after that run was scored, because Colby didn’t allow any more runs in his 6 1/3 innings pitched.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the Rangers were able to add 4 runs to overtake the Tigers 6-4. Then they added 2 more runs in the bottom of the 5th inning, bringing the score to 8-4 for the second day in a row, but with a different winner this time.

Michael Young
I don’t know what Colby’s problem was, but the important thing is that he overcame it and gave the Rangers several quality innings. Colby retired 15 straight batters after his initial hiccup, and he earned his 3rd win. Michael Young drove in 5 of the Rangers’ 8 runs.

Tonight’s game will mark the 4th game in this series against the Tigers, and Matt Harrison will take the mound against Jeremy Bonderman. Harrison only lasted 4 innings in his last outing, but his first two starts were good, even though he didn’t get a win in either one of them. He’s still 0-1 for 2010.

2 playoff wins!

Yesterday, there were 2 playoff games: Game 3 of the ALCS between the Yankees and the Angels in the afternoon; and Game 4 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and the Phillies in the evening. And both of my teams (the Angels and the Phillies) had walk-off wins right at the last minute, and they both won their games by a score of 5-4! Exciting stuff!

The Yankees had already beaten the Angels in the first 2 games of the series, and if they had won yesterday’s game, they would be up 3-0 in a 7-game series. It would have been nearly impossible for the Angels to win 4 straight games and continue on to the World Series, so they really needed a win yesterday to stay in the race. But the Angels were back home after playing the first 2 games in NYC, so it looked like it might be possible.

Derek Jeter
The Yankees were leading 3-0 going into the bottom of the 5th inning, after 3 solo home runs by Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, and Alex Rodriguez. Andy Pettitte, the Yanks’ starter, had kept the Halos scoreless through the first 4 innings. Things were not looking good for the Angels.
Howie Kendrick
But Howie Kendrick helped to stave off a shut-out for the Halos by getting his own solo home run in the bottom of the 5th inning. And that was followed up by 2 more runs in the bottom of the 6th when Vlad Guerrero hit a 2-run shot out of the park, which tied the score up at 3-3. Then the Angels actually took the lead in the bottom of the 7th inning when Howie Kendrick hit a one-out triple, followed up by a sac fly from Maicer Izturis.
Jorge Posada
But the Halos’ lead didn’t last very long. In the top of the 8th inning, Yankee Jorge Posada hit another solo shot out of the park to tie the score up 4-4. Uh oh. (On a side note, doesn’t Jorge Posada look just like Sid the Sloth from the Ice Age movies??)
Alfredo Aceves
The game stayed tied up until the bottom of the 11th inning, when, with two outs and no one on base, Joe Girardi pulled rookie right-handed pitcher David Robertson in favor of rookie RHP Alfredo Aceves. Girardi said he thought that Aceves would be a better match-up for upcoming batters Howie Kendrick and Jeff Mathis. Huh. Interesting.
Jeff Mathis
Howie Kendrick immediately hit a single. Nice! Then back-up catcher Jeff Mathis stepped up to the plate, and he hit a double to center field! Kendrick was able to come all the way around from first base to score the winning run! The Angels won 5-4!

So the Angels still need to win 3 out of the remaining 4 games to make it to the World Series, and they’re definitely fighting an uphill battle. But yesterday’s victory shows that there’s still hope! That was the first time the Yankees had been defeated in this year’s post-season (since they swept the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS). Whoo-hoo!

Over in the National League, the Phillies were up 2 games to 1 against the Dodgers before last night’s game. The Phillies were also playing at home (like the Angels), so the automatic favor goes to them for this game. But it was a close one!
Ryan Howard
The Phillies started off with a 2-run lead when Ryan Howard hit a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 1st inning. {BTW, that means that Ryan has now had an RBI in 8 straight playoff games. That ties a record. Pretty awesome.}

But the Dodgers came back and scored 2 runs of their own in the top of the 4th inning to tie it up 2-2. Then the Dodgers scored one run each in the 5th and 6th innings to take a 4-2 lead! Oh no!
Shane Victorino
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Shane Victorino hit a one-out triple that rattled around in the left field corner. Under normal circumstances, that’s not possible. But Shane Victorino is a fast runner, and Manny Ramirez was fielding the ball in left field. Doh! Even the “impartial” announcers said, “Oh, well, it’s Manny.” Apparently he’s not known for being a good fielder. 🙂
Chase Utley
Anyway, Chase Utley came up next with a single, and that plated Victorino. So the Phils got back within one run with a score of 4-3. But the score stayed right there, stuck at 4-3, until the bottom of the 9th inning.
Jimmy Rollins
With one out in the bottom of the 9th, pinch hitter Matt Stairs took a walk. Then catcher Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch. Two on, one out. The next Philly to bat, Greg Dobbs (pinch hitting for pitcher Brad Lidge), lined out to third. Still two men on, two outs. And here came Jimmy Rollins, hitting a double to score both men on base! The Phillies win 5-4!

Tonight, the Angels will take on the Yankees again in Anaheim. They really need to win tonight’s game, to show that yesterday’s win wasn’t just a fluke, but they’re not mathematically eliminated if they lose tonight. The pitching match-up pits the Yanks’ CC Sabathia against the Halos’ Scott Kazmir. They’re both great pitchers, but I’m hoping Kazmir blows Sabathia away! Go Angels!!

 

Originally published October 20, 2009