Tagged: Juan Rivera

Non-Fan Fest stuff

First and foremost, I have to acknowledge that Manny Ramirez is NOT going to be playing for the Rangers for the 2011 season! YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

The morning after I posted my anti-Manny blog, I got in the car to head out to Fan Fest. On my way out to Arlington, I heard that Manny had signed a one year deal with the Rays. It was a great way to start off the day!!

The blog I wrote yesterday about Fan Fest was already so long that I didn’t get to address this other stuff. So here are some other things I’ve been thinking about.

It was announced on Sunday that the Rangers reached a deal with Darren O’Day, so that’s one less arbitration candidate that the Rangers have to worry about. Now the only 2 arbitration-eligible players who have yet to sign are Josh Hamilton and Frank Francisco.

I hope they don’t pay Frankie Frank a lot of money. After his monumental crash early last season and the subsequently unimpressive remainder of 2010, I kinda wish Frankie would go away. Instead of spending money on him, we could put money towards a better use.

I’m not sure why they can’t reach a deal with Josh Hamilton, because he was the AL MVP last year. He only wants $12 million, just pay it!

From what I understand, the arbitration process comes up with a salary placed on what similar players are getting around the league. But there’s no one to compare Josh Hamilton to; he’s the best.

Major League Baseball recognized him as the Most Valuable Player in the entire American League in 2010. So I don’t think it would be out of the question to find the guy with the highest salary in the AL, then pay Josh more than that. Seriously.

Alex Rodriguez made $33 million dollars last year, but he wasn’t the MVP. Josh Hamilton was. Josh Hamilton is only asking for $12 million in 2011. Just pay it! It’s better than $34 million!

They were fine with offering Adrian Beltre a 6-year/$96 million deal, so why not Hamilton? Well they probably shouldn’t offer Hamilton a 6-year contract, because he’s pretty injury-prone.

But how about a 3-year deal where they pay him $12 mil for 2011, $13 mil for 2012, and $14 mil for 2013? And add in lots of incentives based on the number of games he plays, homer he hits, his batting average, etc.

Now it’s easy for me to give Hamilton someone else’s money. But I thought the Rangers weren’t supposed to be cash-strapped any more. I think the Rangers need to realize that they’re looking a gift horse in the mouth, put on their big boy pants and pay the man.

So, was I the only one who was sad to hear that Vernon Wells will be with the Angels next year? I mean, how did the Rangers miss out on that one?

Vernon Wells is a beast, and I would absolutely LOVE to have him in a Ranger uniform. I mean, he’s FROM here!!

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, Vernon Wells was traded from the Toronto Blue Jays to the LA Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera.

But maybe he wants a more active role that we would have available here in Texas. Wells is an outfielder, and the Rangers are pretty set in the outfield.

Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, David Murphy, and Julio Borbon are our 4 outfielders, not to mention Mitch Moreland (if he’s not at 1B) and Craig Gentry waiting at AAA.

For at least the next 3 years, Adrian Beltre will be our 3rd baseman and Michael Young will be the DH. So we can’t put Wells at DH.

Wells also has 4 years left on his contract for a hefty $86 million dollars. I think any team would be leery about taking on a paycheck that big.

I get all the reasons why, but it’s still upsetting. I like Vernon Wells.

It makes me feel better to know that Wells didn’t chose to go to the Angels, though. It wasn’t like he was a free agent; he was traded. He was happy with the Blue Jays. Yes, he waived his no-trade clause to accept the trade, but he didn’t go seek them out.

Ooh, hey! I just got an email from Jamey Newberg saying that the Blue Jays have traded Mike Napoli to us for Frank Francisco! Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!

But wait, isn’t Mike Napoli a catcher? We already have Yorvit Torrealba and Matt Treanor. I guess the Rangers’ recent lack of good catching taught them a lesson, and they don’t want that to happen again.

After having Salty spend so much time injured and Taylor Teagarden unable to step up, the Rangers were lucky that they were able to get Matt Treanor during Spring Training of 2010.

And then we had to go after Bengie Molina mid-season, and we traded Salty away. So I guess they want to make sure they don’t get caught in a lurch again.

Maybe Napoli can work as the other right-handed big bat the Rangers were hoping to add. So maybe he’ll DH on the days when Young is at 1B. Or something.

I don’t know how it’s all gonna work out, but I know that I like it. Way to go, JD!!!

Seriously, guys, how amazing is our GM?!? It’s all coming together, and I’m starting to really get pumped for the 2011 season!!

Pitchers and catchers report in: 22 days

Series loss to the Angels

Friday, September 18: 5-game losing streak
I went to Friday’s game (my third game in a week) with my friend Lindy, who hadn’t been to a Rangers’ game since the last time Pudge played for us. She’s a hockey fan, so she said she would go to a baseall game with me if I would go to a Stars’ game with her during hockey season. Good deal. Tommy Hunter was on the mound, and he’s a hoss, so he could pull out a win for us. After all, he was the last Rangers’ pitcher to get a win, in the first game of the doubleheader against Toronto the previous Sunday. Except he didn’t win.
Andruw Jones
Andruw Jones.jpgRon Washington was doing everything he could think of to stop his team’s downward spiral, including adding a face to the lineup that we hadn’t seen for quite a while: Andruw Jones. But that was a bust, with Jones going 0-for-4. The Rangers were shut out for the 4th time in 5 games, and lost for the 6th time in 7 games. It was their 5th consecutive loss. That’s the biggest losing streak the Rangers have had all season. {Sigh}

Saturday, September 19: Finally, a win!

Hank Blalock
Hank Blalock.jpgThey somehow managed to pull out a win on Saturday against the Angels, with Scooter Feldman back on the mound. The most amazing thing was the Rangers’ ability to score runs again. Wash continued trying to add long-lost faces to the lineup, adding in Hank Blalock at 1st base and moving Chris Davis to 3rd. And Hank came through, hitting a solo home run to break the 2-2 tie and put the Rangers on top for the 3-2 final score.
Frank Francisco 
Frank Francisco.jpgFrankie Frank almost ruined that for us in the top of the 9th inning, with a little help from a bobble at 1st base by Blalock, but Elvis was able to pull off a double play to get everybody out of it and end the game. All the players on the field (and the coaches and everybody else in a Rangers’ uniform) looked so excited to have finally broken the streak!
Sunday, September 20: Nope, just kidding, another loss
Wash decided to test his luck with Blalock back in the lineup on Sunday (yesterday), but it didn’t quite work out. I was apprehensive with Derek Holland heading back out to the mound, but I hoped that the newly awakened Rangers’ bats would make that a moot point. And it was a good game through 5 or 6 innings.

Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus2.jpgThe Rangers went up 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning, but the Angels scored 2 runs in the top of the 2nd inning, cutting the lead to one. David Murphy came home on a sacrifice fly in the 3rd inning, bringing the score to 4-2. But the Angels didn’t rest on their laurels. They came right back in the top of the 4th with a solo home run by Juan Rivera to cut the lead back down to one. Then in the 5th, Elvis came home on a single by Marlon Byrd. And we were riding high! 5 runs in one game! Amazing!

But the Angels weren’t through yet. They hit 2 more home runs off of Derek Holland in the top of the 6th inning, (a 2-run shot to tie the score and a solo homer for the go-ahead run), and they lead for the first time that day by a score of 6-5. But it still wasn’t too bad.

Neftali Feliz
Wash pulled Holland and brought in Neftali Feliz. I used to think Feliz could do no wrong. But then, on September 8, Feliz gave up 3 hits (including a home run) and a walk. His next outing, on September 15, he gave up 2 hits, 2 earned runs, and 2 walks. Then on September 18, he gave up another hit and another walk. I know this doesn’t seem like much, but after Neftali’s unbelievable start to major league baseball, it’s a bit disappointing.
Jason Grilli
He got the final out in the 6th inning, then came out to pitch the 7th inning. After getting 2 outs in the top of the 7th, Feliz walked Torii Hunter, then gave up a single to Vladimir Guerrero. Wash pulled him and went with Jason Grilli instead. Great. I’ve had my doubts about Jason Grilli since he came back from the DL and failed to retire the first 5 batters he faced. So now, Grilli was coming into the game with runners on 1st and 2nd, and the Angels were leading 6-5.
Grilli promptly walked the first guy he faced to load the bases. Then he gave up a bases-clearing triple to Howie Kendrick to put the Angels ahead 9-5. That’s a pretty big run defecit to overcome.

The Angels scored once more, on a solo home run by Chone Figgins in the 8th inning. (Supposedly, that’s pronounced like “Shawn.” Yeah, right. Your name’s Chone, dude.) Anyway, that brought the final score to 10-5.

And that brings us up to where we are now. 7 1/2 games out of first place with only 4 games left to play against the Angels. In their ballpark. {Sigh}