Tagged: Pudge

HAPPY “PITCHERS & CATCHERS REPORT” DAY!!

The day that I’ve been anticipating since last October is finally here!! YAYYYYY!!! It’s too bad that I can’t be in Arizona to watch as my boys resume baseball activities, but I’m at least comforted by the knowledge that they’re literally getting back in the swing of things. I know it’s a silly pun, but hey, try to cut me some slack. I’m doing good just to stay seated as I type this entry. It won’t be long now!

Jeff Wilson wrote an article for the Dallas Morning News today announcing the beginning of Spring Training, and it included the following schedule, which I found to be helpful.

RANGERS SPRING TRAINING
Today: Pitchers and catchers report
Friday: First workout
Feb. 23: Position players report
Feb. 24: First full-squad workout
March 4: Charity game, vs. Kansas City
March 5: First exhibition game, vs. Kansas City
April 5:Opening day, vs. Toronto, 1:05 p.m.

I also thought it was interesting that Jeff mentioned in the article that of the 57 Rangers that are attending Spring Training, 30 of the are pitchers. That’s more than half! I knew there were going to be a lot of pitchers at Spring Training, and that the competition for the remaining 2 slots in the starting rotation would be tough, but yikes!

Now, granted, a bunch of those guys are minor league invitees to the big league camp (like Kasey Kiker and Tanner Scheppers), so they aren’t actually competing for a spot in the rotation. And a bunch more of them are strictly relievers (like Darren Oliver and Frank Francisco), so they’re not competing either.

But there are still a whole bunch of guys competing for 2 rotation slots. Neftali Feliz (R), C.J. Wilson (L), Tommy Hunter (R), Derek Holland (L), Matt Harrison (L), and Brandon McCarthy (R) are definite contenders. Other possibilities include Luis Mendoza, Guillermo Moscoso, Dustin Nippert, and Doug Mathis (all righties).

If you want to read the rest of the article, you can go here. It’s pretty interesting. He also talks about the competition between Salty, Taylor Teagarden, and Toby Hall for the starting catcher’s role. Minor league catchers Max Ramirez, Kevin Richardson, and Emerson Frostad are also attending camp.

Jamey Newberg reports here that the Rangers supposedly offered minor league contracts to Rod Barajas and Jose Molina, but they each turned the offer down. But I know JD is still trying to get a veteran catcher as an insurance policy, so I know we haven’t heard the last of the Rangers’ catching situation.

Randy Galloway with the Fort Worth Star Telegram posted this article yesterday, where he talks with Nolan Ryan about the upcoming season.

Biggest concern

Ryan: “It’s at catcher. It’s the biggest issue we’ve got. We don’t know where we are with Salty’s [Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s] health. We’ll get a better feel for that this spring.

“We’ve worked hard at trying to acquire a catcher [in the off-season], it just hasn’t panned out, although not for a lack of effort. It’s something we continue to pursue.”

Ryan admits that losing Pudge Rodriquez in free agency to a huge contract (huge, considering his age) from the Washington Nationals (two years, $6 million) “left us without someone we could use from the standpoint of proven insurance.”

Pudge was asking the Rangers for a two-year commitment at $3 million, but because the organization had a split on retaining him, plus was pinching dimes, no offer was made. Then the Nationals way overpaid.

Yeah, the Nationals did way overpay. But it makes me wonder if Pudge would have stayed in Texas if the Rangers had agreed to 2 years at $3 million. I mean, sure, he got double the money from the Nats. But he says Texas is his home. Hmm.

I also wanted to give you guys some information about when tickets go on sale, because a friend asked me about that on Facebook today (shout out to my firefighter/paramedic friend Wade Woody!) Since I have a mini-plan, I got an email yesterday saying that I can buy single game tickets (including Opening Day) on February 24 starting at 9 a.m. But in order to let you guys know what to do if you DIDN’T buy a mini-plan like me, then you can see below.

Season Ticket Holder Opening Day Presale
As an existing season ticket holder, you will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to 2010 Opening Day at Rangers Ballpark, online only, prior to the Rangers public onsale.
Date & Time: Your presale will be held on Tuesday, February 23 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m.
Limits: There is a strict four-ticket limit for Opening Day, which is April 5, 2010 vs. Toronto.
Plans: Season Ticket Plans that qualify for the presale are as follows:
Full Season Plan Accounts
40- and 28-Game Accounts
This presale is for Opening Day tickets only.

Season Ticket Holder Single Game Presale
As an existing season ticket holder, you will have the opportunity to purchase 2010 Texas Rangers tickets prior to the Rangers public onsale.
Date & Time: Your presale will be held from Wednesday, February 24 at 9:00 a.m. until Friday, February 26 at 5:00 p.m.
Limits: There is a strict four ticket limit for Opening Day, which is April 5, 2010 vs. Toronto.
Plans: Season Ticket Plans that qualify for the presale are as follows:
Full Season Plan Accounts
40-Game, 28-Game and Mini Plan Accounts

Inside Pitch Single Ticket Presale
As an Inside Pitch member, you will have the opportunity to purchase 2010 Texas Rangers tickets prior to the Rangers public onsale.
Date & Time: Your presale will be held from Monday, March 1 at 9:00 a.m. until Friday, March 5 at 5:00 p.m.
Limits: There is a strict four ticket limit for Opening Day, which is April 5, 2010 vs. Toronto.

Miscellaneous Single Ticket Presale
As a member of one of the Rangers valued partners, you will have the opportunity to purchase 2010 Texas Rangers tickets prior to the Rangers public onsale.
Date & Time: Your presale will be held from Wednesday, March 3 at 9:00 a.m. until Friday, March 5 at 5:00 p.m.
Limits: There is a strict four ticket limit for Opening Day, which is April 5, 2010 vs. Toronto

Single Game tickets will be available to the general public on Sat., March 6th at 9 a.m. CT.

Just in case you’re wondering what Inside Pitch is and how you sign up: Inside pitch is an email newsletter from texasrangers.com. If you want to sign up, go here.

Days ’til the first full team workout: 6
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Fan Fest: Saturday 1/30/10

The alarm on Matt’s cell phone went off at 9:00 Saturday morning. I threw a pillow across the room in hopes of hitting Matt, but it didn’t work. He just muttered “What the hell?” as the pillow went sailing past his bed, and he hit the snooze button. I was just glad the noise had stopped. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m not a morning person. And I had been up pretty late the night before.

A few minutes later, I remembered that we were supposed to go to Fan Fest, and I was wide awake. “Matty, wake up!” I sang to my brother. “Hmm? What?” “It’s Fan Fest, Matty!!” “Okay, okay!” he said, finally sitting up.

As we got up to get ready, I warned him, “It’s going to be really cold today, so you need to dress warm.” “Got it,” he said, as he pulled his jeans on over his pajama pants. I just shook my head and laughed. “I guess that’s kind of like wearing long johns.”

Before we left the hotel room, I called the Omni Fort Worth again to see if anyone had turned in my phone. No such luck. We packed up our stuff, checked out, got our complimentary breakfast (which was pretty good, btw), and headed to the Ballpark at around 10:00. By the time we got there and parked and got in, it was about 10:30. And it was COLD!!

I was wearing jeans, a long sleeved shirt with my Chris Davis shirt over it, and my Rangers hoodie. And that was it. No gloves, no hat, no overcoat. That’s what a lifetime of Texas winters will do to you. I was woefully unprepared.

As soon as we got inside the Ballpark, we headed to the big Rangers shop behind center field. After looking around for a while, we discovered that they didn’t have any gloves. Lovely. I considered buying some socks to put on my hands before ultimately deciding against it. But I did find a red Rangers toboggan-type hat for $20. Sold!

First Matt and I headed to the Cuervo Club to see what Jamey Newberg was up to. It was just past 11:00, so the people waiting to see Tanner Scheppers and Zach Phillips had already been allowed to go inside. Yep, that’s where I wanna be!

As I waited in line, my ADD/excitement/love of baseball took over and I began talking to various other people waiting in line, which really shocked my brother. He’s not really into baseball, so he’s not usually around me when I’m in my element, and he’s used to me being more quiet and reserved. Ha! 🙂

Tanner Scheppers and Jamey Newberg

When I got up to the first table (Jamey Newberg and Tanner Scheppers), I said hi to Jamey. “Hi, Katie, are you having a good day today?” he asked. “Oh yeah,” I said, “it’s cold, of course, but we’re having fun.” I introduced my Matt to Jamey and handed Tanner a baseball to sign. “Oh, Katie, did you ever find your cell phone?” Jamey asked. “No,” I explained, “I called the Omni this morning, and nobody turned it in. Oh well.”
Zach Phillips
We headed to the next table, where Eleanor Czajka was sitting with Zach Phillips. I guess she couldn’t hear Jamey (because of all the stuff that was going on), so she said, “Hi, Katie. Did you find your phone?” “No, not yet,” I said. “But I’m going to keep calling them until they find it!”
After Zach signed a baseball for me, he posed for a picture with Eleanor. But she made me promise that I wouldn’t put it on my blog, so I had to cut her out. She was making a funny face anyway, because she was talking while I took the picture. But I did what you asked, Eleanor!! 🙂
As Matt and I left the Cuervo Club, he looked at me in amazement. “They actually knew you by name, and they asked if you found your phone!” he said. “Well, yeah,” I replied. “I told you that I hung out with them after the awards ceremony last night.” “But still… that was just cool! They’re, like, important! And you know them!” I just laughed.
Where do you want to go next?” Matt asked. “I’m not waiting out in the cold for any autographs,” I said. “So I guess we should head off to the Rangers’ workout room!”
“Hungry,” Matt grunted. “Dude, it’s only 11:30! You ate breakfast like an hour ago!” He just shrugged. “Okay, fine,” I said. “Let’s go check out some of the concessions.”
After Matt had eaten a bratwurst with grilled onions, we headed off to the weight room. We followed the signs, and we discovered a line of people waiting to use the indoor batting cages. We weren’t interested in batting practice, so we passed them by and walked right into the exercise room. And there was no one there!
They had marked off an aisle running down the center of the room so that people wouldn’t mess with the machines. But it didn’t seem like too many people were interested in the equipment, because we were the only ones in there.
I thought that more people would be interested, because this is a room that people don’t typically get to see that the players use often. I mean, I thought it was cool! But apparently, no one else did!
After we left the weight room, we went outside to stand in line to see the clubhouse. And that’s where we ended up having the most fun! One of the things I love about my brother is that he’s hilarious, and every time we get together, it’s like we’re 5 years old again. He grabbed the camera and took a self-portrait.
 
Then he decided we should take pictures of our feet, like Forrest Gump. What? I don’t really remember that from Forrest Gump, but Matt is the movie guru, so if he says that Forrest Gump took pictures of his shoes, I believe him. Whatever! 🙂

I tried my hand at taking a self-portrait, like Matt, but they didn’t turn out very well. So he thought he would take one for me. He’s 6’2″, so his arms are a little longer than mine. And apparently I wasn’t too impressed.

Matt took this one right before we got to go into the locker room/clubhouse. I was excited, obviously. And cold. And lacking sleep. And bored. But after a few more minutes, I got to the doorway! They weren’t letting people actually go inside the clubhouse, but just inside the doorway to take pictures.

It’s a good thing that Matt is tall, and he was able to take this picture of me. But then they were shoo-ing us out the door. I wish we could have walked around the room a little. I mean, it’s the offseason, so it’s not like any of the lockers were being used for anything.

Anyway, after we left the clubhouse, we went across the hallway to the dugout. And that was so cool! I’ve never gotten to go into the dugout before, and it gave me chills thinking about all the players who have sat on that bench. Or maybe it was just the weather giving me chills. 😉
Then we got to walk out onto the field, and we had the option to run the bases. I really wanted to, but the average age of people running the bases was approximately 6 years old, so I felt kind of stupid. I usually am up for any opportunity to embarrass myself, but it was freakin’ cold out there, and I wanted to let the kids have their fun. So I just got pictures of the kids sliding into home.
This was on a plaque inside the hallway leading to the dugout. I had to take a picture of it because I love Pudge, and he won 10 Golden Gloves with the Rangers! I mean, come on! That’s pretty darn impressive! All of the other guys are pretty impressive too. Except for Juan Benitez. Sorry, Juan, but you’re the only one that I don’t know.
Then we headed over to check out my seats. I bought a 16-game mini plan for the 2010 season, and I had already picked out my seats over the phone, so I wanted to see them in person.
And they were better than I had hoped! They are in the Corner Box, on the 1st base side, in row 22 on the aisle. The view was spectacular. Fabulous! Matt was just impressed by the fact that my section is close to the “Beers of the World” concessions. {Sigh}

old uniforms

Then I was finally hungry, so I decided to get a hotdog. Matt decided that he was hungry again too, so I ended up buying two hot dogs. And I bought us each some hot chocolate, since it was so freakin’ cold. But Matt drank out of my cup after partaking in his thoroughly disgusting habit of smoking a cigarette, and he totally ruined it for me. It made the hot chocolate taste all smoky. Blech! Maybe this will finally shame him into quitting!
Nolan Ryan 🙂
Next we went to see Darren Oliver’s Q&A session in the Rangers Ballpark Theater, which is near the Lower Home Run Porch in right field. I think this might be where the Legends of the Game Museum used to be, but I’m not sure. We got there early, and in order to warm up a little, we looked around at what was left of the museum.

Darren Oliver

I was really excited to listen to Darren Oliver’s Q&A, because Darren was with the Rangers when I first started watching baseball. The Rangers drafted him in 1988, and he made his major league debut in 1993. But what I remember most is his years as a starter for the Rangers, from 1996-1998. I even got to ask him a question! It was something about when and why he made his transition from starter to reliever.
He knew the year immediately, but I can’t remember now which year he said it was. He said he felt like it was time for him to either move into a relief role “or stay home,” and that his management/coaches were ready and willing to help him make the transition. Then I sucked up to him by telling him that he obviously handled the transition really well, because he was great as a starter and even better as a reliever.

After the Q&A, I wanted to see Tommy Hunter and Darren Oiver at the Diamond Club, but it was really cold and my brother was ready to go home, so we just left. I called the Omni Hotel again once more from Matt’s phone before we left, but they still hadn’t found my phone. And luckily, none of my fingers fell off because of frostbite, so I think I had a pretty good day!

Next time, I’ll be talking about Jamey Newberg’s 2nd book release party that took place last Tuesday. I got to interview Chuck Greenberg one-on-one after it was all over!! YAY!!!

New owners and a new catcher

On Saturday, January 23rd, a deal was finally struck between Tom Hicks and the Greenberg/Ryan group for the sale of the Texas Rangers!! YAY!!

Of course, there are still a lot of hoops left to jump through, but it looks like this sale is actually going to happen! They still have to get the approval of the MLB, as well as Tom Hicks’ 40 creditors, so the sale may or may not be finalized by Opening Day.

All of the approvals seem like a no-brainer to me. Let’s say you had loaned someone a whole bunch of money, and they had no way to pay you back except by selling off some stuff. Wouldn’t you be okay with them selling said items in order to get you the money they owe? Duh.

The Rangers also signed catcher Toby Hall to a minor league contract on Friday. He will provide some catching depth in case Salty has problems coming back after his TOS surgery last fall. Hall has an invitation to come to Spring Training, so he’s hoping for a chance to prove himself and make it on the big-league roster.

Hall has played 686 major league games behind the plate. He missed all of 2009 after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. He has played with the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays, the LA Dodgers, and the Chicago White Sox. He was drafted in 1997 by Tampa Bay, and he was their Opening Day starting catcher for 5 consecutive years (2002-2006), which was a record for TB.

He has thrown out 28% of attempted base stealers. That’s the 4th highest percentage among catchers with at least 600 games from 2000-2009 in the American League. The only 3 guys with a better percentage are Pudge, Joe Mauer, and Bengie Molina.

Pretty impressive.

24 days until Spring Training

Originally published Monday, January 25, 2010 

We got big bad Vlad!!

Vladimir Guerrero
Vladimir Guerrero has signed a one-year $5 million dollar contract for the 2010 season with the Texas Rangers, with incentives and a $1 mil buyout. Yay!! I didn’t think we’d actually be able to land Vlad! I’ve been focusing on Jermaine Dye, because he seemed more realistic, and he’d have been able to play some defense too. Vlad is a phenomenal hitter, but unfortunately he has some truly abysmal defense. That’s okay; he can DH for us.

Vlad has been known as “the Ranger Killer” because of his outstanding career slash line of .394/.471/.705 when hitting in Rangers Ballpark. So it’s great to have him on our team, if for no other reason than we won’t have to play against him! And I think he’ll inspire the entire lineup to be better. I mean, when you have a bat like Vlad’s, everyone looks bad in comparison, so they’ll all have to step it up a notch.

David Murphy
But it makes me feel bad for David Murphy, because he’ll be relegated to back-up duties. Hopefully he’ll still get to play in a good number of games while spelling Josh Hamilton, Julio Borbon, and Nelson Cruz in the outfield. And maybe he can DH for Vlad once in a blue moon.
 
Khalil Greene
The Rangers also signed Khalil Greene over the weekend to a one-year deal for $750,000. Who?? Well, maybe you know who he is, but I had no idea. So this is what I found out: He has played primarily in the national league (5 years for the San Diego Padres) until last year when he went to the St. Louis Cardinals. He made $6.5 mil in 2009. But he spent over 2 months as a Cardinal on the DL while suffering from social anxiety disorder. So he has the potential to be a great backup utility infielder for us, if he’s healthy.
 
This is what the Rangers’ lineup for 2010 will probably look like:
CF Julio Borbon (L)
3B Michael Young (R)
LF Josh Hamilton (L)
DH Vlad Guerrero (R)
RF Nelson Cruz (R)
2B Ian Kinsler (R)
1B Chris Davis (L)
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (S)
SS Elvis Andrus (R)

Or maybe Ian will bat 2nd and Young-Hamilton-Guerrero-Cruz will all get pushed back. Or maybe Kinsler and Cruz switch. Or maybe Salty and CD switch. For sure, Borbon will lead off, and Young-Hamilton-Guerrero will bat together, and Elvis will bat 9th.

 
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
The only thing that the Rangers might still need to add is a veteran catcher. But Salty saw Dr. Greg Pearl last week (the one who did his surgery for Thorasic Outlet Syndrome), and he was cleared to start throwing again. So he may be fine. And we have Taylor Teagarden and Max Ramirez as backups in case he isn’t fine. I feel pretty good about this.
 

I mean, obviously, I would rather have Marlon Byrd instead of Vlad Guerrero and Pudge instead of Taylor Teagarden and Omar Vizquel instead of Khalil Greene. But then again, that’s what we had last year, and it didn’t necessarily work out. So we’ll see. I still think 2010 is the year.

Stuff

I didn’t include this in my other post because I didn’t get it until the Monday after Christmas, but it’s freakin’ awesome, so it definitely deserves a mention…

My friend Helen got me a framed autographed 8 1/2 x 11 photograph of Pudge!!! It’s a glossy color picture of him decked out in his Rangers’ uniform and all his catching gear, crouched behind the plate during a game. The autograph is in blue Sharpie and it says “Ivan Rodriguez” with “Pudge” written below it in quotation marks. Love it!!

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So Elvis Andrus may not want to be my friend on Facebook, but a bunch of other Rangers do! I know they’re not really my friends; it’s just Facebook, but still, it makes me feel special.

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Evan Grant announced the Rangers’ Winter Caravan dates yesterday. The Rangers will be making over 40 public appearances spanning the next month throughout North/East Texas and into Oklahoma. I’m planning to try to go to about half a dozen autograph sessions. Good times!

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Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar did NOT make it into the Hall of Fame this year. Better luck next year, guys! I know you can do it!

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In honor of Tommy Hunter, I just wanna say GO ‘BAMA! ROLL TIDE!! I’m sorry, Taylor Teagarden, but I hope they beat the hell outta those stinkin’ Longhorns today. Gig ’em!!

Finally… some news!

Wow, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to blog again after such a long break. Okay, so it’s only been 3 weeks, but when I spent 4 1/2 months blogging nearly every day (and sometimes multiple times in a day), it’s hard to jump back on the horse. I’m rusty. But that doesn’t matter, because I finally have some news to pass on!

The Rangers have claimed Joe Inglett off waivers. For those of you who don’t know what that means, I’ll explain: The Toronto Blue Jays decided to take Inglett off their 40-man roster to make room for other players, and the Rangers were able to snatch him up. Inglett will be used as a utility infielder for the 2010 season, a position that was recently vacated by Omar Vizquel.

Omar decided to sign on with the White Sox for next year, so the Rangers have been looking to acquire someone to fill that backup role. (FYI, Andruw Jones also signed with the White Sox for next year. Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya, Andruw!) The best news in this acquisition is that Inglett isn’t eligible for arbitration yet, and we’ll be getting him for about half a mil. That’s a steal. Now, I don’t know anything about Inglett, so I’m trying to reserve my excitement. Apparently he’s played mostly 2nd base since his major league debut it 2006, and he only played a meager 36 games with Toronto last year. BUT… he can play shortstop, which is important for the Rangers.

There have been some new developments with the ownership situation as well, but it’s all very confusing. Previously, we learned that the frontrunners were Jim Crane, Chuck Greenberg, and Dennis Gilbert. Then, last week or so, it came out that Tom Hicks was trying to get together a group of local investors to retain control of the Rangers. Well, Jim Crane has kind of faded out, and Commissioner Bud Selig shut down Tom Hicks because he was wanting to mortgage away the Rangers’ future for more money today, so it’s neck and neck between Gilbert and Greenberg.

Tom Hicks then apparently threw in with Dennis Gilbert, and Nolan Ryan was preparing to resign as team president if Gilbert bought the Rangers. Gilbert is reportedly Jerry Jones-esque in his need to be involved in every aspect of the team, and Nolan didn’t want to have to deal with it. But now there’s a feud between Gilbert and Hicks, so Nolan’s not resigning. Or something. I told you it was confusing.

Other random tidbits:

-Josh Rupe and Jason Grilli signed minor league contracts with other teams.

-The Rangers offered arbitration to both Marlon Byrd and Pudge, but neither are expected to accept. The deadline is Monday for that, but even if they refuse arbitration, they can still hammer out a deal with the Rangers later.

-Salty tried to play Winter Ball somewhere in South America, but he had to come out in the middle of his second game because of shoulder problems. They’re going to shut him down for a month and then see how things are progressing.

-The Jermaine Dye to Texas rumor still abounds, but the Milton Bradley to Texas rumor has been effectively squashed.

-A lot of teams are interested in Kevin Millwood, but Texas doesn’t want to trade him unless the “right deal comes along.” I know Millwood has problems, but he’s our only veteran starting pitcher, so I’m hesitant to send him packing.

-Everybody’s interested in Nelson Cruz (big surprise there), but the Rangers are reluctant to lose him. And I personally think that if they trade him, someone should be shot. Come on, he’s got great potential, he’s a team player, and he’s cheap! Seriously, folks!

-There are several pitchers in the Yankees’ organization that will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft soon. But the Rangers already have way too many starting pitchers, so unless he’s a lefty that can work in a short relief role, we can’t use any more.

World Series disappointment, hockey excitement, and Rangers News

Blech. The Yankees won Game 6 of the World Series last night, thus sealing themselves as the 2009 champs. Excuse me, I have to go throw up now.

<~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~HEAVE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>

Okay, I’m back. The good news is that I didn’t have to watch the Phillies lose last night, because I went to the Dallas Stars’ game last night! The Stars ended up losing, but that kind of ended up being a footnote of the evening. I had a great time! After Lindy and I had been there for about 3 minutes, I turned to her and said “Okay, we have to come back to another one of these!” Which was exciting for her, because she has a hard time finding people to go to games with her in the middle of the week. So yay!
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The Rangers have officially hired Clint Hurdle as their new hitting coach. He is a former baseball player, and he has spent many years as a hitting coach and as a manager for the Colorado Rockies. I’m sure Jon Daniels knows what he’s doing, so I’ll just hope it was the best choice. The only thing that bothers me is that Clint Hurdle was fired as the Rockies manager in May of this year (mid-season), and I don’t know why he was fired. I may have to do some more research to find out. But he led the Rockies to the World Series in 2007, and even though they lost the Series to the BoSox, getting there is good enough for me.
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In other news, the Free Agency market opens today. Each individual team has 2 weeks to negotiate exclusively with their players before open negotiations begin. The Rangers have 7 players who will be free agents: Joaquin Beniot, Eddie Guardado, Omar Vizquel, Hank Blalock, Andruw Jones, Pudge Rodriguez, and Marlon Byrd.
Hank Blalock
The Rangers have already said that they will not re-sign Blalock and Jones, and Eddie Guardado is considering retirement. Joaquin Beniot is a question mark, because he spent all of the 2009 season on the DL with a shoulder injury.

The Rangers have expressed interest in re-signing Pudge, and he has also shown interest in staying to retire with the Rangers, but a lot of it will supposedly hinge on Salty’s recovery. I have also heard that Pudge might not want to be with the Rangers now that they no longer have Rudy Jaramillo, because apparently he was looking forward to working with Rudy during the off-season.

Omar Vizquel
Talks have reportedly been going really well between the Rangers and Vizquel, and Jon Daniels said that he might be the only free agent that the Rangers sign before the end of the exclusive 2-week period, which ends November 19.
Marlon Byrd
Marlon Byrd is obviously the biggest free agent in contention, but he apparently wants to explore offers from other teams, so he isn’t expected to re-sign within the 2-week window.
If the Rangers can’t re-sign Marlon Byrd, they’re going to look at Jermaine Dye (among others on the free agent market) for a right-handed power bat. I’ve also heard word that the Rangers might be interested in Milton Bradley again, although the Cubs would have to take a huge chunk of his salary in order to make that possible.
Other right-handed bats on the free agent market that the Rangers are rumored to be looking at are Vladimir Guerrero, Gary Sheffield, Troy Glaus and Fernando Tatis. Although I don’t think we could afford Vlad. And I don’t know enough about the other guys to comment on them.
CJ Wilson
The Rangers are also talking about moving Neftali Feliz and/or C.J. Wilson into the starting rotation, which would mean they would need more middle relievers. They will almost certainly at least one more lefty reliever, to replace Eddie Guardado and/or C.J. Wilson (if he moves to the rotation).
They could be looking at Ben Sheets as a starter again, considering that he already had a contract drawn up with the Rangers in 2009 before it was voided due to medical issues. 
 
Sigh. There’s a lot of ifs and maybes and rumors circulating.
 
Originally published November 5, 2009