Tagged: RoughRiders

Sunday night’s RoughRiders’ game

[Sorry for the different sizes of photographs. Some came from my camera and some came from Richard Durrett]

A few weeks ago, I read on the Dallas Morning News’ Rangers’ Blog about a special ticket deal that they were doing for Rangers’ bloggers. And who has a blog about the Rangers? Why, I do, of course! 🙂 For $15, you could get seats right by the RoughRiders dugout, all-you-can-eat hotdogs/burgers/chicken sandwiches/chips/drinks, and a special meet-and-greet with Blake Beavan before the game. Sound familiar?
Blake Beavan
No, of course it doesn’t. No one actually reads this thing. I’m doing it for my own amusement. Anyway, it sounded remarkably similar to the deal we got when we went with Evan Grant to see a RoughRiders’ game a few weeks ago. With Evan, the tickets were free, but the food wasn’t, so I spent about the same amount of money. And the last time I met Blake, I didn’t get to get his autograph, but I DID THIS TIME!! YAY!!!
Since this game was scheduled for a Sunday night, I knew my dad wouldn’t be able to go, since he works till 8:00 on Sundays. And most of my other friends are sick of my baseball obsession, so I decided to be a big girl and go by myself. And maybe I could meet some other people who are as obsessed with baseball as I am, and I wouldn’t feel so crazy!
Blake Beavan (in the gray)
First was the Q&A with Blake Beavan. We were in one of those outside seating areas with picnic tables all around, and he and Richard Durrett (the DMN Rangers’ Blog guy) were just sitting at a table kind of in the middle. There were some other fans just sitting around eating before the game, with no idea that one of the team’s starting pitchers was sitting among them. And how would they know? He wasn’t wearing his uniform; he was in regular clothes (a polo shirt and jeans).
Richard started off by asking Blake some questions, and then Richard said he didn’t want to be the one asking all the questions; he wanted us to get in there too. I was sitting at a table kind of in front of Blake, with two other guys that I didn’t know. Richard looked right at the guys and said, “Come on, guys, I know you have some questions.” But they didn’t say anything, so I piped up. “How many pitches do you have, and are you working on developing any more pitches right now?” Richard obviously didn’t expect this from me, and he looked at me and nodded with raised eyebrows, kind of like “wow, I’m impressed! Good question!”
Blake Beavan
Of course I wasn’t able to process most of the answer, because I was looking at Blake Beavan, and oh my gosh. I remember he said that he had 4 pitches: a 2-seamer, a 4-seamer, and 2 others I don’t remember. He’s not really working on any other pitches specifically right now, but he’s always trying to improve the pitches he has. He said that he’ll probably want to try and develop a 5th pitch somewhere down the road, but not now. Maybe a slider or something? I don’t remember. I think I picked my chin up off the ground long enough to mutter something like, “Four sounds like a good number to me.” Stupid! He’s freakin’ 20 years old!! He was born in 1989. He’s waaaay too young for me. But I have this weakness for guys who are in the 6’4″/6’5″ range height-wise. And man, is he pretty!
Blake Beavan
Anyway, I learned a lot of stuff from the questions people asked, but I know that no one reads my blog anyway, so it’s kind of pointless to go over it all in detail right now.
The highlights:
-Blake has a pitching regimin worked out for him by his pitching coach that he follows during the off-season
-He practices with Kevin Millwood (Rangers’ starting pitcher) during the off-season
-His goal is to make his big-league debut at 21 years old
-During the season, they have to throw bullpen sessions of about 50-60 pitches on some of their off days, so they don’t get 5 full days of rest. At most, it’s 3 days of rest.
-On some of the games when he doesn’t start, he has to “chart” during the game instead of hanging out in the dugout/bullpen with his teammates. I asked him what “charting” was, but I didn’t get most of the answer, because he was standing next to me at that point and I was looking at his eyes atop his 6’5″ frame. Oh my! But from what I gathered, it’s kind of like keeping score. They have to track everything that happens in the game.
Blake Beavan
After I got Blake to autograph a baseball for me, he was just standing there looking bored, and I didn’t want to leave yet, so I hung back. Everybody else was leaving to go get food, and that’s when I asked him why he wasn’t wearing his uniform, and he told me about charting. As I was talking to him, another girl/lady walked up with something for him to sign. She didn’t have a pen, so I loaned her one of my stolen Olive Garden pens. And that’s how I met Sara!
yeah, I’m the fat one on the left! 🙂
Since I was there by myself, I knew I needed to open up and talk to people. So we started talking on the way to get something to eat, and she mentioned how nice Blake Beavan is to look at. A girl after my own heart! I soon realized that she is like me: someone who is very interested in the game, but also enjoys stopping to take in the scenery along the way. And when I’m with my dad, I can’t say stuff like that.
I just want to take a moment to address the fact that I have loved baseball since before I was aware that it sometimes happens to be filled with attractive guys. At 11 years old, I wasn’t looking at Pudge saying, “ooh, he’s hot!” Ugh. I still don’t say that. Sorry, Pudge, but the love I have for you is purely from your performance on the field. I have always been pretty good at separating my “crushes” on players from their performance in the game. Although you’re always a little bit prouder when the player you think is cute does a good job on the field. 🙂
Inside the RoughRiders’ dugout
Okay, enough of that. On to the game. I soon realized that I was sitting all by myself, with no one in the seats surrounding me. Geez, do I smell or something?? I thought all the DMN blog seats would be together. I watched the first couple of innings, but then I got bored, so I went to find Sara. The seat next to her was empty, so I sat there for the rest of the game and we talked for most of the game, about baseball and the players and about life in general. Aww, good times! I made a new baseball friend! The picture to the left was taken when I walked down and snuck a peak inside the RoughRiders’ dugout.
The RoughRiders ended up shutting out the Midland RockHounds 7-0, and Johnny Whittleman had a 3-run homer! I found out about an interesting tradition that they have at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, where they take up a collection for a player if he gets a home run, because those poor minor league guys get no money. I wish I’d had more cash on me, but I chipped in all I had, which was a dollar. I thought that was really cool!
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
I had heard during Saturday night’s radio broadcast of the Rangers’ game that Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Rangers’ catcher, would be making a rehab start with the Frisco Roughriders on Sunday. [He’s been on the 15-day DL with a mild case of Thorasic Outlet Syndrome.] And sure enough, he was there! I really would have loved to have the opportunity to get his autograph, but I never really got an opportunity. This is a picture I took of Salty’s first at-bat, but you can’t really tell it’s him. Oh well.

Batting Coach Brant Brown, Salty, and Chad Tracy (1B)
I could have easily walked up to Salty while he was in the dugout, but the players aren’t allowed to sign autographs during the games. I know this because I tried. Well, not with Salty, but with Jose Diaz, a pitcher. I recognized Diaz from a tv show I watched chronicling one of the RoughRiders’ road trips earlier this season. But no dice; I wasn’t able to get the autograph from Diaz. I looked for Salty after the game, but he came out after the 7th inning, and he must have snuck back to the clubhouse when I wasn’t looking. This picture is just before Salty’s 2nd at-bat. He was 0-for-2 on the night with a walk and a run scored.
Salty behind the plate 
 The game was scoreless through 5 innings, and it seemed like a very long game. Not that that was bad! I really enjoyed myself, and normally “time flies when you’re having fun.” Last night’s weather was fabulous too. The temperature was in the 80’s at the beginning of the game and in the 70’s at the end of the game, with not too much humidity and a light breeze. Perfect!
Marcus Lemon
 After the game, I tried to get some autographs, but most of the players just headed off the field. Marcus Lemon (the 2nd baseman for the RoughRiders) stayed, and he was very nice to the fans. There was a dad was there with his little boy, and Marcus had a couple of baseball bats that he was carrying. And he gave one of the bats to the little boy! Aww!
Marcus Lemon is a name I’ve heard thrown around quite a bit when I’ve heard people talk about Rangers’ prospects. But unfortunately, since he’s a 2nd baseman and our infield is pretty much sewn up for the near future, he may have to get traded to another team to see any big league playing time. He signed a baseball for me. Really nice guy.
Johnny Whittleman came over for a little while to join Marcus in signing autographs, but left soon after. He is normally the RoughRiders’ 3rd baseman, but he was DHing last night. And in the 8th inning, he got a 3-run homer to seal the deal for the ‘Riders! So I got the autographs of Blake Beavan, Marcus Lemon, and Johnny Whittleman last night, which join my growing collection of RoughRiders autographs along with Beau Jones and Mitch Moreland!

Great article by Evan Grant

This is a very good article written by Evan Grant at D Magazine. Yeah, he’s that cool guy that I got to hang out with at the RoughRiders game on Monday and with Rusty Greer at Pappasito’s on Wednesday.


RoughRiders game

Last week, I checked Evan Grant’s D Magazine blog (as I do frequently) to get some up-to-date news on the Rangers. So imagine my surprise when I saw that the most recent post was entitled “Act now on a special invitation!” There weren’t many details, but it said that the event would have to do with the Frisco RoughRiders (the Texas Rangers’ AA minor league team) and it would be on Monday night, August 10. I emailed Evan to get more info, like it asked. And I found out that I might be able to get free tickets to the RoughRiders’ game and talk baseball with Evan. I definitely expressed interest, and I was told that he would get back to all the responders to tell them if they had tickets or not.
Evan Grant
I had all but forgotten about this when I got an email from Evan Grant at about noon yesterday. Now, remember, I took the day off work yesterday because I couldn’t quit throwing up. Could I really make it to a RoughRiders game? This was a huge opportunity, to hang out with a journalist who travels with the Rangers and get to pick his brain about all sorts of things. Plus, free tickets to a baseball game! Score! But I just didn’t know if I could do it.
Well, my mom dropped off the PowerAde, and it helped sooo much! I could tell that I was seriously dehydrated, because as I drank it, the inside of my body kind of felt like a sponge soaking up the liquid. I slowly drank the PowerAde for a few hours, and I had no problems with that, so I tried some crackers. And they were good! I hadn’t realized I was hungry! After that, I knew I was going to be okay. I was still weak, but I hadn’t thrown up in 8 hours, and I was keeping food down. So I jumped in the shower and started getting ready. My car was still in the shop, so I had to catch the DART bus to the DART train station to get to my dad’s house. I had a few minutes on the train where I thought “oh no, I’m getting nauseous, maybe this wasn’t a good idea!” But I was already committed, I was going to finish this. I picked up my car, and luckily they cleaned the carpets and got rid of the musty mildewy gross smell in my floorboards, or else I might have lost it all over again. So Daddy and I headed out to Frisco.

Blake Beavan
They opened the gates 30 minutes earlier than normal for us, and we got to have a Q & A with some of the players. I met Mitch Moreland (RF) and got his autograph, and I met Blake Beavan (P). I also got to meet the “voice of the Frisco RoughRiders,” Scott Garner. And then when I was walking around before the game started, I saw Beau Jones (P), and I said “Hey, I know you! I saw you on t.v.!” I had watched a t.v. special about the RoughRiders on FSN Southwest, and I quoted what he had said back to him. I think he was pretty impressed, and he gave me an autograph, even though I don’t think he was supposed to.

Daddy and I were able to stop by the gift shop before the game, and we each bought a RoughRiders T-shirt and a hat. Then we went to our seats, and I watched the game for the first few innings. The RoughRiders were playing the San Antonio Missions, and the Missions were leading 3-0 after the first inning. Then the Missions scored another 6 runs in the top of the 3rd inning, making it 9-0, and I gave up on watching the game. I drifted over to where some people in our group were talking to Evan, and I stayed there for the rest of the game. That was a lot more interesting!

Mostly I just listened, but I got to ask some questions too. Here are a few things Evan talked about:
Josh Hamilton’s latest controversy (which broke my heart, btw),
the Mark Teixiera trade,
Martin Perez (a highly touted High-A pitching prospect),
Neftali Feliz (21-year-old pitching phenom just up from AAA),
Ian Kinsler (2B, currently on the Disabled List for a sore hamstring),
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (our primary catcher),
chance that Julio Borbon (OF) will stay in the Bigs next year,
possible new ownership of the Texas Rangers,
Brandon McCarthy (pitcher on the DL),
the Roy Halladay almost-trade,
Marlon Byrd (OF),
Eddie Guardado (P),
high # of AAA players that have made it to the Rangers this year,
chance of Omar Vizquel playing/coaching for the Rangers next year,
Willie Eyre (P)
and many other things that I can’t remember right now.
I asked Evan the following questions:
Chris Davis
KB: What are Chris Davis’ chances of being called back up this year?
EG: They’ll call up Davis at the first of September. They’ll need another infielder, and he’s great defensively.
Yay!! Don’t worry Chris, you’re coming home soon!
Thomas Diamond
KB: Why do the Rangers have AA pitcher Thomas Diamond on their 40-man roster? You’d think they would only want AAA players, who actually have a chance of being called up, on the 40-man. Would Thomas really just skip right over AAA?
EG: They wanted to keep him from going anywhere in the Rule 5 Draft. There’s probably no realistic chance of him being called up to the Rangers right now.


KB: Why did you decide to give away free tickets to a RoughRiders game and hang out with a bunch of Rangers fans tonight? I mean, obviously we love it, because we get free tickets and a chance to talk to you. But why do you do it?
EG: I want to give Rangers fans more of a chance to find out what’s going with the team and ask questions. I want people to be able to go to Inside Corner on D Magazine’s website and feel like they can truly interact with it, instead of just reading the news. I know that readers like it when they comment on the website and I actually respond. I feel like I’m more than just a blogger; I’m a journalist who blogs about the Rangers, as opposed to a fan. Jamey Newberg does a fantastic job on his website blogging as a fan. I think it’s great that Rangers fans have so many ways to interact with the team, through things like Newberg Night and events like tonight.
[These aren’t his literal quotes, because I didn’t have a tape recorder. They’re just the main gist of his answers.]
When the RoughRiders were still losing 10-0 at the top of the 7th inning, we decided to call it a night. They ended up losing 14-0. Glad I didn’t stay! 🙂 But I want to send out a big thanks to Evan Grant of D Magazine for a fabulous experience!
My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband
Days since CD has been in the majors: 37

YAY!!! WE WON!!!

Finally!! Yesterday, the Rangers took the last game of the 4-game series against the Oakland A’s, which they desperately needed to do. Now they can go play a series against their rivals, the Angels, on a high note. Okay, so it’s not as high as it would have been if we could have gotten a sweep of the A’s, or at least if we had split the series. But it’s definitely better that having to face your strongest opponent after losing 4 games straight to the worst team in the division. {shudder} Thank goodness that didn’t happen!

Okay, I’m not going to go into as much detail with this game summary, because frankly I don’t remember too much from the game. It was on during the day, so I had to listen to it on my computer while I was working. And I love baseball, but I gotta bring home that paycheck. My job is what enables me to go to so many games. And while I would absolutely LOVE to make my living writing about baseball, I’m not quite there yet. With that in mind, here we go…
Tommy Hunter
Tommy Hunter was our starting pitcher yesterday, and he’s one of our many young rookie pitchers who has been impressive this season. His last outing was unfortunately a bit of a disappointment, and he took the loss against Seattle. That was the game I missed because I was trying to persuade my mom and step-dad to let me take my step-sister to Oklahoma to see our AAA team. When I heard that we lost the game, I decided not to bother watching it, even though I Tivo’d it. Anyway, I was pretty confident that Tommy could shake off his last failed start and throw some good stuff. And he did! Tommy allowed 3 runs in 7 innings against the A’s, and the Rangers offense showed up again last night, putting 6 runs on the board to support him. With Nelson Cruz’s recent ankle sprain, the Rangers will probably need to bring up another outfielder from AAA, and that means sending down one of our 8 relief pitchers currently stocking our bullpen. Going into our series with the Angels, our bullpen really needs to be well-rested, and Tommy was able to pull that off by going 7 innings for the Rangers. Good job Tommy!
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a.k.a. “Salty”
The A’s scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning, helped in part by a throwing error by Jarrod Saltalamacchia (catcher). Salty came out of the game in the 2nd inning, due to a sore shoulder, so Taylor Teagarden ended up catching the rest of the game. Great, another injury. Now we’ve got Ian Kinsler (2B) on the 15 day DL with a sore hamstring, Nelson Cruz (OF) day-to-day with an ankle sprain, and Salty with a sore shoulder. So our paltry bench went from 3 players to 2 players and it’s now done to just 1 guy. I really hope Salty’s not out too long! I’ve gotta say, Wash (that’s manager Ron Washington), it’s been great having an 8-man bullpen, but seriously, our guys are dropping like flies! We need some back-up players!

Hank Blalock

But Tommy didn’t let the A’s scoring early get into his head. And I suppose it didn’t hurt that the Rangers scored in each of the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. Of course, since it’s the Rangers we’re talking about here, one of their 6 runs came off a home run by Hank Blalock. That’s Hank’s 21st home run this year! Seriously, what is it with the Rangers and all of their home runs?? You know what, I don’t even care. It doesn’t even matter. Nice job, boys!
C.J. Wilson
After the 7th inning, Frankie Francisco did a great job as the “set-up man” in the 8th inning, and Wash brought in C.J. Wilson to “close it out” in the 9th. And, of course, he gave up another run. Dammit, C.J.! I’ve seen C.J. do a fabulous job shutting down hitters, but lately it’s been taking him a little while to settle down on the mound before he can take care of business. Well, at least it was just the one run. We got the win, that’s all that matters, right? Right.
Scott Feldman
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Scott Feldman (10-4) against the Angels’ Joe Saunders (9-6). Oh crap, Joe Saunders, he’s good! The Rangers also have to face Jered Weaver(11-3) and John Lackey(7-4) in this series with the Angels. Man, can’t we get a break? Geez. Okay, moving on. Scott just needs to buckle down, and he can take Joe Saunders. I mean, Saunders is just a guy, like anyone else. Remember, the Rangers had to face Josh Beckett and the Red Sox earlier this year, and they took care of that with no problems. It’s okay, we got this. I’m behind you, Scott!
In other news…:
Elvis Andrus
-I think Tommy Hunter looks like a cute little baby. I just wanna pinch his chubby little cheeks! 🙂 That’s kind of becoming a theme for our team, since we have so many young players. And time keeps inevitably marching on for me, as I get older and older. But I swear, they’re sooo young! We’ve got 20-year-old Elvis Andrus (SS), 21-year-old Neftali Feliz (P), 22-year-old Derek Holland (P), and just-turned-23-year-old Tommy Hunter (P). Freakin’ A, man! Geez, I’m getting old! My dad thinks I should start hanging around RoughRiders games and try to marry one of those players, before they get famous. I said “Dad, they’re like 22 years old!” And he said “So what? It’ll keep you young!” Thanks, Dad. He just wants a famous ballplayer in the family.
Omar Vizquel

-Thank you, Wash, for sending Joaquin Arias back down to AAA and bringing up Esteban German. Maybe Arias was just nervous Monday and Tuesday, but German did a solid job yesterday. It was also nice to see Omar Vizquel back on the field. His bat isn’t too dependable, but his defense is an absolute pleasure to watch! There is nothing more beautiful than a well-executed double play! Yes, I know that makes me a baseball nerd. And I don’t care.

-I’m getting anxious for poor Chris Davis. He’s been wasting away in AAA for over a month now. (Well, he’s not wasting away, he’s actually doing a really good job down there, but you know what I mean.) I understand why he went down in the first place (to work on his hitting), and I understand why he’s still down there now. With Ian Kinsler hurt, the Rangers had to bring up an infielder to play SS/2B. Chris is a utility infielder, but he plays 1B/3B, and they don’t need that right now. Michael Young (3B) and Hank Blalock (1B) are healthy. So I understand the whole situation. But I still want Chris in the Bigs. He deserves to be up here, there’s just no space for him right now. Hence the anxiety.

Michael Young
-Michael Young currently has a 13-game hitting streak. Last year, he apparently had a 16-game hitting streak. Let’s see if we can beat that one, Mikey!
-Just FYI, I’m going to San Antonio this weekend, so this will be my last post until Sunday or Monday. Don’t worry, I’m Tivo-ing the games, and I’ll do all the summaries when I get back.
Kasey Kiker
-I may get free tickets to see the RoughRiders (the Rangers AA team) play in Frisco on Monday night. If I get to go, I’ll do a blog entry about that too. If I get the free tickets, I’m sure my dad will go with me, and he’ll probably try to pimp me out to Kasey Kiker. He’s 21!! Nice, Dad! See below for the younger guy I actually DO have a crush on 🙂
My daily Chris Davis fix:
Chris Davis
Days Since CD has been in the majors: 33
We miss you Chris!

A loss :(

I wasn’t able to watch the game last night, because I was hanging out with my mom, step-dad, and step-sister last night. I Tivo’d it, but I haven’t watched it yet. I’m sure I’ll watch it at some point over the next few days, but it’s hard to get up the courage to watch it, knowing that we’re going to lose. I know the final score was 7-2 Mariners.

I was putting in face time with the parents so that they would hopefully let me take my 13-year-old step-sister to Oklahoma City today to see the Texas Rangers’ Triple A team (the Redhawks). But that was a no-go, unfortunately. I’ve really become interested in the minor leagues lately, and I would love to get a chance to see our AAA team, since I’ve never been to one of their games. I went to a game at Double A Frisco last year or the year before, and it was fun. Of course, Frisco is a lot closer than OKC. And I’m planning on seeing some games out in Frisco in a few weeks. But seeing the Rangers play the AMAZING game on Thursday really put me in the mood to see some more baseball this weekend, and the RoughRiders are playing in San Antonio this weekend, so they weren’t an option.

I think it will be really interesting to see our AAA team play, especially since I’m so much more familiar with our prospects now. The players in AAA are the ones that I’ll be seeing in the big leagues next year, or maybe even this year. Some of them have already been called up for short stints this year, so I’ve already seen them at the big league level. And I know I’m always more interested in the game when I know the players. Plus, Chris Davis is playing for the Redhawks now, and I’d like to see him playing at AAA before he gets called back up.
If this blog actually had any followers, I might be more inclined to make sure that I watched the games and got the summaries out in a timely fashion. But apparently, nobody reads this blog and I’m just doing it for my own amusement, so I’m gonna skip this one. But I plan on watching tonight’s game, the final in our series with the Mariners. So I guess I’ll be posting a game summary for that one (for my own satisfaction, of course).
My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband, Chris Davis
Days since CD has been in the majors: 28
Come back soon, Chris!

Okay, sports fans…

I just bought tickets to go to the Rangers games this Thursday (June 30) against the Mariners (they’ll be giving out these cute hats at the game)

and for the game on Friday September 18 against the Angels (they’re having fireworks).
I really want to go see the Rangers take on the Red Sox again sometime during the weekend of August 14-16, but since those are “premier” games and there are no discount tickets available, I probably won’t be going during that series.
David Ortiz, a.k.a. Big Papi
Too expensive! And my dad works on the weekends, so he wouldn’t be available to go with me. It’s okay; I already got to see Boston once this year. But since there’s about a 6-week gap between the next 2 Rangers games that I’m planning on attending, I’m going to try to see some RoughRiders games in August.
Unfortunately where I live in Dallas is kinda far away from Frisco, so I’ll probably have to go on Saturdays instead of trying to rush out there after work during the week. So August 22 and 29 are looking good. If I can con one of my friends into going with me. 🙂 Mary, Helen, Lindy, and Billy, look out: I’ll be coming after you!! I need to make more friends who are as obsessed with baseball as I am! I would also like to go to the Rangers’ last home game on Sunday September 27, so that I can say a symbolic “goodbye” to my team until next year. But you know what they say: “Wish in one hand…” well, I’ll be polite and not finish that sentence. 🙂
Originally published July 27, 2009