Tagged: Seattle Mariners

Finally!!

It’s been a week since I last blogged, and there was a HUGE development that I neglected to address. Late Wednesday night (actually early Thursday morning) the Rangers were sold to Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan.

HALLELUJAH!!!

This has been a very long time coming, and I’m elated that Rangers Baseball Express (a.k.a. the Greenberg/Ryan group) decided to stick it out. They had to pay more than their primary bid ($575 million back in January), but it’s finally over.

$70 million of that initial $575 mil bid was alloted for the parking lots around the stadium. So, in essence, RBE was going to spend $505 mil for the team (and acquired debts) and $70 mil for the parking lots.

But in order to free up more money for the actual team, RBE scratched the deal for the parking lots. The final amount decided Thursday was $593 million, not including the parking lots. This bid includes $385 million in cash and the assumption of $208 million in debt owed by the club.

As far as I can tell, there are 3 options as far as the parking lots go: 1) RBE acquires the lots in a separate transaction, 2) Hicks Sports Group (a.k.a. Tom Hicks) refuses to sell them (which would create tension), or 3) RBE and HSG split up the profits somehow.

I’m just glad it’s over. This has been 15 months in the making. Now the Rangers can just focus on winning!

Okay, back to the Rangers’ actual baseball performance. They just finished a 9-game road trip against all 3 of our AL West opponents, and they didn’t fare too well. But they’re still leading the West by 7 1/2 games!

They played the first series of the road trip in Anaheim, winning just 1 out of 3. No bueno. Then they headed to Seattle and won 2 out of 3. Of course, cause the Mariners suck! Next they went on to Oakland and they only won 1 out of 3. Come on, guys!

That means they went 4-5 on the road trip, which isn’t great. They were off last night, but tonight starts a 2-game series in Arlington against the Yankees.

Out of all the teams that are coming to Texas this year, the Yankees are the only ones I’m not seeing. And that’s not because I couldn’t get tickets; it’s because I didn’t want tickets!

It’s so sickening to go to RBiA when the Rangers are playing the Yanks, because at least half of the crowd is dressed in Yankees garb. Disgusting.

Anyway, the Yankees are coming, and they’re going to be a tough team for the Rangers to beat. The last time we played them was in April, and that series was in New York.

And the Rangers got swept. Lovely.

At least this time they’ll be in our house instead of the other way around. Then, after another off-day, the Red Sox are coming to Arlington. Now that’s a game that I am going to!

The BoSox are my 2nd favorite team, but I won’t be cheering for them at the game I go to on Saturday. I want my Rangers to win. But I love Big Papi and Terry Francona and Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis.

C.J. Wilson will be starting tonight (10-5, 3.30 ERA) against A.J. Burnett (9-9, 4.93 ERA). The numbers seem to speak for themselves in this matchup, but we must remember that C.J. hasn’t been doing so hot lately. He only went 3 innings in his last start, and that’s not typical C.J.

Tomorrow it’s Cliff Lee (10-4, 2.44 ERA) against Javier Vazquez (9-8, 4.63 ERA). Yeah, I know how it looks too. It looks like the Yanks don’t have a chance. But Cliff is only 2-2 in 6 games as a Ranger. Hopefully he’ll pick it back up, but the Yankees are a hard team to face.

Before I sign off, though, I should address Rich Harden. When we last left off, I was very impressed by his first start after getting off the DL. But unfortunately, he pulled another “Rich Harden” in his last start.

He only went 2 1/3 innings, walking 5 and allowing 3 earned runs. I don’t know what we’re going to do with him.

They will probably skip his next start, because there was some leeway in the schedule with a day off before and after the 2-game Yankee series. Or they could bring up Derek Holland from AAA.

I think Rich should get one more chance to prove himself, but if he tanks next time, I think he should be gone. Either he should go on the 60-day DL, go to AAA, or be outright released. We don’t need to keep screwing around with this.

And I think the higher-ups realize that they can’t let him flounder indefinitely. This is a legitimately contending team. Go Rangers!!

Overall Rangers’ record: 64-47
My Rangers’ record: 13-7
Days ’til my next game: 4

Off-day ramblings

Yesterday was an off-day, so there was no Rangers’ game for me to dissect today. Instead, I want to address a couple of things that I’ve meant to talk about but haven’t gotten around to.

First and foremost is the Rangers’ ownership situation. Today is August 3, and an auction for the team is set to take place tomorrow (August 4). It is very rare for a major league ball club to be auctioned off, so this kind of puts us in uncharted waters.

I have been planted firmly in the Greenberg/Ryan camp from the beginning, and that hasn’t changed. I still really want them to get the team, but apparently, it doesn’t seem likely that they will get the team.

All of this ownership stuff has been very confusing, what with the bankruptcy situation and all of the angry creditors and such. So I’m not even pretending to know what’s going on or what might happen.

But other people (who may or may not know more than I do) don’t seem to think that the Greenberg/Ryan group will be victorious tomorrow.

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is said to be deeply rooted in the mix of other potential bidders. The notion of Cuban getting the Rangers absolutely infuriates me.

Yes, he has plenty of money. He’s been very smart with his money. After the Tom Hicks Debacle and dealing with a team that has been flat broke for the past several years, this appears to be quite an attractive possibility.

But ultimately, you have to realize that Mark Cuban is a tool. And we don’t need another George Seinbrenner in Texas.

I’m not trying to imply that George Steinbrenner was a tool. But he did get really involved with the Yankees in areas that ownership doesn’t usually go. He was known to be hotheaded, hiring and firing people at the drop of a hat.

George Steinbrenner set up the Yankees so that they have the highest payroll in all of Major League Baseball by $44 million dollars. A-Rod is being paid $33 million this year, which is almost the entire budget of the Pittsburgh Pirates for 2010 (the Pirates are at $34.9 mil).

I’m not saying that there should be a salary cap in baseball. But I am saying that if you have a bottomless pit of money, then players are just going to start asking for more and more money just because they can. And it drives up prices all over baseball.

This is the whole premise behind why I hate the Yankees. I realize that the Yankees have a rich history, especially going back to the days of Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and Yogi Berra and Lou Gehrig.

But now they’re just the team that has the most money, and the elite players go there because they’ll get paid the most there.

The Yankees have the top 4 players with the highest salary in all of baseball (A-Rod, CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, and Mark Teixeira), and just their 4 salaries alone is over $100 million. That’s just ridiculous.

Cuban, like Steinbrenner, has more money than God. And Cuban is way too emotionally invested in every aspect of the game. But then again, Steinbrenner actually liked baseball. Cuban doesn’t. I’m just going off of what Cuban has done with the Mavericks.

Yes, it’s true that since Cuban has done great things with the Mavericks. Since he bought them 10 years ago, they have been to the playoffs every single year. He has paid obscene amounts of money to get great basketball players to come to Texas.

But he also sits courtside at every game (home and away), screaming obscenities at the officials and at the other team’s players. He has had to pay at least $1.665 million in fines because of 13 separate incidents, including as recently as May 22 when he spoke out against LeBron James. The Rangers don’t need that kind of publicity.

Okay, I’m going to stop ranting now. I hope that what I’ve just said makes sense. When I get this heated over a subject, sometimes I make connections in my head that don’t exactly translate to the written word.

In other news, the Rangers are 8 games up on both the Angels and the A’s, because Oakland won yesterday and LA had an off-day (just like the Rangers did).

I kind of feel bad for poor Seattle, because they’re 22.5 games back in the AL West. I was predicting them to be more of a threat this year than the Angels and the A’s.

Speaking of Seattle, Justin Smoak has recently been demoted to AAA Tacoma, where he can hang out with fellow trade-bait Blake Beavan. Beavan was recently promoted from Seattle’s AA affiliate to AAA Tacoma.

Michael Schlact posted a great blog today about the impact of all of these trades on the Rangers’ minor league system. It’s a great insider’s perspective. You can read it here.

It’s probably about time I started talking about Rich Harden. I was not at all impressed with how he started off the season for the Rangers, and I was about ready to give up on him when he surprised everyone with a breakout performance in Oakland on Monday, May 3.

I was willing to give him a bit of leeway after that stellar game, but by the end of May, I had given up hope again. I was praying that the Rangers would get wise and send him back to AAA until he learned his lesson.

And in the middle of June, Rich went on the DL with a “left glut strain.” I’m sure Rich was a little sore, but he may not have been injured enough to actually go on the DL under normal circumstances.

I think the Rangers said, “Okay, here’s the deal, Rich. You’re not producing. So you can either:
  1)go straight to AAA (do not pass “Go,” do not collect $200) or
  2)go on the DL, get some rest, get your act together, and try again.”

I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Rich was legitimately injured. Either way, he made his post-DL debut on this past Saturday in Anaheim, and he was the same guy from May 3 against Oakland!

He allowed just one run over 7 innings of work, and he only threw 88 pitches (62 for strikes). He ended up getting the W, and I would venture to say that it is only the 2nd win that Harden has actually earned this year.

Scott Feldman has generally been producing like Rich Harden had been this year, meaning that he just hasn’t had commanding stuff, wasn’t going deep enough in games, and has been generally ineffective. But with Harden and Derek Holland both on the DL, there wasn’t really anyone who could take his place.

Something had to be done about Feldman, though, if the Rangers were going to continue their post-season bid. I figured that Harden would make a couple of starts until Derek Holland came off the DL to permanently take Harden’s/Feldman’s spot in the rotation.

But instead, Rich blew everyone away with his performance. Now let’s just hope it stays that way. But I suppose if Harden tanks again, we can still replace him with Holland.

Tonight kicks off a 3-game series in Seattle, followed by a 3-game series in Oakland this weekend. Then the Rangers come back home, but they have to face the Yankees and the Red Sox. Yikes.

Tonight it’s Colby Lewis (9-7, 3.40 ERA) against Seattle’s Jason Vargas (6-5, 3.20 ERA). According to the numbers, they seem about equal. So I guess we’ll have to see!

I’m actually grateful that the game doesn’t start until 9:10 Central tonight, because after I leave work today I have to ride the DART bus/train for an hour to Garland so that I can pick up my car from the shop. Hey, at least the A/C is finally fixed! Go Rangers!!

Overall Rangers’ record: 61-44
My Rangers’ record: 13-7
Days ’til my next game: 11

Rangers dominate the Mariners!

Wow. The Rangers’ performance in these past 3 games against the Mariners has been awe-inspiring! The Rangers have out-scored Seattle 31-6 over the three-game period, with scores of 7-1, 12-2, and 12-3.

Ichiro Suzuki was held to only one hit in 15 at-bats over the course of the 4-game series. And that one was an iffy call (it could have been ruled an error).

One of the most amazing things about these games to me was the Rangers’ ability to score a bunch of runs in the first few innings of the game to take an early lead. Now, I understand that a win is a win no matter what innings the runs are scored in. But it’s easier on the Rangers if they don’t have to worry about coming back from a large defecit, and it’s harder on the opposing team if they do have to try to come back from a large defecit.

Colby Lewis, C.J. Wilson, and Tommy Hunter were the starting pitchers for the games on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, respectively. Colby and C.J. each went 7 innings, and Tommy Hunter went 6 innings. And they were all much better than Rich Harden normally is.

I was a bit upset when the Rangers dropped Game 1 of the series to Cliff Lee. The Mariners are at the bottom of the food chain in the AL West. They kinda suck. We should have been able to get the 4-game sweep.

But I mean, come on, he’s Cliff freakin’ Lee!! He’s amazing! There’s not much you can do when he’s on. It made me feel so much better to see the Rangers stomp Seattle in the ground during the last 3 games.

I went to the game on Wednesday with my step-sister Faith. And bless her heart, she let me use her to get 3 autographs!

At every Wednesday home game, they have “Autograph Wednesday” for kids 13 and under at RBiA. So I exploited her youth and got the autographs of Craig Gentry, Joaquin Arias, and Clint Hurdle to add to my collection.

It was so fun to see the Rangers offensive onslought in person, but then I was kind of bored. I almost wish the game had been closer so it would have been more intreresting.

Almost.

I realize that this blog posting is a bit light on the details, but I just don’t have the time to look up all the stats for Wednesday and Thursdays games. The Rangers’ game is actually on right now, and I want to get this post out so I can watch the rest of the game.

The next game I’m going to will be against the Pirates, and I’m excited to see a team that I don’t normally get to see. And it helps that the Pirates are a pretty awful team. (No offense, Chuck.) So hopefully I’ll get to see some whuppin’.

My Rangers’ record: 8-3
Overall Rangers’ record: 33-27
Days ’til my next game: 12

OFFICIAL 1st game of 2010!!

Wow. Opening Day yesterday was absolutely amazing!

I knew it was going to be crowded, since the game was sold out, but I was stunned at how fabulous it felt to look up into the stands and see all of the seats filled! My heart swelled with pride!

Another thing that surprised me was how supportive the Rangers’ fans were as a whole. I mean, we watched as our players endured a no-hitter through 6 1/3 innings, and we were down 0-3. It was looking pretty bleak. But as soon as the Rangers started showing signs of life, the fans backed them up, cheering so hard that my heart swelled even bigger.

We arrived at the Ballpark at 10:00 a.m., right after the gates opened. And as we were walking up to the gates, I realized I had left my digital camera in the car. Doh! So that’s why I don’t have pictures to post. I took some with my phone, but now I don’t know how to get them off my phone and on my computer. Oh well.

We collected our Opening Day magnetic schedules and several Rangers’ “It’s Time” stickers for the car window. We headed to the Majestic Grand Slam Gift Shop, and found a 3x t-shirt for Daddy that was blue with red sleeves and said “Rangers” in block letters across the front. Daddy was ecstatic, and he’s convinced that he was able to find that shirt because Chuck Greenberg ordered it specifically for him.

Then we headed down to watch the Rangers take batting practice, but I actually spent more time scanning the crowd on the field for familiar faces. Richard Durrett was interviewing Chuck Greenberg, and I saw Evan Grant wandering around. JD even stuck his head out of the dugout for a little bit. But no TR Sullivan. Hmm, where were you TR?

Daddy and I went to find our seats, and we were pretty impressed. We were in section 243, all the way in the corner of the ballpark on the 1st base side. Seriously, our seats were literally in the corner, so Daddy and I had extra leg room. Which is always good, ’cause Daddy is 6’5″ with bad knees. So he has to stretch his legs out.

We just sat for a while, then Daddy decided he was hungry and he went off to find us some hot dogs. I stayed in our seats and read my program. (Vlad was on the cover, holding 2 baseball bats that were on fire! Awesome!)

When Daddy finally got back, he told me he had seen my friend “Dustin Traig” who reads my blog. I had to think about this for a minute, then I said “Oh, do you mean Dustin Troxell?” “Yeah!” he said, “That was it!” Then I had to explain to him that Dustin wasn’t just some random person that reads my blog, but that he was in band with me in high school. I didn’t know that Dustin read my blog! Hi Dustin!!

The coolest part of the pre-game ceremony was when Sgt. Dana Bowman parachuted onto the field. He is retired now, but he was a member of the Army’s Golden Knights when he had both legs severed in a mid-air training accident 15 years ago. 9 months later, he became the first double amputee to re-enlist in the Army. He delivered the ball to Roger Staubach, who threw the first pitch of the game.

I couldn’t help feeling optimistic, even though the Rangers couldn’t seem to get anything started at first. The guy sitting next to us kept joking around and saying things like, “Okay, Little Miss Rangers’ blog, their pitcher’s got a no-hitter going. It’s not looking good.” But I’d just say, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll be alright.”

In the bottom of the 7th, Shaun Marcum walked Josh Hamilton, and I knew it was all over for the Toronto Blue Jays. Vlad followed with the first hit of the game, a single. Runners on 1st and 2nd, down 0-3, Nelson Cruz coming up to bat.

I turned to my dad and said, “Nelly is exactly who you want coming up to bat in this situation!” And he came through, hitting a 3-run homer and tying the game 3-3!

Then in the top of the 8th, the Blue Jays got another run across. But I still wasn’t too worried. I just knew the Rangers could do it!

Bottom of the 9th, down 3-4, we had to do something. And Michael Young was leading off. No problem.

Young started the rally by leading off with a double. Josh Hamilton struck out. Vlad got a single, and we had runners at the corners with 1 out. Then Nelson Cruz came up to bat, and he tied the game up for the 2nd time that afternoon (4-4) by hitting a double, scoring Young and moving Vlad to 3rd base.

The Rangers put in David Murphy to pinch-run for Vlad, and the Blue Jays intentionally walked Chris Davis to load the bases. So it was gonna fall to the bottom 2 guys in the order to get something done. When Saltalamacchia stepped into the batter’s box, I noticed Joaquin Arias warming up in the on-deck circle. Uh-oh. I prayed for Salty to take care of business.

But no need to worry. Salty hit a screamer to the base of the wall in center field, which scored Murphy from 3rd. And those 90 feet were all we needed, even though that hit would have been at least a double. The Rangers won it in walk-off fashion, 5-4. Uh-may-zing!!

The Rangers have an off day today, but they’ll be playing game 2 against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night, then they’ll finish off the series on Thursday afternoon. Next the Mariners will be coming in for Fri-Sat-Sun, and I’ll be at the game on Saturday night.

So I’ve been to 2 Rangers games in 2010, and we’ve won them both!

My Rangers’ record: 2-0
Rangers’ overall record: 1-0
Days ’til my next game: 4

Book signing, more trades, injuries, and ownership

My dad and I have decided that we’re going to Jamey Newberg’s book signing party on Thursday! We already pre-ordered the books, so they’ll be ready for us to pick up at the party. Rusty Greer, Ian Kinsler, Scott Feldman, Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, and Chris Davis will all be there to sign autographs. Yay!!

I have Rusty Greer & Derek Holland’s autographs already, but not the other 4 guys. Last year I almost got Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis’ autographs, but I couldn’t close the deal. Each player will sign up to 3 items per person, so I can get all of them to sign the book, baseballs, and Daddy’s glove. I hope it’s not too crowded. Anyway, moving on…

In another huge 3-team trade, Cliff Lee (formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies) is going to Seattle and Roy Halladay (formerly of the Seattle Mariners) is going to Toronto. The full details haven’t been released yet, but when you’re dealing with 2 high-quality starting pitchers like Halladay and Lee, the deal is sure to be enormous.

Great, that’s just what we need: for a team in our division to go into next year with Cliff Lee AND Chone Figgens.

John Lackey (formerly of the Angels) has been signed by the Boston Red Sox to a 5-year, $85 million dollar deal. That works out to $17 million per year. Yikes.

But don’t feel bad for the Angels yet. They may have lost John Lackey, but they signed DH/OF Hideki Matsui (formerly of the Yankees) to a one-year deal. Lovely.

The Rangers look like they’re in for a bumpy ride within the AL West this year.

No news on the Mike Lowell/Max Ramirez trade. Apparently it’s being held up because of all the injuries involved (i.e. Mike Lowell’s hip and thumb, Max Ramirez’s injured wrists).

After it appeared that Jim Crane had fallen out of the ownership race, he has suddenly emerged as the frontrunner. Around Thanksgiving, Crane, Gilbert, and Greenberg all submitted their original bids to buy the team.

Then they had a deadline of December 7th (last Monday) to submit bid modifications, which Gilbert and Greenberg did, but Crane didn’t. It was sort of assumed that Crane had taken himself out of the race. But then, last Thursday, Crane submitted his modifications 3 days late.

Crane’s proposal is rumored to be around $530 mil, and supposedly economics is what is driving this ownership deal. But Crane had a “handshake agreement” to buy the Astros in 2008 that fell through, and that makes Major League officials wary about him getting final approval to buy the Rangers.

Today is the deadline set by Comissioner Bud Selig for Tom Hicks to chose one bidder to go into final negotiations with. But Hicks has apparently been dragging his feet throughout this whole process, and he’s doing everything he can to try to find a way to keep the team. So he just might pick Crane to negotiate with, knowing that the deal might not go through, just to give himself more time to try to find a way to keep the Rangers. Who knows?

Worst things about 2009

Ugh, it hurts me to write this list, but these are setbacks/disappointments/frustrating things that affected the Rangers during the 2009 season (in no particular order):

*Losing 5 games in a row at the end of August – killed our chances

*Josh Hamilton’s injury-plagued season

*Financial constraints of our ballclub

*Injuries to our pitching staff: Joaquin Benoit, Eric Hurley, Brandon McCarthy, and Matt Harrison all had to go on the 60-day DL.

*the Rangers’ offensive slump

*Losing 3 out of 4 games in Oakland in the beginning of August

*Not signing Matt Purke

*Josh Hamilton’s January scandal

*All of our losses against the teams that we should have beaten (Minnesota, Oakland, Seattle, Baltimore, Detroit, etc.)

*Losing the game to Tampa Bay in the 8th and 9th innings during the last home game of the year

*Michael Young’s injured hamstring, which caused him to stay out of the lineup for 3 weeks during our late August/early September downhill slide

So basically, it all boils down to injuries, not having any money, and the inexperience of having a young club not used to dealing with stressful situations. Next year will be better.

And the 2009 season ends with a whimper

Well, yesterday marked the end of the regular baseball season. Now I have to figure out which team I’m going to root for in the playoffs. I’ll get to that later. For now, let’s wrap up this game.

Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman took the mound for us yesterday, hoping to get his 18th win of the year. But unfortunately, he was going up against “King” Felix Hernandez, and the Rangers weren’t able to pull out a win for their ace. The final score was 4-3.
“King” Felix Hernandez
Feldman pitched 6 innings for the Rangers yesterday, and he did a good job of keeping the score low, knowing that the Rangers’ offense wouldn’t be able to do much to score against King Felix. But he couldn’t keep it low enough, it seems.
Scooter gave up one run in the bottom of the 3rd inning, but the Rangers were able to come back and get a run of their own to tie the score 1-1 in the top of the 5th inning. But the score didn’t stay tied for long.
In the bottom of the 5th inning, Feldman allowed 2 singles followed by 2 doubles. That allowed 3 runs to score, putting the Mariners up 4-1. At that point, I thought for sure that the Rangers were done for. There was no way that King Felix would allow 3 or more runs to allow us to tie/win the game.

Hank Blalock
But then came the top of the 7th. Hank Blalock led off the inning, and Felix actually walked him, issuing his first walk of the night. Yes!! Every pitching coach will tell you that more often than not, walking the lead-off batter in an inning will come back to bite you.
Ian Kinsler
And it certainly came back to bite King Felix, although it didn’t cause quite as much damage as I had hoped. Ian Kinsler came up behind Blalock and hit a line drive to left field that turned into a double. Runners at 2nd and 3rd, no outs.

Chris Davis (my husband)
Then Chris Davis hit a ground ball for the first out of the inning, but it allowed Hank Blalock to score and Ian Kinsler to advance to 3rd base. That brought the score to 4-2 Mariners, with only one out.
Taylor Teagarden
Taylor Teagarden came up to bat next, and he sacrificed himself just like Chris Davis did to bring Ian Kinsler home. And that brought us to our final score of 4-3. If only CD or Taylor could have gotten on base instead of getting a sacrifice, we might have been able to keep the inning going! But alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

After Teagarden’s out, they pulled King Felix from the game, and the new pitcher (Randy Messenger) got the final out of the 7th inning. Miguel Batista pitched the 8th inning, and David Aardsma came on to close it out in the 9th. And King Felix got his 19th win of the season.

Darren O’Day                                                                                                                                               CJ Wilson
After Feldman left the game, Darren O’Day got 1 1/3 innings of work, followed by C.J. Wilson for the final 2/3 of an inning. They both did a great job, giving up no hits or walks and recording 2 strike-outs each. I’m almost positive that we’ll see C.J. again next year, but I’m a little anxious about Darren O’Day’s status as a Ranger. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I really hope they can bring him back, because he’s done a great job for us!
 
Game Notes:
Marlon Byrd
*Marlon Byrd wasn’t in the lineup for this game. Marlon wasn’t able to play because of his strained hip capsule, which sidelined him for a few games last week and had been bothering him for a few weeks. I was sad not to see Marlon Byrd playing yesterday, because he might not be back next year. I hope the Rangers can get him back, but the financial situation is in dire straits.
Michael Young

*Michael Young was also missing from the lineup yesterday, but he’s guaranteed to come back next season. Michael couldn’t play because he had to rush home since his wife, Cristina, was in labor with their second child. Congratulations, Mike and Cristina!!
Nelson Cruz
*Nelson Cruz wasn’t in the lineup either, because of his sprained ankle. I had predicted a few days ago that Nelly probably wouldn’t be back again this year, but he’s coming back next year too, so it’s okay.
*Hank Blalock WAS in the lineup yesterday, playing 1st base, and that was great to see because it was almost certainly Hank’s last game in a Rangers’ uniform. And it was good that Hank got on base and was able to score a run for the Rangers. I wish Hank all the best luck next year, and in the rest of his baseball career. He was an integral part of our team for many years, and I hope he finds a home that makes him happy!
*We will probably need to win at least 10 more games next year than we did this year in order to make it to the post-season.

Well, this is usually where I would talk about the upcoming pitching matchup, but there are no more upcoming games for the Rangers. But there is still post-season baseball to be played.

Joe Mauer
The next game that I’m excited to see is the one-game playoff between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers to see who wins the AL Central. Both teams finished the regular season tied at 86-76. I’m not sure who I want to win, but I think I’m leaning towards Minnesota because of Joe Mauer. He’s a lock to win the AL MVP this year!

Curtis Granderson
But I’ll be happy if Detroit wins too, because Gerald Laird plays for them now. Curtis Granderson is really good too, and he does a lot of charity work. He just seems like a good guy. Whoever wins will go up against the Yankees, so I’ll be rooting for either team to kick the Yankees out of contention!

I would also like to point out here that my Texas Rangers finished the season with a record of 87-75, meaning that if we were in the AL Central Division, we would be going to the playoffs. But we’re not in the AL Central. We’re in the AL West, even though Texas is in the central part of the U.S. That’s why I don’t think that there should be divisions. All the teams in the AL should just play all the other teams in the division an equal number of times, and the top 4 teams should go to the playoffs. Just my opinion. 🙂