Tagged: Steve Busby

Just Say No

A few days ago, I started hearing rumblings about the Rangers and Manny Ramirez. Uh oh…

Last year, the same rumors began to circulate after Manny was put on waivers in late August. I prayed fervently that Manny would stay away. And he went to the Chicago White Sox, so the Rangers escaped unscathed.

I can only wait and hope the same thing happens again this year.

With the signing of Adrian Beltre, something like this was bound to happen. With Michael Young moving to DH/1B, Vladdy was practically guaranteed not to re-sign with the Rangers. Vladdy wants to play every day, and that’s not gonna happen on the Rangers in the near future.

So the Rangers are looking for a big right-handed bat to come off the bench late in games. (They want him to be right-handed because Mitch Moreland is a lefty, and Moreland would be riding the bench if Michael Young was in the game at 1B.)

Jim Thome was a possibility, but he’s a lefty. And he also decided to re-sign with the Twins for 2011, so he’s no longer an option.

There aren’t too many veteran righties left on the market at this point. It’s pretty much down to Vladdy and Manny. And we already know that Vladdy wants a more active role.

{Sigh}

I’m not saying that I won’t root for the Rangers if Manny is playing here, or even that I won’t root for him when he’s up to bat, but I’d rather have someone else.

I used to like Manny. I remember when the Red Sox has their heyday in the early 2000’s (culminating with their World Series win in 2004), and I loved to watch Manny alongside Johnny Damon and Big Papi.

But soon after, I started hearing lots of negative things about Manny. He publicly discussed his displeasure with the BoSox and requested a trade. It was suggested that he was not a team player.

Then during a game in 2008, Manny was shown slapping teammate Kevin Youkilis during a spat in the dugout. He had another altercation with the Red Sox’s traveling secretary, with Ramirez allegedly pushing him to the ground.

He also stopped hustling on the field, and Red Sox fans assumed it was because of his desire to be traded. But it may have had something to do with sore knees. Who knows?

Manny spent most of the next 3 years with the Dodgers, which just caused me to like him even less. I hate the Dodgers. They’re my least favorite NL team, and their my 2nd most hated team in all of baseball (behind the Yankees, of course).

During the 2009 season, Manny was suspended for 50 games because he voilated a drug test. He tested positive for HCG, which is a female pregnancy hormone thought to help reset an athlete’s body after a steroid cycle.

Later in the 2009 season, it was released that Manny had also failed a drug test in 2003.

The Dodgers put him on waivers in late August, and on August 30 of 2010, Manny was claimed by the Chicago White Sox. His performance for them was decidedly lackluster during his 24 games. Now he’s a free agent, and the threat of Manny looms on the horizon.

TR Sullivan reported today that the Rangers, Angels, and Rays are all in the mix for Manny. MLBtraderumors.com agrees, they report that the Rays are also discussing a deal with Johnny Damon. So if the Rays get Damon, does that mean they’ll quit pursuing Manny? {Gulp}

Manny is reportedly very focused on baseball, and he’s had some amazing stats. But if he’s been taking steroids for at least the last 7 years, his accomplishments are greatly diminished.

With all of the stunts he’s pulled in the last decade, I’d just rather not have him in Texas. Period.

In other news, John Rhadigan has been named to replace Josh Lewin as the play-by-play announcer on television. I think I like this, but I won’t be able to give a definitive diagnosis until after I hear him call a few games.

You know who I would love to see calling games on tv? Steve Busby. I love when they bring him in to talk pitching. But he probably would need to be the color guy as opposed to the play-by-play guy.

I love Tom Grieve; he’s a very nice guy and he’s Mr. Ranger. But I would prefer Busby over Greive any day. Can’t you just imagine Buzz and Rhads together?

Well of course you can, because you’ve seen them do pre- and post-game shows together. It would be awesome, I’m telling you.

Maybe some day.

This weekend is the first 2-day Rangers’ Fan Fest, and I’m excited/nervous. It’s at the Arlington Convention Center this year, which is definitely different from having it at the Ballpark. But last year it didn’t get above freezing all day at Fan Fest, and spending most of the day outside was not easy.

So at least we won’t be cold this year. But I’m dreading all the running back and forth. I’ve seen the layout, and it looks like I’m going to be running around or standing in line all day tomorrow. All by myself, because I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. Great.

A crushed pelvis + arthritis + a long time on my feet = lots of pain for Katie. And since it’s a 2-day thing, if I get up on Sunday morning incredibly sore and beat up, I’m screwed. But it’s a new experience, so we’ll see how it goes. Maybe I’ll bring my cane.

I just need to remember that if I don’t get somebody’s autograph, it’s not the end of the world. I’ll get it later. I shouldn’t push myself too hard, but just try to have fun! Woo hoo!!!

Oh, I just remembered that I hadn’t told you about the autographs I got last weekend. The Rangers Winter Caravan made a stop at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco (I LOVE that place!), and there were a lot of guys signing autographs.

For myself: David Murphy, Dave Anderson, Steve Buechele, and Mitch Moreland
For my step-dad Larry: Derek Holland (smeared everywhere unfortunately) and Chuck Greenberg
For my dad: Steve Buechele, Tommy Hunter, and Mitch Moreland

My step-sister Faith went with me, and we had a BLAST! So hopefully this weekend will be more of the same!

Pitchers and catchers report in: 26 days
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oh $h!t

Well, everything started off fine. We were leading 3-0 after the top of the 4th. The Royals got 1 run in the bottom of the 4th, but we were still leading 3-1.

Derek Holland

Then came the bottom of the 5th, when Derek Holland gave up another 3 runs to the Royals. They yanked Derek Holland after 4.2 innings and brought in Jason Grilli to try to stop the bleeding, but to no avail. By the time the 5th inning was over, the Rangers were losing 4-3. Grilli came back to pitch in the 6th inning, and he did a good job of shutting down the Royals. Then Jason Jennings came in to pitch for us in the 7th inning, and he gave up 2 more runs to make it 6-3. Willie Eyre took over in the bottom of the 8th, in his first outing since his fight with the flu, and he did a good job too. But the damage was already done. So ends our winning streak.

Notables in this game:
1) Due to the nasty flu going around the clubhouse, Ron Washington had a kind of piecemeal line-up tonight. Absent were David Murphy, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Elvis Andrus tonight.

2) Michael Young came up with 3 hits tonight, the first of which was a solo home run in the top of the first inning. Good job Mikey!

Michael Young

3) Omar Vizquel made a gorgeous play at short-stop, which actually resulted in the Royals’ manager being ejected from the game. Omar went after a line drive between 2nd and 3rd, caught it barehanded, and launched it to Hank Blalock at 1st with barely a pause. The batter was really hustling on his way to first, and he almost beat the throw, but on the replay it was clear that Omar got the ball to Hank before the runner’s foot hit the bag. The Royals’ manager, of course, went out to argue the call with the 1st base umpire, as is customary for a close play. But things must have gotten pretty heated in the argument, because pretty soon, the ump ejected him from the game.

Omar Vizquel

In watching the Rangers’ post-game show on FSN Southwest, one of the viewers tweeted the following question: “What will Washington do with Holland after 2 subpar starts? Keep him in the rotation or move him back to the bullpen?”

Hmm, that’s a good question. And Steve Busby’s answer sounded pretty similar to what I opined yesterday about Derek Holland: There are 3 options. 1) Wash could keep Holland in the starting rotation in the majors, 2) move him to the bullpen in the majors, or 3) send him down to AAA to get some work as a starter. Buzz and I both agree that Derek Holland will be a great starting pitcher sometime in the near future. But we’re not really going to be able to depend on Holland to start for us every 5th day in the majors, so the 1st of those 3 options is pretty much ruled out. Maybe we can use him for spot-starts as we keep him in the bullpen, but the kid really needs to practice and get chances to succeed. Of course, Ron Washington could decide to keep him in the starting rotation and hope for the best. Who knows? It’s not a question with a cut-and-dried answer.

Tomorrow’s pitching lineup: Our ace Kevin Millwood, who has been doing an amazing job, against Sir Sidney Ponson, who hasn’t been doing too well of late. Ponson has 1 win and 6 losses so far this season. And yes, I did say “Sir” Sidney; he was knighted in his home country of Aruba in 2003. Interestingly enough, Ponson was a Ranger at the beginning of last season, and I met him on Photo Day last year. He was kinda weird. Just my impression. 🙂

Kevin Millwood
I’m totally confident that the Rangers can come back tomorrow to take the series. The Royals were getting desperate after 10 losses in a row, but after their single win tonight I think they’ll lose that fervor. And we can take them tomorrow; there’s no doubt in my mind.
Sir Sidney Ponson
Originally published July 25, 2009