Google+ Followers

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Your Opening Series Opponent (Yes Houston still has a baseball team and I'm pretty sure they're still called the Astros, but who knows haha)


This time next week we'll be gearing up for the home opener against the Halos and will have had our first series under our belts! Lest we forget the MLB season itself kicks off on Sunday night on national TV with your Texas Rangers and...the Houston Astros? I mean, I've seen/heard/read many national sports personalities scratching their heads at the Astros' inclusion. Rightfully so, I guess? The Rangers are a big draw over the past 3 years (as I've previously described) so no real surprise there, I'd say.



So I suppose it has a lot to do with the Astros switching leagues in an effort to realign divisions and create some semblance of symmetry throughout as we'll now have 3 divisions of 5 teams in each league. It also creates a rivalry of sorts (its already a natural rivalry they say) which I believe has ALWAYS felt forced. These teams won't be strangers to each other as we've played the Astros annually since 2001 thanks to interleague play (which Jenn hates). It was dubbed the "Lone Star Series" complete with a goofy trophy...the silver boot.




Side note #1
Interleague play: The Rangers actually played in the first ever interleague game on June 12, 1997 at the Ballpark against the San Francisco Giants. Semi-impress your friends with that nugget if you like. Haha...we lost 4-3 too by the way...


First Pitch. Interleague play. Nolan. Of course

I digress. Back to the Lone Star Series. The Rangers have actually enjoyed great success against the Astros in those 12 years (that long really?). They would play an even number of games (6), which I always found goofy, with the tiebreaker going to the team which scored more runs (usually the Rangers, big surprise). Anyway, the Rangers were an overall 42-30 and collected 9 of 12 Silver Boots for what it's worth. Since 2009, the Rangers are actually a fairly dominant 19-5 against the Astros.


Now I don't need to tell you this encompasses a ton of different players/teams/managers, but who are THESE Astros? Well they're pretty much the worst team in baseball. That's not hyperbole, those are just facts. Lets examine: they lost 107 games in 2012 and 106 in 2011 (that means 108 losses in 2013, no? haha..). Any Astros player you could pretend to name from the mid-to-late 2010's are all but gone.
Put a gun to my head and ask me to name an Astros player and I'll come up with this clown.

Some say they are taking a "moneyball" approach and building from within (i.e. Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland As obviously), shedding big/bad contracts, and shunning high profile free agents. You've no doubt already heard that Alex Rodriguez's salary eclipses that of the entire Astros roster combined. So on the surface it seems they pose no real threat. I mean...they're the Astros, right?...but to hear the many, many Houston fans I've encountered in my lifetime you wouldn't know it to hear them tell it...


Side note #2: We have to go back before baseball even existed in the state of Texas to examine this phenomenon. I've learned only recently that the state of Texas has always been inundated with St. Louis Cardinals fans before actual Texas teams were a part of the MLB. Now if you know anything about that fan base you know it's a very hardcore baseball culture. Now for some reason, once the Astros (formerly the Colt .45s) came into existence their fans got it in their heads that Houston is some kind of baseball town. National League ball is superior to American League ball etc. The truth is that the Astros DO have a great fanbase much like the Rangers. In my experience, however, they've always had some kind of notion of superiority towards us, but why? What have they accomplished that we haven't?


I really only bring this up because I am admittedly a huge sportstalk radio fanatic and while there are many outlets to fulfill this vice in the great city of Dallas, there is but one meager option in Bryan/College Station: Sportsradio 1150 "The Zone".  They focus primarily on Houston area sports due to the area's close proximity to the city of Houston (I'm guessing). In keeping with this focus they broadcast all Houston Astros baseball games on the station. The recent rise in popularity for the Texas Rangers led long silent (I assume) Ranger fans or perhaps new Aggies who happen to be Ranger fans to complain a bit about said broadcasts. They expressed their frustration with e-mails, texts, and calls about not being able to hear Ranger broadcasts in the area. So, years ago this prompted a local radio personality to utter the following words which I will now paraphrase as my memory of the exact words escapes me, "Alright, Ranger Fan. You can have your moment in the sun. Have a laugh at Astro Fan's expense but, overall the Houston Astros have FAR OUTSHINED the Texas Rangers in the state of Texas".


Is this really the case? The Astros have had a bumpy existence, winning only one NL pennant and making the playoffs just eight times in their 50 years. They have never won a World Series game despite making it in 2005 – a four-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago White Sox.


Side note #3: Lets look at the numbers just for fun...

 

Rangers

18 Winning seasons

2  Pennants
 

5  Division titles

 

Astros

21 Winning seasons

1 Pennant

6 Division titles



The Rangers are 19-25 in postseason play to the Astros' 21-35 record.
The numbers looks pretty similar, wouldn't you say?


So, in conclusion, get over yourself Houston fan and I am respectfully welcoming you to the American League. Yall are lucky I even dedicated an entire post to you. Haha. Either way, you have your work cut out for you...


By the way, here are your pitching matchups, Ranger fans...


3/31
Harrison (0-0) Norris (0-0)



 4/2
Darvish (0-0) Harrell (0-0)

4/3
Ogando (0-0) Humber (0-0)


ONE DAY!!!!







Friday, March 29, 2013

Opening Day Lineup & Season Giveaways

I know you've all been hanging on the edge of your seats to see if Wash took my advice regarding Ian Kinsler hitting 6th...

It is with great regret that I inform you that he did not...Wash did not take my advice.  (Maybe my email went to his spam folder?)

However, I am still excited to present to you, your Texas Rangers Opening Day Lineup for 2013:

1.  Ian Kinsler, 2B
2.  Elvis Andrus, SS
3.  Lance Berkman, DH
4.  Adrian Beltre, 3B
5.  Nelson Cruz, RF
6.  David Murphy, LF
7.  A.J. Pierzynski, C
8.  Mitch Moreland, 1B
9.  Leonys Martin, CF

And, of course, Matty Harrison's on the mound.  Bud Norris is starting for the Astros.  Please don't ask me who the hell that is; if Astros fans don't know, I shouldn't have to...

In fact, I was attempting to name as many Astros off the top of my head as I could.  Here they are:

Jose Altuve.

Sorry, that was it.  That's all I got.  And some joker wrote online that he's (Altuve) the best 2nd baseman in the AL West now...chile please...have you never heard of Ian Kinsler...or Howie Kendrick?  Maybe by "best" he meant "better than Dustin Ackley".  I'll give him that.  Not to mention that Altuve single-handedly keeps my Major League hopes alive.  He's 5'5!  

Any who, this was just a super quick post to show you the Opening Day lineup.  Oh, and to tell you that the Rangers have really upped the ante on the ballpark giveaways this year!  Check it out:



Best part of this t-shirt:  The "AB on one knee"/"I just hit a bomb" pose

We've got Adrian Beltre t-shirts for the first 10,000 kids 13 and under on April 21st.

There are baseballs in his holster!  Need I say more?
Nolan Ryan bobble heads for the first 30,000 on May 1st.

He counts Ks people!  
And Yu Darvish "K Counter" bobble heads for the first 20,000 on June 11th.

There are many others worth checking out like picnic blankets (it has seams on it!), fedoras, and my personal favorite, the beer steins on August 13th.  There was no photo, so we can only hope "Sweet Baby Ray's" isn't written in size 125 point font on the side of it.  

Here's your complete list of giveaways for the season complete with all of the pics posted above and several others.

And one gripe before I bid you adieu:  Why are there two off-days during opening week?!  No baseball Monday or Thursday, Rangers fans.

Oh well. 

Bring on the bunting!

2 sleeps!









Thursday, March 28, 2013

Who are these guys? And can they go anywhere?

Well, if you're like me and you've been following how this 25-man is shaping up for Opening Day, then you might be in a state of minor panic...

Nick Tepesch?  Leury Garcia? Who are these guys?  Are they any good?

Let's start with Tepesch, the Rangers new 5th starter.  He's a 6'4, 225-pound righty, born in KC in the late 80's;  1988 to be exact.  Why does that sound so damn recent?

Anyway, most of that is not what you were wondering.  Here is what you DO want to know:

Tepesch spent the last two years in A ball and AA ball.  That's it.  That's all he's got.  A little addition to the "panic factor" is that his ERA was 4.28 in Frisco last year, although that was his first real shot at AA hitters.  To be positive, the Rangers drafted Tepesch in '10 after playing college ball at the University of Missouri - Columbia; and college ball usually helps pitchers.  And I like that he's 24/25 and not 21/22...21/22 usually doesn't bode well unless you're Elvis Andrus; almost never for a pitcher.

Leury Garcia, on the other hand is only 22 years old.  Born in 1991!  I think I was leaving elementary school at that point!  Anyway, Garcia is not as big a concern as Tepesch because he's our utility infielder, so all we really need is for him to be able to catch and throw the ball on occasion.  Although, he did hit .292 in about 400 at-bats in Frisco last year, so maybe he'll surprise us.  Of course, like any fan, I hope we only see Garcia on the random off-day for our starters, day game after a night game, etc.  God forbid anything happen to Kins or Elvis.  That would just be terrible.

Another surprise at the close of camp was Jeff Baker...the 31-year old from Germany, (finally, an adult!), who, after an incredible spring, made the team as a back-up for Beltre at 3B and Murphy in left.

So here you have it my friends, your Texas Rangers depth chart for the 2013 season as of 3/27/13, courtesy of www.TexasRangers.com:


Now, if you're looking at this depth chart with a little concern regarding the starting rotation, I'll remind you that Colby Lewis is expected back in May.  So, Tepesch's big league shot may be limited to a 6-8 week trial run.  Other positives include Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar being sent down to the minors.  Both are chock full of potential, especially Profar.  But, if we have enough talent at the MLB level to help us avoid a potential David Clyde redux, then why the heck wouldn't we?

The real cause for concern here may be our lack of power.  Hamilton's gone.  Napoli's gone.  Now, I know we've added Berkman and Pierzynski, but I'm going to need a little proof (at Berkman's age especially) before I jump on that bandwagon.  And not that Michael Young was a power guy, but he added 200 hits to our lineup up every year since God knows when (God says it was 2003).  Many of those hits were doubles, and we're going to miss that.

In my opinion, there's a fix here.  Maybe not a permanent solution, but a nice little fix to start 2013.

Doesn't that uppercut scream 6-hole to you?


I have defended Ian Kinsler in the lead-off spot many a time.  Good base stealer, good bat control, walks a lot...that adds up to one hell of a top-of-the order guy, right?  Well, if you watch half as many games as we do (which is about 81 games a year), you know that Kins hits for average OR he hits for power.  It's usually, and by usually I mean 95% of the time, not both.  It's 30/30 and he hits .250 or a nice .285-.300 avg with 10-20 home runs.  It's as if he has Rickey Henderson on one shoulder telling him to use his speed and he's got Willie Mays Hayes on the other shoulder telling him to hit it as high and far as he can.

If only Wash would make Kins drop and do 20 every time he popped up...
So I say, let Elvis lead-off and put Kins in the 6-hole.  Then he can swing for the fences as much as he wants. Berkman, Beltre, Cruz, Kins.  Not bad, right?

We are almost there...

3 Days.  






Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"How We Got Here" addendum...


As long as we're operating under the premise that our target audience are recent to very recent Rangers fans (4-6) years; further background on our rise to prominence still seems lacking. Although I've never technically tried my hand at actual hardcore blogging, in this day and age, social networking allows me to revisit my many, many, many sports takes on the Rangers (and all sports for that matter). Consequently/luckily/annoyingly, the goofy 'timeline' feature of Facebook lets me go back as far as 2005 (when I joined)! Now, I don't need to tell you that some of my posts (most actually haha) were spot-on, while others were slightly off. For our purposes here we'll revisit a post from 2008 and another from 2009...



Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 12:53am  
The Texas Rangers have always taken a backseat in the DFW area and I suppose for the most part rightfully so. After all, they have produced a meager three division titles and one playoff win in 36 years. So they entered this season (as they do many) with few expectations from the hardcore Ranger fans like me and much less the casual fan. I still firmly believe this organization is just never going to get it when it comes to pitching prospects and will continue to churn out high scoring clubs because this is what fills the seats. I have to admit though that it is quite remarkable that they have put together a winning team with some (if meager and unlikely) wild card aspirations. Of course the team is only three games over .500 at the moment and that number is likely to dip again. Still, I also have to say if we are going to criticize John Daniels for trading away Chris Young, Adrian Gonzalez, and John Danks among others, we have to credit him for bringing in Josh Hamilton, Milton Bradley, and David Murphy (essentially the entire outfield). Success is still far off for the Rangers, but if they can turn our incredible depth in the farm system into pitching prospects via a trade and maybe add a C.C Sabathia/Cliff Lee, Ben Sheets, or K-Rod you never know. For now I can live with a non-last place finish and an above .500 team...


Lots to chew on here. It's worth noting that the Rangers indeed did finish the season below .500 (79-83) yet somehow still 2nd in the West. Josh Hamilton's story is mythical. We won't cover that since he's a member of the Angels now (haha). David Murphy is a projected starter on your 2013 Rangers. Milton Bradley turned out to be one of those 1-2 year projects the Mid-2000's Rangers would take a shot/minimal risk on and would later deal to produce a serviceable young player or utility player.

As a matter of freakin' fact, David Murphy is a product of such a transaction. Scandal ridden Eric Gagne' spent one pretty damn good year with the Rangers before being traded to the Red Sox for pitcher Kason Gabbard, Engel Beltre and one David Murphy. Engel Beltre is lingering around Round Rock somewhere if I'm not mistaken.


The Rangers famously traded for Cliff Lee at the deadline in 2010 for Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke and Matt Lawson. I doubt there's a scenario where the Mariners will end up getting the better of that deal, even though Lee was a Ranger for a mere half season. I mean, would you trade the 2010 AL Pennant for those players right now? Thought not...





 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 10:01pm



I wonder if anyone else in North Texas is feeling the same optimism about the Texas Rangers as I am. Though I am not ready to say this team is ready to compete legitimately I do believe they will make it interesting for at least a good majority of the 2009 season. I would actually be pleased with at least a decent start to the season unlike last year’s disastrous 10-18 (10-15 in ’07) effort out of the gates. The AL west seems largely up for grabs as the mighty Angels seem to have fallen off a bit. What we do know about the Rangers is that they will score runs in bunches and hit their share of homeruns. The question mark is, as always, the pitching. With Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla in contract years, however, I see them giving their best efforts on the mound. Elvis Andrus will likely struggle at the plate but is a defensive upgrade at short as the Rangers are in dire need of a defensive makeover. The time has also come for products of trades over the last few years who have pushed their way into the startling lineup to pay dividends (Nelly Cruz, Saltalamacchia, David Murphy etc.). If our bullpen holds steady as it has over the last couple of years…I see no reason why this team cannot win 84-85 games. On the intangible side, there is just something about the karma of the Rangers in red uniforms that you have to love. Either way, look for this team to make real noise in 2010.


Lots more to chew on here! The 2009 Rangers finished the year at 87-75 (2nd in the West) and actually semi-defied me by going 10-11 in April and waited until May to dominate (20-9). Since then it's actually an earmark of Ranger teams to start off the season with a particularly hot month (no pun intended)

e.g. 21-6 month of June in 2010, 18-9 July in 2011 (the 2011 Rangers actually finished hot as well evidenced by a franchise best 96 wins that year), 17-6 April and 19-9 June in 2012.

Kevin Millwood was a work horse pitcher for the Rangers throughout his tenure. His 2009 was actually pretty solid/par for the course (13-10 3.67 ERA).





He was traded later in 2009 for Chris Ray and a player to be named later. Chris Ray would go on to be traded to the San Francisco Giants (the Rangers' eventual World Series opponent) in June of 2010 for...wait for it...Bengie Molina! You could probably make a good argument that this was Millwood's greatest indirect contribution to the Rangers.


Name that ALCS moment!


Vicente Padilla was designated for assignment in 2009 and released shortly thereafter. His 3 years in Texas were ridiculous. Plain ridiculous. I'd actually like to forget he was ever a part of our team. I curse my 2009 self for reminding me of him! Haha...

Idiot.















Finally, much to my delight it appears Ranger Red is here to stay.




So there you have it, Ranger fans. Another quick trip down memory lane and window into my infinite wisdom and sports clairvoyance haha. Most of all it's a taste of the reflections, triumphs, sorrows, and grievances to come we can now share on a regular basis since I now have a clear venue for them! 4 days to go...



P.S.

Just for fun before we move forward here's actual video documentation of me watching and reacting to the last out of the 2010 ALCS (the aforementioned greatest moment of my 30s and maybe even my entire life hahaha)


<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0mm6fZmK2o8?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Monday, March 18, 2013

The Bandwagon Fan and The Elusive Opening Day Ticket

Can I just say before I officially begin this post that I have been torn on this particular subject for a few years now...

Side A:  Why the hell do I have to enter a drawing for the "opportunity" to buy Opening Day tickets when 70% of these clowns have NO idea who Charlie Hough is?*

Side B:  It really is great to see so many fans at the park...tailgating even!  I never thought I'd see the day; so glad everyone is finally catching on!

*Don't give me the "I know Pudge/Gonzo/Nolan Ryan" crap.  It's damn near impossible to have lived in the DFW Metroplex during the last 15 - 25 years and not know them.  Even bringing up this argument almost automatically disqualifies you from the discussion.  Fans, not to be mistaken for people that happen to live in DFW, FANS know random players like Charlie Hough and Oddibe McDowell.

OK...let's begin.

Official attendance at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was 3,460,280 for the 2012 season.  It was 2,244,616 for the 1993 season.  Two side notes on the 1993 season:  1.  The Rangers finished 10 games over .500 that year; 2nd in the West.  2.  That was the final season at Arlington Stadium.



I picked 1993 just to demonstrate that even buoyed by Arlington Stadium's swan song AND a decent team to watch, attendance was still 1.2 MILLION off the 2012 pace.  And for anyone that would like to make the requisite "The population of DFW has grown X amount since 1993" argument, I present this to you:

The attendance during the 2009 season at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was 2,156,016.

That's right.  Even lower than that last year in Arlington Stadium.  And just one year before the Rangers began their historic franchise turnaround.

I provided all of these numbers just to prove that this bandwagon has been jumped...about a million times.  Not that you needed all of that to prove the obvious, I'm just very thorough.  (Thank you BaseballReference.com)

So what's the problem?  Why doesn't "Side B" work?

I'll tell you why.  Because almost 100% of those new million or so "fans" exist because they like a winner, not the Rangers, and not even baseball.  So now we've got people (I'm throwing Leo in here too) asking us questions like "So, what happens if we win?", "How many games do we have to win to go to the World Series?" and my personal favorite, "Is there a Rangers game tonight/this Friday (maybe we should go)?".

It's a 162 game season, there is almost always a game "tonight"...and Friday?  Really?  Come on.

And it's those same people asking "Are we in the playoffs?" that we fans are fighting for tickets.  Opening Day tickets.  Playoff tickets.  "Premier Game" tickets.  (I hate the "premier game", btw)  And then some jackass like Cliff Lee wants to make a snide comment about wanting to play for a team whose fans don't need the scoreboard to know when to clap.

I don't need the scoreboard, jerk!  But, I also wasn't going to pay $400 to sit in the 300 section either.  That price tag is courtesy of Joe Bandwagon who thinks Mike Napoli is the best catcher of all time.

Now I'm not saying you have to know every draft pick since 1972 or even remember Benji Gil to get a ticket.  I'm just saying that there should be some preferential treatment for those of us that can answer a few questions...like a baseball fan Wonderlic to be taken before purchasing tickets:

  1. Who made the final out of Kenny Rogers' perfect game?
  2. What's the best trade in Texas Rangers history?
  3. Explain the infield fly rule.
Ok, maybe question three is too harsh.  But, you see where I'm going with this.

Ah well, maybe this is wishful thinking.  I guess I'll just enjoy the atmosphere the Rangers' winning ways have created.  Check it out:



2010 ALDS...a sea of Ranger Red.  Glorious.

A Rangers win > Game Tickets.

12 days.

Friday, March 15, 2013

How we got here (in a nutshell, more or less)...

I'm not sure I can follow the two previous awesome posts, but I'll give it a shot!


So, the 2010-2012 Rangers have spoiled us Ranger fans a bit. It's easily the most successful stretch in Rangers history. The attention the team has garnered over said time period is the catalyst for this very blog, I'd say. I sometimes think about my 4 nephews and how in their memories going forward as adults, as far as they know, the Rangers have always been dominant! Similar to how most of us in our 20s and 30s think of the Cowboys. That is downright amazing to me, but I digress.


We all know the story by now as it has become legendary in North Texas baseball circles. The magical 2010 Rangers ran into a brickwall of pitching also known as the Giants in the World Series, but not before manhandling the Yankees in the ALCS (A-rod striking out looking and Nefty and Bengie celebrating to clinch the pennant might be the greatest memory of my 30s haha).



The 2011 Rangers surprised many (myself included) by heading right back to the World Series pretty handily thanks in large part to the previously untainted Nelly Cruz.  They were one strike away from a Championship not once, but twice and famously lost in one of the better World Series in recent memory.


Now for some reason I felt like the 2012 Rangers would be a power house. It was their first real season of high expectations. For the most part they were...until the last three weeks of the season. That collapse has no words or warrants any further analysis.


You could call us unlucky if you wanted to; not benefiting from homefield advantage in the World Series due to the All-Star Game losses by the AL (this time it counts blah) when ironically there were many Ranger heroes in the Mid Summer Classic prior. Not to mention the expanded one game playoff Wild Card system implemented in 2012 (you just knew it had to be us and we would lose.) I won't play the unlucky, why us, card though...











Which brings us to the 2013 Rangers. What are the realistic expectations, Rangers fans? The Angels keep winning the off-season which hasn't worked out for them. I'm not much looking forward to facing that lineup. We welcome the lowly Astros to the West which should be good for a nice 13-15 wins easily, no? The A's will seemingly only keep improving.

Where are we? We've lost a clubhouse guy, team leader, and all around class act in Micheal Young (my boy and fav Ranger since forever). We've lost Josh Hamilton (yawn). We missed out on every 'sexy' move which we were purportedly involved in during the off-season. Our starting rotation, especially on the back end, is a mystery. Who's the Ace of this staff (Matty, Yu, Holland even) ? Well, if it's one thing the Rangers do NOT lack it's available arms. This staff and bullpen will come into place. I'm actually not worried about it all. The big question mark for me is the offense (how crazy is that to say about a Rangers team?) The new additions are underwhelming at best. You don't get rich betting on Lance Berkman and A.J. Pierzynski at their ages. The keen-eyed-Ranger fans will pay close attention to Jurickson Profar, Mike Olt, and Leonys Martin. That's what will make or break our season if you ask me today, right now.

So I suppose I've raised more questions than I've actually answered (haha). It is entirely too soon for prediction time, but I think we learned an important lesson last year. Never put yourself in a position where you have to play in a win or go home game ever again. Anything can happen. The Rangers have shot out of a cannon the last 3 years early in the season and we're gonna need more of the same. I'm circling the weekend of April 6th on my calendar. It's not quite a litmus test, but we're gonna need to send a message to the Halos in Arlington. (You'll notice that I'll use 'we' freely as if I'm part of the team. Jenn will also. Haha) I suppose, then, that the 2013 Rangers will take the field with much uncertainty (even in their front office!)  The only thing we're ALL certain of is that we're ready for that first pitch at the Juice Box aka Minute Maid Park...


The Late, Great Mark Holtz

So, I started to write about ways that FSSW and TX21 could improve their broadcasts:
  1. E - When they show the score before and just after commercial breaks it shows the number of runs, hits, & errors.  Would it be too much to add the name of the player who made the error?  I mean, everyone wants to know (if they missed it)...and hopefully, there wouldn't be so many that we couldn't list everyone.
  2. Pitch Count - This is something else we're all always wondering.  They show the pitch count in the park; how hard could it be for the TV stations to create a graphic?  Not very, is my guess.  Every few innings from the booth just isn't cutting it for me.
  3. Pitch Velocity - For EVERY pitch.  This is something else we want to know and also shown in the park.  Just add the graphic FSSW, you know you want to...
But, thinking about the broadcasts made me think about the broadcasters.  We have Buzz and Mr. Ranger now and I like this combo.  Busby has a great voice and Grieve is...well..Mr. Ranger.  And I'll never forget the time he yelled (ON THE BROADCAST) at Terry Bevington (remember him?  old White Sox manager) to "Sit down and shut up!".  That was awesome.  Not to mention that they're both former big leaguers who don't sound like their IQ is lower than 75.  Also a plus.

Do you remember who was in the booth before them, though?  And I don't mean Dave Barnett.  Although, what the hell did happen with that?  I don't think any of us will soon forget the "the tying run is on 5th" episode.  Hopefully, he's well and all.  But, back to the point.  Not Barnett.  And not Josh Lewin.  Although I really did like Lewin.  He was hilarious.  The only broadcaster we've ever had that would make pop culture references during the game and somehow not make them feel out of place in the context of baseball.  I was sad to see him go.  But, I'm pretty sure Grieve had a party the day he left.

I mean Mark Holtz.  Mark Holtz!  "Hello Win Column" Mark Holtz.  "It's Baseball Time in Texas" Mark Holtz.  


Mark Holtz is the voice I hear when I remember childhood games, watching with my grandpa, or with my mom.  He had a classic broadcaster's voice.  And he even made radio baseball exciting, if you remember him that far back. "A dip is coming!" he'd say when a 2nd baseman or shortstop would fire from the bag to throw to 1st for the double play.

Anyway, I think it's awesome that the club still uses some of his phrases in the park and in advertising.  They've got Wash saying "Hello Win Column" at the end of a couple of commercials this year.  And Chuck Morgan says "It's Baseball Time in Texas" over the PA system in the park and has for as long as I can remember now.  It's too bad Mark Holtz left so soon.  Cancer sucks.  He could have been our Vin Scully.

Oh well...here's to hoping that we see this a bunch (a bunch >90 times in my mind, by the way) before the end of the year:  


15 days.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Welcome...Let's Get The Party Started...

Welcome to 162+ folks.  

If you love baseball and especially Texas Rangers baseball, then this is the place for you.  As of now, we have 16 days until the Rangers open at Minute Maid Park in Houston, which is giving me the urge to give you a list of reasons why Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is better than that mall of a ballpark.  But, that would take all day.  All I can say is, if a ballpark with air conditioning doesn't annoy the hell out of you, then you may be reading the wrong blog.

I digress...

16 days until Kins, Elvis, AB, YU, and the boys get the MLB party started for 2013.  Needless to say, this has been quite the underwhelming off-season for the Rangers.  We lost quite a few big pieces that we didn't replace and have a couple of key guys starting the season on the DL (Lewis and Feliz), not to mention the "is Nolan Ryan leaving the organization?" distraction.  Looks like the team's success for 2013 may hinge on the performance of the kids...we can only hope they're ready.

Here's a picture of our happy place to get you in the mood:


There will be much more to talk about this season....

The Angels transformation into the Yankees...whether or not we'll BOO Josh Hamilton...who the hell our 5th starter is...why Profar should be in AAA...Yu bobbleheads...

ahhh...the possibilities....

Stay tuned.