I just returned from five glorious days of roaming around the Texas Rangers camp at Billy Parker Field in Surprise, Arizona. The first thing I learned: five days in not long enough. There are 15 Major League teams that train in the Cactus League’s ten venues, and they are spread out all over the Phoenix area. The second and third things I learned: renting a car at the airport in Phoenix is a ripoff and traffic between stadiums is horrible.
During my short stay, I managed to see three games, one of which was an intrasquad game pitched by Yu “Y’all” Darvish. (He is a tall drink of water.) After talking with several players, observing batting practices, and eavesdropping on the conversations of myriad scouts sitting around me, I’ve prepared a list of 12 reasons the Texas Rangers will win the World Series in 2012.
Jump for the truth. (more…)
The video above is the famed fight between young Chicago White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura and old Texas Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan. Prior to the last couple years, an argument could have been made for it being the greatest moment in Rangers franchise history.
The club certainly treated it as such. It was frequently shown during games at The Ballpark/Ameriquest Field/Rangers Ballpark, including before every game last season. But, ESPN Dallas reports, the clip is being put out to pasture. Partially this decision seems driven by the fact that Ventura is now manager of the White Sox, the team that the Rangers will open the season against on April 6. But it may only be played once this year.
I understand: Now that the Rangers are no longer a perennial also-ran, and are the two-time defending American League champions expected to remain a powerhouse team for at least the next several years, they don’t necessarily want to be seen touting an on-field brawl as one of their all-time great moments.
But I also understand that Ventura vs. Ryan is an all-time classic clip. Do the Rangers have anything to replace it in terms of sheer entertainment value?
In something you probably will never see in a Major League Baseball game but probably would love to, Texas Ranger Yorvit Torrealba (who has been playing winter ball in his home country of Venezuela, has been handed a 66-game suspension for letting his hand get in the way of an umpire’s face. Or hitting him, whichever description you’re semantically inclined to adopt.
If you are bad at math, or do not know how long a season of Venezuelan winter baseball lasts, this will keep him from playing for about a season and a half. This also means he will be well rested and possibly gentler with the umpires when he comes back to Texas. According to ESPNDallas.com, Rangers GM Jon Daniels and staff will go over the details of the incident before deciding what if anything they will do about it. Penalties from Venezuelan winter ball (or Honduran, Colombian, Antartican, Panamanian, Arctic, Djiboutian or any other country’s winter ball) do not carry over to the MLB.
Photos from this weekend’s Halloween festivities are here. My personal favorites awards go to theÂ OregonÂ Trail couple with dysentary and measles, the twisted Mad Hatters, a couple of Pop Tarts, the gay pack of flamingos (aka: “The Flamingays”), the troll doll duo (rhinestone bellybuttons included), a box of Franzia, a frightening Joker chick, and the Ninja Turtle girl. Enjoy all of our weekend’s Party Pics and stay tuned for more tomorrow.
Oh and we’ve got more happy Rangers fans photos (pre-loss, of course) from Ten Sports Grill. So there’s that.
As much fun as I’ve had rooting for the Texas Rangers during these playoffs, I realized after last night’s gut-wrenching contest that I’m still not actually a true fan of the team. If I were, then this morning I would be more depressed and frustrated than I am abuzz about the absolute brilliance of those last few innings. In baseball, more than any other sport, it ain’t over ’til it’s over. Â It’s much of what makes the game great, even if it hurts something awful, as any Red Sox or Cubs fan can tell you.
But what a game. It’s inconceivable that a team would be down to its final strike twice in game 6 of the World Series and come back to win. It’s inconceivable that a team could come back from two-run deficits twice, in the ninth and 10th innings of game 6 of the World Series, and win. As with much of baseball, that stuff just doesn’t happen. Until it does.
So now that we have the distance of a few hours of fitful sleep, let’s talk about where that game ranks in baseball history, because there’s no doubt that we all witnessed last night one of the most amazing games ever played. Earlier this year, MLB Network ran a series ranking the 20 Greatest Games ever (in the television era, so they’d have some clips to broadcast).
After taking many points off for the many ugly errors that we saw by both the Rangers and the Cardinals last night, I’ve got to rank it No.3 on that list. Behind the famed Carlton Fisk home run game and Jack Morris vs. the Atlanta Braves in 1991. Â But ahead of the Bill Buckner game and (the game that’s most special to me personally) the Braves’ ninth-inning rally in the 1992 NLCS.
It was that good. I’m hoping Game 7 is just as good. (But I don’t blame diehard Rangers fans for preferring to see a 15-0 blowout.)
Federal Stimulus Money Targeting Family Homelessness Running Out: In 2008, the federal government awarded $7 million in two year grants to help stave off homelessness brought on by increased foreclosures and evictions. Now as those grants expire, homeless advocates can no longer offer the assistance, even though Tarrant County, at least, has seen a 9 percent increase in evictions this year.
Serial Rapist Targets Alumnae of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority: A serial rapist is acting out a real life horror movie script, targeting middle aged former members of the DFW chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. His four victims all belonged to said sorority, and they say the perpetrator had “personal knowledge about them.”
Michael Irvin Ejected From Celina ISD Football Game: Ivin’s son was playing for Prestonwood Christian Academy, and Irvin was playing the role of the obnoxious sports dad, tossing about enough f-bombs to get himself ejected from the stadium.
Fan Tosses Pujols’ Third Home Run Ball Back To Field: This story makes me proud of Texas Rangers fans: Season ticket holder Jordan Hartsell caught the ball that Albert Pujols’ smacked into the stands for his third home run Saturday night. Hartsell picked up the historic artifact and tossed it back out onto the field. The baseball gods will be pleased.
Someone in the comments just wondered about the lack of a “Let’s go, Rangers!” post, like the ones I did during the Mavericks’ magical run to the only thing I’ve ever wanted besides for eternal life and punctureless tires. You know, support all local teams equally. That brave commenter was right. So here you go.
Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers! Let’s go, Rangers!
The Texas Rangers will defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games, with the seventh game of the 2011 World Series decided in the 14th inning. The computersÂ have spoken, and there’s no use in arguing with them.
But I will anyway. If, as they claim, David Murphy will have five home runs in the Series, then there’s no way the Cardinals are lasting seven games.
My wife and I have assumed all season that the Rangers were trying to make their hands and forearms resemble a snake. As it turns out, they were going for a duck, as in “ducks on the pond,” the baseball terminology for runners on base.
How do I know? You can’t get a much more official source than this.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
–Sun Tzu, predicting a Rangers sweep in the 2011 World Series
Texas Rangers fans, you know yourselves. Now it’s important that you take a moment to come to know the enemy. I’m here to help.
I was born in Springfield, Illinois. There comes a time in the life of every child of central Illinois when he faces a decision that will shape the man that he will become, one which may very well be the single-most important decision in determining his life’s course. He must decide to pledge his heart to one of two Major League Baseball teams. I made the right choice. I chose the Chicago Cubs, and so I’m uniquely qualified to explain just why you should hate their arch-rivals: those smug, self-satisfied Misery-ians known as the St. Louis Cardinals.
Perhaps the very fact that the Redbirds are facing off against your beloved Rangers in the 2011 World Series, starting Wednesday, is enough of a reason. Nevertheless, I want you to understand that there’s so much more to loathe.
As I’ve said before, I’m a lifelong Rangers fan. I’m as thrilled as anyone about their second consecutive World Series berth. But I’m also thoroughly disgusted by the ridiculous amounts of chaw that several players shove in their mouths before taking the field. Nelson Cruz and Neftali Feliz, in particular, look like they’re each struggling to find space for a second tongue. Are any other members of Clawntler Nation put off by this habit?
Rangers, Meet Cardinals: Let the break downs begin: Battle of the sluggers; don’t underestimate the birds; teams have only met once before; both teams trust bullpens; storied Cards have historical edge; unofficial NPR poll favors Cards; it’s tough to hit homers in St. Louis;Â schedules/projected lineups.
Occupy Dallas Shoved Out of Pioneer Plaza: While Occupy Dallas is forced to move, Occupy Fort Worth protesters are arrested. And even if all of these satellite OWS protests seem more and more irrelevant, I’m starting to think Jim Schutze’s nightmares are reality.
Cold Weather Coming: Today’s expected high of 89 degrees may be the last of it. Here comes fall.
The Texas Rangers have reached the World Series for the second straight season. They’re an offensive beast of a team (third in scoring in the AL) with a pitching staff that also ranked among the league’s best in 2011. And they did it with a middle-of-the-pack payroll.
So you’re finally ready to jump on the bandwagon, yes? But just who are these American League champions?
Let’s start with manager Ron Washington. One may question some of his decisions, but there’s a lot more to leading a Major League Baseball team than handling in-game tactics. You’ve got 25 highly paid professional athletes to keep happy and motivated and playing up to their potential for a long season. The Rangers have improved their win-loss record every season during Wash’s tenure, and of course have won two straight AL pennants after having only ever won a single playoff game in their history before last year. The man deserves credit for this success. Read Michael J. Mooney’s article from our April issue for all you need to know about Wash.