Posts Tagged 'texas rangers'

Jen Engel Loves Up Tom Hicks

Jennifer Engel of the Star-Telegram loves up Rangers owner Tom Hicks waaay too much.

She says I’m Cowboys safety Roy Williams publicist…so it’s all good.

BUT…..today’s she was loving up Tom instead of calling him out for being a dreadful baseball owner who hasn’t gotten much right since firing Doug Melvin, who’s Milwaukee Brewers made the playoffs.

Hicks told her while discussing the dreadful John Danks for Brandon McCarthy deal with the White Sox, “We have made some mistakes and that was clearly the biggest one we made,” Hicks said Wednesday during his postseason postmortem with me.

“That wasn’t just JD. Our staff made the judgment that Danks was two years away, and they were absolutely wrong. The comforting thing for me now is we have a new leader, and if Nolan had been there, we never would have done [the Danks deal]. And we will never trade a No. 1 pick, a left-handed pitcher again.”

Whatever.  I just have zero faith in that organization.  None.  It’s a shame because I think they could have something good if Hicks would spend some cash.

John Danks Pitches Sox Into Playoffs

John Danks was a first round draft pick by the Texas Rangers.  Tuesday night he pitched the White Sox to the American League Central Division title with 8 innings of shutout baseball.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels traded Danks to the White Sox for Brandon McCarthy.  BAD TRADE!!!

Daniels needs to be flogged in public for that trade.  IT WAS AWFUL.

Feel free to vent Rangers fans.

Rangers Season Wrap Up

I went to the Ballpark for the Rangers season wrap with GM Jon Daniels and manager Ron  Washington, two guys most in the media thought would not be back.

Wash spent a lot of the presser saying, “I agree with Jon”.

Daniels danced around a lot of things, like who the pitching coach will be, why attendance in Arlington tok a nosedive, and what he will do with his four catchers.  He did admit pitching is the top priority.

Daniels also confirmed what team president Nolan Ryan comments that they will not be in the mix for free agent pitchers C.C. Sabathia or Ben Sheets.

Wash and JD feel like they have a plan and want to keep going forward. 

Will 2009 be the year the Rangers breakthrough?  Daniels danced around that topic as well.

They Still Won’t Let T.O. Go In Philly

Man, they really aren’t over Terrell Owens in Philadelphia.  Do you see anybody in DFW still harping on Alex Rodriguez leaving the Texas Rangers? No, we’ve moved on around here.

In Philly, they are obessed with it.

Well, the folks in Philly usually get to decide who they will run out of town:  Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Randall Cunningham, etc. 

Not with T.O., he talked and acted his way in Philly.  They still are looking back though, Ashley Fox reports.

The Texas Rangers Top 20 Prospects

The Texas Rangers have one deep farm system.  So who are there best prospects?   Jamey Newberg tells us:

This week’s Top 20:

1. NEFTALI FELIZ, RHP, AA Frisco (number 1 last week) The 20-year-old finished the regular season with a 10-6, 2.69 mark in 17 Clinton starts and 10 Frisco starts, limiting opponents to a .201 batting average, striking out nearly 11 batters per nine innings — the best starting pitcher rate in all of the minors — inducing more groundouts than flyouts, and surrendering only three home runs all season. He’s going to be on every publication’s list of the top prospects in baseball this off-season . 

2. DEREK HOLLAND, LHP, AA Frisco (2) . . . As will Holland, whose explosion onto the scene may have been as stunning as that of any pitching prospect in the game. His three-level record in his first full season was 13-1, 2.27 — not counting his two-hit, one-run victory in 7.1 innings in last night’s Texas League playoff opener — with more strikeouts than innings pitched, just over two walks per nine innings, three home runs allowed, and a .209 opponents’ average. He was more dominant in Class AA than at his two Class A stops, and he’s only 21. Exciting. 

3. ELVIS ANDRUS, SS, AA Frisco (3) Andrus broke a finger late in May and missed two weeks of action. At that point, he was a .268/.322/.316 hitter. After returning, he went on to hit .312/.367/.401. And he was a teenager until last week. He may not profile as a leadoff hitter, but he has terrific bat control, bunts well, and stole 54 bases in 70 tries this season. Defensively advanced, he could be ready for Arlington sometime in 2009. 

4. MICHAEL MAIN, RHP, Low A Clinton (4) In 13 starts over what amounted to half a season (due to a ribcage issue that cost him the first half), Main never gave up more than three earned runs. The ceiling is high, and there’s no reason the 19-year-old can’t rocket to the top of this list in 2009. 

5. JUSTIN SMOAK, 1B, Clinton (7) The 2008 first-rounder finished with a .304 average and .873 OPS in his 14-game debut and heads into the Midwest League playoffs as one of Clinton’s hottest hitters. Six of his 17 hits went for extra bases. 

6. MAX RAMIREZ, C, AAA Oklahoma (6) His future in this organization is less clear than it might otherwise be because there are crowds at catcher, first base, and possibly DH over the next few years, but Ramirez (.347/.439/.628 in 285 minor league at-bats this season) is an offensive machine. Texas will either make room for him or have a tremendous trade chip in the 23-year-old. 

7. BLAKE BEAVAN, RHP, Low A Clinton (8)

The 19-year-old’s strikeout rate stands to increase as he develops (he was at his best in that respect in the final month of the season), but even if it doesn’t, he still sported a 3.5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his debut season, issuing only 20 free passes in 121.2 innings. Great year for the big righthander, who finished the regular season with a 10-6, 2.37 record in 23 starts. Beavan took the loss in last night’s playoff opener but threw a quality start, yielding three runs (two earned) over 6.1 innings.

8. JULIO BORBON, CF, AA Frisco (10) While the decision to give Borbon a major league contract out of college has taken up a spot on the 40-man roster, options aren’t going to be a problem for the 22-year-old. He used the first of four in 2008, and probably won’t exhaust all three that remain. The fleet center fielder was even better in AA than he was in High A, finishing the regular season with a collective .322/.363/.427 line and nearly as many stolen bases (53) as strikeouts (62). 

9. KASEY KIKER, LHP, High A Bakersfield (9) As a result of an organizational effort to keep Kiker’s workload in check, he didn’t exceed five innings in any of his final eight appearances. The 5-5, 4.73 record doesn’t leap off the page, but Kiker struck out three times as many Cal Leaguers as he walked, and had one eight-appearance run late in the year in which he posted a 2.39 ERA. 

The rest are right here.

Is Race Hurting Milton Bradley’s Image?

“This guy must be crazy”, Josh Hamilton said about Milton Bradley before he met him. 

Be honest, you probably thought the same thing from the ESPN clips on TV.

Today, Hamilton, a recovering drug addict, and Bradley are All Stars for the Texas Rangers.   The New York Times has great read about their road to Yankee Stadium for the Midsummer Classic.

The guys call themselves the “Risk Brothers”.  Hambone has become a media darling, a feel good story.  Bradley is still seen as the angry black guy according to the Times:

He has become the heir to Dick Allen, Albert Belle and Barry Bonds as baseball’s brooding Public Enemy No. 1.

It is not lost on several Rangers that players like the former Yankee Paul O’Neill and managers like Earl Weaver, Billy Martin and Lou Piniella— all of whom are white — were labeled “fiery” and “intense” and celebrated for their tempestuousness. Piniella, who has disputed that image, nonetheless cashed in last year with a commercial in which he argues with an umpire and throws a base.

Several Rangers noted that Bradley was generally described as “volatile,” a pejorative they contend is used primarily with black players, rather than “fiery,” a compliment they say is often reserved for white men.

“If it was a white guy in his situation, what would they be saying?” Hamilton said. Reliever Eddie Guardado said, “We all know it’s there.”

Young added: “It’d be silly for anybody to say that race doesn’t play an issue. It would be a naïve outlook.”

This is a darn good story and I recommend you read it and watch the sitdown interview both players did.  Click here.