Tag Archives: Texas Rangers

Is Nolan Ryan leaving the Rangers?

Nolan_RyanEarly this week news broke that Nolan Ryan may be leaving the Texas Rangers. Randy Galloway of Galloway and Company of ESPN Dallas radio and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram heard from a few sources that Ryan may leave as early as the end of spring training.

Over the weekend an announcement was made that Jon Daniels was promoted to general manager and president of baseball operations, and Rick George was promoted to president of business operations. But these are not recent changes; these moves were actually made back in November. Before Ryan was stripped of his power, he was the president of baseball operations for the Texas Rangers. Could Daniels promotion and the changes to the front office be a sign that Ray may be moving on?

Nolan Ryan is still CEO of the Rangers but many fear the promotion of Daniels and George are steps toward Ryan’s exit. Also Randy Galloway explained that when the announcement was made it was “written as a tribute to Nolan Ryan.” Why would you contribute to someone who is still in office? Are they saying the day for him to leave is near?

There are still many questions left and can only be answered by Nolan Ryan, who still has 3 years left on his contract. Ranger nation will just have to eagerly wait and see what Nolan Ryan has to say about what his future hold.

Resources:

http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/03/understanding-the-situation-between-nolan-ryan-and-rangers-management.html/

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/21806193/report-nolan-ryan-could-soon-leave-rangers

http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/03/03/4657206/nolan-ryan-could-leave-rangers.html

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Beltre Hit 3 Home Runs!

Last night the Rangers played the Baltimore Orioles and won 12-3. What a great night for the Rangers and for Adrian Beltre who was the star of the game. When it came to hitting, Beltre has been in a slump for quite some time hitting .244 in his last 31 games, but has been working hard to improve. Beltre said, “I’ve been kind of struggling for a couple of weeks. I’ve been working in the cages trying to find a comfort zone with my feet and hands.” Beltre must have found that comfort zone because his slump came to an exciting end last night when he hit 3 home runs in just 3 innings.

Beltre hit his first homer as the leadoff batter in the 2nd inning that took the Rangers to a 1-0 lead. At the end of the third inning the game was tied 1-1. In the 4th inning the Rangers came to life and Beltre really brought the heat. Beltre hit two home runs in one inning, which were both two-run shots that allowed Hamilton and of course Beltre to score. With the help of a few other Rangers the score was 10-1 at the end of the 4th. Beltre was now the second Ranger to ever hit two home runs in one inning, and had a chance to become the 17th player to ever hit 4 home runs in one game if he could just hit one more. The 16th player to have a four-home-run game was Beltre’s teammate Josh Hamilton on May 8, 2012 in a game also against the Orioles. Beltre had one chance in the 6th and one in the 8th inning to get that 4th home run, but he just didn’t do it. Beltre said, “I’m trying to hit a home run. I got a pitch to hit, too, but I couldn’t do it.”

Rangers manager Ron Washington said, “It was a fantastic night. I was hoping for him to get a fourth one also, but it didn’t work.”

Even though Beltre did not get that fourth home run it was still a great night for Adrian Beltre. Beltre helped lead his team to a 12-3 win over the Orioles and had 2 RBIs. Beltre now has 22 home runs this season and has a batting average of .462 in his last three games, which means in the last three games he is hitting every 6 out of 13. Keep it up Beltre!

Resources:

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=134181

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/8/22/3261745/adrian-beltre-three-home-runs-texas-rangers-baltimore-orioles

http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/playbyplay?gameId=320822113&full=0&inning=9

http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=320822113

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Dempster and Soto’s Texas Debut

Before the trade deadline this past Tuesday July 31, 2012 the Rangers acquired starting pitcher Ryan Dempster and catcher Geovany Soto from the Chicago Cubs. They both made their Texas debut on Thursday August 2, 2012 for the last game of the series against the LA Angles. This season with the Cubs, Dempster pitched 16 starts, 104 innings with 83 strikeouts and 27 walks, and was 5-5 (wins-losses) with a 2.25 ERA. Rangers made a good move when they got Soto and Dempster from the same team because the catcher already has that relationship with and knowledge of the pitcher. Soto knows Dempster’s style of pitching and how to read him.

Before last night’s game people believed Dempster would have a pretty good game, but Dempster’s debut was a letdown. Dempster pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed the Angels to get 9 hits and 8 runs. At the end of the 5th inning the score was 8-7 with the Angels up by 1. Then Roy Oswalt came in to relieve Dempster. Oswalt pitched two scoreless innings and Hamilton hit a double that brought in two runs which allowed the Rangers to take the lead 12-8 at the end of the 7th. After the 7th, Nathan relieved Oswalt and was the closing pitcher for the Rangers in last night’s game. The Rangers scored 3 more runs in the 8th and the Angels were only able to score 1 more run in the 9th. The Rangers won the game 15-9 thanks to their offence.

Josh Hamilton finished the game with 4 RBIs, while Kinsler went 3 for 5 and scored 4 runs. The Rangers increased their lead in the AL West and are now 4.5 games ahead of the Oakland A’s, and a full 5 games ahead of the LA Angels.

Way to go Rangers! When I heard of the trade I was excited. I believe that Dempster was a pretty good starting pitcher for the Rangers. Although, in my opinion, the LA Angels did better in the trades when they acquired pitcher Zack Greinke, who most will say is a better pitcher than Ryan Dempster. I was disappointed in his debut but it did not get me down because now he can only improve, I hope. I was ecstatic to see the Rangers offence doing so good. Hamilton, who has been in a slump, has had two good games in a row now, and Kinsler did great at bat as well. Great game last night Rangers, keep it up.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/post/_/id/4888962/rangers-acquire-ryan-dempster

http://amarillo.com/sports/pro-sports/2012-08-02/rangers-pound-angels-dempsters-debut-dud

http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=320802113

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Roy Oswalt is back in the Major League

Roy Oswalt is a right-handed pitcher for the Texas Rangers. Oswalt was born on August 29, 1977. In 1996 the Houston Astros drafted Oswalt in the 23rd round of the amateur draft. Then Oswalt signed a contract with the Astros on May 18, 1997, but did not have his major league debut until May 6, 2001. Oswalt played for the Astros for 9 1/2 years (2001-2010) before he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in the middle of the 2010 season. From 2010-2011 Oswalt pitched for the Phillies. Then during the offseason Oswalt was never offered a contract by any teams during his free agency. This even carried over to 2 months into the season this year, but Oswalt finally found a team that wanted him when the Rangers got him on May 29, 2012. Ron Washington said, “He brings big-time experience. He’s healthy and he’s throwing the ball well. That’s why we signed him. He can help anchor our young pitching staff with Colby Lewis. We’re looking for him to come here and help us win some ballgames.”

Since then 34-years-old, Roy Oswalt has had 4 starts in the minor leagues. The Rangers and Oswalt felt it would be best to start him in the minor leagues to help build up his arm strength before joining the Rangers. Last Sunday on June 17, 2012 Roy Oswalt, pitching for Triple-A Round Rock, gave up 2 runs on 6 hits that included 5 strikeouts and 1 walk. That day Oswalt threw 100 pitches leading the team to a 4-2 win over Oklahoma City, and proved to everyone he was ready to return to the major leagues. Oswalt said, “The biggest thing down here was to build some arm strength and get back into pitching shape. You can throw a lot of bullpens and lift a lot of weights, but until you get out there and compete against hitters and get into pitching shape, you can’t duplicate it.”

The Rangers and Oswalt felt the goal was accomplished and it is time to call him up to play with the Rangers. To make room the Rangers send Scott Feldman back to the bullpen. When asked about Oswalt’s last game in the minors Nolan Ryan said, “There wasn’t a wow factor to his game, but the ball was coming out of his hand well. I thought he went about his business the way I would expect him to. He was making pitches and doing things I anticipated seeing him do.”

Roy Oswalt is scheduled to make his debut with the Texas Rangers tonight in Arlington in a game against the Colorado Rockies. When Oswalt was asked about his debut and the Rangers team he said, “Everyone that plays this game is looking for competition. You miss that when you’re not around it, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been watching this team for the last two years and thought I’d be competing against them (in the playoffs. The Phillies) thought we had the best team in the NL and fell short. It’s just a solid team, and I’m ready to get back on the field.”

I am not expecting Roy Oswalt to pitch a great game tonight, but it will be fun to see him come back onto a major league field and pitch again. I am sure Oswalt is very excited and looking forward to tonight’s game. Let’s Go Rangers!

Resources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/veteran-rhp-roy-oswalt-will-make-1st-start-for-texas-rangers-on-friday-against-rockies/2012/06/20/gJQAbLP0qV_story.html

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/oswalro01.shtml

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/8078334/roy-oswalt-make-debut-texas-rangers-friday

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The Texas Silver Boot

The Silver Boot is a trophy rewarded to the Texas team that beats the other the most each year. The Lone Star series or Silver Boot series is an interleague matchup of rivalries, meaning one team is in the National League (Houston Astros), and the other is in the American League (Texas Rangers).

The Boot sort of got its started in 1992 before interleague games were played. The Astros and Rangers started an end-of-Spring Training game giving these two Texas teams a chance to play each other and the winning team would receive a trophy. The trophy went to the Texas Rangers the first year, but it was not as glamorous as it is today. In 1992 the trophy was just a regular leather boot painted silver. This Silver Boot trophy is referred to as Silver Boot I.

In 2001 the Texas teams matchup took to a new level when the two teams were scheduled to play each other in the regular season for the first time, interleague play was now introduced. For the new experience and change the two teams got a new trophy, Silver Boot II. This trophy was a glass cut boot outlined with silver and had a crystal ball under the toe of the boot. Since 2001 the two teams have been scheduled to play each other in 2 series (6 games) each year, and the team with the most wins would take home the Silver Boot or in the event of a tie the team that had the most runs scored would win. In 2001 the Rangers won on run differential and the manager, Jerry Narron accepted the trophy on the field after the game. This was the only time the trophy was ever presented to the winner on the field. The Astros came back and won it the next two years, 2002 and 2003. In 2004 the Lone Star series ended in a tie again but after runs were counted up the trophy went to the Rangers, but when it was received in the mail it was shattered.

In 2005 the teams got Silver Boot III, which is the one still awarded to the winner of the Silver Boot series today. Silver Boot III is a size-15 cowboy boot cast in silver with a hand-made spur attached. In 2006 the Houston Astros won the Silver Boot series to receive Silver Boot III for the first time, and possibly the only time. The Texas Rangers have won the Silver Boot series the past 5 years (2007-2011). It is also looking like the Rangers will win it again this year. The Rangers and Astros have already played 1 of the two series this year resulting in the Rangers winning 2 of the 3 games. The second and last part of the 2012 Lone Star series starts today June 15, 2012. If the Rangers win 2 of the 3 games they win the Silver Boot. If the Astros win all 3 games Houston will win the Silver Boot. If Houston wins 2 of the 3 then it will end in a tie and will refer to the run differential. But that is not the true story here.

This year could possibly be the last year for the Silver Boot III trophy and the Lone Star series. Next season the Houston Astros will relocate to the American League West, the same division as the Rangers. This means the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros will play more games against each other in the regular season. But it is not the relocation of the Astros that is causing talk of getting rid of the trophy, it is more of the fact that no one seems to care anymore. The current owners of the Rangers and Astros are considering the possibility of retiring the trophy because they no longer feel that the two teams are rivals any more. Rangers general manager, Jon Daniels said, “It has to be a rivalry on the field for it to be meaningful.”

Currently no decision has been made on this matter. I hope that the owners decide to keep this tradition going. As a fan, I enjoy the Lone Star series and love traditions like these. I also find it fun to watch these series each year with my friends that are Astros fans. I do not believe it would do any harm to keep the tradition alive.

How do you feel? Do you think the Astros and Rangers should retire the trophy or would you like to see it continue?

Update:

The Texas Rangers won all 3 games agains the Houston Astros in the second series of the Lone Star series. The Rangers win the Silver Boot for the 2012 season.

Resources:

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120516&content_id=31456234&vkey=news_tex&c_id=tex

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080516&content_id=2712533&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Star_Series

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Rangers need to Re-Sign Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton will be a free agent when the season ends, if the Rangers do not extend his contract and re-sign him. The Rangers have had many chances to extend Hamilton’s contract this past Fall and Winter of 2011-2012 but have not done so. I guess they wanted to wait and see how he plays this season and how his injuries stand up. Richard Durret with ESPNDallas.com said, “Hamilton knows that how well he plays — and whether he stays healthy — can have a large impact on his next deal.”

This season only started a month ago, April 6, 2012, and the Rangers have played a total of 28 games. So far this season Josh Hamilton has been playing to the best of his ability. Hamilton has been amazing, and is currently ranked number 4 in batting average. To see the ranking click here.  While at bat Hamilton already has 9 homes runs and has batted in 26 runners. He has hit the ball 37 times and has safely made it to 67 bases. But lets not forget his fielding talent. Not only is Hamilton a good batter, but he is also a great fielder. Hamilton can play any of the three outfield positions: Center Field, Left Field, and Right Field. This season Hamilton has completed 54 putouts with no errors. Hamilton says he prefers the center position but “will do whatever they ask me to do.”

But even with being a great player Josh Hamilton does have two recurring injuries. He has to be careful of back stiffness and a groin injury. Hamilton was out almost a total of 6 weeks last season because of a groin injury. So far this season Hamilton has missed 3 games due to a stiff back. On Sunday April 29th after a hit and run to first Josh Hamilton noticed spasms in his back. Then during a run and slide into 2nd base Hamilton’s back began to hurt even more. When Hamilton got back to the dugout he did not come back into the game. Hamilton still planned to play in Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays but the Manager of the Rangers, Ron Washington decided to keep Hamilton out during that series. Just before the last game of the Rangers vs. Blue Jays series on May 2, 2012 Washington explained to Ben & Skin on ESPN Dallas Radio that the turf on the Blue Jay’s field is not good for Hamilton to be playing on when his back is already acting up. Washington talked again how playing on turf affects all the Rangers. He said, “When you play on turf, it’s a little different if you’re playing on it every day, Than coming up in here for a series and you haven’t been used to it. It shocks your body. Everybody’s dealing with soreness the past three days, but we’re not using that as an excuse to not win a ballgame.”

Josh Hamilton is loved by all Rangers fans, Rangers staff, and his teammates. Whenever you go to a Rangers game you will see more Hamilton jerseys than any other player. Personally I am a huge fan of Hamilton, not only because of his talent, but because of his personality as well. I have never meet Hamilton, but I love to listen to him talk. Hamilton has been through so much in his life and still remains positive. He is a great role model for all, knowing that no matter how bad your situation is, you can always change. In June 2011 Josh Hamilton appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman in June 2011 which you can watch a clip of below. It was almost a year ago and before his second relapse, but it is a good interview.

I know that before the Rangers can offer Hamilton a contract extension they need to look at all aspects of things, like the injury, money, timing, other options, etc. But if the Rangers wait till Josh Hamilton becomes a free agent, they are taking a risk of losing him to another team. If Hamilton becomes a free agent many teams will do all they can to sign him. When asked about the issue of not receiving a contract extension yet and how he feels, Hamilton said, “It all depends on what kind of season I have. It’s either having faith that I’m going to play all year and have a good season or I could say, ‘Oh no, I’m scared and I don’t know if I’m going to play or if I get hurt and if I should take any kind of deal that comes my way.’ I have faith.” I feel that Rangers need to re-sign Josh Hamilton as soon as possible. He is a great leader on and off the field. Hamilton is a talented baseball player and one the Rangers need to keep on their team despite his recurring injuries. He is more of a positive to the team with his talent on the field and amazing personality, then a negative with his occasional back stiffness and groin pains. RE-SIGN JOSH HAMILTON!

UPDATE: On Monday May 7, 2012 the Texas Rangers started their series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Rangers won 14-3 with Josh Hamilton getting 1 HR (Home Run) and 2 RBIs (Runs Batted In). Tuesday May 8, 2012 the Rangers beat the Orioles again 10-3. During this game Josh Hamilton became the 16th player to ever get 4 HRs in one game. Hamilton was 5-5 tonight, meaning within 5 times at bat Hamilton hit the ball every time. He had 4 homers and a double. What an outstanding game for Josh Hamilton. His batting average has now gone up from .381 to .406. Hamilton is also now ranked number 1 in the AL (American League) in HR (14) and RBIs (36). RE-SIGN JOSH HAMILTON!

JOSH HAMILTON BATTING STATS SUMMARY from April 6, 2012 to May 6, 2012:

G AB R H TB 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS GO/AO
SEASON 25 97 20 37 67 3 0 9 26 9 3 19 2 1 .381 .431 .691 1.122 1.32
MLB Totals 614 2360 388 735 1295 145 17 127 451 212 36 477 38 10 .311 .369 .549 .917 1.16
Minors Totals 290 1150 183 335 545 73 10 39 186 86 10 232 49 12 .291 .339 .474 .813 1.33

G – (Games) number of games a player has appeared in

AB – (At Bats) number of times a player bats

R – (Runs) number of times a batter safely makes it to home plate

H – (Hits) number of time a batter hits the ball and safely makes it to base.

TB – (Total Bases) the number of bases a batter safely makes it to, and or passes

2B – (Doubles) number of times a batter hits a ball and safely makes it to 2nd base

3B – (Triples) number of times a batter hits a ball and safely makes it to 3rd base

HR – (Home Runs) when a batter hits a ball and safely makes it all the way to home plate, this is always when the batter hits the ball over the fence in the back field

RBI – (Runners Batted In) number of runners that safely cross home plate because of balls that the batter hits.

BB – (Bases on Balls) number of times a batter gets to walk to 1st base, this is when the pitcher throws 4 balls before he throws 3 strikes to the batter, or when the pitcher hits the batter with the ball

IBB – (Intentional Bases on Balls) number of times a pitcher intentionally walks a batter by throwing 4 balls on purpose or hits the player with the ball on purpose

SO – (Strike Outs) number of times a batter strikes out, this is when the pitcher throws 3 strikes before he throws 4 balls

SB – (Stolen Bases) number of times a runner successfully steals a base

CS – (Caught Stealing) number of times a runner is caught trying to steal base and is tagged out

AVG – (Batting Average) H divided by AB

OBP – (On-Base Percentage) (H+BB+HBP) divided by (AB+BB+HBP+SF)      note: HBP – hits by pitch; SF – sacrifice fly balls

SLG – (Slugging Percentage) TB divided by AB

OPS – (On-Base Plus Slugging) OBP + SLG

GO/AO – (Ground Outs/Air Outs Ratio) the ratio of a batters outs      note: GO- number of ground balls hit that result in an out for the batter; AO – air balls that are hit by the batter and caught by a player to get the batter out

JOSH HAMILTON FIELD STATS SUMMARY

SEASON POS G GS INN TC PO A E DP RF FPCT
SEASON OF 24 24 209.0 56 54 2 0 1 2.33 1.000
MLB Totals LF 204 176 1576.2 371 351 12 8 2 1.78 .978
MLB Totals CF 332 303 2602.1 779 754 15 10 8 2.32 .987
MLB Totals RF 68 66 580.0 166 157 7 2 2 2.41 .988
MLB Totals OF 559 545 4759.0 1316 1262 34 20 12 2.32 .985

POS – (Position) the position the player plays on the field

GS – (Games Started) the number of games the player has started in

INN – (Innings at this Position) the number of innings the player has played this position

TC – (Total Chances) the number of chances the player gets to make a play with a ball that was hit

PO – (Putouts) the number of times the player catches a ball that puts out the batter

A – (Assists) the number of times the player catches the ball and throws it to a teammate to get the batter or runner out

E – (Errors) the number of times the defensive player, or player on the field, makes a mistake that allows the runner to get to an extra base

DP – (Double Plays) the number of times a player on the field gets the ball that was hit and throws it to a teammate that gets a runner out and then throws it to another teammate that gets another runner out.

RF – (Range Factors) the sum of (PO+A)*9 divided by INN of that particular POS

FPCT – (Fielding Percentage) the effectiveness of a player calculated by (A+PO) divided by TC

Resources:

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=285078&c_id=tex&player_name=Josh-Hamilton

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/7759544/2012-spring-training-texas-rangers-josh-hamilton-willing-talk-contract-season

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?page=stats/glossary

http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp#sectionType=sp&playerType=QUALIFIER&statType=hitting&page_type=SortablePlayer&season=2012&season_type=ANY&sportCode=’mlb’&league_code=’MLB’&split=&team_id=&active_sw=&game_type=’R’&position=&sortOrder=’desc’&sortColumn=avg&results=&page=1&perPage=50&timeframe=&extended=0&last_x_days=&ts=1336333242606&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Player+hitting

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/7881564/injuries-turf-keep-texas-rangers-josh-hamilton-adrian-beltre-out

http://www.sportingcharts.com/dictionary/

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-josh-hamilton-20120509,0,4619649.story

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Does Texas Rangers Joe Nathan have Limits?

So far this season the Rangers have played 6 games, winning all but 2.

Before the season started the Rangers made some changes to their pitching rotation. The Rangers got Joe Nathan, a closing pitcher, from the Minnesota Twins. Rangers then moved Neftali Feliz, one of last season’s closing pitchers, to a starting pitcher position so that Nathan could be one of the closing pitchers.

Last night, Wednesday April 11, 2012 the Rangers lost to the Mariners 4-3. The Rangers played great for 8 innings and were up 3 to 1. Then in the 9th Nathan came in to close the game. It was up to Nathan to save his team and complete the win. Nathan also closed the game the night before, Tuesday, when the Rangers beat the Mariners 1-0, so he was closing a back to back game Wednesday night. Joe Nathan allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, meaning 3 runners scored from 4 Mariners hits off Nathan’s pitches. This put the Mariners up by one and cost the Rangers their win.

Last night was Nathan’s second time to pitch on back to back nights this season; the first was on April 7, 2012. On opening day, April 6, 2011 Nathan pitched the game against the Chicago White Sox and the Rangers won 3-2. Then Nathan pitched against Chicago again the next day. The game was tied 3-3 when Nathan approached the mound. Alex Rios, White Sox #51, hit a homerun and won the game for Chicago. Rangers lost 4-3.

So both of the Rangers loses have come from Nathan on nights he is pitching back to back. Joe Nathan pitched back to back nights only 3 times last season as a Twin. Maybe they thought he could not play to the best of his ability on back to back nights. Nathan has been a good closing pitcher for the Rangers, and has pulled out many saves and finished off a few great wins on nights he is not pitching back to back. The Rangers should really watch Nathan this season and take note, so come play off time, this is not a problem.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/recap?gameId=320411113

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/post/_/id/4881279/rapid-reaction-mariners-4-rangers-3-2

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/recap?gameId=320407113

http://www.foxsportssouthwest.com/04/07/12/Rangers-sunk-on-night-of-missed-chances/landing_rangers.html?blockID=704812

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=tex#y=2012&m=4&calendar=DEFAULT

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Josh Hamilton Relapsed

Josh Hamilton with the Texas Rangers had been sober for three years before he relapsed last Monday night. He was out at a restaurant in Dallas where he ordered three or four drinks. Then he said he called his teammate Ian Kinsler to come join him, but he kept the drinks he had a secret. When Kinsler came Hamilton did not drink in front of him. After the restaurant closed they continued their conversation at a place across the street. Then after thirty minutes Kinsler took Hamilton to where he said,  “I needed to be” and made sure Hamilton was not thinking of going back out. Even though Hamilton told his teammate he wouldn’t, Hamilton went back out and had more drinks. Josh Hamilton said that no drugs were involved and has taken two drug-tests since his relapse the night of January 30, 2012, and has already made plans to meet with the right people and get the help he needs. Hamilton has also scheduled an apology conference at the Ballpark Friday February 3, 2012. He spoke in front of media and others with no script or notes and did not take questions. Hamilton wanted his apology to be from the heart.

Hamilton is a great baseball player with a career .308 batting average (gets 308 base hits out of 1,000 times at bat), 118 home runs, and 425 RBI (Runs Batted In). His life thus far has been filled with many ups and downs.

Josh Hamilton was a very talented baseball player in high school. In 1999 from high school Hamilton was drafted to Tampa Bay who then sent him to play in their minor league teams. Hamilton played so well on these teams that he was moved up quickly from Princeton Pirates of the Appalachian to Class-A Hudson Valley to the Charleston River Dogs. While with the Charleston River Dogs in July Hamilton injured his knee when chasing a fly ball. He had a torn lateral meniscus and needed arthroscopic surgery that some people said should end his career.

Hamilton still planned to play again but in February of 2001 he and his parents were hit by a dump truck that ran a red light. In this accident Hamilton hurt his back and his parents received injuries as well. Hamilton’s parents  had to return to their home town so that Hamilton’s mother could get the medical treatment and help she needed for her injuries. Hamilton stayed in Florida and was on his own for the first time in his life. Hamilton was with Class-AA Orlando by this time but his back was not completely healed. He was still feeling a lot of pain. While not getting to play much and having extra time on his hands, Hamilton fell into a crowd that made bad decisions and started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. He continued his career with having more injuries and experimented more and more with drugs and alcohol. Hamilton was then banned from baseball in 2003 for refusing to take drug-tests.

After all this Hamilton looked to meet with Mike Chadwick, a man who gave lectures on how he himself overcame the addiction of drugs and alcohol. During the time of talking with Mike, Hamilton got to know Mike’s daughter Katie and fell in love. They got married and before the birth of their first-born Hamilton got back into drugs. About a month after his daughter was born Josh Hamilton vowed he took his last drink on October 6, 2005 and cleaned himself up.

In January 2006 Roy Silver heard Hamilton was cleaning up so Roy offered Hamilton a job cleaning restrooms and taking care of the field at The Winning Inning complex. Hamilton was also allowed to use the training facilities. After this the League heard about Hamilton and were very impressed. They allowed him back into the Major Leagues but required him to have a drug-test three times each week. Hamilton made his debut in 2007 with Cincinnati who then traded him to the Rangers in 2008.

Josh stayed sober till January of 2009 when he had his first relapse. Right after, Josh took the right actions and got the help he needed. Hamilton then stayed sober for 3 years till his second relapse last Monday on January 3oth. Hamilton has not given a specific reason for his relapse but said it was due to “personal reasons.” This past year has been a pretty rough year for Hamilton. Some of the things he has been through this year include:

  1. Back in July Hamilton threw a foul ball into the stands where a fan reached too far over the rail and fell. He passed away shortly after. The man had attended the game with his son who was standing next to him as his father fell. I do not believe in any way that this was Hamilton’s fault, but I could not imagine how this would weigh on someone in Hamilton’s position.
  2. The Texas Rangers went to the World Series for the second time and lost yet again. This time they were so close and were one out away from winning it all, but lost. I bet this would be heartbreaking to be so close to a goal like that for a second time and not accomplish it yet again.
  3. Then Hamilton’s accountability partner, Johnny Narron left the team to be the Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach. Johnny was Hamilton’s accountability partner and the man Hamilton turned to for many years and now he is leaving. The Rangers are in the process of finding Hamilton another accountability partner. Hamilton was going to have Mike Chadwick, his father-in-law be his accountability partner, but Mr. Chadwick could not accept because he wanted to stay close to his family while his daughter finished high school.
  4. Last, Hamilton has been hoping for a contract extension with the Texas Rangers before spring training but the Rangers have not yet offered one. I wonder if this has a little to do with why they have not yet assigned Hamilton an accountability partner.

I personally do not know all that goes on with addicts and am not going to try. I feel that Hamilton made his own decision, but I also feel that he has been through a lot. I hope that Josh Hamilton gets cleaned up again, because when he is sober he is a great baseball player and seems to be a great person. I have never meet Hamilton but from watching him on T.V. and hearing his interviews he seems to be a positive and good-hearted guy. I love that he talks about God in his apology and says “my recovery is Christ.” I hope Hamilton means all this and cleans himself up again, but for good this time.

Resources:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ycn-10925952

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/7537732/texas-rangers-outfielder-josh-hamilton-relapse-alcohol

http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/J_Hamilton/J_Hamilton_bio.html

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Ron Washington Contract extension

The Rangers have offered a two-year contract extension to manager Ron Washington. Ron Washington has been the coach of the Texas Rangers since 2007. His contract would have expired after this coming season (2012), but now his time with the Rangers has been extended till after the 2014 season unless he is offered another contract extension after the 2013 season. Mr. Washington has had an amazing career as a manager with the Rangers. In the past four seasons he has increased their wins each year. In 2007 they had 75 wins, 79 in 2008, 87 in 2009, 90 in 2010, and 96 in 2011. It is stated in the Dallas News Blog that “He is the first manager in major league history to increase his team’s win total in four consecutive seasons after his initial year with a club.” Also in the past two seasons he has coached the Rangers all the way to winning American League Pennants and getting to play in the past two World Series.

With a coaching record of 427 wins and 383 losses these last 5 seasons, I believe this was the right move for the Texas Rangers. Ron Washington has been a great coach and I look forward to what this season will bring.

Resources:

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120131/SPORTS0104/201310331/1129/rss15

http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/01/rangers-give-manager-ron-washi.html

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Yu Darvish

On Wednesday January 18, 2012 the Texas Rangers signed 25-year-old Japenese pitcher, Yu Darvish. Darvish agrees to a 6 year, 60 million contract. This means he will get an average of about 10 million each year for 6 years. That is a lot of money. Buster Olney with ESPN the Magazine said, “Yu Darvish is the most expensive right-handed pitcher in Baseball history.” Now we will just have to wait till the season starts to see what he’s got and to see if he can handle this Texas heat.

What is next for the Rangers? Rangers have also been meeting with Prince Fielder this month. Fielder is a 1st baseman with a salary of about 15 million last season. But the Rangers also have to keep in mind, their own Josh Hamilton will be a free agent after the 2012 season is over. Josh is loved by many Ranger fans and has played for the Rangers since 2008, 4 years now. Hamilton’s salary last season was about 8 million.

Now that the Rangers have Yu, what can they afford to do now? Can they afford Fielder too? or both Fielder and Hamilton? Will the Rangers offer Hamilton a contract extension? Only time will tell.

UPDATE: Prince Fielder signed a  9 year contract with the  Detroit Tigers for 214 Million. Now we are still waiting to see what the Rangers will do with Josh Hamilton.

Resources:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=olney_buster&id=7478521&_slug_=texas-rangers-signed-yu-darvish-historic-six-year-deal-mlb&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fmlb%2fblog%3fname%3dolney_buster%26id%3d7478521%26_slug_%3dtexas-rangers-signed-yu-darvish-historic-six-year-deal-mlb

http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/5915/prince-fielder

http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/4652/josh-hamilton

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7498284/source-detroit-tigers-land-prince-fielder-nine-year-214-million-deal

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