Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Plenty of room for improvement

Toronto didn't have a good game until the fourth, where either, 1. they started swinging the correct end of the bat, or 2. Koronka began pitching underhand. The rest of the team was not without a little blaim as there were three errors on the evening.

There are some who believe that the remainder of the season can be predicted by the 5th game after the ASB. If this is the case then we may have a bit of a problem. The fellas from Lonestarball made a great reference....." its like the bad news bears out there, minus the kid on the motorcycle who could actually hit." This game was perhaps one of the worst this season in my opinion, complete with pitchers throwing at opponents heads and the threat of a bench clearing brawl. This is disappointing and I hope we can find some talent before we are out of the race.

Monday, July 17, 2006

2/4 with Baltimore

.500 with Baltimore, and Daniels is making noises about buying pitching. As the trade deadline approaches, names like Willis and Elarton are being thrown about. I could be really negative here and say that we have heard all of the song and dance about how the Rangers are going to sign the next Nolan Ryan; and it never happens ending with me the superfan shoulders slumped walking home dragging my oversized foam finger and Rangers pennant. I really think Daniels may have a head full of steam and actually might get something accomplished with starting pitching. I don't think that Dontrelle will come over, but I have a little more faith in this guy than GM's past....we'll see how it comes out in the wash.

Tonight we start a 3 game set with Toronto and then on to Boston. Now would be a great time to heat up. Go Rangers.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Monday, July 10, 2006

To early for magic numbers and playoff tickets?

Posted by Dan in Texas

Maybe, but who cares? Congratulations to the Texas Rangers who beat the Twins Ace to finish the first half of the season tied for first place with Anaheim, er Los Angles, uh, Californ- I mean... whatever- the Angels.

I think Magic numbers are fun, thought you might like to know:

The Texas Rangers Magic Number: 75

*Magic number denotes the amount of either wins by the leader or losses by the closest opponent in the division combined. Any combination of wins and opponent losses equaling the magic number will win the division. i.e. 38 wins by the Rangers and 37 losses by the Angels would place the Rangers in first on October 1st with a record of:

Rangers 83-79
Angels 82-80

NOTE TO READERS- Sorry I have been missing in action the past month or two, I have been currently engaged with my new site, Lonestar Mets. The other Ghost will do most of the posting but I will drop in just to say hello from time to time.

Before I go any further, I would like to say, "Happy Birthday, Lee Stevens!" You were a favorite of the Ghosts of 96.

The Rangers find themselves in a precarious position on July 10th. The Rangers have Adam Eaton coming back shortly to fortify the starting staff and Millwood on the way. What the Rangers do have is ample supply of young arms that should hold up in the hot July, August and September to come. A veteran presence wouldn’t hurt here, especially a front line starter. If the Rangers want to compete in October, they really need to make a move before the deadline. In my opinion the Rangers are holding two valuable chips to deal right now.

No, not perennial trade chip Kevin Mench, I think Mench wont bring back much more than a weak hitting, defensive utility infielder/outfielder. If Jon Daniels feels that’s what the team lacks, fine, pull the trigger.

Now before I start, let me preface that if you heard the sound bite of Daniels on the Ticket stating something to the effect of: “I don’t want to move a valuable chip for a 2 month rental” don’t believe every thing you hear. The Rangers have long been known as a team that says one thing to conceal its intentions. Don’t think that hasn’t changed.

The Rangers have two chips to swap that are in a walk year and, realistically, are at their maximum value right now. Taking a look at the White Sox, Tigers, Red Sox and Yankees the Rangers are going to need another ace if they plan to make a run at the West and have a shot at the best in the AL.

I speak of course of Gary Mathews Jr. and Mark DeRosa.

DeRosa .384 .494 .332
Mathews .374 .539 .328

If anyone thinks that DeRosa or Mathews will continue to put up those numbers has been sitting in section 301 without a hat for too long. Take a look at his career numbers:

DeRosa .331 .400 .275

Best season? 2002

.339 .429 .297

Since then he has been about a .240 hitter. Will he keep his numbers where they are in 2006? Maybe, and maybe bringing David Clyde to the Majors was a good idea.

On to Gary Mathews Jr., referred to from here on as GMJ. Here is what John Dewan’s assessment of GMJ is from the Fielding Bible.

Gary Matthews Jr. - Matthews picked the ideal time to have his career year, throwing fuel on the fire for contract year believers. He's ranked 8th on defense and has a strong arm. Obviously he's not a true .332 hitter, but the All-Star appearance, The Catch, his defense, and his ability to hit for power make the 32 year-old quite a commodity. He makes less than $2.4 mil this year and will probably become overpaid from here on out.

Let’s take a look at the teams that are rumored to be looking to move pitching:

The Chicago Cubs- The Cubs are sorry. They have an aging Maddox who knows how to pitch and has all the experience in the world. Maddox is the definition a control pitcher so arm problems are not a risk. However the Cubs have stated that Maddox will not be traded anywhere without his consent so a midseason trade to the American League isn’t very likely. If I had to guess where Maddox will go? Philadelphia

The White Sox- The Sox are rumored to have an interest in upgrading their rotation with Jason Schmitt and thus dealing another player elsewhere. That makes Jon Garland, Javier Vazquez and Freddy Garcia available for a price.

The Tigers- Its’ well known that the Tigers are looking to add a power bat. Would they be interested in DeRosa and GMJ? Sure. Who would they make available? The only pitcher is see the Tigers moving is probably Kenny Rogers. I know my counterpart on this sight would love it, but does anyone else think that is a good idea?

The Nationals- The Nats have been shopping Livian Hernandez for months. His numbers this year are far from impressive, despite pitching in a "pitchers park." The buzz around the trading block is the Nats think they can ask a huge price for him. Plus his huge contract expires at the end of next season. Excuse me, I don’t see Hicks raising Beer and Parking prices for Hernandez. I do see Hicks raising Beer and Parking prices for no valid reason, however. (to recoup losses from the NHL strike, University of Texas recruiting “donation” for a quarterback, Hicks still owes Chan Ho Park more money somehow, etc.)

The A’s- Yes, Barry Zito is a free agent after this season and yes Billy Beene would love to get something for him. There is no way in hell he would trade him to the team in competition for the West. I don’t think Zito goes anywhere until November.

The Marlins- Strange things are going on in Miami these days. The Marlins looked content to sell off the talent and start stockpiling youngsters until they reach Las Vegas/San Antonio/Portland. The Marlins are a very good young team. They realistically don’t have a chance to win the east but could make a run at the wild card with the NL in a down year. If the Marlins make the playoffs, all bets are off. However the scuttlebutt is Willis is on the table but I would guess that the Rangers would have to ship out one from category A and one from category B:

A. Danks, Diamond or Volquez

B. Kinsler, Botts or Rheinecker

You don’t think its worth it? Willis is a great pitcher and will probably be an ace for a long time. I would offer the worst of the A list (I don’t know who is best) and Botts. Odds are on member of DVD lives up to the hype. If two of them due the Rangers will be very lucky. All three? Not likely.

Finally, like an old, fatally ill man searching for the fountain of youth, you have the Yankees. As a general rule, anyone the Yankees are willing to trade is either a washed up veteran or an over-hyped rookie. If Cashman calls Jon, don’t answer the phone.

There you have it, anyone that may help is going to be overpriced. I think the best bet is to try and trade DeRosa and GMJ for one of the surplus White Sox starters and hope a change of scenery can get him back on his game. Willis is intriguing and if the Rangers have any doubts about any of the DVD boys, they are never going to be worth more than they are now. If they persue Willis, Botts is a small price to pay. I mean, how times have the Rangers ever really needed another big bat?

Happy All Star Break everybody!

2 out of 3.... not too bad

Teixeira and GMJ went long to beat up the Twins.... and I think it is safe to say that Santana and Francisco Liriano were not given enough credit in previous posts. Nevertheless, Rangers took 2/3 and going into the break this is a good omen. Hopefully we can come back firing on all 8!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Welcome to Arlington......

We are at home and this is a hitter's park so lets hope Rudy's speech had an effect. We're gonna need to shell this guy to gain some confidence. We have a capable pitcher that is pretty damn intimidating, lets see what happens....

Word has it that Harriston is in left and batting second....we need a REAL "get off the pot" moment or two from this guy.

beat their ass Rangers...by the way Dave Chappelle rules.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Come on Buck......are you serious?

Wasdin gets the nod tonight against the Twins who Buck refers to as the "team playing better than everyone else" at this point..... Sure Buck. The Royals just handed them three back to back to back beatings. I say all of this not to really bag on the Twins, but to pull the curtain on our guy Buck that seems a little less than honest. All I'm looking for here is not the canned response he consistantly gives. Is the AL Central tough? Damn right, two of the best teams in baseball are in this division and Minnesota isn't too far behind, but "the best of any team in baseball"???

B.S. - Buck.

I hope Rudy's speech yesterday has a lasting impact, and we can develop some momentum at home. Kinsler is the guy to watch for some fireworks tonight and hopefully the rest of the boys will follow suit. If you guys have any insight on what I have written please give me some feedback. Silly picture time: Who doesn't like Uncle Rico???

P.S. Yankee's suck

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I just heard Charlie Steiner tell me via XM Radio that Kenny Rogers is now 11-3 for the season, and I figured that I would pass that along......Thanks Hicks, another in a long line of great moves.

Finally one for the win column!

Toronto got smoked, and we took 2/3. Jaramillo did a little motivational speaking and the bats then did the talking. This guy is the Tony Robbins of the batters box! Apparently the discussion was a little heated, and look at the response! Let us hope that we can break free of the slump and beat up the Twins...

It is hard to make the case that the Rangers would be much of a team without Rudy...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Job Promotion

Sorry for the massive delay in posts!! A promotion at work has given me the opportunity to forfeit all of the free time I was acustomed to.... So, here's what I missed apparently:

Rangers lose
Rangers lose
Koronka is a beast; yet Rangers lose
Where the hell did Oakland come from (Rangers Lose)
Gary Matthews Jr. = Godlike.....(Rangers Lose)

I think you get the trend...

What happened. I expect this type of behavior AFTER the All Star Break! I have recently spent some time back in the DFW area and my cabinet of friends and other couch authorities describe that the problem stems from management's inability to commit to a certain philosphy (improve farm system or buy a team). Any Texas Rangers fan has notice a significant amount of bumbling around in this area for years, as a matter of fact, we have changed philosophy twice this season alone with statements like:

"We need more arms, we should go after Milwood, Clemens, Zeto and Smoltz. but I can't see the logic in paying one of the leading AL starters any more cash....we better fire Rogers before we actually get a steadfast starting rotation"

OR hang on wait a sec....

We should develop Danks, Diamond.....etc. only to shop them for a forseeably washed up player or two that cost out the rear."

I see this as managments attempt to do just enough to get by. I would like to suggest to management that since it is painfully obvious their intention is only to line their pockets, that creating a post season caliber team entitles them to post season dollars. Post season play leads to a fan base more willing to tolerate post season ticket prices (even in June). All of this banter is leading somewhere I promise....

With this lack of motivation from managment to commit to a philosophy, are we seeing now the team turning to a more "who cares" attitude? Some singular achievments aside it looks like the boys are just tired of this. Buck wouldn't tell the fans/media anything of usefullness as his job seems more and more like a PR excuse maker. I have been to other towns, and I have seen an effort to win by other organizations and comparatively we are marginal at best. Hopefully, the guys can piece together something to knock off Oakland and their winning streak while regaining first in the AL West. I'll be watching....