Series Recap – Red Sox

RangersThe Rangers limped out of Tampa Bay losing two of three, and made their way to Boston for a three game series at historic Fenway park. The series between these two teams has been pretty even over the last couple years, and Fenway is now less of a house of horrors for the Rangers. If the Rangers can find a way to get two wins here, they will head back home with an even road trip. Continue reading

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Texas Rangers Becoming Major Player

Move over New York, Los Angeles and Boston; your aristocratic club just got a brand new member. Yes, I am talking about our Texas Rangers. No, I am not crazy, I have solid proof the Rangers have become a major player in the market and will give New York, Los Angeles and Boston a run for their money every year.

The Rangers made an impression in the market when they won the exclusive bidding rights and eventually signed Japanese sensation Yu Darvish. Nobody outside of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex expected the Rangers to even have a close bid. The Rangers have proven the last two seasons they can compete with the evil empires of the northeast and west coast on the field. Now this off season, they are proving they can stay with them step for step and dollar for dollar in the marketplace in the quality player hunt.

While Texas is the “New Kid” on the block with all of their recent on field success, it is starting to equate into some exciting moves off the field as well. Nolan Ryan being president (and part owner) has an appeal to a lot of players. But don’t discount John Daniels. He has been a shrewd GM and made moves that have shocked and surprised his staunchest critics. Suddenly Texas is becoming a “hot” destination for quality players. Everyone loves a winner. As the old adage goes, “build it and they will come”. Attendance records were broken this past two years and this will continue.

And don’t forget the loveable Ron Washington with his toddler like grin from the dugout. He is a true player’s manager, and has a passion that runs so deep even a fan in the nosebleeds can feel it emanating from him on the field. Everything is starting to add up for a great chance for the Texas Rangers to make their mark in Major League Baseball. Back to back World Series appearances are a good start.

This all started a few years ago when Nolan and John decided the way to build a winner was from the minors up. They placed their focus on the drafts and built towards a great future. They knew it was going to take time and lots of patience. Well, those were some dark days and everybody around the club wanted “JD” gone. But Nolan kept him around, and brought in some new ownership with a lot of money in their pockets. As soon as the sale was finalized and the old owner Tom Hicks was gone, things immediately got better.

Now the Texas Rangers are “wheeling and dealing” and starting to make themselves a destination for quality players instead of a joke. It has been a long road, and there are some painful memories for the fans, but brighter days are ahead. The Rangers are becoming a player in the free agent market, and have been a big time player in the draft. They have also developed a great group of players in their minor league farm system.

These are great days if you are a Rangers fan, and they only look to get better. As long as Nolan and JD run the show, this team will be relevant. So move over Yankees, and step aside Red Sox and Angels because we are crashing your monopoly and will have you uttering, “We shouldn’t have messed with Texas”.

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Major League Baseball at the break

We have finally reached the mid way point of the 2011 season and while there have been some surprises and some standard things that happen every year. One of the biggest surprises that has come out of the first half of the season, is the fact that the Boston Red Sox are in 1st place after starting the season 2-10. Most teams would have lost any hope of being a division leader after than kind of start, especially in the dreaded AL East. But somehow the Red Sox found a way to keep it from ending their season before it began. Once again you have the usual back and forth with the Sox and Yanks, which will get more intense as we near October.

Another surprise out of the first half is the fact that the Cleveland Indians have been one of the best teams throughout the first half. They cooled off a little bit as it neared the All Star Break, but for a while they were running away with the central. Now that things have tight-end up, it should be interesting to see how a youthful team like the Indians handles the pressure cooker than can be September and October. The Pittsburgh Pirates have been a surprise team also with the leadership of new manager Clint Hurdle. They are in the hunt in the NL Central being only 1 game back from St. Louis and Milwaukee.

Unfortunately tragedy has struck fans in Major League Baseball this season with two deaths from fans falling out of their seats while trying to catch a foul ball. It happened in Colorado earlier and then more recently in Texas. This is something that has happened without any real casualty for years and  years, but this season two deaths has to make executives in the MLB wonder what needs to be changed. I am not going to sit here and blame MLB, or the teams themselves for some fans who went to an extreme to catch a foul ball. But at the same time, everybody needs to brainstorm and see if there is a possibility to find a new safety feature to add into ball parks to prevent this from happening. One thing I would suggest is do an announcement before the game and have a strict warning for fans who sit in the upper sections, that reaching over the railing could have dangerous or potentially fatal consequences. Will it stop someone from trying? I doubt it, but it will at least put it in the front of their mind and people may let the ball go if it isn’t easily accessible. Because a baseball isn’t worth a life.

While this is the mid point of the season, there is a lot of games to be played and there is a lot that could happen right now. Should be a fun run through the summer and into the early fall. But to me the All Star Game is slowly becoming a joke. The big name players get voted in regardless of their season and now you have some stars who have opted out of attending the game at all. This whole game is becoming a farce and I don’t think many fans really care to watch it. Can we just hurry up and get back to the games that matter. Last thing I want to say is a congratulations to Derek Jeter for reaching the Milestone of 3,000 hits. But in reality Jeter is nothing more than an over hyped player who gets a big spotlight for being in New York and playing for the Yankees. Place him on any other team and he would just be one of the nameless guys who is consistent. Now, lets strap in and prepare for the 2nd half of the season and enjoy the ride into October.

Who cares about the “Silver Boot”?

 Every summer when it comes around to inter-league play in Major League Baseball, there is always one date that they will try to get everyone excited about and that is the date when the Astros and Rangers meet in the “Silver Boot Series”. This was a concoction that was dreamed up by the two previous owners of the two Texas franchises. But it really seems like everyone in the fan base has really not cared about the trophy itself or even the series.

There are two schools of thought here, the first one being that the two teams play in two different leagues and anytime they do play is for no real prize. If they were to eventually be in the same division and leagues, then there would be incentive to build a rivalry then. Until that happens there is no real rivalry to be built. The second school of thought is that the whole trophy or deal is just very childish for two professional teams to try and incite a rivalry. You don’t have any trophies between the Yankees and Red Sox, but you do have a blood hatred that can’t be touched in professional sports.

As a fan and a baseball enthusiast, I would implore the two franchises to do away with the trophy and childish advertising to try and create a non-existent rivalry. This is professional sports, and there is only one trophy that matters to the fans, and that is the World Series Trophy.

Rangers fast start fuels fans fire

The Texas Rangers have started the season off to a great start of 6-0. While this start is great, it is also very surprising to most fans and experts because there were so many questions leaving spring training. The thought of the opening series being against the Boston Red Sox, most people were going to say a 2 -1 series would be the best case scenario.

Instead the Rangers swept the team that everyone said is favorite to win the American league. Then they followed that up with a sweep of a division foe. Coming in to the first off day of the season, the Rangers are the only American league team still undefeated and are getting ready to play another team who is off to a surprising start.

Rangers fans are beside themselves with excitement over this start, but this is a long season and things will even out. If the Rangers can just try to find a steady pace and stay away from long streaks, then they will have another banner season and could continue to build on last seasons success. First road trip of the season is the time to answer a lot of questions about how this team will play away from the friendly confines of home. In the meantime, enjoy the ride Rangers fans, because these are special days in the teams history.