Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill
Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, where every night is Irish Heritage Night…
* So let’s get this straight. On Saturday, the Rangers will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Night with awards, tributes, pre-game introductions and all sorts of fun things. So what are they going to do for Irish Heritage Night on Friday?
Live music in the Dublin Up Pub. We wouldn’t want it any other way.
* Word is Vicente Padilla wants to stay in Arlington. Call him a glutton for punishment but he actually likes the hot weather here, which is probably tame compared to his native Nicaragua. His goal is 15 wins, apparently figuring that’s the magic number that will make the Rangers want to pay him what he thinks he’s worth.
* Said Rangers owner Tom Hicks: "Guys like Padilla had a great year for us, nobody had him on the radar screen last year so we just have to wait and let the system work. There are a lot of free agents that are going to be out there though. And I think there will be a lot of teams out there who will make trades and I feel very confident that I have a very creative general manager who will do a good job trying to improve our team."
* Just finished reading Clemente, the Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero, the biography of Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente who died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972. The book is written by David Maraniss, who also wrote a much better biography of Vince Lombardi.
There is one thing that seperates this book. Maraniss tells what led to the plane crash. That’s when the book stops being an above-average baseball biography and turns into a gripping true-crime narrative.
* One other thought. If you read this book, you’ll wonder how could Ruben Sierra and/or Juan Gonzalez ever possibly live up to Clemente’s legacy and you can’t help but wonder how much the strain of that eventually got to them.
* Carlos Lee walked into the Rangers clubhouse in Seattle last Sunday and saw the televisions tuned to NFL games. "Turn that football off," Lee growled. "Put on some baseball games."
Ten minutes later, the television in front of Lee’s locker was showing the NASCAR race. Said Lee with a wink and a smile, "Auto racing is all right. Just not football."
* Edinson Volquez allowed two runs in five innings Thursday night. One more scoreless inning and the Rangers have six straight quality starts for the first time since 2002.
* Lee has played 45 games at Ameriquest in his career and is batting .360 there (64-178) with 37 runs, 16 doubles, 10 home runs and 37 RBI.
* Just for the heck of it…Mark Brandenburg.
* Speaking of the former Ballpark in Arlington (like to slip that in there on occasion), Vladimir Guerrero had a 24-game hitting streak snapped there Thursday night. Active players with longer streaks at particular parks? Tony Clark once hit 27 straight at Fenway (1995-2001) and Johnny Damon hit in 25 straight in 1998-2002 down at Tropicana Field.
* Mark DeRosa has 71 RBI this season. Two more and he equals his total for the last three seasons combined.
* Hicks: "We need better pitching. That’s not Buck’s fault. That’s J.D.’s job and my job."
* Phillies slugger Ryan Howard uses a 35-ounce bat. Says he found one that size one spring in the Minors rummaging through some bats left behind by the big league team. It was a Turk Wendell model and he had used it twice in two years. Struck out both times.
* Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt on Howard: "Right at this moment in time, he might be more dangerous than Barry Bonds ever was in his prime."
* The Mets are going to end the Braves run of 14 straight division titles but Willie Randolph may lose out Manager of the Year to somebody like Joe Girardi. Joked Randolph: "My payroll is too high."
* Jon Daniels and Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski should talk this off-season. Word is the Tigers will be trying to trade pitching for offense.
* Last call: Rockies pitcher Justin Hampson on facing Barry Bonds: "I’m used to going against him in video games. It’s a lot easier to make the pitches go where you want with the controller."