Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill
Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, where on Sunday night we’ll be holding a party to watch a Bull Durham/Bang the Drum Slowly double feature
* Sammy Sosa had 276 at-bats against right-handers in 2005 and hit .196 with 10 home runs and a .341 slugging percentage. A year off probably isn’t going to help him deal with a right-hander’s curve ball. The Rangers may find that Sosa best fits as a platoon DH with Frank Catalanotto with an outfield of Brad Wilkerson, Kenny Lofton and Nelson Cruz.
* Sosa has always handled Curt Schilling though. He has seven home runs off him, tied with Jose Lima for the most off any pitcher. Kevin Millwood has allowed two to Sosa but has also struck him out nine times in 29 at-bats. Sosa has five homers in 33 at-bats off Jamey Wright. No surprise here, Wright has hit him with a pitch.
* This is wild. Sosa has never hit a home run against the Cleveland Indians in 165 at-bats. Never. His slugging percentage against them is .241.
* Ron Washington on dugout coach Art Howe: "Art Howe doesn’t miss anything on the field. If I miss anything, he’ll be deep in my rear. That’s what I want. I don’t want anybody catering to me."
* Washington on player effort: "Just give me what you have that day. You can’t be 100 percent every day. If you’re 60 percent, give me 60 percent. But I don’t want you feeling 100 percent and giving me 20 or 30 percent."
* When Washington was Oakland’s third base coach, they once miked him for television. During the game, he was caught offering help to Angels third baseman Scott Spiezio, who had asked him a question. Some on his team got on him but Washington told them off. Said Washington, "I’m a baseball man. When somebody asks me a baseball question, my reputation is on the line. I’m not going to lie. I like to see good people doing things correctly."
* Roger Clemens does not have a career save. Neither does Greg Maddux. The other 20 pitchers who have won at least 300 games in their career also have at least one save. Nolan Ryan had three. He also had a save in his only World Series appearance, four shutout innings against the Baltimore Orioles in Game 3 in 1969 for the Mets.
* Lefty Grove had 55 saves, most by a 300-game winner. Tom Seaver had one. Steve Carlton had two. He had one in 1967 and another in 1987. That has to be some kind of record.
* Jamey Wright gets a $100,000 bonus if he wins the Cy Young Award and $50,000 if he is the World Series MVP.
* Just for the heck of it: Fred Manrique.
* The Rangers let their pre-arbitration players pick one award incentive to be included in their contract, which is why Josh Rupe will get $10,000 if he makes the All-Star team and A.J. Murray will get $10,000 if he is Rookie of the Year.
* Rudy Jaramillo goes into his 13th season as the Rangers hitting coach. Only two coaches have been in their current job longer. Twins bullpen coach Rich Stelmaszek is the leader. He has been doing that job for 27 years. Indians bullpen coach Luis Issac goes into his 14th season.
* You’ve heard this week that Jaramillo was Sosa’s first Minor League manager. That was in 1986 in Sarasota. Juan Gonzalez and Dean Palmer were also on that team. Those three had a combined 615 at-bats and had four home runs between them. Actually Sosa hit all four of them.
* Merrill Combs was a Rangers coach in 1974-75. He needed 40 days on a Major League payroll to qualify for the pension and Billy Martin gave him a job. Nobody else would hire him.
* If they stay in rotation, the Rangers won’t get the All-Star Game back until 2024.
* Johnny Damon and Snoop Dogg face each other Friday night in a game of Madden NFL ’07. Winner gets $10,000 for his favorite charity. Loser’s charity gets $5,000. One will use the Bears, the other the Colts.
* In honor of Black history month, we remember the time when Satchell Paige and Dizzy Dean, in a barnstorming game, went 0-0 into extra innings. At one point Paige told Dean, "I don’t know what you’re going to do Mr. Dean, but I’m not going to give up any runs if we have to stay here all night."
* The St. Louis Cardinals depth chart on MLB.Com lists just three starting pitchers but four right fielders. The fourth right fielder is Rich Ankiel, one of their former starting pitchers.
* Tom Hicks needs to learn the words to "You’ll Never Walk Alone" from the old musical Carousel. That’s the anthem for the Liverpool Football Club.