Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill

Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill. Rod Beck would have loved it here.Bar_57

* The 2008 Texas Hall of Fame class has been announced and Juan Gonzalez is among those who will be inducted on Nov. 9 in Houston. Others include Astros manager Phil Garner, former Astros outfielder Cesar Cedeno, Beaumont native Frank Robinson and Austin native Don Baylor. Also Willie Wells, the late Negro League star who is from Austin and is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

* Also being inducted is the late Anita Martini, the Houston broadcast journalist who led the fight to allow women reporters in the clubhouse.

* Michael Young is hitting .340 in 188 at-bats since May 8. He has 13 doubles in that stretch and one triple but no home runs. He has been two away from his 100th career home run since hitting two in two days against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 5-6.

* This could be fun to watch. Who will have more walks at the end of the season: Victor Diaz or Kevin Mench? Diaz has one walk in 95 at-bats so far while Mench has one walk in 158 at-bats. Mench’s walk was intentional on April 4 against the Dodgers. Diaz still has nine home runs and 25 RBI. Mench has two home runs and 17 RBI.

* Thursday was only the third time in 297 career starts that Kevin Millwood has walked six batters in the game. He has done it twice with the Rangers and once with the Phillies. Never with the Braves.

* The Rangers are 13-11 in June. If they can squeeze out a winning month, it will be only the second time they’ve done so in a full month after losing 20 games the previous month. The 1979 team was 9-22 in August and 19-8 in September.

* The Rangers have shown more respect to Ichiro Suzuki than any other hitter. They’ve walked him 19 times in seven seasons, most of any opponent. They walked George Brett 18 times in 21 seasons. Next is Ken Griffey Jr. with 16 intentional walks.

* They intentionally walked Rickey Henderson just twice. But he still walked 142 times overall against them, the most by any hitter. They hit Don Baylor 30 times.

* Rod Barajas had 1,112 at-bats with the Rangers and never once was intentionally walked. Only infielder Wayne Tolleson had more at-bats without an intentional walk. He had 1,225 at-bats. But Barajas holds the record of 1,210 plate appearances without a stolen base.

* Otis Nixon came to the plate 656 times for the Rangers and was never hit by a pitch. He also never hit a home run. Both are club records.Larry_parrish_autograph

* Just for the heck of it: Bruce Hurst.

* Larry Parrish came to bat 3,548 times for the Rangers and never dropped a sacrifice bunt. Mark Teixeira is second with 2,933 plate appearances. Phil Nevin had 307 plate appearances without a sacrifice fly but was traded before he could catch Lamar Johnson, who had 358 at-bats without a run-scoring fly ball.

* The Dodgers and the White Sox are moving closer to establishing a two-team Arizona Spring Training base in Glendale, which is not far from the Rangers-Royals complex in Surprise.

* On June 29 1916, the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2. So? They only used one baseball in that game.

* Kenny Rogers talks to the Detroit press but makes sure after pitching against the Rangers there is nobody from Texas. He looked suspiciously at a writer on Thursday but was told he was from the Detroit Free-Press.

* Count Angels manager Mike Scioscia as saying that Japanese players should not be Rookie of the Year candidates, saying, "The spirit of the rookie in our league is a guy who has come up through the minor leagues or made the jump from college to the major leagues. The guys coming from Japan have played at a world-class level for a number of years. They’re rookies in the literal sense, but not a developmental sense."

* Luis Gonzalez was the first player to ever hit a home run at Tropicana Field and last week he was the first to hit a home run into the 10,000 devil ray water aquarium beyond the center field fence. Said Gonzalez, "At least I didn’t kill a devil ray out there. I don’t want to have any activists calling me."

2 Comments

1) For the record, I see no circustances whatsoever that women reporters should be allowed in the men’s locker room….or men reporters hanging around a women’s locker room. As touchy as people are nowadays about “harassment” and other invectives, I’m amazed it’s allowed to happen. Call me old-fashioned-with no apologies.

2) Speaking about Otis Nixon. Why can’t the Rangers, with their expansive centerfield, draft the fastest/swiftest/fleet guy in either North or South America; teach him to bunt, steal bases, slap the ball to all fields, and let him patrol centerfield for about 15 years? I’m all for having a basestealer who can run down all balls in the outfield, slap balls to all fields and hit like Ichiro. We’d be set. First step is to find the swiftest guy, sign him, and teach him to not uppercut the ball.

3) Kenny Rogers was a good pitcher for the Rangers. Kenny Rogers is also sometimes a nut. And seems to be paranoid. It was HE who attacked a cameraman. Kenny, if a reporter’s birthplace or residence is from Texas, you shouldn’t be afraid. You are paid enough money to meet and answer the press–no matter where they hail from.

4) I believe EVERY player on the roster should be able to bunt a runner over. I don’t care if their agents whisper in their ears, “Owners don’t give you big contracts for giving yourself up and bunting runners over…So go for the almighty home run.” Agents have sought to ruin the game by having their “pampered pets” going for individual statistics and records, rather than doing what the situation calls for to help the team. I vote for **** Williams and Billy Hunter to kick some guys in the pants for doing things which are deletirious to the T-E-A-M.

5) Just for the heckuvit: Dave Rasijsch

6) Just for the heckuvit_2: Scott Coolbaugh

7) Just for the heckuvit_3: Mike Pagliarulo

8) Just for the heckuvit_4: Bill Madlock

9) I’m proposing a new category for the TR Ranger blogs: “Where are they now?”

I’d like TR to update us occasionally on such former Rangers as Gaylord Perry, Mickey Rivers, Al Oliver, etc….thought it might be interesting.

Seeing the Larry Parrish baseball card, I began waxing very sentimental. Gone are the days where you can wander into the local 7-11, and pick up a couple of packages of Fleer or Topps baseball cards and find a good piece of bubblegum inside. I always will remember buying the gum, and hoping to have a good player or two amongst the 6 or 7 baseball cards. Since the players change uniforms every year and few stay put (with free agency), the luster, TO ME, has come off. Gone are the days when a 30-or 40-something fan can go up to their favorite baseball player, wanting their autograph, without having the player “eye you very suspiciously” because they think that everyone is just getting the autograph so they can go on Ebay and sell their autograph for big bucks. Had I been 9, the player wouldn’t have thought twice about giving their autograph. The baseball card and autographs I used to try to get from the Rusty Staubs, Jon Matlacks, Willie Hortons, etc….would today be suspect. What a shame the innocence has been lost.

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