Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill
Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, where we love the new Ballpark in Arlington video "I’m a Believer" with all the team mascots trying to impress the good-looking lady in the shades.
* Joaquin Benoit has pitched in 37 games. In two of those games he allowed ten runs in three innings. The Rangers were down four runs in one and seven in the other when he entered the game. In the other 35 games he has a 1.32 ERA.
* Jason Botts hit .200 in April, .361 in May and .360 in June. Said Rangers Minor League hitting coordinator Mike Boulanger: "The last day or two of Spring Training he added a leg kick and it took him some time to get his timing. He was either a little early on balls or a little late. He couldn’t find it. After a month he got it figured out."
* Boulanger on Frisco second baseman German Duran: "Anybody who sees him knows he can hit. It’s just a matter of him improving on his defense. He can really hit."
* Nelson Cruz is hitting .352 at Oklahoma and Boulanger said they’ve opened up his stance so he can stay square on the ball and see it better.
* The Rangers had gone eight games without an error before Gerald Laird’s throwing error in the first inning Thursday night.
* Cubs manager Lou Piniella, after he walked Ryan Zimmerman to load the bases only to have Dmitri Young hit a grand slam: "We tried to set up a double play, but the shortstop doesn’t play in the bullpen.”
* Randy Johnson, sidelined with a herniated disc in his back: "I’m basically pitching on one leg. I’m not going to be very effective that way, no matter who you are."
* What would be Happy Hour without hearing from Ozzie Guillen: "Whoever doesn’t root for me, I’m sure they’re happy right now. There are worse things that have happened in my life, and there are going to be better things to come. People that are happy about it, be careful with what you wish because I know I’m going to come out of this. I know I am.”
* Just for the heck it: Scott Fletcher
* Hank Aaron played for the Braves and they aren’t too happy about Barry Bonds in Atlanta. Said Chipper Jones, "With the cloud over Barry, it’s going to be hard for me to tell my kids and my grandkids later on in life that Barry Bonds is the home run champion. That’s not the way I feel. For us here in a Braves uniform, Hank’s always going to be the home run king. He’s always going to be the home run champ to the majority of players still playing."
* Tom Hanks turned down the lead to Field of Dreams.
* Reds infielder Brandon Phillips had an interesting take on manager Jerry Narron getting fired: "We had a good year with Jerry last year, but we had new guys come to the scene this year. He tried to adjust with the new guys this year, but it’s all about certain players. Ken Griffey and his home run chase, Josh Hamilton and his comeback season, everybody got caught up in that instead of winning. We’re happy for Josh, but we want to win. And the next thing you know, Homer Bailey’s up here. We’re a team, and everybody’s worried about three guys."
* Otis Nixon tried to steal third base 13 times for the Rangers in 1995. Most attempts of that base in club history. He was successful on all 13. He did better than Dave Nelson. He set a Rangers record by trying to steal home five times in 1974. He made it just once.
* People don’t appreciate what a unique season Nixon had that year. He set records with 23 bunt hits and 51 infield hits.
* Yes there is an NBA Encyclopedia. It was edited by Jan Hubbard, the great basketball writer during his time working for the NBA. He has been covering baseball for the Star-Telegram for the past 11/2 but is now back to covering the NBA.
* The United States, France, Spain, Chile, Peru and Egypt. The capital of those six countries are spelled the same as the last name of one current or former Major Leaguer. Surely you remember Sol Madrid and Kelly Paris.
* No Joe Oslo never made it to the Major Leagues.