Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Field Bar & Grill

Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, where we drink a toast to the 60th anniversary of the maiden and only flight of the Spruce Goose.Bar_81

* In 1750 B.C., 40 percent of all grained harvested in ancient Sumeria was used to brew beer. The Code of Hammurabi specifically condemned under-strength, over-priced beer.

* The Rangers were working under the assumption that Eric Gagne would be a Type A free agent and bring back two draft picks. Turns out he is a Type B and so the Red Sox – if they offer him arbitration – will only get a supplemental pick.

* This is no surprise but Torii Hunter and Aaron Rowand are both Type A free agents, according to the Elias Rankings. That means it will cost a team a draft pick to sign them.

* The Rangers had the 11th worst record in the Majors so they can’t lose their first draft pick if they sign a Type A free agent. They would give up their second round pick instead.

* Elias ranks every player based on their statistics over the past two seasons. Type A means you are in the top 20 percent in your group. Type B means you were in the next 20 percent.

* The Rangers had three players ranked Type A. Michael Young was one. He was the highest ranked in the American League in the group that consists of second basemen, shortstops and third basemen.

* The other two? Akinori Otsuka and Joaquin Benoit among relievers. C.J. Wilson just missed. He was the highest ranked Type B relief pitcher. All three were ranked higher than Gagne, but remember that 2006 is included.

* Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Frank Catalanotto Ian Kinsler and Hank Blalock are all Type B. Sammy Sosa was unranked because he didn’t play at all in 2006. Millwood, by the way, was ranked higher than Kenny Rogers.

* By the way, baseball was banned in Japan during World War II. But they mourned the death of Eiji Sawamura, who died in action on Nov. 2 1944. He was the Japanese pitcher who became a national hero by striking out Babe Ruth during a 1934 exhibition game.

* You knew that George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees from CBS. The television network bought the Yankees on Nov. 2, 1964 for $11.2 million. The Yankees never made the playoffs while they were sharing the same employee cafeteria as Walter Cronkite, Captain Kangaroo and the Beverly Hillbillies.Preseisenhowernbla398h

Just for the heck of it: Dean Palmer.

* President Dwight Eisenhower: "Not making the baseball team at West Point was one of the greatest disappointments of my life. Maybe the greatest."

* Speaking of anniversaries, Will Clark announced his retirement from baseball seven years ago today.

* Mark Holtz probably would have made the Hall of Fame if fate hadn’t intervened and there’s little doubt that Eric Nadel’s time will come. Right now? This vote? Dave Niehaus.

* Best television analyst ever? No doubt about it. Hands down. Contest over. Tony Kubek. Nobody else is close.

* Grady Little’s .552 winning percentage (358-290) is the highest ever by a Major League manager who was born in Texas. Little, let go by the Dodgers this week, was born in Abilene. Joe Torre’s career winning percentage is .559.

* Nolan Ryan (Refugio) and Greg Maddux were both born in Texas and have 671 career wins between them. But they had just four 20-win seasons between them over a combined 49 years. James "Hippo" Vaughn (Weatherford) and Pete Donohue (Athens) combined to play in 25 seasons and win 312 games. But they had eight 20-win seasons between them.

* How would it go over today is a Major League pitcher when by the name of Dolly? Not good. But Dolly Gray won 20 games for the St. Louis Browns in 1928. He was from Van Alstyne.

* Then there was Lil Stoner. He was born in Bowie and won 11 games for the Detroit Tigers in 1924. His real name? Ulysses Simpson Grant. Born in 1899. Like Dolly, his career lasted through the 1920’s.

* Dolly beat Lil’s team on June 28, 1928. Lil beat Dolly’s team on July 1, 1928. Same thing happened on Sept. 2 and Sept. 5. Dolly won when he pitched and Lil won he pitched. Too bad Dolly and Lil didn’t face each other.

12 Comments

So where in Texas was Greg Maddux born? I had no idea he was a Texan. I figured him for California. I might be biased but how does Texas stack up against other states in the terms of great pitchers? Clemens, Ryan, Beckett, Maddux…I know I’m leaving some out. Great work TR love the blog, how many days til pitchers and catchers report?

Clemens ain’t from TEXAS, he was born in Dayton, Ohio! Now we know what the issues are. Ha Ha. The State of Texas produces alot of athletes in Baseball, Football and Basketball. Only the Rangers ignore our local talent. Hunter Pence and the pitcher who pitches for the Angels, immediately comes to mind. Don’t miss the talent right in your own back yard, less than 5 miles from your major league team. I personally think the Rangers have alot of type C’s, D’s and F’s if we are basing it on performance and results. Right now the only everyday players i would keep is Young, Saltalamacchia, Kinsler, Cruz and Murphy and i would trade Young. The rest could fall off the face of the Earth for all i care. Millwood, Padilla both would be dealt along with Catalanotto and Blalock. I would keep the rest of the young pitchers and start trying to build for the future. A total rebuilding job if you ask me.

There is evidence supporting a total teardown, and it may indeed be the best option. I’d rather see the team keep a few key vets, but if JD says the best plan is to tear it down then let’s get it on – I’d support it (he won’t, though). We’ve already seen a weak FA market, and our tradeable players were either hurt or underperformed last year. It’s unfortunate, because the market could have been very favorable for the Rangers to make trades this off-season in a teardown. Might still be, though?

Talking now about CF, I have never really been in favor of paying Torii what he thinks he is worth, and it now appears that Rowand is going to be way overpaid based on one career year as well. Those size salaries need to go to starting pitchers IMO. The Rangers don’t appear to be ready to offer Fukudome something in the 4/$40M range, so it looks to me like Murphy will be starting in CF next year. I know it’s still early, but that’s my prediction on how it will fall out.

Whoa whoa whoa… Young is the top ranked 2B, SS, and 3B in the AL????

Is that out of everyone or just players with contracts expiring at the end of ’07?

That’s everybody at those three positions. He is ranked higher than Rodriguez and Jeter

The face of “The Franchise” is that good? Young is a good player a perennial 200 hits per year guy. Those are the facts. I personally like a little more pop out of my SS who had that pop right up until the steroids story hit big. How many did he hit last year, 14 thats what. I like Mike Young, i just think that the face has a mouth that we are all about to start hearing. ” Their has to be a comittment by the organization to retain its players…..” Ha, Ha, Ha. Young here are just a few of the players that we have failed to retain, A-Rod, I-Rod, Soriano, Chris Young, Rogers, Gonzalez, Danks, the list is too long for me to count. I want to win, their has to be a plan, i am tired of losing, i want to be close to my family in California. I got the money, i am not getting any younger, Tex is my hero. I am outta here. Remember you heard it here first, Young will be someones second baseman in the near future. Don’t doubt me. I predicted the Rangers record within one game, that Vick would go to prison, that the Red Sox would win the world series, that A-Rod would opt out, that Hilton would go to jail and many other predictions. At some point do i get the credit or what? Or do i continue to get lambasted as a negative person? Please. And TR, maybe i was taught wrongly, but i believe it is referred to as Hammurabi’s Code Of Law. With the emphasis on the word LAW.

If Clemens wants to pitch for his hometown team, try the Cleveland Indians. Thats right your not from Texas, That’s right your not from Texas, that’t right your not from TEXAS, but Texas loves you anyway. Ha Ha. Sing it Lyle, thats right your not from Texas. I love all of these people who move down here and think their way of doing things is the way to do things. Go back home Yankees!!!! Where the cost of living is triple what it is here.

Quote: ~”Mark Holtz probably would have made the Hall of Fame if fate hadn’t intervened and there’s little doubt that Eric Nadel’s time will come. Right now? This vote? Dave Niehaus.”~
———————–

Dave Niehaus is the likely choice for this years Frick Award but stranger things have happened.

Legendary broadcaster Gene Elston who was the 2006 selection of the Ford C. Frick Award said that Mark Holtz was one of the finest broadcasters he ever heard – bar none.

Since Gene is now on the voting committee, he is committed to seeing Mark Holtz name on the list of 10 finalists for the award and at some point in the future receive the award.

Any of you who knows Gene Elston personally does not beat around the bush when it comes to whom he considers top Major League Baseball broadcasters.

Mark Holtz is at the top of his list.

Looks like we don’t have to worry about Hunter coming here and i quote, ” It’s what the organization is doing. What do teams have now? Do they have talent? Do they have gamers? Are they doing what it takes to win? I am going to look at everything.” Well here are your answers Hunter. 1) No one knows what the organization is doing, not even the “organization”. 2) We have Michael Young. 3) We have Michael Young and a couple of up and comers in Kinsler and Saltalamacchia, A.K.A. The man from La Mancha. 4)We are doing what it takes to keep the fans coming out, not so sure how that affects wins or losses. The last quote, “It ain’t about the money.” My Daddy always said when you hear that protect your wallet, it is always about the money. If it ain’t about the money then why haven’t you taken the Twins 45 million dollar deal for three years. If you believe what Hunter says, the only way he comes to Texas is if we over pay, give him a 5 or 6 year deal at 15 million per year. That is 90 million dollars folks. Something i am totally against doing. Hey Hunter, make a call to A-Rod before you sign here. It probably would be money well spent by you.

The Rangers need to sign a centerfielder without a doubt. Hunter or Jones are young enough to help.

Winning is still about “being strong thru the middle”. Laird is a good defensive catcher. Salty is not. Young and Kinsler are solid. The bullpen is above average. CF and starting pitching are the principal needs. Add a good center fielder and this team will be much improved.

Murphy, Byrd and Cruz provide adequate left and right field help and surely more playing time will allow improvement in the power numbers.

Salty needs to work at first not catcher. The Cat can spell him adequately.

If Blalock can play 3rd great. If not platoon him with Sosa (we need the RBI) at DH and let Metcalf take 3rd.

There it’s all settled except for starting pitching. Nothing new there except the Rangers are going to have to count on the young pitchers developing like other teams have done. No way they can obtain an ace. Everyone needs an ace except the Red Sox.

Say no to Jones, Andruw. If we don’t sign Mr. Hunter, then what is wrong with letting Anthony Webster play CF? If it is a youth movement, then how do you not play him, Duran, Teagarden, Metcalf, Davis and even Mr. Mayberry? Bobby Freaking Cox, says Salt is ready to catch. That is enough for me. Salt is the catcher here until, Mr. Teagarden’s arm is fully healed. A switch hitting catcher is a commodity. Laird and Washington don’t get along. Laird can’t hit his weight either. Laird is going to be dealt hopefully for a first baseman or outfielder. If we wanted a defensive catcher, try Pudge Rodriguez. Who improved every year here, was the best in the game and all it got him was a ticket out of town. I am glad he got his World Series Ring with Florida though. Do the Marlins win that one without him? No way. Sosa wants 7 million to play next year. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha, Give me a break. I am sure teams will be beating his door down at that price. Who is going to pay that? Answer, no one. And i quote, “I was going to quit and go home when Washington told me my playing time would be cut.” What a team guy. Did he leave, no he stayed and made his money. The more things change the more they stay the same. As soon as the guy is let back into the game, he goes back to his previous ways. A good friend of mine told me that unless a person has a life changing event, they generally don’t change after they turn 26. So Sosa just showed what needed to be shown in order to get back in the game, to get a job. I am for bringing him back as a right handed DH, just not at 7 million @ year. In fact how about less than 1 million. John Russell just got the managing job in Pittsburgh. It is going to be good watching him and Hillman. Both were finalists for the Rangers job last year. It is no secret that the Rangers wanted Hillman. Now we are going to pay after rejecting him. Just watch what this manager does. Russell used to live right down the street from me so congrats to him.

Hey, has anyone been paying attention to Sammy Sosa’s latest ramblings?

Now this guy wants 7 million to come and hit .222/.267/410 vs. RHP for your team. Rediculous.

Furhtermore, he has now changed his tune on when we cut back his playing time to look at Jason Botts. Now he says “It was devistating” when Ron Washington told him his playing time had been cut, and that his first reaction was to “go home and quit”.

HUH?

This is the guy everybody wanted back as our clubhouse leader? Sure, as it turned out, Botts stunk, but we wouldn’t have known that if we hadn’t have played him. But now that he’s had one halfway decent year for a second rate team at DH, Sammy is all of a sudden up on his high horse, like it’s 1998 again.

So much for all the vetern leadership – Sammy is showing shades of Phil Nevin.

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