Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Field Bar & Grill
* 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.
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.