Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill

Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, where physicals aren’t needed and medical records aren’t reviewed.Bar_86

* According to errors and fielding percentage, the Rangers were 29th out of 30 teams in team defense in 2007. But John Dewan, who wrote the Fielding Bible a couple of years ago, has a more complicated rating system that has the Rangers ranked tied for 15th with the Milwaukee Brewers.

* The playoffs were long and boring. The Winter Meetings were a rumor-laden snooze-fest with just one major transaction announced. But things will pick up soon. The Mitchell Report is expected out before Christmas.

* Outfielder David Murphy, pitcher Kameron Loe and former Rangers coach Ray Burris will be signing autographs and visiting with fans between 5-7 p.m. tonight at the Dallas Store in downtown Dallas.

* Rush Olson is the Rangers director of creative media. He also plays in a musical band called Loda Dimes. They’ll be playing at mile 21 during Sunday’s White Rock Marathon. Rangers employees Kate Jett and Chris Faulkner run in the race.

* Hiring Jim Colborn as the Rangers Director of Pacific Rim Scouting could be huge. He is tight with former reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa, who is helping advise outfielder Kosuke Fukudome. The Rangers remain interested but it looks like the Cubs may be the team that gets him.

* Royals manager Trey Hillman, who managed in Japan, on Fukudome: "I think he’s very talented…in the similar classification with {Tampa Bay’s} Akinori Iwamura.He’s got short to the ball. He’s got great balance. He stays inside the ball. I think he’s a run producer. He’s athletic defensively. He was he was originally a shortstop in high school. That gives you a little bit of your idea with athleticism and lateral movement.

* Mariners manager John McLaren said his team is going to stealk more bases this year. Especially Ichiro Suzuki. Says Suzuki can still 80 bases.

* Cubs manager Lou Piniella on Japanese players: "You know, I’ve been fortunate. I had Ichiro in Seattle, what a great player he is, and Kazukiro Sasaki, the closer, he pitched exceedingly well. And then I had Hasegawa, pitched setup for us, another Japanese pitcher that really competed well and really did a nice job. The Japanese players are very disciplined. They have got talent, and they enjoy playing baseball. Got a really good work ethic and they compete very well."

* Not sure how long this rule lasted but on Dec. 7, 1939, American League owners enact a rule prohibiting the league’s pennant winner from buying, selling or trading players during the following season. As a result, the New York Yankees finished in third place in 1939 after four straight pennants.

* Just for the heck of it: Ismael Valdes.Terrystossed

* Pirates manager John Russell on what it takes to win: "Having extremely talented players doesn’t hurt. But in the long run, the teams that play good baseball, you saw last year throughout the playoff run, the teams that played solid and did the right things, won."

* Red Sox manager Terry Francona on the hardest part of his team’s rivalry with the Red Sox: "Well, trying to get wins is hard, but the thing that probably . But before the game, after the game, sometimes you end up dealing with things that maybe are artificial, and it’s just not what you want to deal with. You’re putting our fires and things that maybe sometimes aren’t even there, and that’s part of it."

* Twins manager Ron Gardenhire on what’s going on in Minnesota: "Everybody thinks we’re just launching people. That’s not the case, or Santana would have been traded. We’ve had good offers from people on Santana, but it has to be a package that we’re comfortable with that’s going to help us win this year and all the way through the opening of the new stadium. The same way we got Delmon Young. We got a great young hitter. That’s very important for our fan base to know that we’re not just sitting here going launching guys. We’re making sure that we’re going to compete. We want to win. We want to keep up with these other guys."

* White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on Scott Boras: "Lot of people say Scott Boras was the best agent. He is. When you have all the players, I’d be a good agent, too. That’s easy. Scott Boras is not going to give Pablo Ozuna $20 million. It’s easy to give A-Rod $30 million. He’s the best player in the game."

30 Comments

Obviously Peniella never managed Hideki Irabu.

Valdez has added a z and dropped the s. Evidently it was too confusing to the writers. Hey i like what Gardenhire said, we aren’t just launching people. He should have added, like Texas does. Ha Ha. No launching people is what we do here in Arlington. Who is next on the launching pad? Who is about to rocket out and never look back. Could it be Blalock? Young? Washington? How about this, Rangers try to put free-agent on lay away. Free players available for the taking, future 4040 guy available for whatever you want to give us. I am referring to Wilkerson for Soriano. If you are counting we now have Galarraga and Arias for A-Rod and Soriano. 2 of the best players in the game. Wow what a deal. Don’t you have to get more for those guys? And people get on here and wonder why we are where we are. It is a multitude of factors. But the bottom line is when you have an asset you have to get value for it if you get rid of it. If you don’t get value, you get what we have now. 2 players that may or may not play in the major leagues. And TR why quote 3 managers that could be here right now? Hillman, Russell and even Pinella to a smaller extent could have been manager here. We are going to rue the day, that Hillman wasn’t brought here. I am going to take personal pride in watching as the Royals get rebuilt while we do what we do. Do we hire any of those guys? No? What do we do, we hire MR. Positive. Someone that no one else would give a chance to manage. I think what you have to do is go out see who the best candidates are, interview and hire them. ??I do not think that Washington was then and especially now is the manager of the future for this team. Washington is trying to prove that he can manage, much to the detriment of his team. He seems to have psychological problems and isn’t dealing with the stress too well. Failure is difficult to deal with. I want a manager that looks at things realistically. With this team, does anyone think that we are going to win 10 more games next year? Even if we do what is that going to get us, a playoff spot? Hardly, The Angels win the
West next year, Detroit in Central, Red Sox in East. Your wild card is either Cleveland or Yankees. So what does 10 more wins do for us? Don’t forget the draft pick people? 10 more wins puts us further down the draft board. Aim for .500, develop some pitchers and players and i will be happy. And last but not least, why is Guillen talking about Boras? Boras is the best agent because he gets the most money for his client. It is what your representative, your lawyer is supposed to do. It is beyond me why the Yankees would pay A-Rod 30 million? He must have a good agent. Alas, the agent benefits also because 4% of 30 million is 1.2 million which isn’t chump change.

2 reasons why Washington should be canned. As a former fielding instructor, he was supposed to come in here and fix the defense. Well being 29th out of 30th isn’t fixing it. #2 he is dellusional. 10 more wins. If the Rangers want 10 more wins then they need a new manager. A good manager is good for 10 wins. Hey Washington you appear to be a good guy. But you aren’t a good manager. If you were you would stand up and hire your own pitching and hitting instructors.

There seems to be an universial opinion that A-Rod is the best player in baseball. So he must be. Isn’t it interesting that no team he has played for has been in the World Series.

Years ago it was generally conceded that Gene Mauch was the best manager in baseball. His teams never made the World Series either.

Until A-Rod came along I can’t recall anyone ever being referred to as the “best player in the game”.

Things were different when we were growing up wolffman. I remember when Baseball was a team sport. Now you have a bunch of individuals trying to get theirs. It is the way of the world, society has definitely taken a turn down. I must be the best, because i have the greatest stats or i make the most money. I think the person we all this self promotion to is not even related to Baseball, other than it is also a sport is……that young black man, a future muslim, and three time champion of the world Muhammad Ali, A.K.A. Casius Clay. And I doth quote, “I shook up the world, float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, what’s my name? I must be the greatest of all time, i am the greatest.” I personally hope A-Rod never wins a World Series Title, so he can go down as the All Time Greatest Player to never win a World Series Title. In my opinion, the truly great ones make their teams better, and aren’t as self absorbed as MR. PERFECT. I still can’t believe the Yankees are competing against themselves on that deal. I was hoping for a little Karma where he had to settle for less than 25 million a year.

And here goes a few more, Multi year means more than 1. Daniels don’t you dare deal, Benoit or Volquez. Their has to be someone down on the farm that is close, so don’t waste a player. Sign a free-agent. Go get Nix, he may just be ready to play now. He was too young before. It is all about the pitching. Do not deal it. Wasn’t Benoit going to be a future closer for us? Thank God, we said no to Gagne. I know this is going to sound crazy, but save the money. We are better off, if we don’t deal any of our pitching. None of it, not one ounce. The pitchers that we have can turn this organization around. If they deal Volquez, a person that i believe turned the corner, the guy that is on the cusp of being a good pitcher for us. I am going to go bonkers. Don’t deal any pitching. We have gotten burned too often by doing this. I would rather make Soriano and Wilkerson type deals than the pitching deals we have made. If we hadn’t made all the stupid pitching moves, this is a different organization. Brown, Rogers, Righetti, Henke, Darling, Terrell, Sele, Davis, Blyleven, Jenkins, and Perry all gone from here before their time should have been.

Benoit is and will be excellent, but his age puts him in the Michael Young bracket: at the height of his value now, probably not playoff caliber in 2010. I’m all for keeping him if we don’t find full value, on the chance that he stays strong through then, but…

You wouldn’t trade Benoit, straight up, for Ethier, D?

dwidregod, you’re way off about Ron Washington, you complain about society and how everyone is trying to get their own these days, when Ron Washington preached just the opposite. The team did not buy into Ron Washington to start the season, not until Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock went down, and the team went to Pittsburg and got their butts kicked the first two games, did this team finally buy into Ron Washington and his style of play. The team changed the night of June 13th, when they were 23-42.. From that night on the TEAM went 51 and 45, and of those 45 losses, 29 were by 3 runs or less and another 8 by 4 runs. Ron Washington took one of the least talented TEAMS, somepart due to injury and trade, and made them competitive.. He made Joaquin Benoit and C.J. Wilson into reliable if not closing type relievers. He cut Ian Kinslers mental mistakes down drastically. Don’t blame Ron Washington. If the TEAM continues to play ball next year as it ended this year, then those 10 wins will be made up from March 31st to June 13th. And those 29 losses by 3 runs or less from June 13th on, might turn into 20 if we get a little lucky.. I wouldn’t be suprised if there is a 19 game improvement in this team.. that would put us at 98 and 64, Call me crazy. The TEAM has boughten in, now its time for you.. sincerely, the rangers optimist.

tyd…..thank you. I totally agree with you. Anyone who really watched this year, would see that it was a different TEAM that ended the season from the one that began it. I lost a lot of respect for Teixiera as he tried to undermine Wash and I personally believe that was a lot of the reason we started off so bad.

I’ve also often wondered dwidre, why you don’t start your own blog instead of hijacking TR’s.

If we traded Joaquin Benoit to the Dodgers, I’d want Matt Kemp, not Andre Ethier. That’s how much value I think Benoit has right now.

Much more likely I think would be a trade for Edinson Volquez – that’s the guy I’d be willing to deal. He’s MLB ready, which is what the Dodgers want, and he’s a starter, which is also what the Dodgers probably want. Plus, I think he might be the one pitcher in the organization we could lose and not be too sad about – we’ve got enough up-and-coming young arms like Eric Hurley, Luis Mendoza, Matt Harrison and the like to cover the loss of Volquez, but Benoit (who is a candidate for the closers role) is a guy that would be very tough indeed to replace. To clarify, I’m not opposed to trading Benoit, I just don’t think we’d get full value for him from the Dodgers.

But we do need a guy like Ethier for out popgun outfield – so the Rangers do need to think about dealing some talent to get some here. Volquez plus Joaquin Arias for Andre Ethier – I think that’s a pretty decent trade – what say you?

I think Volquz for Kemp would be a good trade, dont know if the Dodgers would think so though.

3311, 19 game improvement 98 and 64? That is not called optimism. That is called being dellusional! I hope we do improve, i just don’t think it is going to be 20 more wins. History teaches us that it is about the pitching. Who do we have Millwood and Padilla? You can’t count on those guys. The bottom line is Washington overevaluated his team last year, failed to realize what he had, stumbled out of the gate and never recovered. You are supposed to get your team ready before the season starts, not wait until you are 20 games out. Washington will get canned soon enough for me, even if he isn’t totally to blame. And here we go again, TR likes me, likes my blogs, besides it invites more people to stir things up a little. I just think you have to look at things realistically and want this organization to improve, change the way it has done things and stick to a philosophy. Make a freaking decision that is in the best interests of the team for once. Stop giving our players away. It is freaking crazy that we are even thinking about trading any pitcher that we have right now. You can never have enough pitching, ask the Red Sox and the Yankees. They will tell you. It is all about the pitching.

Culture is not something that is easy to change, you can’t change the culture of a baseball team in one spring training.. It took three and half months for Ron Washington to change the culture here. This team has more talented young pitching in its organization than 80 percent of the teams out there.. Teams will envy us in coming years. For me Texas Rangers history started when Ron Washington was hired, since he was hired our farm system has gone from the worst 5 in baseball to the top 5 in baseball, that according to the head man at Baseball America himself.. Unlike football and basketball there is not an immediate impact at the top when you have a good draft, or make good trades for talented young players. The Rangers will not be running the likes of Sam Narron, Nick Regilio and Mike Bascik out any longer. We have studs coming.. Volquez and Mendoza are just the start and they only get better from there. Im guessing with all the talent on hand, someone will take a big step next year and might warrant a midseason callup and give a huge boost to this club (aka K-Rod and Dontrelle Willis). The Rangers are due for some luck, and that is what it will take for them to compete all the way to the end this year, but i know that when this club needs Kevin Millwood the most is when he will be there for us. Brandon McCarthy can pitch, mark my words. Padilla will be Padilla, but maybe Wash can get through to him like he did Benoit. If this team can find a 4th pitcher that is reliable out of Volquez, Mendoza, Gallaraga, Hurley or Harrisson.. watch out.

Lonestar,

Regarding your suggestion instead of Benoit,

“Edinson Volquez – that’s the guy I’d be willing to deal. He’s MLB ready, which is what the Dodgers want, and he’s a starter, which is also what the Dodgers probably want,”

We have to remember the point: even if Benoit is more valuable than Volquez right now (which might be true in a vacuum) it’s not true for us in 2010; nor do I think it’s even true now, b/c

a) we need Aki to be our closer in order to resurrect his trade value by the ASB, so that would leave only the time thereafter for Benoit to be our closer;

b) we can replace most of Benoit’s value with an FA or a call-up, but we have no starters ready, and no FA starter possibilities other than big ???’s; and our other 4 starters are bigger question marks than Volquez;

But mostly, as much as I like Benoit, the PLAN that Briant keeps calling us back to seems to require a PRE-EMPTIVE QUESTION: Who will help us most by 2010? and the follow-up question: “How can we obtain him?”

Kemp and Ethier are both excellent answers (Lamb and Cat are a push)– clearly youth must prevail, but the 2nd question is key.

If we get youth by trading youth, we’re likely to be spinning our wheels beyond 2010; but if we can maximize the value of our veterans, and then trade THEM high for pre-peaking youth now, and a final piece at peak value in 2010, then we’ll catch a long-lasting wave just as the antiquated, over-budget Angels are heading into crisis.

If Benoit is more valuable than the much younger Volquez, then ALL THE MORE REASON to trade him for the right piece.

Also, I think the Dodgers need relievers more than a starter, and they sought Benoit from us last season.

I would only trade Benoit if we are getting Kemp, not Ethier.

Will somebody explain to me why this team right now would trade any young starting pitcher with talent, and that definitely includes Volquez, under any set of circumstances? It takes a bunch of them to find one or two who pan out, and it is very difficult to predict which ones will. Since pitching is the issue –and the only issue — shouldn’t we make sure we’ve got that fixed before worrying about left fielders? Once we’ve got two or three young studs established in the rotation, there will still be plenty of young outfielders available in return for some of our remaining pitching prospects. Ethier and Kemp aren’t Willy Mays and Roberto Clemente. There will be others just like them in future years.

Yeah, I take back what i said about trading Volquez, i wouldn’t do it for an outfielder at this point. Benoit maybe, but not Volquez.
And like i said, Kemp would be the only one I’d be willing to trade something for, not Ethier.

I’d rather have Kemp OR Ethier than Mays right now…

I agree with you on Volquez, but Benoit is 31– which is fine… for now…

but in 2010, either Dodger outfielder will cost 8 Benoits.

There is no way that Dodgers would every trade us Kemp for Volquez or Benoit, alone or together. They LOVE that guy. Many scouts put him in a Griffey Jr. class as he is athletic enough to play a great center field and his bat has 40 hr power. They Dodgers are hesitant to give that guy up for Johann Santana….like they are going to jump all over Volquez (who I think will be good, not that good) or a 31 year old reliever when they are STOCKED up at the reliever (Jonathan Bronxton, Takito Saito, Jonathan Meloan, etc) You people are delusional. Now the Cincinnati Reds on the other hand might take Benoit for Josh Hamilton. I would do that deal in a heart beat! His first year playing in the majors after sitting out of baseball for 4 years he was a 20/20 guy with superb defense and a great arm. Cinncinnati has Jay Bruce ready to move up to the majors and already have to many outfielders with Dunn, Griffey, Freel. Let’s be realistic guys, we can improve the outfield, but lets no be like the Yankees and grossly over estimate our prospects

touche

Ethier’s MLB numbers look delicious for a-25 year-old (.822 OPS for example = .38 higher than Michael Young’s):
while his HR’s went up (from 11 to 13, no biggie), so did his BB/K ratio (from 34:77, not bad, in ’06 to 46:68 in ’07– that’s a biggie)

2006 LAD G-126 AB-396 R-50 H-122 HR-11 RBI-55 K-34 BB-77 S-5 CS-5 OBP .365 SLG.477 AVG .308

2007 LAD 153 447 50 127 13 64 46 68 0 4 .350 .452 .284

Benoit is 30 years old and signed for 2 more years while Ethier is 25, about to enter his prime, and under club control for another 5 years. I’d do that deal just on general principal, but given our relatively deep bullpen and lack of impact bats in the outfield it makes a ton of sense.

Hamilton might be even better than Ethier if he can stay healthy. And he’s only a year older.

(Unlike Ethier) Hamilton’s pitiful against lefties, but Cruz, Byrd and Murphy could all play vs. lefties.

Botts could DH, but Cat and Shelton, like Hamilton, are ALSO only good vs. righties, so would you play Salty at 1B, and Laird at Catcher vs. lefties ?

Upon further review, and my thinking that Ethier was 27 or 28.. The Dodgers would probably want more than Beniot for Ethier and obviously Kemp. It would probably take two bullpen arms and possibly Arias to get the Dodgers attention, and thats for Ethier.. now we could probably have Juan Pierre for nothing, only the 3 years left on his contract, which would actually be perfect because we could flip him mid-summer the final year of his deal, and if all goes well Julio Borbon should be ready to man the position for the following ten years… eh?

Pierre’s numbers really are still amazing (SB’s instead of HR’s), especially for his age. He’s also a great teammate.

The trouble with him is that, as a solid #9 hitter, he’d block our development, and then leave a CF hole just when we’re supposed to be peaking.

Even if Borbon pans out, we can’t expect him to be playoff-caliber in his rookie or sophomore year.

We need someone who will peak for us from 2009 to 2015.

That was the problem with Hunter. We’re still better off w/o him than with him in the long run, despite how much better he might have made us for 2 or 3 years.

I would imagine Pierre as our leadoff hitter..

Borbon isn’t coming out of high school but rather college, we gave him a major league contract.. which means we think he will be ready to play for us in 2 years and 3 at the most.

Pierre’s on base percentage is an anemic .328…for 11 million a year…no thanks…give me Ian Kinsler or Murphy or someone.
As far as trading Arias that’s just not going to happen after he didn’t play at all last year. Maybe if he looks good and healthy through late June but that’s a big maybe. Ethier is to be had especially because of the Dodgers signing Andruw Jones but Jack Benoit is not going to get it done….Ethier would look good in our outfield

I bet Wash and Rudy could get the most out of Pierre.. and we probably wouldn’t have to give up anything for him. Money shouldn’t be an issue for this team at this point. Leadoff or not, i think he would be a good centerfield option for the next three years, even if he is overpaid.. i think Wash’s style and his style would blend nicely. I just think in the end we would have to give up to much for Ethier.. and only money for Pierre. What do you think it would take for Ethier??

I think once Kosuke Fukudome signs, we’re going to find out what it WOULD take, but not what it Would HAVE TAKEN. By then we’ll wish we had already done the deal, because all the KF suitors who lost out (CHIC, CHIWS, SF, SD, PHI… minus one) will drive up the demand (and therefore the price) for Ethier and Hamilton.

That’s why the Rangers would be wise to offer Kosuke “too much” with an almost immediate deadline, so that we can move on to a trade (for Ethier or Hamilton) before the rest do, if KF’s not coming to Texas.

Milton Bradley a Ranger.. I like. Wash knows him well, and can probably control him a bit.

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