Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill
* Brad Wilkerson on why Seattle: “Besides having the best opportunity to play regularly, a big factor was getting a chance to contend for the playoffs. That’s always a plus.”
* The Las Vegas odds have the Rangers at 50-1 to win the American League pennant and 100-1 to win the World Series.
* Hal King turns 64 today. Who? The Rangers first catcher. He was their starting catcher on April 15, 1972 against the Angels and Andy Messersmith. He was their first cleanup hitter. And their first baserunner. He walked to lead off the second. He also had their first hit, a single to start the seventh. The Rangers were no-hit for their first six innings of existence. They lost 1-0.
* One more? King had a first-inning throwing error. That’s right, he had their first hit and error. They had to wait the next day before Lenny Randle scored their first run.
* Rangers pitcher Jason Jennings gets an extra $375,000 for reaching 120 innings pitched. He gets another $375,000 each for 130, 140 and 150 innings pitched. Then it goes up to $500,000 for 160, 170, 180, 190 and finally 200 innings pitched. He also gets $100,000 if he is the Cy Young Award winner, MVP of the World Series or Comeback Player of the Year. He gets $150,000 if the Rangers trade him.
* The Rangers equipment truck leaves the Ballpark on Monday for Spring Training.
* Mike Hargrove on being traded by the Rangers after the 1978 World Series: "Anytime you get traded first time is tough. But I’m from Texas. I’m really intensely proud of being from Texas, but I live and die with the Cowboys. Being from Texas getting to live a dream, playing in your home state and in front of people you grew up with; getting traded from here was like being ripped away from your family. It really was. I understood later the reasons for it but I don’t know if I ever got over it."
* Mark Buehrle on Nolan Ryan’s seven no-hitters: "If I had his kind of stuff, I’m not saying it would be easy, but it would be a lot easier than doing it with what I have."
* The Rangers still won’t miss Santana if he goes to the National League. He struck out 11.76 Rangers batters per nine innings, the most ever by an opponent with at least 50 innings pitched against them. Pedro Martinez is second at 11.50. Randy Johnson is fourth at 10.68 and Nolan Ryan is eighth at 9.96 batters per nine innings.
* Just for the heck of it: Doug Strange.
* Rangers all-time home run leaders by spot in the batting order: 1st Oddibe McDowell 39, 2nd Ivan Rodriguez 83, 3rd Alex Rodriguez 154, 4th Juan Gonzalez 284, 5th Rafael Palmeiro 72, 6th Dean Palmer 78, 7th Lee Stevens 39, 8th Steve Buechele 44, 9th Rod Barajas 29.
* Don’t think Astros owner Drayton McLane wants to give up Nolan Ryan to the Rangers, saying, "We have encouraged him in the past to get more involved and he has said he’s given about as much time as he could. When I do get a chance to sit down with Nolan we’re going to see if he can free up some more time for us."
* Don’t ask where this came from but Julio Franco is the only Ranger to ever be intentionally walked despite starting out 0-2 in the count.
* Tom Grieve holds a Rangers career batting record? You bet. Most career sacrifice bunts by a designated hitter. He had 11, four more than Mickey Rivers.
* Joe Morgan: "Players are funny. They respect guys who make a lot of money, even if they don’t deserve it. The manager is the most important guy on the team and should be treated on a higher level. Coaches should be regarded highly too, but because of their comparatively low salaries, they’re not. I don’t think that’s fair."
* The White Sox and the Giants played to a 3-3 tie on this date in 1914. The game was played in the Egyptian desert, part of a 56-stop world tour.
* Don’t think a Texas Ranger ever played in the Super Bowl. But a former Washington Senator did. Tom Brown was an outfielder for the Senators and a safety for the Green Bay Packers in the first two Super Bowls.