Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill
Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, where we ring in the New Year and toast the 240th anniversary of professional baseball in America.
* Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine on the free agent market: “We’re keeping an eye on the market and staying in touch with agents but even the agents don’t know where this is going. They all still have their expectations but the way this is going, somebody is going to have to recalibrate their expectations. If they do, they could end up being a fit for us.”
* Rangers catcher Max Ramirez is leading the Venezuelan Winter League with 15 home runs and is second with 53 RBI. He’s also second with a .618 slugging percentage.
* Astros manager Cecil Cooper on his first full season as a Major League manager: “I have to learn to be a little more patient and not get as frustrated when things don’t go the way I think they should go. When you have some success at the Major League level, you think that everybody should be like that. It’s a little bit more difficult when you’ve been a regular player and you’ve had success. You expect everybody else to do the same.”
* Mike Maddux appeared in 472 Major League games. He started 48 and appeared in 424 as a reliever. That’s the most relief appearances ever by a Rangers pitching coach. Art Fowler had 272 relief appearances and Tom House had 268. Maddux is third in overall Major League games pitched by a Rangers pitching coach. Claude Osteen pitched in 541 games and Orel Hershiser pitched in 510.
* Nolan Ryan struck out 203 batters for the Rangers in 1991. It was his third straight season with at least 200 strikeouts. The Rangers haven’t had a pitcher strike out 200 batters in a season since then. Every other American League team has had at least one pitcher with 200 strikeouts in one of the last 17 seasons. It’s happened 51 times overall. But not once by a Rangers pitcher.
* Derrick Turnbow’s entrance music is “Fuel” by Metallica. He was also the first Major League pitcher in history to get four saves in the first four games of the season. Did that for the Brewers in 2006.
* Just for the heck of it: Richard Hidalgo.
* Free agent pitcher Derek Lowe is the only Major Leaguer with ten-plus years of experience and has never been on the disabled list. Michael Young has seven years and 134 days of experience.
* Angels manager Mike Scioscia on Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu: “Wak is terrific. The time when he was in our organization. Actually I know him from going way back when he was playing, but he’s got a very creative baseball mind. He understands the things that are important in not only building a team but what’s important in winning games, and he’s great with people, so he’s — he’s going to be great.”
* The Rangers went 13-13 on Friday in each of the last two seasons but they still have a 475-461 record on Fridays overall. It’s the only day of the week they have a winning record in club history. But they are 32-19 on Tuesday over the past two seasons, winning 15 of their last 20.
* Ever heard of Stanton Walker? He was a scorekeeper at a Minor League game in 1902 in Morristown Ohio. He was sharpening his pencil with a knife when a hard foul ball came straight back. It hit Walker in his hand and drove the knife into his heart.
* The publisher of the Chicago Tribune wasn’t happy that the Chicago team played Troy (N.Y.) on Sept. 26, 1881. The game was played during President Garfield’s funeral. The outraged publisher said, “I am never again going to let an item of baseball news appear in my newspaper.”