Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill

Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, where we toast Hank Aaron’s 75th birthday on Thursday and the Bambino’s 114th birthday today.

Bar.JPG* The Red Sox have Jason Varitek but they are still interested in procuring a young catcher for the future. The Rangers wanted Clay Buchholz and were told he wasn’t available. But the Rangers still like many pitchers in the Red Sox organization.

* The Rangers did work out center fielder Andruw Jones. They were intrigued by the possibility of a reclamation project. But with Marlon Byrd, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and David Murphy around, the Rangers just don’t see it as a fit right now.

* The Rangers equipment truck leaves the Ballpark in Arlington for Arizona this afternoon.

* Andy Pettitte had flexor tendon surgery in August 2004. Came back to go 17-9 with a 2.39 ERA for the Astros in 2005. The 2.39 ERA is the lowest ever in his career. Victor Zambrano had the surgery three years ago though and his career is still not back on track.

* Jason Schmidt had the surgery in the winter of 2003-04 after winning 17 games. He won 18 games the following season. But his shoulder has been his biggest problem.

* Eddie Guardado’s contract calls for a $250,000 bonus if he gets traded to an A.L. or N.L. East team but only $100,000 if he is traded to a Central Division team. He also gets $500,000 if he is traded to one of four designated teams. Unknown is which four.

* Randy Johnson gets a $1 million bonus if he wins the Cy Young Award. Guardado only gets $100,000. He gets $200,000 if he’s the Comeback Player of the Year, which is curious because he pitched pretty good in 2008.

* This is interesting. C.J. Wilson signed for a base salary of $1.85 million. He also gets $50,000 each for 45, 50 and 55 games finished. So? Games finished is used for closers, not setup relievers.

* Guardado on his time with the Rangers last year: “Everybody was great. I had a great time. I think we had a good chemistry. Last year when I got traded to Minnesota, it was sad because even though [the Rangers] weren’t playing for something, the chemistry of that team was jelling pretty good. That’s how you build things. Hopefully, these guys remember that from last year and we’ll start off with a bang.”

* Just for the heck of it: Todd Van Poppel.

* Just 51 years ago today, Ted Williams signed with the Red Sox for $135,000. That made him the highest paid player in baseball history.

* Playboy’s lawyer in the 1950’s is the game who produced the baseball movie Bang the Drum Slowly. Maurice Rosenfeld. He also defended Lenny Bruce on obscenity charges. He’s one of the owners in the film who has the line, “Some of those young pitchers looked awfully good out there.”

* Comissioner Bud Selig on Hank Aaron at his 75th birthday celebration Thursday: “I grew up watching Hank play his first game and his last game. While I know a lot of people would answer ‘Willie Mays’, I believe Hank Aaron was the greatest player of our generation.”



Yeah, I’d admit the Red Sox may have gained a little leverage in the Salty trade negotiations the last two weeks. Not that any team out there is unaware of the Rangers’ need to add pitching though…

I am hopeful, but not optimistic about the health of our rotation. After all, it’s got McCarthy in it. Feldman too, most likely, whose innings pitched increased from 39 in 2007 to 151 in 2008, making him a high-risk candidate for injury in 2009 based on history for pitchers with similar increases in workload. I’ll stop there.

Apparently JD decided (with budgetary pressure?) that the FA starting pitchers which were available were not worth the higher cost and longer time commitment compared to guys like Nippert, Mendoza, and … (Tommy Hunter?). That’s fine, though it doesn’t inspire a rush to buy tickets. But did anyone else notice in TR’s most recent MMM that in discussing pitchers he skipped over the starting rotation while listing Feldman and McCarthy as possible candidates for the bullpen? That only leaves KM, VP and Matt Harrison to start.

I continue to support giving the young guys a chance to start. I just hope that we have enough guys that are healthy and can stay in the rotation. I do not want to see Feliz or Holland rushed due to injury/ineffectiveness of the opening day rotation. These two are too critical to the team’s future, and they should be given adequate time in OKC before joining the big club.

If Nippert (or, Lord help us, Mendoza) has to step into the rotation for whatever reason, I hope we keep him there as long as he is healthy until Feliz/Holland show they are ready. I really don’t care if they are getting bombed every turn. These guys have got to bridge the gap (of time) until the young studs get here.

I need to figure out a way to stow away on that truck heading for AZ…

I think before too long there will be a trade involving one of the Red Sox pitchers for a Texas catcher. Bring Varitek back was the right thing to do – but it is only a short term solution.


Why do we have to settle? So the Red Sox get what they want but we don’t get what we want? If they don’t want to deal Bucholz for Salty, and they want Salty so bad, then just keep him. Will they trade Bucholz for Young? I am all for trading Salty and think he doesn’t fit on this team as a catcher and there is no where else for him to play, but, I get so sick of us caving in. Now we are supposedly interested in other pitchers, than the guy we asked for originally? What a joke. It is no secret that i believe Teagarden should be the starter and is better today, both offensively and defensively than Salty will ever be. But i still wouldn’t trade him, unless i got what i wanted. Emphasis on trade getting equal value. Don’t just deal to be making a deal. I believe we will rue the day if we ever trade Ramirez or Teagarden. It wouldn’t suprise me that Boston wants Teagarden. And Bud, not only are you overpaid, your crazee. Willie MAYS is the greatest overall player in the modern era. He was the original 5 tool player. I believe Mr. Mays hit about 660 home runs without steriods, stole bases, strong arm, hit for average and played defense. If he were coming out today, he would be the highest paid player, not A-Fraud.

Is the flexor tendon really that important? Evidently Millwood and McCarthy’s flexor tendons are fully functional and it hasn’t helped them. So sign Sheets, can he be any worse than those two? Sheets has more intestinal fortitude than either of those two. But hey, McCarthy is further along than Danks or so we were told.

Ok, you got me, i am bored. With our roster pretty much set barring injury. I would like to know what the major league payroll is going to be for this year? Are we going to be in the bottom fourth again? I do not believe that overspending is the way to go, but, i also don’t believe we should be in the bottom 4th. As my good friend Bingo says, we are the 4th largest market…..

Hey julia, Salty hit about .220 last year so he should be able to replace Varitek. I just don’t believe you guys will like his defense and how he handles pitchers. Nevertheless, he believes he is a catcher.

“I would like to know what the major league payroll is going to be for this year?” – Roughly the same as last year. Nolan said that ther wouldn’t be a major jump in payroll back in October. They were willing to increase payroll for Sheets. Thankfully, they didn’t. It appears to be player specific.

Young team = low payroll.

The payroll will also plummet when/if Millwood/Padilla/Cat/Hank come off the books, opening up cash for a run at a free agent difference make like Sheets if he’s recovered, or my preference, John Lackey. I sure hope the Angels don’t extend Lackey.

Ooh hefe, i like that one, John Lackey. Just makes you wonder where our scouts were when he was pitching at U.T.A. Boy are the former Rangers coming up big in this steroid issue, Palmeiro, Gonzalez, Canseco, Pudge and now A-Fraud. To me it is a non-issue. The fact of the matter is it wasn’t against Baseball’s rules at the time. However, it is against state and local laws concerning how they obtained them. Wanna see them squirm, start filing federal, state and/or local law violations against them. Possession of Controlled Substance and or Possession of Dangerous Drug you pick. Nevertheless a guy with $250 million dollars ain’t going to the jailhouse. Sorry to burst your bubble folks but their are different rules for them than their are for us. If i got caught with steroids in my possession i am looking at a felony case, jail time, his personal assistant probably carried it for him. It is a known fact that steroids affect tendons and can result in ruptures with overuse. I don’t like the fact that we are after Andruw Jones, i believe Ramirez should get those right handed DH. “Young Team=low payroll.” That is what i was screaming about last year hefe. That is why i never understood why Hicks wouldn’t go with the youth, because of your formula. At this point, i think you go with all of the young pitchers that are close to being ready, baptize them by fire and hopefully a few will come out on the other side. In two years when we are close, i want them to spend that money to get that one pitcher to put us over the top. Does anyone out there want Catalanotto??????? How much is it gonna cost us to get rid of him? 1/2 of his salary. Bye Cat i am going to miss you and your Turkey Reuben sandwich……

First, MLB will NEVER change until we get rid of the puppet car salesman and get a commissioner who is not connected by an umbilical cord to the owners and get someone with some credibility who will stand against BOTH players and owners if necessary for the “sake of the game”.
Second, Jon Daniels should be fired immediately. You can’t tell me that a coach alerting him about the suspicions of the #1 player is something that he would have “no recollections of”. I know he was only an assistant, but you would never forget something like that. Ask Barry Bonds or Raffy if anyone forgot anything about them. So, in my opinion, the Rangers’ front office is tainted.
But, I suspect this will continue to be displayed in front of blind eyes.
Next, with the situation as it is, let’s just let them all juice up. We’ll go out and pay to see the mammoth home runs we’ll celebrate and they can retire early and reap what they have sown as their bodies deteriorate. We’ll be too busy watching the new generations of “juicers” to care or remember. In fact, let’s all just start juicing our kids in little league. Who cares? It wasn’t against the rules at the time. Who needs morals and values in our society? It’s all about the money. Moneyball right? (I am be very sarcastic here.)
Finally, I never have liked A-Rod, but I am shocked. I really thought he had natural talent and ability. Kudos to Michael Young for sticking up for a teammate. But Michael, do you realize what this does to the continued decreasing credibility of your profession? Does it matter when someone crosses a line that hurts the whole MLB team? Is it going to take MLB falling behind the NBA and maybe even the NHL before someone in MLB becomes truly concerned? People talk about performance enhancers wrecking the 90’s, but here we are almost a decade into the new millenium and we haven’t gotten past it yet. But, I guess I really don’t have an opinion on this.

It would seem that trial, conviction and sentencing on the basis of unsubstantiated rumor are alive and well.

” Just makes you wonder where our scouts were when he was pitching at U.T.A.” – Doesn’t it, though? They took 2 high school pitchers ahead of him. Colby Lewis made the majors breifly and the other didn’t. Also of note in that draft, Jake Peavy was signed out of high school as a 15th rounder. 471 players were taken ahead of him including 13th rounder Alber Pujols. Mercy.

To get due process, which is a trial, conviction, and sentencing, one must break the law. Unfortunately, there is no crime for ruining Major League Baseball. And to some, it is not cheating to enhance one’s performance using a non prescribed controlled substance because it wasn’t against “baseball’s” rules at the time. Unsubstantiated…..does that mean we actually have to see the bare butt with a needle poking out before we believe anything untoward is going on? That will never happen but where there is smoke, there is fire. And, this fire has been burning way too long. Maybe we fans need to decide if we accept this behavior or not. If we do, let’s speak up and tell the powers that be that it doesn’t matter if a player juices or not. It is their life. And if your son decides he wants to juice to get ahead, well, it’s his life too. Who are we to judge? If we don’t, let’s continue to get angry when these stories surface. I, for one, like old time baseball. A game that every kid could dream about playing regardless of his physical makeup. A game where the fat kid played catcher, the short fireplug was at third, the lanky beanpole played first, the little speedy sparkplug was on second, and the studs were at shortstop and centerfield and they took turns pitching. A winning team was the right combination of players with different abilities that could do many different things. You didn’t need a performance enhancer. To play baseball, you only had to find your niche. That’s why so many people related to baseball and it, at one time, was the national pastime. That is what we have lost to the steroid age.
To clarify an earlier opinion; I believe Jon Daniels should be fired because I believe he is lying about “misremembering”. You can never trust a liar. He took the easy road out like many liars who are confronted with the truth. And, he didn’t even say “I don’t remember” that conversation. He said “I have no recollections”. When a person is making a deceptive statement, they tend to try and dress up the denial. And, isn’t it just a little suspicious that the guy who told him about A-Rod was among the first to get fired when JD got his job? There is just too much that has gone on for anyone to accept “no comment” or “I don’t remember that”, or any other lame attempt to avoid a reasonable explaination that most likely doesn’t exist. If one did, it would be immediately put out there.
Here we are trying to get excited for spring training and this trash comes out. Who shouldn’t be mad? I know I am. The MLB seems to be a sinking ship and the crew is trying to keep it afloat with blind eyes and deception. It’s like the crew of the Titanic denying they had just hit an iceberg! If they want to end the madness, have mandatory monthly testing for the public record. Open honesty is the only way to regain trust. Or, maybe we don’t really care.

Daniels should be fired and i won’t call him a liar about misremembering, but i will call him out as a “liar” on this. When Hicks asked him if he was ready to be a GM, he said he was. The clear facts and the moves that he made clearly showed that he was not. Maybe now he has learned to not trade young pitching. To me Orza should be canned and probably will be for allegedly tipping off a player that there was going to be testing in 2004. The rumor is that he tipped off A-Rod. If that is the truth he should be offered the opportunity to resign or be fired. The union is going to suffer for this with the players. Reportedly the 2003 tests were just for the purpose of seeing how many players were in fact using and the need for drug testing. Obviously there was a need. Those tests were supposed to have been destroyed and were not by the union. If it is ever learned who released that information, their heads will roll. A-Rod has a lawsuit against that person. But what do you give a guy who has all the money in the world? More money? What is out there is out there and he probably just lost the hall of fame. the bottom line is they aren’t testing for HGH and that is what is probably being used the most at this time. And lets set this straight, i believe that it is cheating when you introduce any substance into the human body which enhances your ability to perform. It is a contest and if one player is using this gives a competitve edge to the other team. Why is it so against the rules to bet on baseball, but players are allowed to cheat which affects the outcome of games? Baseball needs to clean itself up….end of story. Bud isn’t the guy to do it. Nothing will change until the tv deals, corporate revenue and advertising disappear because they don’t want to associate with a tainted sport. Now having said this, i want to know who is running the NFL and their drug testing. I love the NFL but you have to think that they laugh and thank GOD for MLB everyday. I would suppose that the NFL has a bigger problem with that yet they manage things a little better over there. Now in Basketball and this is hush hush, i don’t even believe that it is illegal to test positive for smoking marijuana. Now that is a strong union and we all thought that Baseball was, ha ha…. And guys lets not forget that it wasn’t the Burglary that got Nixon it was the coverup. Who is advising these guys? All A-Rod has to do is say hey i tested positive in 2003 it wasn’t illegal, i got it from Barry Bonds cream and the clear. I haven’t tested positive since and have been clean from that day forward.

Oh you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout i’m a telling you why, Kenny Rogers is coming to town. He pushes down the camera man and pays the ransom fine, he comes back to the Rangers just in the nick of time. Hey, the guy wins here, wants to pitch close to home and is gonna be on the cheap. Write it down. Predictable.

Kenny Rogers a Ranger in ’09.
Michael Young traded.

Nolan cleans house, firing JD and R. Washington by the ’08 All-Star break.
Ron Washington will never manage a team to better than a .439 win%
Kevin Mench opening day RFer ’08.

the chemistry of that team was jelling pretty good. That’s how you build things. Hopefully, these guys remember that from last year and we’ll start off with a bang.

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