Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill
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* Manager Ron Washington said what hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo did with the Rangers offense in 2008 should be considered the finest achievement of his career. The Rangers scored 901 runs and Washington said, “There’s no way I thought our offense would be that good.”
* Steve Buechele: “A baseball season is too long not to have fun. A big key for young guys is to have fun and still maintain that level of intensity.”
* Dennis Klein, the Rangers groundskeeper at the Ballpark in Arlington, is serving as the facilities superintendent at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico for the World Baseball Classic. He did that in 2006 as well.
* Justin Smoak on his first big league camp: “It’s been better than I thought it would be. At first I was star-struck but then you come in and find it’s a normal clubhouse. Everybody has been good to me and helped me a lot. I haven’t been nervous or anxious.”
* Washington on Smoak: “The kid can hit. There’s no doubt about that. But what’s really pleased me is how he has taken to his defense. He has really gotten after it. He had some problems with his footwork but we’ve straightened that out.”
* Angels catcher Mike Napoli on the Rangers: “The Rangers, they just rake. Nobody wants to see those guys, especially in their park. They get a couple of guys healthy, they could put together a good year.”
* And Angels pitcher John Lackey: You’ve got to be prepared for balls that wouldn’t go out of other parks flying out of that park. They’ve been able to hit since I came into the league. Whether they can pitch, that’s always the question.”
* Ian Kinsler on working with shortstop Elvis Andrus: “The double play is one of the things we need to work on. Figuring out where he comes with the ball is probably the biggest thing for me when I am at the base. How low he drops his arm. Basically where the ball is coming from when he moves to his right or his left. As far as I am concerned, I have to listen to him as far as where he wants the ball on the double play. We kind of learn on the fly. When a double play happens we talk about it afterwards and make the adjustments as we go.”
* Just for the heck of it: Ismael Valdes.
* Michael Young on Brendan Donnelly: “I can tell you I have a lot of respect for him. You can tell he’s a great competitor out there. That’s why I’m so excited about having him. And he’s a great teammate.”
* The Rangers go for a four-game winning streak against the Royals today. Last year their longest winning streak was three.
* Rangers general manager Jon Daniels on acquiring Texas native David Murphy: “More than where he is from, we had a scout that thought David had some untapped potential. It didn’t hurt that he’s got local roots, but that’s not why he’s here.”
* Rangers catchers, despite going 0-for-3 on Thursday, are hitting .441 after eight games with six doubles, eight RBI and four runs scored.
* This happened in February: the LSU Tigers baseball team defeated Villanova, 11-1, in the second game of their weekend series in Baton Rouge, La. The series is the first to be played in LSU’s new, $23-million Alex Box Stadium. In the eighth inning, freshman Beau Didier of Federal Way, Wash., in his first collegiate at-bat blasted a two-run home run over the right field wall. Didier is the grandson of Rangers scout Mel Didier, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the new stadium.