Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill
Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, located not in Arizona but deep in the heart of Texas.
* Ian Kinsler on the Rangers: “We’re just as good as any other team. Somebody has to win it, why not us. We’re very talented, everybody knows it. It’s just a matter of us doing it on the field.”
* Michael Young on Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu: “They have a guy who is going to be one of the best managers in the game. That right there is huge. First of all he has a great baseball mind and he is an even better communicator. He knows the game and has a feel for it. But he knows how to communicate with his players and knows them on a personal feel.”
* Ty Cobb hit .401 in 1922. So? He’s the only .400 hitter to never win a batting championship. George Sisler hit .420 that year.
* Rusty Greer hit .332 for the Rangers in 1996 and Ivan Rodriguez matched that in 1999. Those are the highest ever by a Rangers player who didn’t win a batting title. Frank Catalanotto is sixth with a .330 average in 2001.
* Jason Jennings on the Rangers pitching staff: “We’re going to score runs. The thing as a staff is we don’t have to have a 3.50 ERA. We just have to go out and keep it close. Last year we couldn’t do that. This year I feel our starters will go deeper and with the versatility we have on our staff, I like the way the team lines up. I see greater possibilities than at the start of last year.”
* Taylor Teagarden left Arizona with seven hits in his last 12 at-bats, including two doubles, one triple and two home runs. Manager Ron Washington said he wants to make sure he gets Teagarden at least one start behind the plate per week.
* Scott Feldman on switching from starter to the bullpen: “I guess they feel they need me in the bullpen. I’m not the manager. I’d obviously like to start. I’ll pitch as well as I can in the bullpen and be ready for anything.”
* The Rangers won 20 games in Spring Training for only the third time in club history. They did it also in 1995 – including replacement players – and in 1998.
* Josh Hamilton on Nelson Cruz: “I like Nellie a lot. I love watching him play, you never know what’s going to happen. I joke around with him that we’re brothers from another mother because we we’re so similar: power, we can run, we can throw and we both have big old bodies.”
* Hamilton and Micah Hoffpauier of the Cubs are tied for the Major League lead in Spring Training with 26 RBI. Chris Davis is tied for second with 21 runs scored.
* Despite the emphasis on pounding the strike zone, the Rangers pitching staff still has the fifth highest number of walks in Spring Training.
* Just for the heck of it: Royce Clayton.
* Ron Washington on Elvis Andrus: “We have guys who will help him get through the rough times. He’s a smart kid. He has aptitude. He doesn’t think he has everything he needs. He’s willing to learn. He’s going to make mistakes but we’re here to help him through that.”
* Since 1965, there have been 44 players taken with the first overall pick in the June First-Year Player draft. Kris Benson will be the 10th to play for the Rangers. The others: Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Hamilton, Alex Rodriguez, Phil Nevin, Harold Baines, Floyd Bannister, David Clyde, Dave Roberts and Jeff Burroughs.
* The Athletics have Travis Buck, the Mariners have Brandon Morrow and the Angels have Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders and Brandon Wood. The Rangers are the only team in the A.L. West without one of their own first-round picks on their Opening Day roster.