Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill

Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, where we can still hear the conch shells blowing in Fort Shafter.

Bar.JPG* Ron Washington on the Seattle Mariners under manager Don Wakamatsu: “As I’ve always said, they are a team that scares you. It was just a case of getting them to play as a group. They’ve been playing as individuals the past few years. They’ve got good hitters, they’ve got good pitchers, they’ve got guys that play defense and they’ve got speed. Evidently Wak has them playing together as a team. They’ve always scared me.”

* The Rangers don’t play the Angels for the first time until May 15. Over the past two years, they were 3-9 when playing the Angels before May 15. This year they miss the Angels while they are missing Vladimir Guerrero, John Lackey, Ervin Santana and Darren Oliver. Said Washington, “That’s all right, we want to play them when they are at their best anyway.”

* Nelson Cruz plays baseball all year round but does have time for recreation. He hangs out on his 1,000 acre farm near his hometown of Montecristy in the Dominican Republic. His primary crop is rice. Said Cruz, “It’s a good investment.”

* Cruz also keeps chickens, which he personally cooks for his friends.

* The Rangers are third in the American League with 18 stolen bases. They’ve only been caught twice. Their 90 percent success rate is tied with Toronto for the best.

* Ian Kinsler is 67-for-76 in attempted steals in his career. That’s an 88.2 percent success rate. Of active players with at least 50 steals in their career, Kinsler is second only to Nate McLouth. The Pirates outfielder is at 92.2 percent.

* Jeff Zimmerman, to ESPN’s Jim Caple, on his Major League career: “I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I should have. There were some awesome moments, but I never took time out to appreciate how far I had come and how awesome it was. I never even let my guard down at the All-Star Game. I had this image of myself that I was never really good enough. I was always around high draft picks and felt like I had to work twice as hard as everyone else.”

* Guerrero has a torn muscle in his chest, an injury that sidelines NFL offensive linemen for a year. Said Angels general manager Tony Reagins: “We’re fortunate that Vlad doesn’t have to block 325-pound defensive linemen.”

* Just for the heck of it: Jeff Brantley.

Ryannnnn.jpg* You know that Kevin Millwood leads the American League in innings pitched. Rangers pitchers have led the league in innings pitched twice: Charlie Hough (285.1) in 1987 and Kevin Brown (265.2) in 1992.

* Ferguson Jenkins threw 328.1 innings for the Rangers in 1974. That’s the club record. No he did not lead the league. Nolan Ryan did. He threw 332.2 innings for the Angels.

* Ryan struck out 367 batters and walked 202. Wonder how many pitches he threw that season? Total pitches in a season by a pitcher have only been kept since 1988. Roger Clemens threw 4,280 in 1996. Ryan threw 4,055 in 1989, most by a Rangers pitcher in 20 years.

* Ryan averaged 16.9 pitchers per inning in 1989. He must have averaged at least 18 per inning in 1974. More likely 20. Point is, Ryan must have thrown well over 6,000 pitches in 1974.

* Indians infielder Mark DeRosa after getting four hits on Tuesday: “Good God! I don’t like going 2-for-20 then having to get four hits to salvage the week.”

* The late great Bea Arthur on singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame at Wrigley Field: “I’d never even been to Wrigley Field. I never even enjoyed baseball that much, but I loved being there, the crowd was lovely, and they all sang with me!”

* The Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves played to a 1-1 tie on May 1, 1920. The starters both pitched 26 innings: Leon Cadore for the Dodgers – actually they were called the Robins – and Joe Oeschger for the Braves.

* Ryan was the last starting pitcher to go more than nine innings for the Rangers. He went ten innings on Aug. 17, 1990. Rangers won, 1-0, in 13 innings.

* Charlie Hough went 13 innings for the Rangers on June 11, 1986. Rangers won, 6-2, in 16 innings. That’s the most innings ever by a Rangers starter in one game.



If I remember correctly – you included a nice story about Jeff Brantley’s short stay with the Rangers a couple of years ago. While on a road trip Brantley invited R.A. Dickey to go shopping with him. Dickey had made the team out of Spring Training – and was still considered a rookie (I think). R.A. picked out a few things to buy – when they went to check out – Brantley paid for both his and RA’s. Dickey was surprised – but Brantley told him to “pay it forward” and do the same thing for another young player when R.A. had the opportunity.

Has R.A. had that chance to pay it forward? Quick name the only former #1 drafted pitcher that the Rangers kept the longest and didn’t trade? You guessed it R.A. Dickey, the guy without the elbow ligament. Now the Rangers look to see if the pitcher has a ligament in the elbow before drafting and trading them. Danks, Volquez, Gallarraga and Gabbard all had their elbow ligaments. Dickey spent the longest time with this team and got more of a chance at the big league level than any of the above guys. And we wonder why? Now on to yesterdays game. Bases loaded with no one out and we don’t score. This highlights the principal problem with our team. You have got to get at least a couple of runs there, but we don’t and eventually lose. The home runs came though but the other team made a great play on Kinsler. You can’t wait for the late inning heroics. Hey Blalock if you are gonna hit a home run do it when the bases are loaded it is called a clutch hit. So what exactly is our RISP average it has to be low. Eric Young was on MLB saying the same thing about the Rangers an over reliance on the three run homer. He also said until they start putting the ball in play we aren’t going to win many games. Yesterday was another game we should have won, because you have a bunch of individuals up there swinging for the fences. Young and Blalock both popped out what a joke!

I am so tired of hearing about Nolan Ryan statues and his playing career. I want to hear about him as owner and managing general partner. Nolan Ryan was and is a hall of fame player. But i think if TR were honest here and we asked him where exactly were you on your HOF voting for Ryan before his last years Arlington, Texas? In other words before his 6th and 7th No Hitters, 5,000th Strikeout and + 300 wins? Were you gonna vote him in before he achieved those milestones? I seem to remember alot of people talking about how Ryan never won a lot of games and was a marginal as in getting to the HOF. It seems ridiculous now after what happened in Texas but that was the talk on him. If Ryan comes to Texas for 1 year gets hurt and retires does he go into the HOF first ballot without 300 wins, 5000 strikeouts and 5 no hitters? I say yes, but it would n’t have been the slam dunk it was without those last years. Kinda like what is being said about Blyleven now. So in essence Blyleven cost himself the HOF by retirning too early and not continuing on as Ryan did.

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of INDIVIDUAL stars in the world, but if they don’t play TOGETHER, the club won’t be worth a dime.” Babe Ruth

So i am still waiting for the Rangers to play a complete game. Lets try to win a game 1-0 without hitting a home run….. Lets just try to win a close game without a home run. Challenge the team to score some runs without hitting a home run. Lets begin by just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere, make contact. I think Ron calls it working the count. If Ron is the manager and wants these things done and they aren’t done then who is to blame? I don’t want Rudy fired, but surely the hitting coach talks to his hitters about hitting strategy????????

I may have to hang out at this bar and grille more often. Good stuff buddy.
Your peeps here send the wave your way…

I awoke this morning at about 6.30am. Plenty of time for a slow start to the day and some 3 1/2 hours until the game with the White Sox. So I lay there, eyes closed, and let my mind drift to the prospect of breakfast. Ah yes! I’ll have braised mushrooms on (home-made) bread, washed down with fresh coffee and d’god’s rant du jour. Perfect! I usually read d’god’s many posts (many,many, posts…) with my breakfast, and I wondered what his theme would be today. Something about pitching no doubt, perhaps with a side-order of defence and the lack of it. But no, SHOCK! HORROR! He’s ranting about the hitting and run scoring. And furthermore, …wait for it folks… The Rangers are doing…TOO MUCH OF IT. It would seem that the way to bring tears of joy to his eyes would be to limit our run scoring to ONE RUN PER GAME. Now that’s a hitting strategy that I’ll wager Rudy hasn’t tried before! I can imagine the scene in the clubhouse before the game with Ron W handing out “permission to hit” chits. “No, Ian, you can’t have one, you had a hit last week, and then had the nerve to hit it out of the park. Don’t you know how much those balls cost?” “And today, boys, I want you to WORK THE COUNT. This used to mean showing patience and discipline at the plate, but our new hitting coach assures me that it actually means HITTING THE BALL HARD. Make sure you aim directly at a fielder though, or we”ll be in danger of exceeding our run allowence.”

Priceless. Great stuff, stroggs (Anthony, right?) I know that 9-1 win the home opener was OK, but would’ve been much better if the offense had shown some restraint. If they’d held off on that 4 run second and 3 run 5th we’d have had a 2-1 win, which is (somehow) better.

You have to consider the source when abosorbing the extreme baseball intellect that is Dgod. Among my favorite observations of his lately was that that Michael Young and Ian Kinsler should switch positions, not because of their defensive skill set, but because of their offense. Utter brilliance the likes of which are rarely seen this side of Norm Hitzges or Randy Galloway.

Great stuff Anthony and Hefe! Hefe, I hadn’t thought about Randy Galloway in a long time. The one thing he had that I wish TR had was that “idiot allert”…..that could be priceless!!!

Guys are behind despite Feldman’s great start. Still think HOlland is ready for the big time guys??

you guys are great……Been reading these awful rants for some time and grown very weary of it.

Feldman pitched very well……Holland didnt get away with laying a fastball right down the middle to a potential HoF in Thome (Bet Danks or Gabbard would have gotten him out, right?)…..Cj had an interesting inning but didnt give up any runs. I like O’Day also.

What do you think about pulling Feldman in that spot? 77 pitches into it? Lefty/lefty matchup? Personally, didnt have a problem with it but sometimes I get hyper sensitive to the pitcher management of Wash.

I like Washington for the most part, but my major beefs with him usually arise from his handling of the bullpen in certain situations. I thought it was the right call to go to the pen when he did tonight, though. Feldman looked gassed. He’s probably not stretched out out like a starter would be in mid season. Tough night for Scott, though. You’ve got to hate the way it turned out for him after having such great stuff for 5+ innings.

You really can’t blame pitching tonight…4 runs is really nothing…wish the guys could have come through with a couple of runs though.

There seems to be a misunderstanding here. What i am saying is that this “TEAM” has a huge over reliance on hitting home runs. We scored 3 tonight of course one of those was a home run. The bottom line is this team leads the league in home runs and is 10-12 2 games under .500. If they could get some key hits, sacrifice, trade run position for outs then they would be a better team with a far better record. I like to call it fundamental baseball. So i am not against home runs, but sitting around waiting and depending on them instead of trying to force or make something happen well is just crazee and is gonna cost Ron his job eventually. I call it managing the game. Didn’t Nero fiddle while Rome burned? That seems to be Washingtons philosophy. Now i catch a lot of grief on here, and folks i ain’t no baseball professional but lets go to one who once was. Steve Phillips former GM of the mets was asked: Would you trade Hamilton for Volquez? He essentially says no, i want Hamilton on my team, but in order to win at the major league level you need pitching to win championships. The Rangers have a tough time getting pitchers to go there because it is a hitters ballpark.

I will liken it to this. Say hypothetically the Rangers go on to lead the league in home runs and some of those homers are actually key clutch hits. The bullpen and starting pitching remains the same and we end up winning the division and making the playoffs. What happens when you get to the playoffs? Well it is just like Maverick Basketball, the Mavs have a high scoring team are fun to watch and pop those 3 point jumpers all season long. When you get to the Basketball playoffs it is a half court game and you have to score inside and play defense. In the Baseball playoffs, the games get tighter because of the other teams pitching and defense. Thus home runs become harder to hit. All i am saying is that to sit back and wait for the three run home run, Earl Weaver Baseball without the pitching depth is gonna cost us a ton of games. The games are 9 innings long and when the other team gets into our bullpen we are at risk of losing. If the games were only 5 innings long we would be 15 and 7 so far this year. “We need two starters and two relievers September 2008.” At this point i would settle for 4 relievers…..

Fred, you and i are in agreement, i wish they could have come through with a couple more runs. That is my point they are playing for the 3 run homer, but it is hard to hit a 3 run homer if two aren’t already on base. Our hits and batting average with runners in scoring position, clutch hits, has to be horrendous…..

Ask a Mets fan how they feel about Steve Phillips. There’s a reason he’s working for ESPN instead of a ML fron office.

“Our hits and batting average with runners in scoring position, clutch hits, has to be horrendous…..” RISP: .285, 8th among the 30 major league teams. RISP with 2 outs: .304 second only to Boston in all of baseball.

Can’t wait for the next 3 posts. I’m sure they’ll be filled with just as much premium content as these.

Baseball is an easy game. I don’t mean the playing of it, of course, which takes an inordinate level of skill. If I were on the mound I doubt whether I could hit the proverbial barn door, let alone the outer portions of a small imaginary box. And were I in the batters box I would need a bat the size of the aforementioned barn door even to make contact with the ball, let alone get a hit. No, the easy part in in the management of the game. The fans can see that. Why can’t Ron W? Take yesterdays game. On bbtia and Inside corner I read the following – slightly paraphrased. “Washington left Feldman in far too long. He should be sacked”, and “Washington pulled Feldman far too early. He should be sacked.” Both of these fans, in their analysis of the situation and it’s solution are absolutely correct! How come Ron W can’t see it? So, why not let the fans make all the important decisions? Let them be networked to the dugout, and all Ron W has to do is enter “Should I pull the starter?” or “Should I pinch hit?” etc and within moments he could have his answer. The Rangers would win the division with something like a 140-20 record and would probably be awarded the World Series because all the other playoff contenders would conceed. Baseball would enter a whole new golden age….

That has, and always will be, a part of the game. Everybody sees the game differently and most fans enjoy discussing the inner workings of the it……Did he leave him in too long? Did he take him out too early? Shouldnt he have pinch-hit for (insert name) in the 9th? Why is he playing this guy over another guy? As always, the easiest job is to couch manage the ballclub. Though I dont always agree with what the ballclub or the manager does, it does make it fun to toss ideas back and forth among those that enjoy the game as much as I do. I think JD and Wash both have difficult jobs and decisions are made that arent always as easy as they appear on the surface.

And on that note, can someone tell me what the upside to Mendoza is because I am having trouble seeing that one. How long does the club stick with Eddie? I am a big fan of his and I hope that he finds the ability to pitch like he did last year.

Brolfe your comment (about Mendoza) is interesting. It is the beginning of the season and he doesn’t have many appearances but… sometime or the other he’s going to have to step up or get dfa’d. This is one of the problems of fans getting so invested in minor league pitchers who darn it all May Just Not Make it.

Seldom is the manager responsible for the path the team takes though there are memorable examples of manages who could imprint the right philosophy on their team and memorable managers who knew how to call a game. Presently vacationing in Washington State where the local af2 team just fired their coach after 5 straight losses by lopsided margins. The fellow they got rid of is an Oklahoman and a real nice guy and superior çoach…you can watch him at the games and he gives you a great feeling. So the new guy comes in…you guessed it….they still lost by a semi lopsided margin…they don’t have the horses. There’s a lesson in that for all of us.

Baseball is fun. We all love to talk and read about it or we wouldn’t be on this site. If some of the unreasonableness would end this would be a perfect site.

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