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.
* 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.
* 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.