Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill
Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, a great place to mark the beginning of Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak on May 15, 1941 as well as Independence Day in Paraguay.
* The Rangers apparently are in position to sign Guillermo Pimentel, a top outfield prospect from the Dominican Republic who is highly coveted. Could get $1.5 to $2 million but has apparently stopped working out for other teams because the Rangers have him locked up. Signings can’t be announced until July.
* Two other Latin players linked with the Rangers are Curacao pitcher Jurickson Profar, a 16-year-old right-hander and Dominican catcher Jacob Beltre.
* Mariners Hall of Fame announcer Dave Niehaus: “Of all the young players I have seen this year, the shortstop here (Elvis Andrus) is something else. I was just talking to (manager Don) Wakamatsu about this kid and he said he’s really going to be a great one.”
* Manager Ron Washington was asked who the best shortstop was on the Rangers: “Omar Vizquel. The best shortstop on this team is Omar Vizquel. Elvis Andrus is just 20 years old. He still has a ways to go.”
* Andruw Jones is hitting .250 in May after hitting .344 in April and Washington said. “He’s cooled off a little bit because they’re walking him. When they do come into the strike zone, he might be pressing. He’s still a threat in the lineup. He’s still having good at-bats.”
* Jones is 10th on the Rangers with 77 plate appearances. He leads the team with 16 walks. Hank Blalock, Marlon Byrd, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Elvis Andrus have a combined 452 plate appearances and a combined 18 walks.
* Angels pitcher Joe Saunders on pitching at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington: “What have I learned about pitching there? Keep that ball down. That’s the big thing. And throwing strikes, not falling behind. That’s also important. It’s the best hitters park in the league.”
* Mariners reliever David Aardsma on the Rangers: “I don’t think anyone predicted their pitching would be this good. They are throwing awesome. Everyone knew their hitters were good. Last year they were starting to jump in there. I know we in Boston (last year) were starting to look over our shoulders at them in the wild card. We knew this team would be good.”
* Michael Young on what young player would be the best to build a team around: “I would think Evan Longoria. He has been pretty impressive and he’s only been in the big leagues two years. He makes really good adjustments and he plays on a good team in a tough division. He seems like a pretty poised kid.”
* Rangers general manager Jon Daniels on the same question: “Not counting Rangers, I’ll go with Longoria. That’s the complete package. Right-handed power, which is relatively rare, premium defense, tough out, good makeup and he has a very attractive contract.”
* Just for the heck of it: Danny Patterson.
* The Rangers last had two consecutive walkoff victories on May 5-6 2000. They beat the Athletics 17-16 after trailing 15-7 going into the bottom of the seventh. Mike Lamb had a bases loaded single off Jeff Tam. The next day Luis Alicea had the game-winning hit in an 11-10 victory.
* Tigers shortstop Adam Everett, in the Detroit Free Press: “I learned from Jeff Bagwell that, on the days you don’t feel good, try to do two things: walk, and if there’s a guy on third with fewer than two out, try to get him in any way you can. You’re not going to feel good every day throughout the year.”
* Rangers pitchers are throwing 16.4 pitches per inning, fourth fewest in the American League. They have also thrown 146.5 pitches per game. Last year the Rangers threw 17.3 pitchers per inning, the most in the American League, and 154.2 pitches per game.
* Rangers are hitting .308 at home, the highest in the league. They are hitting just .250 on the road. That’s the third lowest. But the Rangers are still 9-8 on the road this year because of a 4.67 ERA away from Arlington. That’s the sixth lowest road ERA in the American League. Last year they had the highest.
* Nolan Ryan threw his first no-hitter on this date in 1973, 36 years ago today. Beat the Royals 3-0. Don Cardwell threw a no-hitter for the Cubs on this date in 1960. Beat the Cardinals. So? He had just been traded by the Phillies. First pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter after being traded.