Monday Morning Manager…now playing first base:

Hank Blalock.

Chris Davis is on his way to Triple A Oklahoma, where he will be teammates with Justin Smoak. May be the ultimate: let the best man win…

Monday_Morning_Manager.jpgDo you know that a Boston Red Sox owner once thought about moving Tris Speaker to first base. This guy was the ultimate center fielder, the guy who owns the all-time record for most unassisted double plays by an outfielder.

American League president Ban Johnson wouldn’t hear of it. Johnson made the Red Sox owner sell half his team and a Johnson crony was put in charge. Speaker stayed in center. The old owner, John Taylor, used his money to build Fenway Park.

He and his father built it with their own money. They owned the Boston Globe and could afford it. Plus they owned plenty of land around Fenway Park so it was a profitable venture for the Fenwy Real Estate Company.

That’s right. Fenway Park is actually a corporate name.

Sorry, we were talking about the Rangers. Or supposed to be…

1. Was it time to send Chris Davis to Triple A?

2. What’s your take on Hank Blalock playing first base?

3. Did Kevin Millwood get cheated in the All-Star selection process?

4. Should Josh Hamilton go to the All-Star Game?

5. What’s your take on the Rangers rotation. Dustin Nippert in for good? Who should be out and what about Vicente Padilla?

By the way…in case anybody cares or even remembers….in descending order: Bozeman Trail, Concord Bridge, Sunken Lane at Antietam, Sutter’s Mill, Jet Propulsion Laboratory.



1. It was more than time to get Davis back to where he could work on his problems. Joe Morgan did a good analysis on it last night…if you missed it write and I’ll fill you in. He’ll be back in two weeks unless he gets passed by Smoak.
2. We give up defense but maybe Hank gets hot playing everyday in the field.
3. No! And I’m not even sure he’s our best pitcher. Feldman looked good last night.
4. Though I voted for him the maximum number of times I really don’t think he deserves it this year. He’s played the field like a demon but bouncing off walls is not a good way to stay healthy. Once voted in he should play.
5. No to Nippert. YOu don’t trade Padilla lin the middle of a pennant race without having at least as good of a replacement…I like Feldman, Harrison, Hunter and HOlland but we need to win!

1. The Rangers just can’t help themselves can they? The panic button is always the first option. It seems that this move means more playing time for Hank Blalock and Andruw Jones because they are such big part of this team’s long term plans.

I checked the stats for these players for the last ten games: Ian Kinsler (7 hits in 42 AB – .167) Jarrod Saltalamacchia (8 hits in 34 AB’s – .234 with 13 K’s) Nelson Cruz (9 hits in 40 AB’s .225 with 6 K’s) – so which of these guys get sent down too? By the way – Davis had a better BA in the last 10 games than all 3 of the players listed above – 8 hits in 33 AB’s – .242 while new 1B Hank Blalock had 7 hits in 33 AB’s – .212 with 8 K’s

2. That airtight defense just sprung a big leek.

3. Yes

4. Let’s see how he feels at the end of this week – if he doesn’t have any more problems as a result of his surgery, sure. Glad to hear he’s not part of the HR contest.

5. Millwood and Feldman are solid, Tommy Hunter and Derek Holland seem to be making progress stick with them – if Padilla is healthy then put him in there – otherwise it’s time to fire up the 1-35 Express Bus and start auditioning for the 5th spot.

By the way: I didn’t see the pictures until today (who needs to hang around the computer on holiday?) I got the bridge at Concord (because I’ve seen it before) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (because I’m an old fashioned NASA geek)

How does an OF turn an unassisted DP? And how many did he have?

1. Yes. They have exercised extreme patience. His defense has been great, but that level of offensive futility over a half season isn’t going to stand at an offensive position like first base. I have every confidence that he’ll be back, but he was given *months* to work it out and that never happened.

2. He’s the best option until Smoak forces his way up.

3. He deserved the nod over Wakefield, but there are glaring omissions every year.

4. Yes. The fans want to see him.

5. I want Harrison back in there when he’s ready. Nippert deserves and extended look because this will likely be his last shot with the Rangers.

1. I think it should have happened about a month ago. I think the Rangers wanted to see if Hank was healthy enough to consistently play first base. I think we will see Josh get a lot of time at DH until they feel his bat back. Dhing will let him consentrate on hitting. But yes Chris Davis going to down to work on his swing is the right thing to do. And it maybe between he and Justin Smoak whoever is hitting better at the time.

2. I think Hank can play first base better than people think he can. I think he will do an decsent job at first. I also think the Rangers brass really likes having Julio Borbon to turn to off of our bench.

3. I think Millwood should have made it. There will be an injury to someone before the all-star game and he will be the first alternate. Ian will probably make it that way too if he doesn’t make it in on the fan vote.

4. I like that Josh is respected by other teams fans for the talented player he is. I do agree with the Rangers not letting him do the Homerun derby. But I don’t have a problem with him playing in the game the fans obviously want him in the game.

5. Dustin Nippert is just in until Padilla is back and healthy again. I think both Hunter and Nippert are in the rotation until Harrison and Padilla come back from injury. I think the are just pushing Padilla’s start back I don’t think he is on the DL. But I could be wrong.

1) A month past due
2) Servicible, good move if he bats 50 points higher
3) No, not for what the All-Star Game is today. (see 4)
4) The ASG is a beauty contest of popular players; so grown men can enjoy their man crushes on other grown men. Like a pretty girl wearing a skimpy dress, Hambone will play the game to be admired.
5) Can’t argue with performance. Nippert? I still have trouble with the guys name. It’s like having Urkel on the mound.

1. Sure. Let him work on some stuff while we have the luxury of depth to compensate

2. We could do a lot worse

3. Yes, but it had to happen to somebody. I’d prefer to see him in the All Star game than Hamilton

4. No way

5. I have no faith in Nippert, but I hope that he proves me wrong.

1. Yes. Chris needs to get his confidence back. When he makes contact he is trying to pull everything and will either hit a homer or ground out to 1st.
2.Let him work with Wash and in about 2 weeks, you’ll see a decent first baseman
3.Yes. He has alot better ERA than uhm….. Tim Wakefield. Are you kidding me. Milly has a 2.80 ERA and Wakefield has a 4.30 ERA. Milly has 119 IP and Wakefield has 102.2 IP.
4.I honestly have no problem with Josh playing, but would rather see Ian starting. Ian is alot more deserving.
5.Millwood and Feldman have been above expectations. Holland will hopefully be replaced by Nippert, Padilla has been good since the rangers put him on waivers. Hopefully Tommy Hunter has more bright starts to come.

Nippert , Nippert in the bud

“How does an OF turn an unassisted DP? And how many did he have?” 6 (I believe). He favored going back on fly balls and thus played shallow. Playing shallow and coming in a bloop, catch no tag up at 2b or the runner between 2b and 3b.

1) Yes, but why not just let Hamilton play first? If he is going to continue to get hurt let him play first base. He is more of the prototypical first baseman an isn’t an oddball meaning he bats left handed and throws left handed.
2) See the above for your answer. Play Hamilton the feel good story of the decade there. By the way re-up the boy and pay him what he is worth.
3) There are too many rules in the selection process. Someone is always left out. Millwood has pitched his Hicks off this year. My only question is how much of a bonus did he miss out on? I am just glad that A-Rod and Manny didn’t make it.
4) Yes he was voted in, far too often you get rewarded for what you did in the past. If Jeter is going then Hamilton should be going. Is Jeter really the best shortstop in the AL? Is he even the best one on his own team? Did that back end of the rotation guy Volquez make it?
5) Padilla and Harrison should be the starters. Besides if Padilla doesn’t get back in there Sullivan won’t get those 34 wins that he wants so badly. The Rangers seem to finally have figured out that it is all about the pitching. But don’t drink the Kool Aid, meaning you never ever, never ever trade good young pitchers. Those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it. So don’t, do not trade any of our young guys for Harold Baines or some other knucklehead. Which leads to this question, what is the status of Ben Sheets????

1. I suppose, but I could have supported keeping him up longer.

2. I wonder what new way Hank will find to get hurt playing at first – he’s a DH.

3. Millwood didn’t get cheated. He has to continue to work to overcome his reputation from the past few years. Continue what he’s doing, and he gets in next year.

4. Josh didn’t play enough to go IMO, but it’s a popularity contest…

5. The rotation needs more high-ceiling young SP. Nippert, Mendoza, McCarthy Harrison et al are relievers. Padilla’s gone at the end of the year, if not sooner. Jennings may not want to come back, and if not, the team should likely look at trading him should they continue to fade. The team still needs to trade a C+ for pitching.

JD still has lots of work to do on building a rotation.

1. It was time to send Davis down when he set the pace for fastest to 100 strikeouts last month, IMO. His occasional glimmers offensively never turned into anything, and his defensive value even declined to below replacement.

2. Not like we have anyone else to put there. Hank has platoon issues, but Justin Smoak was hitting .196/.268/.314 against AA left-handers before his promotion to OKC, so he’s no answer to that question either.

3. Both Ian Kinsler and Millwood deserved to go more than Young and Hamilton, IMO.

4. He did literally nothing but sit on the DL and underperform in the first half. Josh is one of my favorites, but him being voted in as a starter this year is probably one of the biggest examples of how dumb fan voting is you’ll ever find.

5. I don’t see what makes Nippert a better option than Hunter or Holland right now. I guess he’s your 5th guy if Padilla goes on the DL, but I’d be kind of ticked if he of all people takes starts away from one of the two younger, more important in the long run pitchers.

Two things absolutely amaze me…or do I mean they really chap my hide.

The first is “people who think the business of each season is to develop players.” You know…the ones who are always talking about wether one of our short term players should be in the game or wether we should be playing some untried rookie in the interest of player development. Did you forget we’re in the middle of a pennant race? Some Ranger fans if truth be told have no faith in this club’s ability to win a pennant!! SOME OF US WOULD LIKe TO WIN NOT JUST DEVELOP PLAYERS!!! And you just don’t do that with Borbon, Smoak and whoever else is the teams new savior from AA.

Last but not least are the “so called fans” who think they’re better baseball players than say Hank Blalock, Chris Davis or Ian Kinsler. I’m sick of it. If any of you geniuses had ever played the game you’d know about streaks, confidence, the toll of the first half of the season and all the rest. If you “ten cent critics” are so darn hot get in a uni and fall on your face! Otherwise just have some confidence in our guys that they’ll snap out of it and make up for the bad time with a ton of hits in a row. You guys ever hear of root for the home team??

Bravo! Very well written Fredr. I second that “e”-motion! This team has experienced a lot of adversity this year yet they are in FIRST PLACE!!! Another piece-meal pitching staff and an absent offense, yet in first place. And who gets credit? Mike Scoscia? He’s done a great job, but aside from the tragic death, their injuries are very similar to what the Rangers have experienced. And so far, the Rangers have the head to head advantage. Don’t underestimate the value of that. My personal stance is one of patience. I believe what I see coming, but things are starting now and I don’t want to miss this pennant race while planning for 2010 and beyond. Win or lose, it’s going to be great fun to watch and we have more to build on coming on the horizon. Who wouldn’t want to be here to enjoy this year which is the start of something special for this franchise. The alternative is what we have been watching the past few years with the team already out of the race by this time. I’m with ya’ Fredr!

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