Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill
Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, where on Saturday we will celebrate the 70th birthday of Carl Yastrzemski.
* Going back to at least 1975, the Rangers current success rate of 85.1 percent in stealing bases is the second highest by any Major League team. The 2007 Phillies were safe 87.9 percent of the time. The 2005 Rangers were successful on 81.7 percent of their steals.
* Michael Young on the Rangers stealing bases: “It’s been great. I know everybody has said it a lot lately but we need to diversify our offense. We have to be a more versatile offense. We have guys who can hit the ball out of the ballpark but we have to find ways to scratch and claw and manufacture runs. Having great team speed is a great way to start.”
* Opponents are hitting .183 off C.J. Wilson since the All-Star break. He has also struck out 29 batters in 161/3 innings.
* Taylor Teagarden, who was born in 1983: “By the time I was eight or nine years old, I started playing baseball, I started catching and Pudge already had the hype of being young and talented. You couldn’t help but be a big fan. I always wanted to be like him.”
* Hank Blalock, asked if impending free agency weighs on his mind, “No, not really. With the situations I’ve had to go through the past few years, I’ve learned just to concentrate on the present. If I can get my swing back, start driving in runs and help my team get to the playoffs, as far as my future that will take care of itself.”
* Young has a 22-game hitting streak at home. He is one short of the club record, set by Ivan Rodriguez in 1995.
* What do you do on an off-day in Cleveland? Kevin Millwood went fishing. So did trainer Kevin Harmon, pitching coach Mike Maddux, dugout coach Jackie Moore, bullpen coach Andy Hawkins and traveling secretary Chris Lyngos. They went out on Lake Erie and brought back a sizable haul of walleye. They had them cooked and served for dinner the next night in the Rangers clubhouse.
* Just for the heck of it: Mickey Rivers.
* David Wright, on getting hit by a pitch in the head thrown by Matt Cain of the Giants: “Normally, you feel you can get away and dodge it, and I remember the ball came halfway, didn’t think I was going to be able to get out of the way so I just braced for it. The scariest thing was not so much getting hit, but seeing the pitch coming towards me and knowing I was going to get hit.”
* Yastrzemski hit .305 against the Senators/Rangers. That’s his highest against any American League team
* Here is a surprise: You know that the Silver Slugger Award goes to the top offensive player at each position in the American League. The top defensive player gets a Gold Glove. The Rangers, despite their offensive reputation, have won 11 Gold Gloves this decade and just eight Silver Slugger Awards
* Five different Rangers have won a Gold Glove. Four different players have won a Silver Slugger. Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira were the only ones that won both. Michael Young has a Gold Glove but no Silver Slugger.
* They don’t do this anymore. On Aug. 20, 1938, Indians catchers Frankie Pytlak and Hank Hel caught balls that were dropped from the 52nd floor of Cleveland’s Union Terminal Tower. Total distance was 708 feet. They guessed the speed was an average of 140 miles per hour. At the time, Terminal Tower was the second tallest building in the world.
* They beat Gabby Street. The Washington Senators catcher caught a ball thrown from the top of the Washington Monument. That ball dropped 555 feet on Aug. 21, 1908.