Friday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill
Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, where we drink a toast to the Hank Aaron on his 76th birthday.
* Rangers general manager Jon Daniels reporting in from the Dominican Republic, accompanied by manager Ron Washington, “Wish everyone could see Wash down here. Can not see another Major League manager working his tail off with 16-18 year old Minor Leaguers right now.”
* Jarrod Saltalamacchia is up to 200-feet in his long-toss throwing program at the Ballpark in Arlington. Said Saltalamacchia, “I’m catching bullpens, hitting and feeling good. I’m happy where I am at right now. I’m hoping to be 100 percent and hit the ground running in Spring Training.”
* Nolan Ryan struck out 9.55 batters per nine innings in his career. That’s the fourth best ratio in the past 60 years by a pitcher with at least 125 career starts. Rich Harden is right behind him. He’s fifth at 9.35.
* Ahead of them? Randy Johnson (10.61), Kerry Wood (10.38) and Pedro Martinez (10.04).
* You knew of course that John Elway, Michael Vick, Kerry Collins, Daunte Culpepper, Dan Marino and Steve McNair were NFL quarterbacks. They were also all drafted by Major League teams. Elway and Culpepper were drafted by the Yankees, Vick by the Rockies, Marino by the Royals, Collins by the Tigers, and McNair by the Mariners.
* Oh yes. Archie Manning was the White Sox third round pick in 1971 but did not sign. He was a shortstop at Ole Miss.
* No Major League teams in Indianapolis and New Orleans. Last time two non-Major League cities met in the Super Bowl were the Washington Redskins and the Buffalo Bills in 1992.
* First time that happened? Technically Jan. 17 1972. Dallas and Miami. The Rangers had not yet officially played a game in Arlington. It happened again one year later on Jan. 14, 1973. Miami and Washington. Go figure that one. The Senators were gone.
* This is pretty trivial but there has only been one NBA Final since 1955 that involved two cities without a Major League team. That was in 2003 between the New Jersey Nets and the San Antonio Spurs. Unless you consider New Jersey part of the metropolitan New York area. If so, then you would have to go back to 1955 between Fort Wayne and Syracuse.
* Just for the heck of it: Tom House
* The Rangers equipment truck is leaving the Ballpark today for Spring Training.
* Bertrand Russell once said, “Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will accept bad ones.”
* Justin Morneau, who is from British Columbia, gets to carry the Olympic torch as it approaches the Winter Games in Vancouver. Said Morneau to MLB.Com’s Kelly Thesier: “That’s pretty cool. It’s something that’s once in a lifetime. Maybe I’ll stick around to watch Canada beat Norway [in hockey] and then get ready for Spring Training.”
* The Atlantics beat the Charter Oak Club, 36-27, in a game played on Feb. 4, 1861 in South Brooklyn. So? They played the game on Litchfield Pond. It was frozen over and the players wore ice skates.
* Yes Aaron was born on this day in 1934. Tomorrow is Babe Ruth’s birthday. No. 115th if you are counting at home.
* Astros first baseman Lance Berkman and former pitcher Burt Hooten, who currently serves as pitching coach for Triple A Round Rock, are among those who will be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Monday in Waco, TX at their annual banquet at Baylor University’s Ferrell Center.