Monday Morning Manager…the Road to Key West

 

Off-day in Florida. Headed for Key West.
Why not.
Not big on South Beach.
Monday_Morning.jpgTed Williams loved the Florida Keys. So did Ernest Hemingway.
Maybe he wrote The Sun Also Rises in Key West. That’s the book where all they do is sit around and drink, fish, watch the bullfights and ogle Lady Brett Ashley.
Actually, methinks he wrote that one in Paris.
Think the Old Man and the Sea was written in Key West.

“I would like to take the great DiMaggio fishing,” the old man said. “They says his father was a fisherman. Maybe he was as poor as we are and would understand.”

Here is your official ranking on Ernest Hemingway novels

1. Sun Also Rises
2. Old Man and the Sea
3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
4. A Farewell to Arms
5. To Have and Have Not
The first three were great. No. 4 was good. No. 5?
Well, Hemingway was still the greatest American writer.
Although Janet Evanovich is what’s in the bag for the flight to Miami.
Stephanie Plum is no Lady Brett Ashley but she’ll do for now until we get to the Overseas Highway.

1. Do you think the Rangers need Mike Lowell?
2. Who do you think should pitch Saturday? Dustin Nippert, Matt Harrison, Guillermo Moscoso, Doug Mathis, Michael Kirkman?
3. How about Blake Beavan?
4. Is the Rangers-Astros series and the Silver Boot that big of a deal?
5. Are you concerned about Ian Kinsler?

 

14 Comments

1. No
2. Harrison
3. I?d like to see Beaven pitching in the OKC rotation.
4. I like really the series, the boot itself, not so much.
5. His average/OBP are coming around and the extra base hits will follow.

1. — I think they need a better hitting catcher more than they need Mike Lowell right now.
2. — Matt Harrison
3. — NO!!!!!!! The Rangers have a bad habit/history of rushing pitching prospects to the majors too quickly. Blake?s having a very nice season, promote him to AAA-OKC ? we shouldn?t see him on the major league mound until September of next season.
4. — In the short term it?s a big deal because winning will probably help keep the Rangers in first place in the AL West. In the long term ? it?s one of the worst deals the Rangers made under the Hicks ownership. The AL played a ?balanced? schedule ? meaning equal number of games against all opponents ? because the previous ownership wanted the Rangers to move to the AL Central. When Mr. Hicks took over he traded that opposition to the leaving the Rangers in the AL West for a guaranteed 6 game series against the Astros each season. So now we fans are stuck with late night games from California and Washington State, inter-division opponents who are a expensive away trip for most fans ? and fewer games with ?big draw? teams (like Boston and New York ? because of the unbalanced schedule) for the silver boot ? in my opinion ? has never been a good trade off.
5. — Yes

My favorite things about Key West:
— Louie?s Backyard: great food, great place to watch a sunset
— The Hemingway House: really nice tour and great place to just sit in the garden. (Not a big fan of his writing)
— The Little White House (the Truman Annex): President Truman?s get away home ? another interesting place to tour.
— Casa Marina Hotel: they serve you drinks on the beach while you sit under an umbrella ? what could be better than that?

1. No – the Rangers already support 6 right handed bats in the line-up. Max is as good as Lowell this late in his career. Area of concern is still Smoak. Although he has 12 RBI this month and average has risen slightly, he was 0-5 yesterday with 5k’s.
2. Matt Harrison – earned a rotation spot out of spring training and has looked strong.
3. Don’t rush him.
4. Need to win it to stay in first place. That’s the only reason it’s important.
5. high ankle sprains suck. It will linger. He is a tough kid, and I appreciate his effort. gotta get him out of the 3 hole though. Young is a great 3 hole guy and Borbon is raking right now. That would give you lots of speed at the top.

1. Lowell has 2 HR’s 12 rbi’s in 79AB’s. He is hitting 215 with an obp of 311 and a slg% of 354. We’re getting that from M Treanor so no on Lowell.

2. Matt Harrison.

3. I like this young man! Blake Beaven is right where he needs to be. Like Hefe said, if anything let him taste AAA OKC.

4. I love the Astro’s for this reason alone. Counting our most recent series, our 5 consecutive NL series are with teams with the following combined Won/Loss records.
A. Rangers opponents – 130 / 187 or .410%
B. Angel opponents – 159 / 156 or .505%
C. A’s opponents – 156 / 159 or .495%
D. Mariners opponents – 161 / 155 or .509%
We need to put some games on this division, NOW!

5. I am and I would suggest an extended dose of batting 8th in the AL games and maybe 7th in the NL games.

AL opponent regular batting order:
1. Andrus
2. Borbon
3. Young
4. Vlad
5. Cruz
6. Hamilton
7. Smoak
8. Kinsler
9. Insert catcher here

Nelson Cruz has done absolutely nothing to show us he deserves to hit in the number 5 spot. Are you serious about having Smoak in front of Kinsler? You’re joking, right? I guess that just about says it on why you don’t work for a team.

Also, are you really trying to look at Lowell’s numbers for this season (where he’s averaging 25 at-bats per month) and judge him on the type of player he is? Really? Look at his career stats. Look at his stats last year when he was injury plagued almost the entire year. You guys really should do research.

Why would we want Cruz in the number 5 hole? So he can break a leg trying to beat out a hit? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Been out for a spell…

1. No. Make that an emphatic NO!

2. Best choice is Harrison but I’d bet Nippert would do the job and then some but he is too valuable in the ‘pehn right now.

3. As others have said, no. WE do not need to rush him here. September will be fine.

4. Keep winning series, doesn’t matter who.

5. Yes, but the team is better with 80% of Ian as opposed to Arias or Blanco on an every day basis.

1. No on Lowell. There are better options in the organization. I expect that he would’t get that many more at bats here so his number are indeed indicative of what we would expect from him.
2. Harrison should be kept in the bullpen for an extra left handed reliever. Nippert is the long man therefore the spot stater as well.
3. I think he’s ready for AAA .
4. It’s a big deal this year since we can really pick up some games with the way they are struggling. Still fun to watch regardless of how the teams are doing though.
5. he needs to be moved lower in the order. Hamilton seems to have things figured out, so he should slide back in place and move Kinsler to where he was having success this year.
6. Hemingway may be one of the most orverrated writers. Someone tried to convince me there is beauty in the simplicity of his writing. i think it’s just bad writing.

Mike Lowell seems unhappy in Boston. Why would he be happy with the Rangers.
I think Moscoso deserves a shot
Nope. Not yet.
Rangers need to stomp on the Astros and good
5. There’s always something going on with Kinsler. What’s up with him.

For Whom the Bell Tolls should be No. 1

1. Yes, Mike Lowell just doesn’t seem to be the right guy. What about Chad Tracy?
2. Matt Harrison seems to be the best fit
3. The Astros are truly a mess but it is always a fun series for June. Beats the Reds and Pirates
4. Blake Beavan… didn’t realize he deserved consideration.
5. This ankle sprain seems to be lingering much longer than suggested back in March
Key West…how lovely

1. No to Lowell.
2. Matt Harrison
3. How about Blake Beavan in AAA and due up in September 2011?
4. The only Silver Boot I want to see is the one that props the door open as Mr. Hicks exits and Mr. Greenberg enters. Who cares about seeing the Astros? It’s just a grim reminder that we could be in the AL Central. It has absolutely as much value as Cowboys v. Oilers did and Cowboys v. Texans does or maybe less. Frisco v. San Antonio or Corpus Christie is more exciting. In fact, I’d rather watch the Ft. Worth Cats v. Grand Prairie Airhogs!
5. Ian will be fine. I wonder if he is caught in between trying to hit home runs and hitting for average and that, along with his ankle, has thrown him into some kind of funk. It won’t last and he will be fine.

After researching batting orders, I ran across an article that might help me understand why Cruz should not hit 5th.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batting_order_(baseball)

Positions in the lineup
[edit] #1
The first player in the batting order is the leadoff hitter. Generally, the leadoff batter is the fastest baserunner on the team because he bats more often than anyone else in the lineup, and to have baserunners when the later, more powerful hitters come to bat, his need for a high on base percentage (OBP) exceeds that of the other lineup spots. Once on base, his main goal is to advance around the bases as quickly as possible and then to score. Because leadoff hitters are selected primarily for their speed and ability to reach base, they are typically not power hitters. Another important role for the leadoff man is to reveal the pitcher’s ability and to “wear him out” by forcing him to throw as many pitches as possible. Typical “Lead off” hitters in Major League Baseball are players such as… Ichiro Suzuki, Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins, Jacoby Ellsbury, Rafael Furcal and many others.

[edit] #2
The second batter, most often just referred to as in the two-hole, is usually a contact hitter with the ability to bunt or get a hit. His main goal is to move the leadoff man into scoring position. Often, these hitters are fairly quick, competent baserunners and tend to avoid grounding into double plays. Managers often like to have a left-handed hitter bat second because of the potential gap in the infield defense caused by the first baseman holding the leadoff batter.

[edit] #3
The third batter, in the three-hole, is generally the best all-around hitter on the team, often hitting for a high batting average but not necessarily very fast. Part of his job is to help set the table for the cleanup hitter, and part of it is to help drive in baserunners himself. Third-place hitters are best known for “keeping the inning alive”. However in recent years, some managers have tended to put their best slugger in this position.

[edit] #4
The fourth player in the batting order is known as the cleanup hitter, and is almost always one of the best hitters on the team, often the one with the most power. Baseball managers tend to place hitters who are most likely to reach base ahead of the clean-up man, so that the fourth batter can “clean” the bases by driving these baserunners home to score runs. His main goal is to drive in runs, although he is expected to score runs as well. In fact, the fourth spot in the order has the luxury of being somewhat “protected” from bad situations early in the game: the batter only rarely faces a spot with two outs and no baserunners in the first time through the order?possible if, for example, one of the first three batters hits a home run and the other two make outs. If nobody gets on base, the cleanup hitter has a chance to start a rally in the second inning by being the first batter, with zero outs. However, hitting cleanup also requires an exceptional level of talent, and the ability to deliver big hits in important situations (such as the bases loaded with two out).

The theory behind the cleanup hitter concept is that at the beginning of the game, the first three batters will reach base with a single-base hit, walk, or equivalent, thereby loading the bases, and enabling the cleanup hitter a chance to hit a grand slam home run..

[edit] #5, #6
The fifth and sixth (and sometimes seventh) batters have traditionally been RBI men, with the main goal of driving runners home, especially with sacrifice flies. Modern sabermetric baseball theory suggests that even these batters should have high on-base percentages, though this approach has not been universally adopted. The fifth batter is usually a team’s second-best power hitter, and his purpose is often to “protect” the clean-up hitter in the batting order. He is expected to pose enough of a threat that the opposing team refrains from intentionally walking the clean-up hitter in potential scoring situations.

[edit] #7, #8
The seventh and eighth batters are often not as powerful as the earlier batters, and do not have as high a batting average. They are still expected to produce (as is the case for any regular starter), but they have less pressure in those spots. The main pressure on the eighth hitter comes when there are two outs: in this case, he must battle the pitcher to get on base so that the ninth hitter can come up. That way, even if the ninth hitter gets out, the top of the order comes up next. The eighth batter is often a good contact hitter, and can be used as a back-up #2 hitter. In leagues without designated hitters (DHs), the catcher often bats eighth, as they are often employed for their defensive skills and handling of the pitching staff, and tend to have a relatively low batting average. However, this is by no means always the case. #8 hitters are sometimes intentionally walked to get to the pitcher’s spot in the #9 hole.

[edit] #9
The ninth batter is often like the second leadoff. Nine-hitters tend to be fast, and have a decent on base percentage like the leadoff hitter.

In leagues where the DH rule is not in effect, the starting pitcher almost always fills the ninth spot, although relief pitchers may occupy a different spot due to a double switch. If there is a man on first or second base with fewer than two outs when the ninth hitter is up, he almost always bunts. However, a notable alternative exists to this, in which the pitcher or weakest hitter actually bats in the 8th slot, and another player with decent OBP and speed bats in the 9th slot, thus creating a kind of second leadoff hitter, at the bottom of the lineup, that loops to the top of the order afterwards. This has been used sparingly in the major leagues, but was notably employed by St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa in the second half of the 1998 baseball season, and again in August 2007 and in 2008, and by Milwaukee Brewers manager Ned Yost in 2008.[1][2]

[edit] Batting position skills
Batting skills are not strictly one-dimensional and batting merely shares with baserunning the responsibility for scoring in baseball. Multi-dimensional differences among players in batting and baserunning skills underlie some specialization by batting position, as a secondary factor behind the sheer greater number of appearances for lower-number batters.

[edit] References
^ MLB.com. La Russa shakes up lineup. August 4, 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
^ The Official Site of The St. Louis Cardinals: News: Notes: La Russa to bat pitcher eighth

About the 7th (or so) position in the order. How much longer are we ging to have deal with Smoak’s “productive outs”? He does not belong in the bigs. The Rangers are doing great but still have a hole in their lineup. Fist base position is suppose to be a production spot. “It’s time” to try someone else.

Hey tomkat, lets go back and trade whomever we got when we traded Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young. Oh wait, our great GM, doesn’t have anything to show for that one. Shouldn’t you have something to show for the #1 overall pick in the draft, who is doing just fine in San Diego? Daniels has done well in dumping veteran talent, (for financial reasons). I am not too sure how well he is going to do attempting to trade young players for veteran talent. Hey TR, i read somewhere that you can tell alot about someone, by who they admire. Didn’t Hemmingway blow his brains out down in the Florida Keys? Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for you, blam!

Lets re-acquire Pudge and go for broke. Another bone headed move by our GM. Is John Hart still an employee on our payroll? I thought a business that was in financial distress might try to recoup some of its revenue. Lets sue Hart for breach of contract and blame him for our bankruptcy. Is Hicks ever going to be able to show his face in Arlington ever again? Remember Tom it is all about “financial flexibility.” Man if i could just stop paying my bills and keep all the money, i would be rich too! The term i am looking for is RESOLUTION. Lets get this sale completed so we can move forward. My first marketing scheme, Tom Hicks appreciation day, where all fans get in free, free everything including parking and food. Well it really isn’t free, MLB will pay the bill one more day. I will not spend one dollar out there until the ownership is changed.

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