Monday Morning Manager…Brave New World

ESPN owns Sunday night baseball and is reluctant to share it with anybody, especially the big lucractive New York market that is so near and dear to them.

Nobody else is supposed to broadcast on Sunday night except the World Wide Leader. The Rangers get waivers when they play teams like the Blue Jays and Indians, but not the Mets so that’s why there was Sunday afternoon baseball in Arlington with the temperatures pushing 99 degrees.

That allowed the Rangers and the Mets to have local broadcasts of the game without interfering with the ESPN ratings for Indians-Giants on Sunday night.

That afternoon game also meant a day off for Josh Hamilton as he tries to figure out why he suddenly can’t hit during the day. Ian Kinsler can’t hit on the road and the Rangers offense is bogged down by two extreme splits: Hamilton night/day and Kinsler home/road.

Plus Alexi Ogando has lost three straight starts so there is plenty to agonize over that. Yet the Rangers remain in first place, which is conveniently overlooked when dissecting all their problems. But when your .519 winning percentage is the lowest among the six division leaders, then there are some grounds for self-introspection.

And they are still last in the American League in defense, which has led them to having given up the most unearned runs in the league.

So off we go to Houston for more Interleague fun and three night games if you’re counting and no disruptions from the World Wide Leader.

By the way, Thursday is National Social Media Day. Only three more shopping days for that special follower on your Twitter account.

“And that,” put in the Director sententiously, “that is the secret of happiness and virtue-liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny.”

Adolphus Huxley, Brave New World

1. What is your taking on what’s happening with Josh Hamilton?

2. Does Alexi Ogando need to be in the rotation or the bullpen?

3. What would you consider to be a positive development on the Rangers this season?

4. Did you think Adrian Beltre has played well enough to merit All-Star selection?

5. What do you think of Jack McKeon managing again and Jim Riggleman walking away from his job in Washington.

10 Comments

1) This is nothing new with Josh, he has struggled in day games for 3 years. I think you keep working hard and looking for ideas/solutions, but he is one of the best players in baseball and is still very good defensively so you can’t not have him in there.

2) Ogando has got the ball up in his last 3 starts, he is still young and going to make mistakes. I believe Ogando stays in the rotation until the All-Star Break, then re-evaluate. Feldman is throwing the ball well in AAA, give him 2 or 3 more starts as well and then you have a better body of work to make an educated decision.

3)The most positive development for the Rangers this season is Mitch Moreland IMO. He has become that player we were hoping he would become and has displayed some good power.

4) I think Adrian has played well, his average is not at an all-star mark but RBI’s and HR’s are good. I think it will be a tough call for Wash, 3B’s in the AL haven’t really played great this season.

5) I think McKeon is a baseball guy, he will do his job. I just wonder if he can get the players to respect and buy in.

I think Josh is more a mental aspect, once he gets past all will be good, Ian on the other hand less mental and over-agressive on the road, relaxing i think would help him and also the team, it seems that he wants to do his best on the road, which is admirable, but let it come to him and stop trying to force his way through it. Alexi, I think is tired and needs some rest, i think the team would benefit by getting Tommy Hunter up to help carry the load, maybe move Ogando or Holland to long reliever and relegate Bush to the end of the relieve corps, toss Lowe because his production is again on the down hill slide. I want to see the Rangers succeed again but that starts with pitching and goes from there.

thanks

1. I think it is just strange. Weird things seem to happen to him, from strange injuries to odd things like not being able to bat during the day. He is a fantastic talent, and I think he will figure it out eventually. I still have faith in him.
2. Ogando needs to stay in the rotation for now to see if his last 3 starts is the new Ogando or just a bump in the road. I think if he keeps the ball up again in his next start (if the Rangers let him make his next start) than it is time to seriously re-evaluate his position as a starter, especially since Feldman and Hunter are getting close.
3. Mitch Moreland, Derek Holland, and believe it or not, lately Mark Lowe. Moreland is not going through a sophmore slump at all, he is hitting for power, his average is good and he is willing to play where ever they want him to play. Derek pitched a great game in his last start, but got absolutly no breaks and we all know that the umps made some mistakes in that one, he has impressed me overall. Mark Lowe is hitting 98 consistantly on the guy now, and he is starting to look like the dominating pitcher that the Rangers were hoping they were getting when they traded for him.
4. Beltre has had a good season so far, but we all know that everyone in Bristol is going to vote hundreds and hundreds of times for a certain ex-Ranger third baseman who now plays in New York, so it will be tough for Beltre to make up enough votes. I thinks he at least deserves to be on the all-start team.
5. I am suprised and impressed that Riggleman stood up for what he wanted at the cost of his job. Good for him. I think McKeon is a good manager, and will help that team if he can earn their respect and admiration as the skipper.

1. None of us will ever know but I think he lost his confidence to hit the ball in the day….That opinion is worth nothing as I am not a pshrink.
2. Is Hunter ready…is Feldman ready…if so we could have a real 8th inning guy again.
3. Moreland and just lately (untitll yesterday Lowe)
4. NO! Average hitter with power…a slick fielder who makes costly errors (like this last week) NO!
5. You people aren’t going to criticise McKeon for age are you? I would have done what Riggleman did…in fact I have twice…somebody will pick him up….and Mckeon …we’ll see how he meshes with the kids.

And on to Houston to watch our first place team…with the leagues worst defence and struggling starters and…….

Sunday afternoon games are traditional as it is usually a get-a-way day.
You can’t blame ESPN for Saturday’s 3pm start of a sauna fest. What were
they thinking there? It was miserable out there at the hottest part of the day
and for no reason I can think of.

1. I don’t think he sees the ball as well during the day and he should try shades when he hits in day games. This isn’t some new development. He’s always had a large split in the difference between his day game production vs. his night time production, but the difference, for whatever reason is more pronounced this season. When playing all day games in the spring it doesn’t seem to bother him.
2. I think he’s hit a wall after not pitching much in his formative years and working exclusively out of the bullpen in his only full year as a pro. It’s not surprising. I vote for bullpen because I don’t think he’s going to hold up as a starter. I’d rather have a lock down 8th inning guy than a starter on the DL.
3. Matt Harrison taking the next step in his development. He’s looking like the mid rotation guy he was projected to be.
4. Consideration? Yes. Inclusion? Probably not. He’s done pretty much what I expected which is hit for power and play great defense. High error totals don’t bother me because he turns so many hits into outs with this superior range.
5. Good for Jack. I’m glad he’s staying active and I hope he’s being proactive in maintaining his bone density. Riggleman, I have mixed feelings on. He told the GM to make a commitment to him or he’d walk and that’s what he did. I admire his integrity, while at the same time questioning the wisdom of leaving a job that there are only 30 of in the world. He clearly didn’t fit into Washington’s long term plans so it’s probably best for both parties that he move on.

1. Josh has told himself that he can’t hit in the day time, so he ca’t hit in the daytime. He doesn’t have these issues when they play spring ball, so it has to be completely mental. He needs to alter hid routine, not worry about the contact lenses.
2. Once Feldman is ready to go, I would move Ogando to the bullpen to be our 8th inning man.
3. Matt Harrison and Derek Holland. They both have developed more consistency as starting pitchers.
4. I don’t think he has played up to his contact, but definitely enough for all star consideration.
5. It looks like clubs are unwilling to gamble on potential managers when McKeon and Davey Johnson getting jobs. As for Riggleman, I don’t respect what he did. If he wants trust and commitment from his players, he should do the same thing. He can quit after the season.

1. This guy talks himself into bad things and then digs himself out of a hole. He is a real roller-coaster
2. Leave Ogando in the rotation.
3. Matt Harrison
4. He is too hit and miss to be an All-Star
5. Jim Riggleman is a bozo… God bless Jack McKeon

There’s a super interview out there on 103.3 with Nolan Ryan and Randy Galloway. One of the things I like about Nolan Ryan is his seeming honesty…refreshing! When asked about Hamilton he regretted that Hamilton had used an alibi and wanted him to just work it out. Noted that like on Sunday Hamilton would probably get rested during day games. He also debunked the Krod, Beltran rumors… doubting that the Rangers had an interest. I missed his observations on Ogando…did anyone catch them?

1. What is your taking on what’s happening with Josh Hamilton?

Josh too often gives in to the pitcher thinking he has to be the hero he’s been built up to be. So, he swings in counts when he should be taking “…what the game gives him…” rather than reaching for something he likely can’t do anything with.

Once he starts taking even more walks, he will become even more dangerous. And, his being on base gives more opportunities to the guys behind him.

2. Does Alexi Ogando need to be in the rotation or the bullpen?

No Contest: He belongs in the rotation. He’s hit a wall – he’ll get over it. Like CJ last year, this is his first year to start. Unlike CJ last year, he is having a little more trouble with that mid-season wall that comes from pitching this many innings for the first time.

He’ll get over it.

3. What would you consider to be a positive development on the Rangers this season?

Mitch. His power is prodigious – but, then, so is Crush Davis’… but, Mitch has far more ability to make contact and salvage something from an at-bat that Crush may never figure out.

You can’t win it all by yourself (please… someone explain that to Ian…) so you have to learn to trust the guy behind you. Mitch does that with aplomb.

4. Did you think Adrian Beltre has played well enough to merit All-Star selection?

Defensively? Yes. Power-wise (HRs & RBIs)? Yes. Average-wise? No way.

Shut him out and put in someone who isn’t grandstanding on every swing.

5. What do you think of Jack McKeon managing again and Jim Riggleman walking away from his job in Washington.

Cool! And, Bummer. Riggs has really turned around that franchise. The way he left, though, is not only a bad reflection on him, but also on the franchise that put him in that situation.

McKeon isn’t there for a long-term solution, so he’s an awesome choice for holding the fort until a permanent solution can be identified.

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