Weekends With Toby: Is It Friday Yet?
“Monday morning feels so bad/Everybody seems to nag me/Comin’ Tuesday I’ll feel better/Even my old man looks good/Wednesday just won’t go/Thursday goes too slow/I’ve got Friday on my mind.”
After this disastrous Rangers road trip, Toby’s been waiting for the Rangers to get off the road and back to the Ballpark this Friday.
Ranting On The Wave
Braves announcer Skip Carey had one of the great questions of all-time when he interviewed the San Diego Chicken on television.
“Why did you cross the road?’ Carey asked.
The Chicken was the first mascot in baseball and was a big success. Then they had the Philadelphia Phanatic and suddenly there was a proliferation of mascots all through baseball.
Of course sportswriters objected, just as they objected to The Wave and the YMCA, and anything that was contrary to the great traditions of baseball as set down by Alexander Cartwright and Henry Chadwick with the same, genuine, magic, authentic crystal used by the priests of Isis and Osiris in the days of the Pharaohs of Egypt… in which Cleopatra first saw the approach of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony… and… and so on and so on.”
No word on what Professor Marvel’s magic crystal says about mascots and The Wave today but my feelings on mascots were pretty much decided after my father took my son to his first Major League game. My father lived in Seattle, my son was five and they went to the old Kingdome to watch the Rangers-Mariners game.
Afterwards I asked my son what his favorite part of the game was.
“Mariners Moose,” he said.
Enough said about mascots and there ain’t anybody at the Ballpark who works harder than Ranger Captain.
So now everybody is in a tizzy about The Wave again. Didn’t know that was still around but maybe Barry Manilow is getting ready to cut another record and Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to make another movie.
If they were going to bring something back from thirty years ago, why not Barney Miller and Stratego?
But if people want to do the wave…who cares? If you’re trying to draw 3 million people, fund a hyper-inflated player budget and still have million for Latin American teenagers, you better not be expecting three million baseball purists to walk through the turnstyles with scorecard and Thermos in hand looking for the hot dog man.
The Rangers understand this and nobody more so than Chuck Morgan, who has been running the in-park stadium operations going back to the days when Barney Miller still ran the 12th Precinct.
He has always been clever and innovative – The Night Chicago Died and Now I’m a Believer are two favorites – and if he wants to poke fun at the wave…have at it.
A movement to ban the wave? Shocking! This is the United States of America. There is always somebody who wants to ban something. Liberals want to ban prayer in school and conservatives want to ban flag burning. Not sure though which side insisted the ban on smoking, DDT or texting while driving.
Actually, that last one may have bi-partisan support. But it’s absurd to see that the Christian Science Monitor weighing in on the Ban the Wave movement in Arlington.
But then again, thought that the Christian Science Monitor went out with Atari, plaid sports coats and the Bee Gees. Guess some things never die and The Wave is one of them. So why fight it.
Toby’s Honor Roll
1. Mike Napoli – He is carrying one of the hottest bats in baseball right now
2. Detroit – Despite all it’s problems, it is still an incredibly fascinating city with some of the most uniquely designed buildings in any American city.
3. Emily Jones – Our website partner is now tending to Henry Jones McCoy who showed up last Sunday at two in the morning weighing seven pounds.
Toby’s Puppies: The New Guys
With Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin gone time to talk about some of the other minor leaguers.
RHP – David Perez – (not drafted) Last season in the Dominican Summer League he posted a 1.41 ERA in 70 IP with 68K and 8 BB. That earned him a promotion to Short Season Spokane this year, where he hasn’t fared quite as well (8.31 ERA , 26IP, 23 Hits, 36K 22BB) but considering he’s 18 years old in a league made of up draft picks out of college programs, then the fact that the Rangers put him on that team this season says a lot about what the talent evaluators think of him.
RHP – Luke Jackson – (1st round supplemental pick 2010 Draft) The Rangers had this pick in the draft as compensation for Pudge Rodriguez (sigh) signing with the Nationals. At Newberg Report Night at the Ballpark, GM Jon Daniels was asked which minor leaguers were “flying under the radar” that they really liked and he immediately mentioned Jackson. Again the Rangers must be pretty impressed with this 19 year old – the Rangers sent him to Low A Hickory this season (skipping the AZL Rookie where most teenage players start out).
LHP-Robbie Ross – (2nd Round 2008 Draft) – Ross made his debut with AA Frisco Thursday night. He’s been an All-Star at all three levels he’s played (so far – Short Season Rookie League, Low A and Advanced A) He had the second lowest ERA in the Carolina League (2.26 in 123 IP) and was 7th in strikeouts with 98.
Happy Anniversary Ranger Fans. Woof!
Thank you Nolan and Chuck. Woof! Woof!
Here’s an interesting read on this subject from Yahoo’s Big League Stew. Woof! Woof! Woof!
Update: Another really good article on the “anniversary” from our good buddy Anthony Andro (now with Fox Sports – he’s a TV star!)
Birthdays: A smorgasboard of baseball birthdays this week.
Former Red Sox OF and Rangers Director of Minor League Player Development Reid Nichols is 53 this week. The man who signed the first free agent contract, Andy Messersmith turns 66. The player we all love to hate from last October, Edgar Renteria celebrates No. 37 this week. The last great player for the Washington Senators and the first great player for the Texas Rangers – “Hondo” (Frank Howard) turns 75 this week. Two former Ranger prospects have birthdays this week. One of them wound up having a 10 year baseball career, the other had short but spectacular 3 years with the Rangers - Mike Lamb is 36 and Jeff Zimmerman turns 39 on August 9th. For those who remember the good old days in Cleveland: Rocky Colavito celebrates his 78th.
Birthday of the Week For Last Week: Under trade deadline pressure we did not list birthdays last week. However, we could not let this man’s birthday pass by unnoticed. You know him as the proprietor of the much missed (are you reading this TR?) Happy Hour At The Elysian Fields Bar and Grill – William Gideon “Kid” Nance was born on August 2, 1876 in Forth Worth, Texas.
Toby’s Reading List: A Sprint Through The AL West
The Angels: (you’ll never catch Toby calling them by that silly moniker they adopted): Joel Pinero has moved to the bullpen, and the Angels are the only AL West team with a winning record at home and on the road – which should make Ranger fans nervous.
The A’s: Cliff Pennington has been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy
The Mariners: 1B Justin Smoak hasn’t played due a thumb injury, that apparently has been bothering him most of the season.
Turns out the Rangers have a second left-hander in the bullpen. Mark Lowe. He was seen in the outfield earlier this week throwing a football left-handed to Koji Uehara. Can he pitch left-handed?
“Yes but not very well. I broke my hand in A ball and couldn’t throw for two months so I started throwing left-handed. I can long-toss left-handed. It’s not very pretty but I could do it.” (Mark Lowe)
Be very careful out there and stay hydrated! – Toby