Weekends With Toby: Road Warriors
Yeah, that HR last night was a heartbreaking, but let’s keep in mind these numbers: a 6-1 road trip (so far) a 6 game lead in the AL West. Plus: the Rangers and Angels both have 37 games left on their schedules. If the Rangers play .486 baseball the rest of the way (18-19 – let’s hope that doesn’t happen) just to catch the Rangers the Angels would have go 24-13 (.648) that’s a pretty tall order – not that it can’t be done – but we’re looking for a silver lining after last night’s loss.
A Teaching Moment In The Bullpen
Darren Oliver was talking about the new look of the Rangers bullpen and said Yoshinori Tateyama has become a lot of fun to be around on a nightly basis.
“His English is so much better since Spring Training,” Oliver said. “He’s also teaching us Japanese although not the kind of things that can be repeated. The more you see him pitch…he can really pitch. He can really do some things on the mound.”
Toby’s Honor Roll
1. Arizona Diamondbacks – Anybody look at their roster? Their depth chart? Their statistics? If they win that division, Kirk Gibson’s home run in the 1988 World Series will only be the second most miraculous thing he’s done in his baseball career.
2. Cleveland Indians – Teammate Jack Hannahan couldn’t get a commercial flight from Boston to Cleveland for the birth of his child so his teammates raised the money for a private jet.
3. Round Rock manager Bobby Jones – 1,500 wins is pretty good no matter what the level.
LHP Beau Jones – (Atlanta Braves 1st round Draft Pick 2005) – Jones is the least well known player from the Mark Teixeira trade, and the only one who hasn’t made it to the majors, yet. He’s pitching at AAA Round Rock, and has 2.37 ERA since the PCL All-Star Break. According to TR, he is under consideration for a call-up in September.
RHP Barret Loux – (Free Agent signed 2010) – He was the Diamondback’s first round pick in 2010, but when he failed his physical there was some legal wrangling and eventually he was granted free agency. The Rangers signed him last November, and it seems to have worked out well – he’s pitched 109 inning for Advanced A Myrtle Beach racking up 127 strike outs and only 34 walks.
IF Mike Olt – (Rangers 1st round compensation pick 2010) The People’s Choice is back. After a stay on the DL, Olt has 3 hits, 1 HR and 4 RBI playing with the Rookie League Arizona Rangers.
Toby Barks: Loved CJ Wilson’s tweet after he won Wednesday night: “I love my life-awesome game tonight to come from behind-glad I had 20 friends and family there to celebrate!”
Birthdays: All Hall of Famer’s again this week.
The first DH (in Toby’s opinion) in the HOF – Paul Molitor is 55 this week. An icon, especially to Polish grandad’s, “Yaz” – Carl Yazstremski turns 72 (really!) this week. Detroit Wolverine’s HOF CF Ned Hanlon was born on August 22, 1857. Staying in Detroit: Tigers IF and (for those who remember from the 1970’s) broadcaster George Kell was born August 23, 1922. Finally, the “Iron Man” the Saint of Baltimore Baseball – Cal Ripken celebrates No. 51
Rangers Hall of Fame Birthday of the Week: John Wetteland turns 45 years young this week.
Toby’s Reading List: Baseball’s Good Guys
He played in 314 for the Rangers from 1981-1986 then GM Tom Grieve hired him to manage the Class A Port Charlotte Rangers in 1988. Last week he reached 1,500 wins as a Rangers Minor League Manager – the Star Telegram’s Jeff Wilson on Round Rock manager Bobby Jones.
Here’s the whole story of the Cleveland Indians teammates helping out Jack Hanahan from Yahoo’s Big League Stew
SI’s Tom Verducci writes about Jim Thome.
“This season has meant a lot to me. I don’t think the Rangers realized what I could do behind the plate. They thought I would be a guy who would play against lefties and catch once in a while. I think I’ve proven I can get it done behind the plate. That’s what I’m proud of most.” – Rangers Catcher Mike Napoli
P.S. Don’t forget to vote for Fan of the Game – see the link below. WOOF! WOOF! – Toby