Last Call from the Desert: Ash Wednesday

Leftovers on Ash Wednesday from the Rangers first official workout…

“This reminds me of the ’97 Indians. We didn’t re-sign Albert Belle in the off-season but with a week to go in Spring Training, we traded Kenny Lofton to Atlanta for David Justice and Marquis Grissom and went to the seventh game of the World Series.”

Rangers special assistant John Hart.

Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is still the biggest Japanese player in the United States. But with so many other Japanese players over here and the World Baseball Classic coming up, there is far less Japanese media members covering him this spring.desert

That apparently is going to be the case in regular season as well and when Darvish was asked about it on Wednesday, he said, “As far as the reduction of the size of the media, I think it’s going to be a lot better.”

A few words about that: give us a break.

First of all, to describe the media coverage of Darvish as being a “circus” is totally off base. The Japanese reporters who covered Darvish last year were hard-working, respectful and completely professional.

Secondly, no Rangers player has it easier when it comes to dealing with Darvish. He speaks to the media just twice, once after each start and once – very briefly – between starts. At no other time does he talk to the media.

Every other Rangers player is available to the media at all the normal times, including the starting pitchers. Three of the best at dealing with the media are Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland.

Darvish is not a bad person and hardly a prima donna. Far from it. His teammates seem to have a high regard from him. But all the concerns about the media being a distraction or a problem are just nonsense.

Pitcher Justin Grimm has impressed Rangers officials by coming into camp in tremendous condition.

Highlight of the first day of live batting practice was the lefty vs. lefty matchup between pitcher Michael Kirkman and Minor League power prodigy Joey Gallo. Kirkman had him swinging and missing at some sharp fastballs and curves. Then Gallo, who hit 22 home runs in 206 at-bats last season, sat back on a pitch and drove it deep to left.

Manager Ron Washington on the first workout of the spring: “It just means another season doing what you love to do. I love being on a baseball field.”

David Murphy on Mike Young not being in camp, “Yeah, I was joking around a little bit. I was with Craig (Gentry) and I said, “When’s Mike getting here.” It’s weird. It’s weird not seeing those guys here.”


I like flowers, but this is the best blog … we’ve got Spring fever

The Murphy comment tells you how players felt about Michael Young. YOu don’t notice if someone you don’t like isn’t there.

Thanks for the clarity on the Japanese media from Spring ’12. There were a lot of reporters, but you’re absolutely right – it was no circus or paparazzi. All very nice people and were pleasant and respectful. I’m learning photography as a hobby, and being a huge baseball fan – camp is a great place to work. One of their english-speaking photographers even did some mentoring for me as a bystander – very cool. Thanks as always for your insightful blog!

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