Sunday’s With Toby: Machines, Secret Formulas and Jesuits
Toby descends from a pack of wild dogs that have roamed the mystical lands of the Transvaal since the beginning of time. He is currently wandering the majestic White Tank Mountains of Arizona keeping one eye on the baseball and the other on his food bowl. Every Sunday he steals TR’s laptop to communicate his canine thoughts to the world and wonder whatever happened to Drew Meyer.
The Wild AL West
—According the Big League Stew Blog and The Prediction Machine the Angels are the favorite to win the World Series this season. (By the way – the “machine” predicts the Rangers record as 86-75 – which already makes us wonder what’s happened to the 162nd game?) But, the blog entry goes on to note the “machine’s” track record from last season and also says “This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we humans still play the game and don’t just turn it over to the computers. Unpredictability is what makes it a thrill.” Read all about here and here
—As the Astros start on the road to rebuilding the Ultimate Astros blog from Houston Chronicle takes a look at where all the players from last year’s ‘Stros line up have landed. Fellow Ranger fans, don’t feel too superior, it wasn’t that long ago that Rangers scribes were doing the same thing – baseball fortunes if nothing else are cyclical.
—This story from Seattle Post Intelligencer just blew our mind: the Mariners almost got Mariano Rivera in 1996: “It was the spring of 1996 and New York’s plan was to break in a kid named Derek Jeter at shortstop. Problem was, Jeter was not having a good spring, infielders Tony Fernandez and Pat Kelly were hurt and, as so often happens, it was producing panic in Yankee-land.
“The Mariners came knocking,” (now-GM Brian) Cashman recalled. “They wanted to move Felix Fermin, and they wanted either Bob Wickman or Mariano Rivera.” Read the rest of the story here.
—A’s GM Billy Beane has the special formula for choosing CoCo Crisp over Chris Young as the A’s primary centerfielder. But just like Coca Cola it’s a deeply guarded secret. Read here to see what he said.
— This headline we read this week speaks for itself:” Yankees reach out to retired trio of Derrek Lee, Scott Rolen and Chipper Jones.”
— We miss Michael Young (statheads and machines be damned!) – here’s another reason why: during the Phillies-Rays spring training game in Port Charlotte this week after Young was taken out of the game in the third inning he went and had his head shaved as part of promotion the Rays were having to fight Pediatric Cancer (most of the Rays players did the same). Read about it here.
— Toby and Aunt Cathi went to see The Moody Blues at the Verizon Theatre last Wednesday (and Toby was definitely the youngest person in the entire theatre). What was amazing was all the older gentleman in button down shirts and sports coats dancing and pumping their fists – what was even more amazing was that Justin Heyward and friends can still rock!
Birthdays: It’s An All-Ranger Birthday Week
One of Toby’s favorite’s (still) Chris “Crush” Davis – now with Baltimore is 27. He threw a no hitter in the minors: LHP AJ Murray is 31. He’s from West, Texas, he was drafted by the Rangers in 1994, as far as Toby knows he’s still looking for a team OF Scott Posednik turns 37 this week. He managed the Rangers for a little more than 2 seasons (160 wins – 164 losses) Pat Corrales celebrates his 72nd birthday. They were both barely Rangers, and not memorable stints either: Termel Sledge is 37 and Cristian Guzman is 35 this week.
Birthday of the week: Phillies OF Paddy Mayes was born on March 17th 1885 – because we are obligated to mention St. Patrick’s Day.
The Final Word:
A Franciscan priest and a Dominican priest were debating about whose order was the greater. After months of arguing, they decided to ask for an answer from God when they died. Years later, they met in heaven and decided to go to the throne of God to resolve their old disagreement. God seemed a bit puzzled about the question and told them he would reply in writing a few days later. After much deliberation, God sent the following letter:
My beloved children,
Please stop bickering about such trivial matters. Both of your orders are equally great and good in my eyes.
Sláinte Y’all – Toby