Tuesday Happy Hour at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill

Welcome to the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, a favorite watering hole for Hall of Famers and non-Hall of Famers alike.EFBG

— Rougned Odor is batting leadoff on Tuesday for the first time in his Major League career. Leonys Martin, who had batted in the No. 1 spot through the Rangers first eight games, was dropped to No. 8.

— Martin went into Tuesday’s game with five hits in his first 36 at-bats. Said manager Jeff Banister, “Leonys is going to be our leadoff hitter. I told Leonys it’s just for today, I still have confidence in him as our leadoff guy.”

— Banister on his use of multiple lineups this early in the season, “I’m not into tinkering but I’m not into sitting on something.”

— Former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez has become a golf addict. Says he plays every day and his handicap is down to seven. Shot a 79 on Tuesday. Said Rodriguez, “Now, instead of hitting the ball the opposite way, I pull the ball.”

— Carrie McClure, who is the host of Good Morning Texas on local television, and her son Barron are participating in the ceremonial first pitch at the Ballpark on Tuesday as part of Autism Awareness Night.

— Rangers relievers have thrown 34 innings so far this season. Only Yankees relievers have thrown more with 351/3 innings. Roman Mendez and Phil Klein are tied for the Major League lead with five appearances each.
Angels starter Drew Rucinski, who was pitching in the independent Frontier League in 2013, has held off-season jobs that include working in a sporting goods store and on a pecan farm.

— It was on April 14, 1910 that William Howard Taft threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. That presidential tradition seems lost to history amid the need to get the first game on Sunday night television. Herbert Hoover did his best to keep it going. He was 4-for-4 making it to Opening Day during his four-year term, plus two World Series games.

— On April 14, 1976 Cubs outfielder Dave Kingman hit a home run at Wrigley Field that hit a house 530 feet from home plate. Six years later to the date, Randy Bush of the Toledo Mud Hens hit a ball that ended up much farther. He hit one out at Watt Powell Park in Charleston, W.V. that landed in a coal train passing by. Ball supposedly traveled 200 miles.

— On Tuesday night, the Class A Hickory Crawdads beat Asheville, 7-0. The three pitchers were Collin Wiles (six innings), David Perez (two) and Kevin Mathews (one). All three of those pitchers have been dealing with arm injuries but a few years ago they were among the best of the Rangers pitching prospects.

— Martin has 27 assists since the start of the 2013 season. That’s the most of any Major League outfielder, one more than Yoenis Cespedes.

— Rangers special assistant Greg Maddux turned 49 on Tuesday. Maddux is in the Hall of Fame. Pete Rose is not but he does share the same birthday and is 74.

— Speaking of Hall of Fame…former Rangers catcher Gregg Zaun is 44 today and yes, his “called shot” home run at the 1999 Hall of Fame Game remains an all-time favorite memory.

3 Comments

Glad to see Bannister figured out Martin wasn’t the answer as the leadoff hitter. But, shouldn’t you know who your leadoff hitter is coming out of spring training? Secondly, it sure seems that the guys who were on the bubble and weren’t picked, are now on the team, Peguero and Ranudo, specifically come to mind. Both of these things, kind of make me question Bannister’s judgement. Is Bannister going to be Earl Weaver (wait for the 3 run homer) or Billy Martin (manufacture runs, hit and run, sacrifice, do the little things to win? So far, the defense has been horrible and until last night the bats have been horrible. Is it just a case of, not preparing for the season, which I thought spring training was for, or do the Rangers just do better against the fourth and fifth starters of a team? I really do believe Bannister would do himself some good, if he would play the National League style of game over here. I thought that is what we were getting. Quite frankly, Bannister looks overwhelmed by the position and has failed to act in key situations. But hey what do you expect? The guy has zero experience managing. So it is on the job training for this guy. The guy is a good guy no doubt. This game doesn’t care about that, it cares about production and being able to produce in key situations. I am sure Billy Martin wasn’t a good guy, great manager, but not a good person. Bannister needs to twist off on an umpire, twist off on his team, show he is alive….

Regarding Martinez win last night … he got lucky. You can’t survive on upper 80 fastballs, no matter where they are placed. Sometimes, better lucky than good.

When the year starts like this you look back to Spring training and wish someone had done a better, tougher job.

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