I’m less than enamored with the changes to MLBlogs, so I’ve moved my ramblings here. All of my old posts will remain here, but everything from today and beyond will be at the new site.
I forgot to mention in my last entry that Louie the Lumberking (mascot of the Rangers’ low-A team in Clinton) is in the finals of a mascot contest at cnbc.com. He’s facing off against the Quad Cities River Bandits. Come on now…Louie is way cooler.
Voting ends at 8 p.m. CST on Friday.
…and there’s really nothing to cry about right now.
The Rangers finish play in Surprise with a 17-10-2 record. I know these games don’t count, but I’m happy with the record anyway. They have two more games — Friday in Oklahoma City vs. the Pale Hose and Saturday vs. the Rough Riders in Frisco — before the real season starts. The ups, the downs, the exhiliration and the heartbreak await. As fans, we live for these days. Why? Why with the guarantee of pain and suffering would we sign on? Because for every bad game, there’s another great game with a shining moment that keeps us going. No one goes 0-162. At least no one has yet. 🙂
Anyhow, I’m very much looking forward to Monday’s Opening Day matchup in Seattle. I have meetings to cover the first three Mondays of each month. Thankfully, the baseball season starts on the fifth Monday in March this year, so I’ll be home to enjoy Opening Day. I think I’ll buy some hot dogs and peanuts for the occasion.
These commercials (which I found thanks to Jon) certainly help get me in the mood for some Rangers baseball. It’s no surprise that my favorite one is the one with Kam waving his cap as he walks off the mound. He may not be starting the season in Arlington, but I strongly believe he’ll be there before long.
Last night’s loss was tough to swallow. Especially since it was my boy, Kam, who took the loss. I am almost 100% convinced he will be starting the season in Oklahoma. All but two of the bullpen spots are locked up, and he hasn’t even been mentioned as a candidate. It breaks my heart, and I’m not even the least bit excited that I would get to see him in person in a RedHawks uniform in mid-April. I’d much rather see him in a Rangers uniform and not see him in person until May or June. *sigh* But his fate is not looking favorable.
Jason Botts, on the other hand, has made a stronger case for a spot on the roster. Today, he played a near flawless 1B (although he wasn’t too challenged) and went 2 for 5 with three RBI. Both of his hits came with RISP, something the Rangers had been wanting to see from him all spring. I guess it’s better late than never, and he may be in Seattle on March 31, afterall.
Other random thoughts…
– I’m underwhelmed by Milton Bradley as of yet. It’s clear he’s not 100% yet. He used to be a Ranger killer.
– I don’t know what to make of Scott Feldman being converted into a starter. I like Feldy, but he wasn’t a great reliever. Then again, I hated C.J. Wilson as a starter and now embrace him as the closer. Perhaps a change in roles will produce a changed player. I sure hope so. I would love to see Feldman succeed.
– I can’t lie — I cheered for a Mariner during today’s game. Tug Hulett. I miss him as a Ranger. I hope he does great things.
– I’m on the fence about the Laird/Saltalamacchia/Melhuse situation. Melhuse underwhelmed me last year, and he hasn’t done much this spring to win me over either. Laird was fantastic behind the plate last year and, I think, helped make up for his anemic offensive output. Salty can hit — there’s no doubt — but I’m not sure he’s comfortable with the catcher’s duties yet. He’s very young, so he has a lot of time to grow into it, but I haven’t decided if he’d be better off learning at the big league or AAA level.
– When I visit the Rangers gift shop in a few weeks, I plan to buy a new player tee (I get one each year), but I haven’t decided which one I’d want. Of course, I don’t know which ones are available either. So far, I have Loe, Kinsler, Young, Blalock and Wilson. You know I’ll get a Botts one someday. But Hamilton and Murphy are sounding good too.
– Jamey Newberg’s enthusiasm is contagious. His reports from Surprise this week have been so fun to read. I appreciate that he’s unabashed in his love for the Rangers, and I thoroughly enjoy his reports, stories and anecdotes. I’m in awe of his knowledge of the game and the Texas organization, and try to soak up all I can. His reports arrive in my inbox early in the morning, and they usually get my day started on a good note.
By the way, I’ll be taking down almost all of my photo albums in the next week to make room for the new ones I hope to add this season. So…be sure to take a peek at all my photos before they’re gone!!
There are just 13 days until Opening Day (fewer if you count those games in Japan, but I’m not counting them). In preparation for the big day, I’m having a baseball movie marathon over the next few weeks. Every day from now until Opening Day, I will watch at least one baseball movie (I’ll probably watch two tomorrow and three on Saturday). Last year, I watched them in alphabetical order. This year, I’m watching them in chronological order, based on the year they were released (except for the two I’m getting from Netflix this weekend).
So…without further ado, here’s my lineup:
Tonight – The Natural (1984)
Thursday – Bull Durham (1988) and Major League (1989)
Friday – Field of Dreams (1989)
Saturday – A League of Their Own (1992), 61* (2001) and Eight Men Out (1988) (( the last two are coming from Netflix, which is why they’re out of order))
Sunday – Rookie of the Year (1993)
Monday – Major League 2 (1994)
Tuesday – Major League 3 (1998)
Wednesday – For Love of the Game (1999)
Thursday – Summer Catch (2001)
Friday – The Rookie (2002)
Saturday – The Pitcher & the Pin-Up (2003)
Sunday – Fever Pitch (2005)
Now, I realize some of these only have baseball as a sidebar, but I don’t care. They’re in my collection anyway. 🙂
Naturally, "Field of Dreams" is high on my list. It was filmed in my home state, and I just think it’s a beautiful movie. I’m also a ****** for "Fever Pitch" because of Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. "The Rookie," "The Natural" and "Fever Pitch" get extra points because they have Rangers tie-ins.
There are a few other baseball movies I wish I owned — "The Sandlot" and "Bad News Bears" (the original one). Someday, I’ll add them to my shelves. Are there any others I should see/own?
I was bored today. Well, not bored, but not really wanting to work. Instead of placing obits on a page, I took a few moments to browse around MLBlogs. I looked under the page that listed the MLBlogs by team, and found some of the numbers there shocking (others, not so much).
So, I did a count. If the number of MLBloggers for each team determined the playoff qualifiers, here would be your division winners…
NL East – Mets
NL Central – Cards
NL West – Dodgers
NL Wild Card – Phillies
AL East – Yankees
AL Central – Tigers
AL West – Rangers
AL Wild Card – Red Sox
Minus a few of those categories, I wouldn’t mind so much. Ha ha.
Anyway, in case you’re curious, here are the totals for each team from highest to lowest…
Yankees – 46
Red Sox – 37
Phillies – 33
Cardinals – 27
Rangers – 18
Dodgers – 16
Tigers – 16
Twins – 14
Phillies – 14
Brewers – 13
Giants – 13
White Sox – 13
Cubs – 12
Astros – 10
Blue Jays – 10
Braves – 9
Rays – 9
Pirates – 8
Reds – 7
Angels – 7
Rockies – 6
Indians – 6
As – 6
Padres – 5
Royals – 5
Mariners – 4
Nationals – 4
Marlins – 3
Orioles – 3
Of course, I didn’t have (or take) the time to see how many of these were active. I know there are a few Rangers ones that aren’t.
I was amused to see that The Heckler in Tampa Bay had a blog. I always get a kick out of that guy. Unfortunately, he hasn’t updated it in almost two years. C’mon Heckler!!
As a side note, I had another sports moment tonight. An evening with two Iowa Stars (Dallas Stars farm team) players. Here’s a photo of me with Ethan Graham and Francis Wathier.