Tagged: rangers

Coors Field Of The American League

Welcome to Rangers Ballpark
in Arlington

arlington.jpg

The most hitter-friendly park
not named Coors Field.

Since it opened in 1994,
Rangers Ballpark has been a boon to the home team.  Since its opening, the Rangers home .OBP, from now on
referred to as hOBP, has been on average, 29 points higher than their rOBP,
(road .OBP.  Another large
difference is visible in the slugging category.  Since the park’s opening, the Rangers hSLG has been on
average, 49 points higher than their rSLG.  Taking into account both stats, the Rangers tOPS has been a
******** 76 points higher, on average, than their rOPS.  This is not just a case of home-field
advantage.  All teams have
traditionally hit well at Rangers Ballpark.

 

This park has made hitters
great.  The great Ivan Rodriguez, lauded
as much for his bat as for his fantastic glove is one of the beneficiaries of
this park.

 

Ivan Rodriguez, Career,
Rangers Ballpark: .326/.362/.533

Ivan Rodriguez, Career, Everywhere
Else: .289/.328/.447

 

While Rodriguez, whose career
has included not only 13 years in Texas, but also six years combined in
Florida, Detroit, New York, and Houston, played out his prime in Texas;
certainly effecting part of the large deficit in his numbers.  But a gap as big as this, 37 points in
BA, 34 points in OBP, 86 points in SLG, and a ******** 120 points in OPS, can not be
explained solely by his age. 
Steroids could play a role in this, but I don’t trust Jose Canseco.  The main point is that excluding
outside factors, Ivan Rodriguez benefited greatly from Rangers Ballpark.

 

It may not have as great a
reputation as Coors Field, but Rangers Ballpark is a great asset for Texas;
fullheartadly deserving the title of Coors Field of the American League.

Advertisements

The Mark Teixeira Trade Revisited

On July 30, 2007, the Texas Rangers traded star 1B Mark Teixeira, who had just turned down a 8-year $140 million contract extension, and LHP Ron Mahay to the Atlanta Braves, they received five players, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, SS Elvis Andrus, LHP Beau Jones, LHP Matt Harrison, and RHP Neftali Feliz.  The Braves flipped Teixeira a year later for RHP Stephen Marek, and 1B Casey Kotchman.

Atlanta gave up a lot, they were trading for 1 1/2 years of one of the top sluggers in the game, but was it too much?
In a season’s worth of at-bats for the Braves, Teixeira carried to team, hitting, .295, with 37 HR, 134 RBI, and 101 R.  No doubt star numbers.
Ron Mahay put up his usual strong middle relief numbers in his half season with the Braves.
The Teixeira flip has turned out to be a disaster, not only did Atlanta miss out on compensation draft picks, Kotchman, the main player in the deal has been horrible, .258 AVG, 5 HR, 50 RBI, 37 R.  This in 441 PA.  Marek, touted in a relief role, has a 7.5 BB/9 rate, and a 6.9 SO/9 rate.  You do the math.  The Tex flip was a complete disaster.
The Rangers took it to the bank.
Saltalamacchia, while not having lived up to his offensive potential, has provided solid defense, and works very well with the pitching staff.
Andrus, making his major league debut this year, has been very good defensively this year, with plus speed on the basepaths offensively.  He could use a little more work on his plate discipline, though.
Harrison has had an up-and-down season in Texas’ starting rotation.  This has been brought on by some bad luck, and that he doesn’t strike out many.  He should stay in the Rangers’ rotation for a long time.
Feliz is the best player in this trade by far.  Dominating in AAA, striking out many, walking few, rarely allowing a longball, Feliz will dominate: 2010.
Jones has been the only huge flop for the Rangers.  He’s young, but toiling at Class-A+, walking too many batters, and getting shelled in a relief role.
The Mark Teixeira trade can go down as one of the worst in Braves history.  They emptied the farm system, for a great player, who then failed to take them to their goal, the playoffs.  The Rangers took it to the bank, and are on the edge of a star-filled future.

Keys To Success/Failure: Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers

3189854372_57aa8a122c.jpg

Keys To Success


Hitting

 

Fielding

 

Why Hitting?

The Rangers have long been
viewed as a great-hit-no-pitch team, and rightfully so.  Just this season have they managed to
put together a respectable pitching staff and bullpen that should be just good
enough to get to the playoffs.  But
the real key to the Rangers’ success remains their hitting.  Texas in fourth overall in hitting in
the AL.  The Rangers’ main
strength, aided by their ballpark, is the homerun.  They are second in the AL in homeruns, four of their
starting nine have over 10 HR’s: DH Hank Blalock (13), 1B Chris Davis (13), 2B
Ian Kinsler (17), and RF Nelson Cruz (18).  The Rangers are also a excellent baserunning team, they are
third in the AL with 52 stolen bases.

 

Why Fielding?

Texas has an excellent
fielding team.  While the rank near
the middle of the AL in errors and fielding%, the metric UZR/150 provides a
different story.  Using UZR/150,
(excluding catchers), shows that the Rangers deffense will save the team 19.9
runs over the course of 150 
games.  The worst culprit in
the Rangers defense is 3B Michael Young, with a -25.2 UZR/150, but he’s still
adjusting to third base.  What
really exemplifies the Rangers’ defense is that they are one of the best
infields in baseball at turning double plays.

 

A Improvement?

None necessary.  (Except maybe the pitching)

Crawling Back

A few days ago, I considered writing about how David Ortiz’s career was over because of his hitting troubles.

ortiz1.jpg

Guess not.  With 3 homeruns in the past week, and pushing his BA above the Mendoza Line, Papi’s proving everyone wrong.  Slowly but steadily, Ortiz is crawling back.


  • Interleague Play Again

Some hitters and pitchers primed for big days today:

Alex Rodriguez- 10-16, 3 HR, 2.122 OPS against Livan Hernandez


Vladimir Guerrero-7-16, 3 HR, 1.533 OPS against Chad Gaudin


Paul Konerko-14-34, 2 HR, 1.105 OPS against Jeff Suppan


Ian Snell against Tigers


Vicente Padilla against Dodgers


Roy Halladay against Marlins


This Day In Baseball History


1907-The Yankees commit eleven errors and lose to the Tigers,14-6.


1939-In front of a record crowd of 23,864 fans at Ruppert Stadium, Lou Gehrig plays his last game as a Yankee during an exhibition game against the Kansas City Blues, their AA farm team. Playing only three innings and batting eighth, the’ Iron 71-Horse’ grounds out weakly to second base in his only at-bat.


1939-The Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, New York.


1940-In a trade which stuns the baseball world, the Dodgers obtain Ducky Medwick and pitcher Curt Davis from the Cardinals for outfielder Ernie Koy, pitcher Carl Doyle, two minor leaguers and $125,000; the deal signals the emergence of Brooklyn as a serious contender.


1941-The Braves break up the Waners’ brother act sending Lloyd to the Reds for pitcher Johnny Hutchings; ‘Big Poison’ Paul will stay in Boston.


1954-Braves’ hurler Jim Wilson pitches the season’s only no-hitter as he blanks the Phillies, 2-0.


1959-Despite giving up a hit in the sixth, Giant Mike McCormick was credited with a no-hitter when the game is rained out later in that same inning.


1967-In a 22-inning game which takes six hours, 38 minutes and ends at 2:43 in the morning, the Senators defeat the White Sox at R.F.K. Stadium, 6-5. The marathon causes the American League to adopt a curfew stating that no inning may begin after 1 00 a.m.


1970-Dock Ellis throws a 2-0 no-hitter against the Padres in San Diego during the first game of a twin bill. The former Pirates’ right-hander, later an adovocate of anti-drug programs claims he was under the influence of LSD while tossing the most memorable game in his career.


Dock Ellis died on December 19, 2008     R.I.P.


1971-Padre Clay Kirby one-hits the Giants; the no-hitter is spoiled by a Willie McCovey homer.


1981-Major League Baseball’s first strike which begins after the start of a season cancels thirteen regular-season games.


1983-Hall of Famers Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg have their uniform numbers retired by Detroit in a ballpark ceremony. The digits 2 and 5, respectively, will join Al Kaline’s #6 (1980) as the only numbers retired by the Tigers.


1983-Before the game against the Giants, Dale Murphy visits with a six-year old in the stands who recently lost both arms and a leg due a power line accident and is asked by the girl’s nurse if he could hit a home run for the injured child. The outfielder modestly answers “Well, Okay”, and then proceeds to hit two homers in the 3-2 Braves victory at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.


1988-Mike Scott’s attempt for his second career no-hitter is spoiled with two outs in the ninth inning by a Braves infielder Ken Oberkfell’s line drive single down the right field line. The right-hander, who settles for a 5-0 one-hitter, tossed a no-no in 1986 which clinched the Nation League West division for the Astros.


1997-After 126 years of major league play, the first interleague games in history are played as the Giants defeat the Rangers, 4-3, at the Ballpark in Texas. Glenallen Hill becomes the National League’s first regular season designated hitter.



On Pace, Who’s Gonna Keep It Going

1. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Padres, is on pace for 67 Homeruns

Will he keep it up?  No.  No one is allowed to hit more homeruns than Sammy Sosa!!!!!!!
2. Chris Davis, 1B, Rangers, is on pace for 250 Strikeouts
Ouch!  Will he keep it up?  Probably not, but I can see him challenging the strikeout record, 204, set last year by Mark Reynolds.
3. Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays, is on pace for 168 RBI
Will he keep it up?  Slim chance, Manny Ramirez had 165 in 1999, and Alex Rodriguez had 156 in 2007, but I don’t consider Longoria that talented a player, yet…
Pitching coming later…
This Day In Baseball History

1891-Charles Garder Radbourn wins his 300th game beating the Beaneaters at South End Grounds in Boston, 10-8. ‘Old Hoss’, who will finish 484 of the 497 games he starts, will end his 11-year career this season with 309 victories.

1918-Facing only 28 batters, Dutch Leonard tosses his second career no-hitter as he holds the Tigers hitless in the Red Sox 5-0 victory at Navin Field. ‘Hub’ had also pitched a no-no against the Browns two seasons ago at Fenway Park.

1935-Babe Ruth announces his retirement from baseball.

1951-Due to the poor lighting during a Alabama-Florida League contest at Peanut Stadium in Headland, Alabama, Ottis Johnson of the Dothan Browns fails to get out of the way of a fastball thrown by Jack Clifton. The 24-year-old Class D minor League outfielder undergoes surgery and spends eight days in the hospital before dying on June 10 as a result of being hit by Dixie Runners hurler’s pitch.
R.I.P.

1987-Using their the number one pick overall in the draft, the Seattle Mariners select Ken Griffey, Jr. The signing of ‘Junior’, son a major leaguer Ken Griffey, will play a major role in Seattle’s success in the mid-1990’s.

1990-Randy Johnson becomes the first Mariner to pitch a no-hitter as the ‘Big Unit’ shuts out the Tigers, 2-0. The southpaw strikes out eight while walking six in the first no-hitter ever thrown in the 14-year history of the Kingdome.

1999-In the first-year player’s draft, the Devil Rays select North Carolina prep star Josh Hamilton as the top pick. It is the first time since 1993, when Alex Rodriguez was selected, that a high school player has been chosen first.

2000-With the Tigers visiting Wrigley Field for the first time since the 1945 World Series, Cubs’ reliever Rick Aguilera pitches a perfect ninth inning for his 300th save to nail down a 2-0 Chicago victory.

Interleague “Rivalry” Matchups

  • Geographical Interleague “Rivalries”

I understand that MLB is trying to create local rivalries, and some, like the Subway Series, and the Windy City Series are actually interesting, but others, such as the Battle Of The Beltway, the Rays-Marlins Series, and the Rangers-Astros Series are ridiculously one-sided.  For the 2010 season maybe MLB should try something different, perhaps Classic World Series matchups, like Red Sox-Cardinals, Twins-Braves, or Orioles-Pirates.

Yesterday’s Best Games

  • Mets 3  Red Sox 2

What does it take for a injury-depleted team working with a two-man bench to beat one of the best closers in the game?  Answer: A miracle

And that’s what happened last night in Boston… 
In the top of the 9th inning, with left fielder Gary Sheffield on first base after leading off the inning with a walk, and two outs, Mets rookie catcher Omir Santos, an injury replacement for Brian Schneider, crushed a first pitch fastball from Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon just over the Green Monster in left field, his hit was originally ruled a double, but was ruled a 2-run homerun following instant replay, and in the bottom of the inning, J.J. Putz shut down the Red  Sox, sealing the series win for New York.
  • Diamondbacks 8  A’s 7

This game turned out to be a thriller at the Oakland Coliseum, the D-backs scored four runs in the 8th inning on key hits by Eric Byrnes, and Chad Tracy, tying the score at 5-5.  The game went into extra innings, and the D-backs appeared to seal the game when they scored 3 runs in the top of the 11th inning, but Oakland came back in the bottom half, scoring a pair of runs off D-backs closer Chad Qualls, and had runners at the corners with one out, when Jack Hannahan grounded into a double play to end the game.  The Diamondbacks won their third straight, but are still 10 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West.

  • Two More Interleague Shutouts

White Sox 4  Pirates 0

Cardinals 5  Royals 0
Game Of The Day Preview coming soon…