The Punch Heard ‘Round The World

By Derek Reed
PSDC Texas Rangers Expert

The date was August 4, 1993. The Chicago White Sox vs the Texas Rangers. Robin Ventura at the plate. Nolan Ryan on the mound. Ventura takes a heater from the Ryan Express off the back of his right shoulder. He pauses for a second. Contemplates his next move. Then the 26-year old Ventura tosses his bat and helmet down and runs toward the mound. A mound occupied by the 46-year old legend and Texas icon. A headlock and several uppercuts later, and Ranger fans had a moment that is still talked about to this day.

That memory was one-of-a-kind. But, now it doesn’t stand alone.

Flash forward to Sunday afternoon. The Toronto Blue Jays vs the Texas Rangers. Jose Bautista at the plate. Matt Bush, making his second Major League appearance, on the mound. A 97-mph fastball glances off Bautista’s elbow and hits him in the ribs.

rougned-odor-punch-jose-bautista

A hard slide and a straight right hand to the jaw later, and another moment in Texas Ranger history is born. And it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person.

Jose Bautista is a talented player. He plays the game hard. He plays with intensity. But, he also comes across as a prima donna. A whiner. A selfish person. And after Sunday, all bark and no bite. [Read more…]

What A Season: Texas Rangers 2015 Campaign

By Derek Reed
PSDC Texas Rangers Correspondent

What a season.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

Yeah, it ended in frustration and disappointment. Three errors, followed by a loud boom and the bat flip that will sit right next to visions of David Freese in the memory of Ranger fans forever. But, what a season. [Read more…]

Baseball Thoughts Entering the 2015 Playoffs (or how the Cubs can win the World Series)

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

I’m sitting in the ProjectShanks.com home office in Longview, Texas, six feet to the left of my slave-driving boss, Chris Stuckey. Talk about pressure.

But I surge ahead, determined to transfer these thoughts I have from my brain to keyboard, whether a thousand miles away at home, or at headquarters.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

In case you haven’t noticed, the Cubs have the third best record in baseball. It is typical, that in such a case, the two better records belong to teams in their own NL Central Division; the Cardinals and Pirates. With only a couple of games this weekend to settle the dust and seal the postseason awards, the National League playoffs are set. The Cubs and Pirates will play the one game wild card game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, TBS the dutiful portrayer of the game. And don’t the playoffs just scream TBS? They broadcast an excuse me game every now and again, I was surprised to find late in the season that Ted Turner’s network even continued to broadcast baseball, with the superstations TBS and WGN dumping the local team coverage in the last few years, they being the Braves and Cubs. But that’s a conversation for a different column. [Read more…]

Major League Baseball’s Review at the Two-Thirds Point

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Mike-Trout

Major league baseball is at the 2/3 mark of the 2015 season and begs for a review. These are the dog days, heading into mid-August with sellers selling and buyers hoping to rent their way to top of the heap. Re: Toronto Blue Jays. [Read more…]

Josh Hamilton Must Earn Back the Respect of Texas Rangers Fans

By Derek Reed
PSDC Texas Rangers Correspondent

In the “things I never thought I would see again” category, Josh Hamilton returning to the Rangers was pretty high up there. But the 2010 AL MVP, who led Texas to its first two American League pennants, is on the verge of tip-toing across those burnt bridges that lead back to the non-baseball town of Arlington.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

From a baseball standpoint, the move makes perfect sense. Texas needs outfield contribution and Hamilton can provide that. Even if it’s half the production we’re used to seeing from him, it’s better than what the Rangers are getting now. The fact that Texas will reportedly pay less than $7 million of the $80+ million he is owed and doesn’t have to send anyone to Anaheim makes this move a no brainer…from a purely baseball standpoint. [Read more…]

Looking In The Mirror With Josh Hamilton

By Joshua V. Best
PSDC Contributor

During the 2012 baseball season, I went from insisting Josh Hamilton was the best baseball player I had ever seen to so disgusted with him that I didn’t care whether the Rangers resigned him or not. During his five years in Arlington, Hamilton was often astounding and regularly frustrating. He would make a beautiful diving catch, hit three homers, and then slide head first into first base for no reason at a non-critical moment in an unimportant game and be sidelined for 15 days. It was a maddening, but never boring half-decade.

Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Hamilton had problems the first time the Rangers acquired him, and he has problems today. Seven and a half years ago, very few people were kicking him for those problems. The swap with the Reds (Hamilton for Edinson Volquez) was seen as a low-risk move that could potentially pay off.  [Read more…]

Texas Rangers Close to Reacquiring Josh Hamilton

By Chris Stuckey
Editor-in-Chief

Well…it seems to be all but official. Josh Hamilton is headed back to Texas where he experienced his most success as a professional.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Josh Hamilton story is no secret to anyone. His most recent newsworthy off-field shenanigans have been oft reported. The recovering addict suffered a drug and alcohol relapse this offseason. This incident has left the relationship between Hamilton and the Los Angeles Angels strained. How strained, you ask? Strained enough that the Angels are willing to pay all but $15 million of the $83 million he is still owed. [Read more…]

Texas Rangers Team Preview and AL West Predictions

By Derek Reed
PSDC Texas Rangers Correspondent

Texas opens the 2015 season tonight in Oakland, with hopes of erasing the 95-loss season and last place finish of a year ago. The Rangers have a clean slate and a fresh start, but new manager Jeff Banister has quite the task at hand if he is going to lead Texas back to a winning record this year.

prince-fielder-texas-rangers

The roster has been finalized and there is a youthful theme to this year’s team. For the first time in team history, Texas will have six rookies in uniform on Opening Day. Here’s how the roster will look to start the season: [Read more…]

Mmm…Bacon: Rangers Debuting New Concession Items in 2015

By Derek Reed
PSDC Texas Rangers Correspondent

If the news of Yu Darvish’s injury wasn’t enough to make a Ranger fans’ heart hurt, the new concession items at Globe Life Park will. They’ll clog your arteries too.

Photo Credit: Delaware North

Photo Credit: Delaware North

The ballpark will have two new food stands in 2015 that will be guaranteed to increase your calorie intake, as well as your waist size. The new “State Fair” stand will offer fried favorites that you typically get at the State Fair of Texas and the “Just Bacon” stand will offer items made with what else…bacon. [Read more…]

Yu Gotta Be Kidding Me: Injury Bug Biting Texas Rangers Again

By Derek Reed
PSDC Texas Rangers Correspondent

Spring Training is almost in full swing now and the Texas Rangers are already beginning to resemble last year’s team. But sadly, the 2014 squad is not a team one should strive to resemble. The Rangers were decimated by injuries last year and set a MLB record for the number of players used in a season. Now the injury bug is back again, and this time it may have taken its most important piece of the puzzle.

yu-darvish-dominates-astros

Yu Darvish made the dreaded trip to Dr. James Andrews this week to have Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. Recovery time tends to be just over a year, which eliminates any chance of Darvish pitching in 2015. It’s doubtful that he’ll be ready by the beginning of the 2016 season either and to make things sound even worse, he is only signed with the Rangers through 2017. So, there’s that too. [Read more…]

Texas Rangers Add Yovani Gallardo to Pitching Staff

By Derek Reed
PSDC Texas Rangers Correspondent

Texas took a big step towards becoming a contender again when they acquired Yovani Gallardo from the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. Injuries to key starters had opened up some questions about the starting rotation, which had become one of the team’s biggest concerns. However, the addition of Gallardo should be the answer Texas was looking for, and it shows that the Rangers are planning to contend in 2015.

yovani-gallardo

Gallardo knows how to pitch. He has been the Opening Day starter in Milwaukee for the last five years. In his eight seasons as a Brewer, he was named the organization’s Pitcher of the Year twice (2009, 2010), and made the NL All-Star team in 2010. He has a career ERA of 3.69 and an overall record of 89-64. The 28-year-old starter has averaged 192 innings over the past six seasons and has gone over the 200 innings mark twice. And just in case you need it, he can swing the stick. He won the 2010 NL Silver Slugger award and has 12 career homeruns as a pitcher. [Read more…]

Texas Rangers Position-By-Position Preview: Starting Rotation

By Derek Reed
PSDC Texas Rangers Correspondent

STARTING ROTATION

yu-darvish-dominates-astros

Current 40-Man Roster: Lisalverto Bonilla, Yu Darvish, Jerad Eickhoff, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, Luke Jackson, Colby Lewis, Nick Martinez, Martin Perez, Nick Tepesch

If Matt Harrison and Martin Perez were healthy, Texas would have one of the best starting rotations in baseball.

1) Yu Darvish
2) Derek Holland
3) Martin Perez
4) Matt Harrison
5) Colby Lewis

Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game and I don’t expect to see Harrison or Perez any time soon. The absence of those two starters leaves a couple question marks in the Rangers’ rotation. Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis are all but a lock to make the rotation, but the other two spots are up for grabs. [Read more…]