Results tagged ‘ nolan ryan ’
As a self-proclaimed “Texas Baseball Fan” I feel it is almost my duty to share some of my thoughts on the auction that concluded early yesterday morning to determine ownership of the Texas Rangers.
Well to be perfectly honest, my first thought was “It’s about time!” Good grief. Could this have been drug out any longer?! Probably, but I was truly tired of hearing about it.
So it falls to Rangers Baseball Express which consists of Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and the one and only Nolan Ryan.
Good. That’s the way it should have been all along.
When I heard the news that television magnate Rupert Murdoch was adding his name to the bidding list I had to chuckle. What else was going to happen? It was starting to seem as if everything was shaping up to keep RBE from acquiring the franchise.
Thank God that didn’t happen!
Technically, it’s still not “official”. The owners still have to approve the sale at the next owner’s meeting which is scheduled for Thursday, August 12, but this appears to be just a formality. What’s funny is at the beginning of the week when there seemed to be multiple potential bidders for the Wednesday auction, I had heard something that may be a rumor but I’m not sure. Apparently there was/is an addendum or caveat to the whole auction. Some entity; MLB, the court, someone held the authority to overturn the final high bid.
Example: Let’s say that the group that included Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban had the highest final bid at auction end. This particular entity could overrule the bid and make the runner-up the new highest bidder.
Of course this led to speculation that this was all a way to keep Mark Cuban out of Major League Baseball. For those that may not know, the MLB “suits” do not particularly care for Mr. Cuban’s ownership style.
Whether any of this is true and factual, we may never know. Though it sure made for some hot sports opinions to be tossed around our neck of the woods in the last week or so.
Another detail that I heard ….
Back when RBE made their initial bid for the Rangers which I believe was in December or January, they were asked to raise this initial bid by another 25 million dollars to compensate for the land and parking lots. They declined. In the months since, the Hicks Sports Group (the previous owners) removed the land and parking lots from the sale, and during the auction RBE upped their bid another 60-65 million and lost the land and parking lots because they wouldn’t agree to pay an additional 25 million.
Again, this could be hearsay, but it sure added an odd dimension to this whole saga.
So where do I stand on this? As I stated earlier, I feel that Nolan Ryan and his group should have had this thing all along. The fact that it drug out as long as it did didn’t help them, the team, the fans, or anyone, but now that it’s just about done they can go about business as usual.
Like signing potential free agents, making plans for ballpark improvements, resigning manager Ron Washington, moving forward with the franchise and putting this whole mess behind them.
Being a fan, I am very excited to see what the remainder of this season has in store as well as next season. We may be in for changes we have never thought of now that we have an ownership team that “knows” baseball and has the franchise and fans in mind over themselves.
Well the day had finally arrived, Opening Day.
It started to feel like it had been forever since the last regular season home game I got to attend at the grand ‘ol ballpark, but it was here and I was happy.
The game was a 1:05 start and the gates were set to open at 10:00, so there was not much time to rest and enjoy the off-day in the morning. I had to get moving!
I was attending this game with my friend Dirk and he came and picked me up at my house at 9:00. We stopped at Taco Bell on the way and grabbed some burritos to take in to the park with us, went to will call and got the tickets, and made it to the left field seats at around 10:15.
Too bad batting practice wasn’t going to start until 10:30. Meh.
We found a spot we felt was going to work for us, so we put our bags down and got out our gloves and cameras.
Here’s a picture I had Dirk take of me before batting practice started….
….and here’s one of the centerfield offices….
Once batting practice got underway, this was the view to my right….
The view to my left was so much worse I didn’t even want to take a picture of it.
While the Rangers were hitting the Blue Jays came out into the outfield to start throwing, and I took a picture of my favorite Jay, Scott Downs….
For those that may not know, my daughter Sarah and I had a pretty cool encounter with Mr. Downs at a game last season.
You can read that entry here.
The Rangers took BP from 10:30 to 11:10, then the Jays hit from 11:20 to 12:00. During the Rangers’ portion there were not many homeruns hit our way, nor were there players tossing balls into the crowd that had found there way to the warning track.
The Blue Jays’ portion was completely different. It seemed like every other ball was a homerun that came to left field. It was so much fun, the only problem was how crowded it was. Moving was nearly impossible, and Dirk and I were on the first row. But Dirk had some more device opportunities in the visitors’ bullpen, and I was able to pull one up myself. It would turn out to be my only ball of the day and #2 on the season.
After batting practice concluded we made our way to our seats to get ready for the pregame festivities. This was the view from our seats….
Once the pregame activities started this was displayed on the video board….
I wanted to take photos of some of the players during the introductions, but my camera doesn’t zoom too far, so I waited until both teams had been announced and took this one….
I usually stand pretty still during the national anthem, but I couldn’t control myself and took this picture before it ended….
** One observation: At least they felt it important enough to turn the lights on for a 1:05 start. It was rather cloudy, but still, lights? **
I also snapped a photo of the flyover by some F-16s….
Then there was a paraplegic veteran that parachuted out of a helicopter and delivered the ceremonial first pitch ball to Roger Staubach….
That’s Roger in the jeans and Nolan Ryan in the suit. Ian Kinsler caught for Staubach who threw a chest high (standing up) strike.
Finally, the moment had arrived. The first pitch….
…. that was taken for a strike, which we all know means the Rangers are going all the way this year. No? Maybe it’s just me then.
The game was great from the start if you’re a Blue Jays fan, if not, it was brutal.
Scott Feldman gave up a two-run homer in the first to Vernon Wells, and a solo shot in the third to Aaron HIll which put Toronto up 3-0. Meanwhile, the Rangers didn’t even have a hit until the bottom of the seventh.
As for the bottom of the seventh, that’s when new Ranger Vladimir Guerrero stepped up to the plate to lead off the inning. Now, you’ll have to forgive me because I don’t remember the exact count, but a couple of pitches before Vlad got the Rangers their first hit, he hit a mammoth foul ball. By mammoth I mean, third level, even with the top of the foul pole mammoth.
Yeah, it was amazing.
To top it off, it looked like he barely even swung the bat!
Once Vlad got the first hit, it seemed like they just kept coming after that. Nelson Cruz stepped up with two men on and proceded to hit a three-run homer to tie the game at 3-3.
In the top of the eighth young Ranger reliever Neftali Feliz gave up the go ahead run to put the Rangers behind 4-3.
By the bottom of the ninth Dirk and I had already found different seats along the first base side, where we got to see Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit the game-winnng RBI single, and watch the players rush the field….
What a great way to end a great day, Rangers win 4-3.
Now if only the rest of the season could be like this!
Time of game: 2hrs. 36mins.
Next Game: Not 100% sure, but probably Sun. 4/25 vs. Detroit
For those of you that may be too lazy to click, or maybe you did and you still don’t know what I mean, he has analyzed a few old, not used anymore, stadiums from a ballhawking standpoint.
I love this idea! Even though ballhawking, or snagging, or whatever you want to call it is relatively a new phenomenon, I like to think about what it may have been like to get a shot at snagging at some of those places.
I’ve given Zack a few suggestions, as I know others may have too, but with his schedule and all he has going on, I decided to take a shot at a couple myself.
Before I tell you which one I’m going to start with, I must clarify a couple of things up front. I know this is a predominantly Rangers-only blog, but for those who don’t know, I was born in Ohio. Even though my team is the Rangers, I follow the Indians as close as I can in Texas.
With all of that being said, I present to you Cleveland Municipal Stadium….
Well, I guess it served it’s purpose, but it’s not eye candy by any means.
Let’s start with a look at some homerun opportunities….
The bleachers in the above photo are in centerfield. The Marlboro scoreboard is in straightaway center.
You see the grass behind the centerfield wall? And behind that are some empty rows of bleachers? Those are there because the original outfield wall extended to where those empty bleachers are. To give you a little visual, here’s some field dimensions before and after the reconfiguration.
You see what I mean? The 463, 475, and 463 would be where those empty bleachers are in the photo of centerfield. Could you imagine sitting in dead centerfield and waiting on a homerun? I wonder how many (if any) actually made it out there?
The foul lines being at 320 (or 322 depending on what reference you use) would provide a good spot in right or left field. But as you’ll see in a moment, the opportunity for lateral movement was almost nonexistent.
Next, on to foul ball opportunities, Cross aisles….?
Yes and no.
Do you see the numbers 1,2, and 3 in the above photo? Let’s start by going through those numerically.
1) — This looks like the largest cross-aisle in the place. If you click the photo to enlarge it, you can see how wide it actually is. I’d say at least 6 feet wide, maybe 7. That’s not bad for a ballpark that old. The real question would have to be “how accessible is it?”. Right? That’s what I would like to know. How strict were the ushers? Could anyone walk around down there? That also looks like a good spot for 3rd out balls.
2) — From other pictures I looked at on yahoo images, this looks to be the same size as number 1. The obvious question would be “do foul balls actually reach that aisle?” Maybe. Another question would be, “can you get down to the first row of the 2nd level?” Probably. This photo was taken somewhere between 1991 and 1993 (the final year of the stadium), and I would guess that this would be around a normal sized crowd, so seat switching wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
3) — There’s a question mark by this one, because from what I’ve seen in other photos (that I couldn’t copy), this is barely an aisle at all. Meaning, I don’t know how you could walk between the seats without turning sideways. So, it seems rather insignificant.
Here’s a look from the opposite side of the stadium from the above photo….
That second deck really overhangs the first.
That’s about it. There’s really not much more to this place. I can see now why they wanted a new ballpark. Since I was only 6 years old the one and only time I went to a game there, I don’t remember anything about it.
Well, I do remember this….
It seemed like you could see that sign from a mile away. I didn’t get to see many games from inside, but whenever I saw the Chief, I knew I was close to something cool.
Sometime in the next month or so, I want to revisit the old Arlington Stadium, the original home of the Texas Rangers. So stay tuned, maybe I’ll do some others as well.
By the way, if you have about 7 minutes to kill, and you are interested in watching someone’s home video from a final season game against the Rangers (ironic?), click here. You might get a kick out of Nolan Ryan stretching before the game. I know I did, since he’s our club president and everything.
Thanks for stopping by!
This game was a toss up. The weather was horrible almost all week, and it culminated in what turned out to be a VERY bad storm. Batting practice was not meant to be, but we still had to make the decision whether to go or not. By we, I mean my friend Dirk and I. Well, at first it was the two of us, and then it turned into the two of us, my daugher Sarah, his son Ryan and daugher Kaitlyn.
So we decided to go anyway.
As we made our way from the parking lot to the ballpark, it started raining. We went to the box office on the 3rd base side to get our tickets for the night, and made our way to the 3B gate, and it was raining. By the time we got in line at the gate it was 4:35, and there was a fairly long line (well, long by our standards) and it was raining. The promotion for the night was a Nolan Ryan statuette to commemorate the 18th anniversary of his 7th no-hitter. It was a pretty cool figurine, but it brought a lot of people out to the ballpark that may not have been there on an ordinary night.
Here’s what it looks like….
The gates actually opened about 15 minutes early, because it was raining. Not just raining, but absolutely POURING. So, we got an early jump on….. nothing.
See, this is what nothing looks like….
Nice. Did I mention it was raining?
That’s the reason we almost didn’t come. But, it gave us time to wander around, take pictures, and meet up with someone I’ve wanted to meet for a while, Zack Hample.
I know, it looks like I just ran a marathon, but it’s rain. I promise. No really, I mean it!
After some more wandering, we decided to head down to get a good spot on the 3rd base side, and when we got there, we were just in time to see them remove the tarp. The 1st of 3 times that evening. Our grounds crew is OUTSTANDING.
Once the tarp was off the field, some of the White Sox were in left field warming up. And I got the chance to take a picture of Zack in action….
Zack’s the one with the backpack and the White Sox costume.
Actually, I took more pics & followed Zack around for a while (with his permission of course), and if you want to see more of that, you’ll have to check out HIS BLOG.
Anyway, so the game was going good until the end of the 4th, when the skies opened up…again.
By this time it was about 9:30 or so, and we really didn’t want to wait it out, since we had 2 little girls with us, and they needed to get to bed. So we made our way to the parking lot, and I took this rainy/blurry picture before climbing into Dirk’s truck….
Rangers won 9-6 (at around midnight). Actual time of game – 2 hrs. 37 mins. Total rain delayed time – 2 hrs. 27 mins. Attendance – 26,673 (yeah right!).
I know rain serves a purpose, but tonight was just too much for me. Hopefully next time, Mr. Sun will make an appearance.