Results tagged ‘ Rangers ’
You can read in the description of this blog, “the ramblings of a devoted Rangers fan”. I was devoted in April and I am still devoted now, and will most likely stay that way.
I made that statement to make a point. I don’t let myself get swayed when it comes to something that I believe in, and I believe in this team.
I was listening to the post game show on the radio following the game between the Rangers and Oakland Monday, September 14th, and was surprised by what I was hearing. The two hosts, along with a myriad of callers, were stating opinions that ranged from “it’s just a fluke” to “the season’s over”. What they were refering to, at that time, was the Rangers losing two out of three to Seattle over the weekend and losing to Oakland Monday night. The last two games were shutouts, to make matters worse.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by what I heard, given the fact that this team hasn’t reached the playoffs since 1999, and haven’t generated any real post season possibilities since 2004.
To say that this fan base has been bitten would be an understatement.
As you read this, the Rangers have gone on to play one more game against the A’s, losing once again. They finish the three game series with Oakland tonight, have an off day tomorrow, then welcome in the Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles, and whatever other California city wants to adopt them.
Now is the time for this team to decide what it’s truly made of. What it really wants out of this season.
The Angels have lost to Boston the last two games, but the Rangers have also lost to Oakland the last two games. Granted, we have had some very odd weather in this area for the last four to five days, but to me, that shouldn’t change how you play the game. It shouldn’t change your preparation for or drive to play the game either.
I know I’m no expert, and I have no way of knowing what goes on behind closed doors, but given what they have been running out on the field the last four or five games, they’re not convincing me that they even want to play in October.
With all of that being said, I’m not jumping ship. I stand by my initial statement in this entry, “the ramblings of a devoted rangers fan”.
They still have seven games against the Angels in the next week or two, and anything can happen. If they haven’t made up any ground after those seven games, well, we’ll deal with that later if we need to.
Right now, I am going to enjoy every minute I can of this team, this season.
This game, just like the one I went to on Saturday, was attended strictly from a game watching standpoint only.
The weather was better this day, but not good enough to offer any batting practice. That makes at least three games in a row that I have been to that have not had BP.
Oh well, at least there was baseball!
Now that you know that, this entry is going to be shorter than normal. I took some photos at this game, but not of the stadium. This game I decided to take some photos of some of the players.
But first, a look at the field from our seats….
…. and the centerfield message board just prior to gametime….
“It’s baseball time in Texas!” Quoting the great Ballpark in Arlington announcer, Chuck Morgan.
The next one is of Rangers left fielder David Murphy….
Is it me, or does he look like he was just caught relieving himself on the grass? Probably just me.
Those are the only pictures I took from those seats. Our seats were pretty good, by the way, straight away left, first row. Not bad, but we moved after the third inning to our new favorite foul ball spot on the third base side.
Here’s Marlon Byrd at the plate….
I mainly took this one, because I was wearing his t-shirt at this game.
This next guy should not need any introduction….
…. but just in case you still don’t know who this is, it’s perennial gold-glover Omar Vizquel.
That guy is amazing in the field. I’ve personally seen him play three different infield positions this season and do superb at all of them. He’s awesome.
Speaking of awesome, what about this guy….
….come on, don’t tell me you don’t know who Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is!?
10-time gold glove winning catcher. World Series winner. Definate first ballot hall of famer.
The pictures of Pudge were mainly so I could have proof that I watched him play in person.
By now you should be able to tell the camera angle has changed. We moved behind homeplate at the end of the eighth inning.
Here’s another that I like, it shows David Murphy at the plate with Nelson Cruz on deck….
We didn’t have any close calls in our original foul ball spot, and for the first couple batters, we didn’t have any behind homeplate either.
Until the top of the ninth.
Oakland A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki stepped into the batter’s box, batting right handed, and proceded to foul off the very first pitch. I was one seat over from the aisle seat and this foul ball came screaming back over the screen, and I had just enough time to jump out of my seat and reach across my body with my glove while jumping as high as I could (which isn’t very high I might add) only to miss the ball by mere inches. It didn’t touch my glove, but it came as close as it could without hitting it.
I turned around to see where the ball went, and it hit something; a step, wall edge, I’m not sure, all I know is that I had my back to the field and the ball hit whatever it hit and ricocheted over two sections to my right.
So close, so very close.
That was it for this game, Rangers lose 8-0. Two shutouts in a row.
Time of game; 2 hrs. 45 mins.
Next game: Fri. 9/18 vs. the Angels
BTW — There was ice cream to be had this game, and here are the helmets I came away with….
I only had one, the other two I found. I promise!
Well, just like 8/23/08, I brought my daughter Sarah to this game. And, also just like that game, it was cap night….
We arrived at the park in time for batting practice like we always do. I’m so glad I have a daughter that will go for autographs & balls too!
We made our way to the spot we like on the 3rd base side, halfway into the outfield. I set my bag down to get our gloves out & noticed Zack Greinke walking by. For those of you that may not know who that is, you may in the future. He pitched Sat. night 4/18 against the Rangers & struck out 10, gave up 7 hits & got the win. He has AMAZING stuff. No kidding.
Anyway, so I gave Sarah her ticket & a sharpie & sent her over to him. By this time a few people had gathered around, so it took a little bit but she got it.
A little while later, we noticed Josh Hamilton across the field signing autographs on the 1st base side. Of course there was a pretty good little crowd gathered around him, so I didn’t think it was worth the effort to go over there. 20 minutes later, Hamilton is still over there, so I gave Sarah a sharpie & had run through the seats to get his autograph. By the time she made it over there, Hamilton was gone & there was a new crowd gathered around Derek Holland, who the Rangers had just called up the day before…
Sarah’s above the arrow. When she came back around, she was beaming. She had no idea that Josh didn’t sign her hat. When I explained it to her, she was disappointed, but she still enjoyed the fact that she got another autograph.
There was a guy standing by me that was trying to get Jamie Wright’s attention to sign his picture. Jamie was a pitcher for the Rangers up until last year, so he has somewhat of following here. Jamie finally came over & here’s the photo I got….
Sorry about the grainy picture, but I had to crop it to get it to fit. Still, I thought it was a good shot anyways.
Here’s Sarah with her autographs…
We hung around that spot for a little while longer & got some photos of the 2 teams warming up…
I gotta tell you, I love the red jerseys!
Anyways, once the game started, we were in our seats & enjoying ourselves. At the bottom of the 2nd, we were starting to get a little hot sitting in the sun, so we got up to walk around & cool off. We went out to left field, straight down the 3rd base line. We watched Elvis Andrus bat & took this pic…
Back to this photo in a moment.
We walked over behind the visitor’s bullpen & for whatever reason I took this pic…
Maybe it was the “T”, I don’t know.
Back to the photo above from left field, as I was taking this photo of the bullpen, the next batter after Andrus was Ian Kinsler who proceded to hit a homerun to the exact spot we were standing when I took that picture! UUGGGHHH!! Oh well, it wasn’t meant to be.
We roamed a little more, took some more pics & also spent some time in the centerfield gift shop….
We wandered a little bit longer & I got one more pretty cool shot from the upper deck….
The game itself went back & forth, until the bottom of the 9th, when Michael Young hit his 1st walk off homerun(solo shot) to win the game for the Rangers 6-5!
No balls at this game, but I got a cool picture of Sarah on the way out…..
That’s the new Cowboys stadium behind her by the way.
Here’s another photo of the autographs & also one of the extra tickets we found after the game.
P.S. — Notice the holes in the tickets? That’s the Rangers’ way of keeping track of who gets a free promotion item & who doesn’t. Nice. What if it was a no-hitter or some other sort of milestone, & you wanted to preserve your ticket? I guess from their perspective, that’s the best way to do it. Who knows?
On a day that all of baseball wears the #42 in remembrance of the great Jackie Robinson, perhaps all Texas Rangers fans should wear #5 in recognition of the awesome game turned in by the potentially great Ian Kinsler. Yes, he hit for the cycle, but even more than that, he went 6-6 & scored 5 runs. Unbelieveable!
He became only the 4th Ranger in team history to hit for the cycle, joining Gary Matthews Jr.(2006), Mark Texiera (2004), & Oddibe McDowell (1985). Kinsler also became the 1st in team history to go 6-6 in a 9 inning game.
I’m sure I am sounding like a “homer” here, and maybe I am, but you can’t deny that what transpired on the night of April 15, 2008 was nothing short of remarkable.
For us baseball purists out there, it’s good to see this sort of thing happen, because through all of this (post-game analysis & break-down) you don’t hear 1 thing about “juice”, or steroids, or anything of that sort. It’s the way the game should be.
I think Mr. Robinson would want it that way.
Oh by the way, Nelson hit a grand slam in the 4th & just missed his 2nd grand slam in the 8th by about 2-3 feet!
Final score: Rangers 19 Orioles 6.
Yep. More details
Saturday, August 23, 2008 I decided to take my daughter, Sarah, to a Rangers game. Well, we actually decided a few days before, but that was the date of the game. Anyways, we got to the ballpark before the gates opened so we could run in & get a good spot for batting practice.
Here’s Sarah outside the park waiting with me to get in….
It was also cap night….
When the gates opened, we made our way to the 3rd base side, 1/2 way into the outfield. There is a section that starts with 2 seats on the first row, then 3 & so on. We got into the 1st row & set my backpack down to get our gloves out.
The Rangers were taking BP & the Indians were in the outfield warming up.
I had barely gotten Sarah’s glove out of the bag & handed it to her when, WHACK!, a Cleveland player (wish I knew who) threw her a ball (at least she was able to get her glove on in time).
Now, she’s no Michael Young, so the ball bounced out of her glove & onto the stairs, but there was no one else around us so we got it. 1st ball ever!
We were set up a section away from a guy who Rangers fans have come to know as “Net Man”. He’s a guy who wears a Hoss Cartwright outfit (complete with hat) & brings a fishing net. David Delucci, who plays for the Indians, played for the Rangers until 2007, and apparently he must have gotten to know “Net Man” pretty well, because he came over & started talking to him. Here’s the photo I got….
I think you can tell who Net Man is. It didn’t take long for a decent little crowd to gather around, so I gave Sarah the ball she had just gotten & a Sharpie I brought to use in the glove trick (thanks Zack Hample !). A few minutes later, she comes back over….
1st autograph for Sarah!
Now, for you perceptive ones out there, you can see that we are not on the 1st level in this picture. I took this one in our seats later on in the evening, because when she did walk back over, we were still in “ballhawk” mode. And it’s a good thing too, because shortly after, Net Man had gotten the attention of another Indians player (still don’t know who) that was long tossing in the outfield & started pointing at Sarah. The player threw one to Net Man but it fell short & went back onto the field. NOOO!!! Thankfully, there was a security guard right there that saw what was going on, and after he made Sarah hold up her glove, he tossed it to her. Of course she missed this one too, but there was no one else around, so we got it too. Ball # 2!
We didn’t get anything else during BP, so we made our way to the centerfield gift shop. After spending tons of time (not money), we went to our seats on the 2nd level, 3rd base side.
There was a chance of rain all day, & about 30 minutes prior to the 1st pitch, it became a reality. We took shelter in the concourse & after about a 30-45 minute rain delay, we went back to our seats just in time to see the grounds crew removing the tarp…
By the time the game finally started, we were both ready to see some baseball. But with the rain delay pushing back the start time, Sarah was fading fast. She usually starts getting sleepy around 8:30 or 9, so we’re talking the 4th inning. She got a good wake up call in the middle of the 6th ….
Dot race! It’s something the Rangers do every home game. They have a 3 lap race with the first 2 laps on the video board showing 3 colored circles racing around a warning track styled raceway, and the final lap the dots are live out of the left field gate. Kind of cool, the kids love it. Sometimes they fight or push each other which makes the adults like it more.
As for the game itself, it was close all the way through. The Indians ended up winning 8-7. I made Sarah stay to the end, because I just can’t leave a game early. No matter what the score, there’s always that part of me that says “you never know what could happen”. Call me a bad parent, call me whatever you want, Sarah had fun regardless. She grabbed some short naps leaning on my shoulder throughout the game, so she made it.
Now I can’t wait to take her to another one this year!
P.S. — Here’s one last photo of the two balls we got that day….
I can’t think of anything that irks me more than people that want to base the whole season on 1 week of baseball. Sure, the Rangers started 3-0 for the 1st time since 1996. Sure, the Rangers opened the season at home for the 1st time since 1999. Sure, the Rangers went to Detroit and got swept in 3 games. A season sweep of any kind does not make or break the season.
According to my handy dandy magnetic schedule, courtesy of the Texas Rangers, I see a grand total of 52 different series the Rangers are playing this season. 52. Not 2. Let that sink in & maybe (hopefully) this will bring some well needed relief to those of you out there that are ready to compare this season’s version of the Rangers, to last year’s & previous years’s versions.
Did anyone think Josh Hamilton would do what he did last year after the 1st week of the season? I didn’t. Did anyone think the Rangers would still be in contention in August after the 1st month of the season? I didn’t. The point here is, no one knows. That’s why the games are still played even after all of the so-called “baseball minds” make their predictions & pretty much spell out what they think will happen in the regular season & beyond. Predictions. That’s all they are.
That’s what so great about this sport, or any sport really. No matter what the schedule says, & no matter what the lineup looks like, the games still have to be played. All 162 of them, not 7. Do the Rangers have some of the same old issues they need to take care of? Yes. Do you think they are not aware of these things? Please. Say what you want to about the owner & general manager of the team, but if they give any sort of control or take input from the president (Mr. Nolan Ryan), they will come out okay. Maybe not today, or next month, or maybe not until the end of the season, or even next year, but they will be okay.
If we’ve had patience for all of the years since their last playoff run, I think we can spare another year, if necessary.
As true fans, we owe that to our team.