Sunday, April 10, 2011

Know Thy Enemy: Texas Rangers

As a hitter, if you keep getting it right one out of three times, you’re going to the Hall of Fame. As a team, if you do the same, you’re going to finish in last. And the Tigers are off to a rough 3-6 start with the defending American League champion Texas Rangers coming to town. Cue the ominous music.

We suck right now. Outside of Big Mig and the ex-Indians, this team is off to a terrible start in the hitting department. The defense has been awful. The pitching hasn’t been dreadful, but it hasn’t been great, either, outside of Benoit and Valverde. And what good are your 8th and 9th inning guys if you cant get it to them with the lead?

Another week of this and changes will be coming. Dombrowski and Leyland don’t have time to wait around during this season. Will Rhymes has been playing solid defense, but his hitting has been more “scrap heap” than “scrappy” so far. Scott Sizemore is waiting anxiously for his chance at the job. Austin Jackson is seeing a lot of pitches, which is great, but he isn’t having any luck at making contact.  He could be moved down in the lineup. Brad Thomas is an abortion and Fu-Te Ni could get a look if things continue.

And so on. Change is needed, whether it comes from the players themselves or management making moves. Onto the Rangers, now.



Overview

After the original Washington Senators relocated to Minnesota, the city of D.C. was awarded another franchise named the Senators in 1961. Proving once again that Washington can do nothing right, these new Senators quickly relocated to Arlington, Texas and re-named themselves the Texas Rangers in 1972. They spent quite a long time being a non-factor in baseball, but have gone on to make the playoffs in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2010, where they made it as far as the World Series, losing to the ex-Tiger-stocked San Francisco Giants.

Six Hall of Famers have won the Rangers uniform at one time or another. They would be Bert Blyleven, Goose Gossage, Whitey Herzog, Fergie Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, and Nolan Ryan. Suspected steroid use may keep Pudge Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, and Alex Rodriguez from joining them. In fact, if you look at the guys who passed through Texas in the 1990’s, it’s a virtual who’s who of the steroid scandal.

I blame ex-team owner George W. Bush somehow.

Face of the Franchise
Speaking of ex-cokeheads, Josh Hamilton was the first overall pick of the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays in 1999. He was the definition of a “blue chip prospect” back then. Sadly, cocaine, as they say, is a hellova drug. Booze and drugs would derail Hamilton for many years before getting clean and arriving in the majors with the Reds in 2007. In 2006, the Reds had made a deal with the Chicago Cubs where if the Cubs selected Josh with their 3rd pick in the Rule 5 Draft, the Reds would buy him off of them for $100,000. The Cubs did so and Cincinatti’s gamble paid off as Josh was very productive in ’07. However, Cinci decided to cash in on him while they could and traded him to Texas for Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera.

Since then, Hamilton’s been a beast. From All-Star, to Home Run Derby star, to 2010 AL MVP, the guy has become quite the redemption story in Texas. He slipped up by being photographed drunk in a bar in 2009, but despite the big deal everyone made out of it, the guy has recovered quite nicely. He was even drug tested two days after the incident and came up clean. Good for you, Josh…you lovable lush. According to reports, Hamilton still submits urine samples at least three times per week to be tested to comply with the provisions of the MLB drug testing policy. Yikes.

In his career, Hamilton’s faced the Tigers 22 times. He’s hit them at a .282 clip with 4 home runs and 13 RBI. However, he’s never homered off of any current Tiger pitcher. The most number of at bats he has against any of our guys would be being 3 for 8 against Verlander and 0 for 6 against Scherzer. Hopefully those trends of keeping his hits out of the stands will continue.

Old Friends
Colby Lewis pitched in 2 games for Detroit in 2006 throwing a grand total of 3 innings. Since then, he’s made stops in Washington, Oakland, and the Hiroshima Carp before landing back with his original team, Texas, in 2010. He did quite well for himself in 2010 going 12-13 with a 3.72 ERA and a 116 ERA+. Throughout the ’10 postseason, Lewis went 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 26.1 innings pitched.

Gary Pettis is the Rangers’ first base coach and patrolled center field for the Tigers from 1988-1989 and for 48 games in 1992. In 296 games as a Tiger, the speedy Pettis hit .229 with 5 homers and 66 RBI with 100 stolen bases. He won Gold Gloves for his work in center in both ’88 and ’89 as back then, Gold Gloves were actually given based on defensive merit and offensive stats were not taken into account. Weird, I know.

Other Superstar Players

Adrian Beltre
Ian Kinsler
Nelson Cruz
Michael Young

Most Hated Ranger
Hamilton. Despite his redemption story, he still reminds me of dozens of douchebag morons I’ve had to deal with working in bars over the past 10 years. He was also the guy given the MVP last year robbing Miguel Cabrera out of the award.

Get hit by a train, crackhead.

Fanbase

Mexicans and rich, old, white oil men. That’s it.

In Summary

The bats MUST come alive to put up a fight against the high-powered Rangers attack. It will be very difficult to shut them down, so our only chance is to out-slug them.

Suddenly, I don’t feel well. Ugh.

2 comments:

Russ said...

Seriously, How is Phil Coke NOT pitching in this series?

Anonymous said...

Go cry to ur mommy!!! Ur just scared of the Texas rangers.i live in Arlington.hes not a crackhead...wow ppl change