Nov 012012
 
Josh Hamilton 10

According to Dayn Perry (CBSSportsline), the odds-makers over at Bovada.lv have put out odds on where Josh Hamilton will sign this offseason.


Who will sign Josh Hamilton next?

San Francisco Giants: 3-1
Atlanta Braves: 5-1
Texas Rangers: 5-1
Philadelphia Phillies: 7-1
New York Yankees: 9-1
Chicago Cubs: 9-1
Boston Red Sox: 9-1
Pittsburgh Pirates: 10-1
Toronto Blue Jays: 10-1
Los Angeles Dodgers: 15-1


Let me be the first to say that there are a few teams on this list that I think have no shot or no interest in Hamilton

Phillies – No interest and no shot.  Unless they can find a way to unload some of the veteran contracts that they currently have in place, I just don’t see GM Ruben Amaro adding another large contract to the mix, especially a player north of 30 years old.  Here is a quick look at some of their top salaries for 2013:

  • Roy Halladay – $20M

    <b>Thursday Sound Off:</b> Hambones New Home...<br><b>Prediction:</b> Staying in Texas

    Hamels with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro

  • Cole Hamels – $19.5M
  • Ryan Howard – $20M
  • Cliff Lee – $25M
  • Jon Papelbon – $13M
  • Jimmy Rollins – $11M
  • Chase Utley – $15M
That’s $123.5M for 7 players, most of which are getting a little long in the tooth.  This is NOT a team that is going to give a 4-6 year contract to Josh Hamilton.  In addition, the fan base in Philly is quick to turn on poor performance and lack of effort – can you imagine the treatment Josh would have gotten from the fans down the stretch in 2012 if he had been playing for Philly?

Cubs – No interest.  Theo Epstein is in the process of rebuilding and while the Cubs will soon be at a point where they are ready to supplement a strong base of talent in free agency, they aren’t their yet.  Hamilton’s age and the potential for injury and fatigue due to his past and playing style just don’t fit in Theo’s plan.  Cubs fan’s would love Josh…but it’s not happening.

Pirates – Are you kidding me?  No shot.

Official Prediction

Don’t see any odds on the field (everyone else), but would assume they would be somewhere around 30-1, if not larger.  I’d bet on the field at 30-1 (heck, even 25-1) before I’d consider the Phillies, Cubs or Pirates.

In fact, the team that I think will sign Josh Hamilton is not even mentioned above.

My official prediction as to who will sign Josh Hamilton….as of right now….always subject to change….

The Houston Astros

<b>Thursday Sound Off:</b> Hambones New Home...<br><b>Prediction:</b> Staying in TexasIs this crazy?  Here is my thinking:

  • Money: They have to have money!  They don’t have anyone on their current roster that is deserving of a big contract, so they must have the money to make it happen, even considering they’ll have to overpay.
  • Ownership: Jim Crane is a crazy ass, looking for attention and desperately seeking any opportunity to make a big splash.  So much so, he was considering bringing the Roger Clemens circus to town late in the 2012 season.  Signing Josh Hamilton and being the “mystery team” would be a BIG splash.
  • Location: Josh and his family are clearly comfortable in the DFW area and while it’s still five hours away…it’s as close as he’s gonna get to staying here.
  • AL West: The Astros will be joining the Rangers in the AL West starting in 2013.  Josh is familiar with the lay of the land in the AL West, which benefits the Astros and provides a certain level of comfort for Josh.
  • Houston Fans: Low expectations…if any.  The excitement generated over the signing would follow Josh into the regular season and mask any lack of effort or disinterest – if those issues are still there – which I don’t think they will be.

Nevermind the fact that the Astros are horrible.  I think Josh will value the situation and the contract more than any team’s current level of play or postseason hopes.

Prediction #2 - Josh will play like a man possessed in 2013 and win the AL MVP despite:

  • Houston’s weak lineup which provides him no protection
  • The fact that the Astros will be out of the playoff race by mid-April
This sucks given his poor exit from the Rangers…but you know you agree.

So, what do you think?  Have I sold you on Josh in a Astros uniform in 2013?  Or do you trust the odds provided by Bovada?

Vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments section.

What uniform will Josh be wearing in 2013?
Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Texas (Rangers)
Atlanta Braves
San Francisco Giants
L.A. Dodgers
Houston Astros
Other (leave comments)
View Result
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Oct 112012
 
Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

Jason Churchill of ESPN.com noted this morning that the Rangers could be in the market for an everyday centerfielder, regardless of Josh Hamilton’s return or departure.

The Texas Rangers, whether or not they re-sign Josh Hamilton this offseason, may be in the market for an everyday centerfielder. The Boston Red Sox may be at the point where trading Jacoby Ellsbury, a free agent after the 2013 season, makes more sense than not.

Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald suggests the two clubs could match up in a trade, and wonders if the Rangers could be open to parting with left-hander Derek Holland for Ellsbury.

A few things to note:

  • Thursday Sound Off: Dutch for Ellsbury?The 29 year-old Ellsbury is under contract only through the end of 2013, after which he will become a free agent.  He was paid around $8M in 2012 and is arbitration eligible for 2013.
  • Holland (26) is under control through 2018, with ’17 and ’18 both being club options, with pay escalating to $10M plus in 2016 and beyond.
  • Craig Gentry…

So, what do you think?  Would you like to see Dutch pack his bags for a move to Boston in return for one year of Ellsbury in center?

Vote on the poll and sound off in the comments section!

 

Should the Rangers trade Derek Holland to Boston for Jacoby Ellsbury?
Yes
No
View Result

 

Got other thoughts on what the Rangers should do this off-season?  Check out “Time for Changes in Arlington” and let us hear from you.

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Aug 092012
 
5Stages

Roy Oswalts 5 Stages of Bullpen Acceptance + Dustin Pedroia JokesFormer Texas Rangers starting pitcher, Roy Oswalt, didn’t take too well to the news of his demotion to the bullpen. He lost out on a rotation spot due to the reemergence of Scott Feldman—coupled with his own mysterious blend of extreme-hitability and acute suck.

Psychologically speaking, Roy Oswalt is making marked improvements. From the fan’s perspective, he’s still being an a-hole.

Hey, we all understand that the road to bullpen acceptance is an arduous journey, marked by the self-acceptance of regression and marred by the subsequent roundhouse kicks to the ego.

I mean, really, aside from the $4M dollar deal (for half a season’s work) coupled with the fact that a trip to the bullpen is actually an easier job…let’s not forget that Roy Oswalt truly is the victim here…

Let us now join Roy Oswalt as he so astutely navigates his way through the 5 Stages of Bullpen Acceptance

1. Denial

“I still consider myself a starter.”

That’s actually quite healthy, Roy. When you go out there in the sixth inning rather than the first inning, just say to yourself “I’m starting now. I still consider myself a starter.” Do that, please…because when you were a starter your mantra was apparently “I’m a gas can. I consider myself a a can of gas; to make this fire explode.

2. Pain and Guilt

I actually think ‘ole Roy skipped right over this one and had another heaping helping of denial.

“I had two bad starts. We won four of my six starts. Guess I should have won ‘em all.”

Oh, Roy. You had one decent start. Dude, in your other five starts you were hit so hard that pitching machines secretly high-fived when not hanging their metallic heads in mock embarrassment.

3. Anger

“I’m gonna kick Scott Feldman’s ass. Freaking Hawaiian-born hippie.”

Okay, Roy Oswalt never actually said that. I’m sure we all realize he was thinking it, though. Probably word for word.

Why so angry Roy O?

Well, it’s pretty simple. Remember when Scooter wasn’t the best pitcher in the history of MLB, way back when he was 0-6 with a sideways 8 for an ERA?

Well, so does Roy. Yep, so does Roy. Roy remembers… And it chaps his ass.

4. Depression

“I haven’t said anything like that.”

Roy, the first sign of depression is a refusal to admit something that you’ve already admitted even though you don’t recollect said admittance.

Duh.

That’s Psychology 101 brah!

5. Acceptance

“I’m in the bullpen. I’ll throw down there and see how it goes.”

Glad to have you aboard, Roy…

Really Easy (yet curiously satisfying) Dustin Pedroia Jokes

Normally, in this space, I’d simply make fun of Dustin Pedroia’s sub-dimunitive size…so why should today be any different?

• Dustin Pedroia is earning some extra income nowadays thanks to a lucrative Just For Men TV spot. Perhaps you’ve seen it:
Roy Oswalts 5 Stages of Bullpen Acceptance + Dustin Pedroia Jokes
• Pedroia isn’t even going gray! Just For Men hired him because they can save that much more money by not having to teach an actual infant to dance.

• Did you know that you can actually fit two Jose Altuve’s into one Dustin Pedroia? Just make sure to ask Jose Altuve if it’s cool with him before attempting to do so…

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Aug 062012
 
troubleintexas

Texas Rangers News: So, Whats Up with Roy Oswalt and Josh Hamilton?The Texas Rangers had just taken two-of-three from the Kansas City Royals, a team that they had failed to defeat in ’12 prior to their three game series last week in KC. That should be good news, but there were some uncharacteristic clubhouse issues that overshadowed the Rangers’ first series win in almost two weeks.

Josh Hamilton—More than a nicotine fit?

• As we all know, Rangers’ slugger Josh Hamilton is a very troubled man. Also, the entire world (those that care at least) have been enlightened as to why Hamilton went from totally MVP-legit to “can barely muster a hit” in the span of two months.

The man’s personal life is none of my business and really doesn’t concern me in the slightest. However, his quips to the media and his recent scuffles with the coaching staff have lead me to believe that he is going through something more intense than nicotine withdrawal. And no, I’m not hinting at substance abuse. I don’t think that’s the issue here.

However, something is eating at Hamilton—could be his personal life, movie deal, or whatever—that he normally has been able to deal with no problemo. The further Hamilton slips into the recesses of his own mind, the less likely retainment of his services becomes. In fact, I’m of the belief that Hamilton will not be a Ranger next season, and should things continue as they have, he may be given the C.J. Wilson treatment.

Roy Oswalt—Clubhouse Problem?

• Evidently, Roy Oswalt, who looked fantastic last night over his two innings of relief work, was asked to go out for a third inning, and declined. If this was due to any other reason aside from physical inability, it is absolutely inexcusable.

Naturally, Oswalt was a starter his entire career, and there was a fundamental agreement in place that he’d remain in that role for the Rangers. But still, any major leaguer that can look outside of his own personal dilemmas for a fraction of a second should be able to understand that baseball is a business, and the business of winning entails making moves that are best for the team, not best for Roy Oswalt, etc.

Besides that, if Oswalt is the competitor that I believe him to be, he should take this “demotion” as an opportunity to kick butt and show the world that he’s not a shell of his former All-Star self. He can pitch his way back into the rotation, especially given the way the injury bug has feasted on the Rangers’ rotation this season.

Here’s hoping there was some sort of mixup or miscommunication between Washington and Oswalt that will explain yesterday’s scenario. If not, this is the type of rift that can cause clubhouse issues. If that’s the case, it’s too bad. Oswalt had looked really sharp in his two appearances coming out of the ‘pen.

The Michael Young situation

• Is their any coincidence that the very moment I read that Michael Young is starting at shortstop tonight, there was an ear rattling thunderclap followed by rain? Sure, it wasn’t quite a flood of biblical proportions, but Texas in August is about as likely to see precipitation as Rangers’ fans are to, well, see MY start at shortstop…

Elvis Andrus isn’t starting tonight due to a sore shoulder—that he wouldn’t have encountered had he not blown past his third base coach’s stop sign last night. It’s why Young gets the nod at SS.

Young playing defense at all anywhere, is newsworthy. First and foremost, he’s just plain awful in the field. Secondly, it limits Ron Washington’s ability to play Mike Olt.

Young has not-so-quietly strung together his worst season as a major leaguer in 2012. Anytime he is run out there wearing the leather—and to a certain extent offensively—the Rangers’ chances of winning are diminished.

Mike Olt had a bad game yesterday, striking out with the bases loaded and committing the game-ending error on a bad throw from third to second base. Still, his power potential and normally reliable glove work (at third base at least) make him a more viable option to start over Young.

Michael Young’s career UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) is -55.5 at shortstop. Yes, my coffee just went down the wrong pipe as well.

I suppose this means that the Rangers backup shortstop, Alberto Gonzalez, has played Plinko with Washington’s Tree of Trust while plummeting down to Earth after hitting every single branch.

Up Next:

The Texas Rangers travel to Boston today for a three game series with the Red Sox. Starting tonight for Texas is RHP Yu Darvish (11-7, 4.38 ERA) vs. Boston’s RHP Aaron Cook (2-5, 5.24 ERA).

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Jul 232012
 
ROYCOLBY

UPDATE
Per ESPN’s Richard Durrett, Rangers’ right-hander Colby Lewis has been diagnosed with a torn elbow ligament that will likely require surgery…Lewis has been the Rangers most successful starter during their last two World Series runs.

The severity of the injury coupled with Lewis’ imminent loss for the remainder of the year may make a trade for pitching help likely…

UPDATE: Colby Lewis likely lost for season with Torn Ligament

Worried about Lewis and/or Oswalt? Greinke would more than compensate for either, should they be lost for an extended period of time.

The Texas Rangers’ pitching staff continues to provide an all-you-can-eat buffet for the rabid injury bug.

And the Rangers have begun to plug the holes before the dam explodes.

Rather than Roy Oswalt on the hill tonight, it’s Scott Feldman. Tomorrow night’s starter will be recently re-promoted left-hander Martin Perez.

It appears that Oswalt, who was scratched from tonight’s start due to lower-back stiffness, is being treated day-to-day. However, the fact that Oswalt has dealt with back issues in the not-so-distant past is somewhat alarming.

Colby Lewis, who had just made his first start after being reinstated from the 15-day disabled list, is now back on the dreaded DL. For Lewis, it’s a continued bout with right forearm stiffness. And it’s very clear that that the Texas Rangers aren’t going to take this matter lightly.

Oswalt had really been coming on lately, pitching well over his last two starts after getting banged around by 30-plus hits during his initial three starts. Over his last two games, Oswalt was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA, while featuring his usual free-pass stinginess.

Lewis was in line to win his most recent start last Wednesday in Oakland. He pitched well, throwing five innings of three-hit ball, but the Athletics scored one run off of each subsequent Rangers reliever, which culminated in a walk-off victory for Oakland, and a no-decision for Lewis.

Although the time might seem ripe to push the panic button with full-force, as long as Roy Oswalt’s back issue is nothing that requires a DL stint, the Rangers are still in fine shape.

Naturally, Scott Feldman isn’t everyone’s first choice to start games, but he has been not horrible over his last three starts.

In that span, he’s 2-0 with a 5.29 ERA, with only two walks and 12 strikeouts. Yeah, I know, that ERA isn’t something that Scooter’s mother would proudly affix to the refrigerator, but it’s better than the six-plus ERA whopper dangling around his neck prior to his first win of the year.

Feldman, oddly enough, is a much better pitcher at home than on the road. He’s 2-3 with a respectable 4.05 ERA at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in 2012. His road record and ERA (1-3, 7.62) can produce symptoms that closely mirror those of only the most hardcore cases of West Nile Virus.

Dizziness, headaches, nausea. Look at his home numbers again. Now if the symptoms don’t go away, go see a doctor immediately, or stop drinking straight from the beer tap…

21-year-old Venezuelan left-hander, Martin Perez, has looked very solid over his last three appearances, two of which were starts. Over that span, he’s 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA.

So the Rangers have the proper sutures on hand to sew up the recent injury-induced contusions. However, they also have the proper ammunition to amputate the limb entirely, and attache a better arm in its wake.

That was just a confusing way to say that the Texas Rangers have eight more days to make a trade, should they feel the need to do so.

You’ve heard the names. Zach Greinke. Cole Hamels. Possibly even a Matt Garza.

Of course the flip-side of that coin are the names that would have to be in place in order to initiate the speculative trade.

Jurickson Profar. Mike Olt. Perhaps Martin Perez.

Profar is most likely off limits, but should he be dangled as trade bait, the sting of his potential loss could easily be soothed by a World Series Championship…and should Texas bring in one of the aforementioned aces, the end result of the 2012 season could possibly bring forth the organization’s first championship.

Tonight’s Matchup:

RHP Scott Feldman (3-6, 6.25 ERA), versus LHP Felix Doubront (10-4, 4.24 ERA)…

Go Rangers!

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Jun 252012
 

<b><i>Dirty Byrd:</b></i> Former Ranger, Marlon Byrd, Busted for PED useAccording to this crazy thing known as the world wide web, former Texas Ranger, Marlon Byrd, has been suspended by Major League Baseball for 50 games, due to a failed drug test.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jeff Wilson
Made the news known via Twitter:

Byrd, a fan favorite during his three seasons in Texas, had the finest season of his 11-year career in 2009, while with the Rangers. He hit .283 with 20 home runs and 89 RBI that year, and signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs during the following offseason.

After a terrible start to his 2012 campaign—he was batting .070 through 13 injury-plagued games—Byrd was shipped to Boston for Michael Bowden and Hunter Cervenka.

Less than one month after acquiring him, the Red Sox let Byrd fly free, as they issued his unconditional release. Byrd, currently a free agent, has hit .210 with just one home run and nine RBI combined during this year with the Cubs and Red Sox.

The alleged drug that caused the positive test, Tamoxifen, is generally used for treatment of breast cancer for both men and women. However, it is on MLB’s banned substance list.

According to USA Today’s Gabe Lacques, Byrd had been working with former BALCO president Victor Conte, who has vehemently denied supplying Byrd with anything illegal.

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Apr 182012
 
<b>Things you didn’t know about Koji Uehara, plus poor poetry</b>

Koji Uehara and his balls

Last night’s drubbing of the helpless Boston Red Sox by a score of 18-2 (Uehara homers happen too frequently to count anymore…) was a thing of absolute beauty!

Well, except for that little appearance by the batting machine with sideburns with his infamous splitter that doesn’t split and world famous hanging fastball.

When Koji pitches, it’s like the first time you got dumped. Sure, in a few hours you won’t care anymore, but at that moment you’re moved enough to write some epically bad poetry.

Here are three episodic Haikus followed by some things that you didn’t know about Mr. Uehara. Enjoy.

Koji Uehara

Enables opposition

Four-hundred foot blasts

*****

Koji Uehara

Needs to take his uncanny suck

To another team

*****

Anaheim Angels:

Koji Uehara might be

A great fit for you

*****

1. According to Elias Sports Bureau, when facing Koji, it is three times more difficult to NOT hit a home run than it is to take him downtown—or, as they say: “deep into the heart of Dong City.” Okay, only I say that.

2. Fellow Japanese import, Yoshinori Tateyama, was a High School teammate of Koji. Back then, Koji was an outfielder. Now, if you’re HS coach won’t let you pitch…Just sayin’.

3. During last year’s ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, Koji pitched 1 1/3 innings while surrendering 3 home runs…HE ONLY GAVE UP ONE FEWER HRs THAN OUTS RECORDED.

4. The whole “it ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings” thing is tired and cliché. A better rested, new cliché should be: “It ain’t over until Koji Uehara gets an out.”

5. Forget number four. Realistically, if Koji is in there, the ******* thing is already over.

6. In Japan, a popular pitch is named “shuuto.” When Koji throws it, it is referred to as “shit throw.”

7. Throughout his Major League Baseball career (2009-Present), Koji has had an excellent walk rate. This is not due to his outstanding location or control. This is due to a basic baseball philosophy: Why walk when you can hit a home run?

8. Koji’s English translator isn’t even bilingual. Hell, he’s not even “bi.” He’s simply a tape recorder with a pre-recorded message that says: “I am sorry. I did not have my good stuff today. I wish to go back to Baltimore where the team is bad and expectations are low. Thank you.”

9. Fellow Japanese pitchers Yu Darvish and Yoshi Tateyama actually speak in English anytime Koji is near.

10. Balls thrown by Koji Uehara accumulated 3,000,000 frequent flyer miles last year. Koji’s balls cashed in the miles and, like, totally vacationed in Puerto Rico—where they were held, but not for ransom. Booya!

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