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What do the Rangers have to do to win a championship this year? (1 comment)

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Richard Kagan

Devils Beat Rangers in OT posted by Richard Kagan

New Jersey beat the NY Rangers in game 6 in OT to oust the Rangers from the Eastern Conference Finals.  I live in NY and follow hockey and admit I was rooting for the Devils to prevail 3-2.  They did when rookie Adam Henrique scored early in OT to send New Jersey in the Finals, the fourth with Martin Brodeur as goalie.  Brodeur is on his way to the Hall of Fame when his career ends, and it is fitting that he reaches the Finals to try to go out on top. 

Offensively, the Rangers are challenged.  They have a great goalie in Henrik Lunqvist, who literally, carries this team on his back, every game.  The Rangers just don't have the firepower.  You can't win the Cup when you score 2-3 goals a game.  It's just not going to happen.  You have to put the puck in the net and give your goalie a night off, so to speak.  Let the wingers or centers be accountable.  NY had a great run.  The Devils are the better team.

Continue reading "Devils Beat Rangers in OT"


Richard Kagan

Kings vs. Rangers? posted by Richard Kagan

It is pretty certain that LA will come out of the Western Conference playoffs.  What remains much more in doubt is the Rangers-Devils series.  NY has a 1-0 lead in the best of 7.  But this series is by no means over.  The Rangers play almost the oppositie of LA.  They grind it out, slow down the game, and let their goalie become the anchor of defense.  A goal or two is usually all the Rangers need to win a game.  That pattern may remain in the Eastern Finals, but it will be sorely tested if NY plays the LA Kings. 

The sleeping giant, that is the LA Kings, has woke up with a vengence.  The Rangers play like the the little engine that could.  It huffs and puffs its way toward the finish line. 

Continue reading "Kings vs. Rangers?"


Joe Halstead

The Detroit TIgers Must Approach This April Like the Playoffs posted by Joe Halstead

It is said- and correctly so- that while a pennant may not be won in April, a pennant may be lost in April.

On this note, the Detroit Tigers have immediate cause for concern. Their early schedule- in the month of April alone- includes two more games against Boston, a three-game home series with the Tampa Bay Rays (April 10-12), a four-game home series against the American League Champion Texas Rangers (April 19-22) and, just to pour a bucket of salt water over the wounds incurred, a three-game series in the Bronx Apr. 27-29.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland is known for using his entire roster liberally. OFers Clete Thomas and Andy Dirks, and 2Bmen Danny Worth, Ramon Santiago and, eventually, Brandon Inge, might see significant playing time.

But, should they?

The Tigers made substitutions in the 2011 post-season out of necessity. They were beat up, and running out of players. Luckily, some of those substitutes stepped up in a big way, such as UT Don Kelly and Santiago.

However, the Tigers are at nearly 100% health, and they need their front line to do battle with the American League's best. 

So, here's hoping that Leyland doesn't tinker with his team too much. Obviously, he wants OF Delmon Young to continue what he's been doing for the Tigers since last August, which is to drive in runs. Surely, Leyland would also like to see one of his second basemen grab the brass ring. So far, all we have are multiple second basemen who play competently enough to hit .250 and turn the double play when necessary.

Ah, maybe, that is, until now. 2B/OF Ryan Raburn had the Spring Training of his life, batting over .400 for a stretch, eventually cooling a bit to a .268 average. However, he still slugged .661, having hit 6 HRs, 2 2Bs and a 3B. That accounts for nine of his 15 hits in the spring.

Continue reading "The Detroit TIgers Must Approach ..."


David

Edgar Martínez’s case for Cooperstown posted by David

One of the most talented hitters of the nineties did not receive enough votes for induction to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, but I’m hoping Edgar Martínez does not have to wait too much longer.  I don’t expect him to be elected in 2011 because too many voters don’t think a Designated Hitter is a full-time player.  (Martínez came up as a third baseman, but injuries forced him to become Seattle’s regular DH in 1995.)  In my opinion, if a poor defensive player can make it to Cooperstown based on his offensive contributions, then someone who does not play a defensive position should be able to do the same.

Martínez’s career stats include a .312 batting average, .418 on-base percentage, .515 slugging percentage, 2,247 hits, 309 home runs, and 1,261 RBIs.  His best season came in 1995, when he slugged .628 while leading the AL in batting average (.356), OBP (.479), OPS (1.107), doubles (52), and runs (121).  Despite his monster year, Martínez still finished third in the MVP race.  Fifteen years later, he remains the only designated hitter ever to win a batting title.

Martínez was a seven-time All-Star, won five Silver Slugger Awards, and had one of the biggest clutch hits in postseason history – a two-run double in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 5 of the 1995 ALDS that sent the Mariners to their first-ever Championship Series.  Seattle had been trailing the Yankees 5-4 and were three outs away from being eliminated from the playoffs; the turn of events sent the Yanks home instead after having blown a 2-0 series lead.  For the series, Martínez had a Ruthian line of .571/.667/1.000 and 10 RBIs – nine of them coming in the last two games.

Continue reading "Edgar Martínez’s case for Cooperstown"


David

A new champion is crowned posted by David

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, who are World Champions for the first time since moving to the west coast more than 50 years ago.  Their last title in New York came in 1954, when Willie Mays made “the catch” that will be played on highlight reels forever.  The Giants came unbelievably close to not even making the playoffs this year, but the fans who claimed that watching their team was “torture” are now the happiest fans in baseball.

How ‘bout that?

How about Matt Cain?  The San Francisco hurler was nearly untouchable throughout the playoffs, outshining staff ace Tim Lincecum, who had a bad outing in Game 1 of the Fall Classic.  In three postseason starts, Cain allowed only an unearned run over 21.1 innings of work, going at least 6.2 innings in each outing and providing a huge boost to his team’s hunt for glory.  He might be the best #2 starter in the majors, but Matt Cain looked like the second coming of Cy Young when it mattered most for the Giants.

How about Brian Wilson?  The flamethrower’s postseason numbers included six saves (in seven chances) and a win in 11.2 innings pitched, allowing just an unearned run.  Additionally, Wilson allowed no more than one hit per appearance while anchoring the San Francisco bullpen.  Wilson gave Bruce Bochy the confidence this postseason usually reserved for Mariano Rivera’s manager when handing his closer the ball in October (or November).

How about the fantastic class of rookies in the postseason?  Stephen Strasburg wasn’t among them, but Jason Heyward (Braves), Buster Posey (Giants), Aroldis Chapman (Reds), Danny Valencia (Twins), Wade Davis (Rays), Neftali Feliz and Mitch Moreland (both Rangers) would make an incredible young team if they all played together.  In fact, even top prospect Domonic Brown, who compiled just 62 regular-season at-bats, was on the Phillies’ playoff roster.  Expectations will be high for this talented group, and here’s hoping none of them experiences too much of a sophomore slump.

Continue reading "A new champion is crowned"


Richard Kagan

Sox In Race To Win It posted by Richard Kagan

The Chicago White Sox won a big game 5-3, against the Texas Rangers.  Alexei Remirez hit a big two run blast in the 6th inning for the winning Sox.  The Sox climbed back in the race on a sorching hot streak.  They cooled off a bit on this road trip, dropping two out of three to KC, and then righting themselves with a big win tonight.  This coupled with losses by the Twins and Detroit give Chicago a fighting chance to do some damage right before the All-Star break. 

Right now, they would have to be one of the surprise teams in the AL.  Not because of where they are, but where they've been.  The Sox were in the outer reaches of the Twilight Zone before Interleague Play began.  And, then the ChiSox went on a winning streak that catapulted them back to Earth.   Things might not be so great between the manager and Ken Williams the Gen. Mgr, but winning is a healing elixir.  The team knows it can compete and is finding more confidence as the wins mount.  There is talent in the pitching staff.  Now, if some hitters can pick it up, this team should be flirting with first place soon.   Maybe then Ozzie can get some credit.  But really, it is the players who are performing well.

Actually, they need to win some games before we can laud them.  They have the talent to win this thing, now they have to go out and prove it on the field.

Continue reading "Sox In Race To Win It"


Jeff Lewis

The Chicago cubs 2010 posted by Jeff Lewis

    After two consecutive years of winning the National League Central Division, the Chicago Cubs watched their hated rivals the St. Louis Cardinals win it. In order for this not happen again, the Cubs have some concerns they have to address in order to get back to their winning ways.

    First, they have to get rid of Milton Bradley. This guy was a cancer on and off the field. He was quoted saying that he does not like the Cubs fans. I am here to tell you that the feeling is mutual. The Cubs general manager, Jim Hendry, needs to get this guy off this team no matter how. If that involves eating majority of his contract in a trade, then that's the way it needs to be done. There have been a few teams mentioned in trade talks for Bradley. The Tampa Bay Rays, the San Diego Padres, and the team that keeps getting mentioned the most the Texas Rangers. It doesn't matter what team the Cubs get the deal done with, as long as this guy is off the team come next year.

    Second, the Cubs need a lead-off hitter and center-fielder. These two go together, because the Cubs can fill both of these holes with one player. Coco Crisp. Crisp is a great player. He has speed, he is a descent outfielder, and he can hit. He did have a down year last year, but he played for the Kansas City Royals. Put a good team behind Coco he will shine! Look what he did in Boston an few years ago. There have been rumors that the Cubs are in the Curtis Garnderson sweepstakes. Grandy would be a good fit with the Cubs, and probably benefit from the National League style of play. The one downside to getting Garndy is that he can't hit left-handed pitchers. So the Cubs would have to find someone to platoon with Grandy in center when they are facing a lefty. With the Cubs payroll, I don't see that happening. Crisp should be Hendry's guy, but we will see what happens.

Continue reading "The Chicago cubs 2010"


Ryan Turner

8-18 Football News and MLB Waiver Wire Deals posted by Ryan Turner

Favre1. Well, Brett Favre is back. Just as he started to drift out of our minds again, BAM, breaking news on ESPN: "Favre is a Viking." As obnoxious as this story has been for the last three years, it sure will make the Vikings vs. Packers games more interesting, especially the November 1st game when he returns to Lambeau Field. My guess is the reaction will be half cheers, half boos from the fans, all boos from Ted Thompson.

2. Another quarterback who has run rampant through the media lately is Jay Cutler. He needs to shut up right now if he even wants a chance at not topping the "Number One Douche Bag of All-Time" list. His latest remarks were after the Bears' first preseason game in which they played the Buffalo Bills. He criticized wide receiver Devin Hester for not breaking up an interception on an under-thrown pass. How about this Jay? Either make the passes in the first place or be gracious if Hester does break up the interception. If Hester can't fix your screw up, man up and take the blame yourself. That's where it belongs. Peyton Manning doesn't always own the blame after a loss, but the difference between Manning and Cutler is, Manning has the record to back up those types of comments. Cutler needs to earn the right to make those types of comments. He could be in danger of losing that locker room really quickly, if he hasn't already.

3. Marc Bulger broke his pinkie on his throwing hand during Monday's practice on a snap exchange from center Jason Brown. It's not a major injury and it should only keep him out for two weeks. However, this could open the door for backup Kyle Boller. The Ravens had some decent years with a strong defense and Boller managing games. Baltimore went 9-7 in 2004, Boller's only year in which he started all 16 games. 9-7 won the NFC West last year and it could do the same this year. I'm not suggesting the Rams' defense will be anywhere close to Baltimore's, but the NFC West isn't as strong as the AFC North typically is either.

Continue reading "8-18 Football News and MLB Waiver Wire Deals"


Joe Burgmeier

Boston Red Sox to MISS Playoffs in '09 posted by Joe Burgmeier

Sunday August 16, 2009 following their 4-3 loss at Texas, is the first time since April 21st that the Red Sox do not have a share of the wild-card or AL East lead.  Does this mean that Red Sox nation should give up hope for the playoffs or a world series birth this year?  Probably not.  However, they should.  Sorry Red Sox fans and band wagoners, your team simply is not going to make the playoffs this year with the emergence of the Rangers pitching staff and the dominance of the Yankees offense.

Now I assume most of the Boston fans are screaming and their faces are steaming with team colors and pride.  But we have to look at match ups in the remaining schedule.  The Red Sox have a tougher remaining schedule than the Wild Card leader Texas Rangers and the only other team with an outside chance in Tampa Bay, has a tougher remaining season schedule than either and it would be one of the more amazing stretch runs if they make it.  The Red Sox have 20 games left against teams that are trying to make the playoffs, this of course comes with 6 games against all of Boston's beloved Johnny Damon and the New York Yankees, 6 games against newly acquired division rival Tampa Bay, who play tough at home, and 3 games with the Angels.  Out of the 20 playoff type team games left, there are 8 interesting games between the White Sox and Red Sox.  I'm not going to predict any winners from these games {insert 2005 playoff flashback here} but will be some of the most intriguing match ups of the season as Chicago has bolstered their hitting and pitching with the addition of Alexei Rios and SP Jake Peavy.  Peavy has been rumored for a late August return or early September return and could be a factor.  The White Sox are doing everything they can to try to win the Central this season.

Continue reading "Boston Red Sox to MISS Playoffs in '09"


Travis Massey

Will this Ranger's team make the playoffs? posted by Travis Massey

After dropping two straight games to the last place A’s, we are left wondering just how much of a contender the Texas Rangers are for the post season. After falling to 59-46, the possibilities are looking more and more bleak.

 Many expected this team to be no different than previous teams from Arlington: mediocre pitching at best held together by tons of hits and homeruns. Lately it seems the opposite has been true, but it feels as if the normal end of season result is inevitable.

While the Ranger’s starting rotation, practically a revolving door of players, especially as of late, has done their part to make the team competitive, the same can’t be said for the offense.

            Since the All-Star break the Ranger’s bats have fallen silent, punctuated by scoring a whopping two runs over their last 18 innings.  Coupled with inconsistency at the closer position, this is starting to look like the Rangers we are used to seeing in August.

Of course one can hardly shoulder that whole problem on C.J. Wilson and Frankie Francisco alone. We can’t even get a consistent answer as to who IS the closer. One week it’s Wilson, the next it’s Francisco, sometimes it Jennings, while others it’s O’Day.

As if shuffling pitchers isn’t enough strain for the team, recent injuries turned into DL stints for Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz, two of the hottest hitting Rangers. Cruz is only one of three Rangers hitting over .300 since the All-Star Break, and Kinsler’s defense is sorely missed at second base. If Kinsler had been in that second game against Oakland, then we’d have definitely seen a Ranger victory. Instead, Joaquin Arias let a routine grounder sit for two long, allowing the A’s to get a base runner who should have been the third out of the inning, and win with a walkoff double.

Continue reading "Will this Ranger's team make the playoffs?"

Texas Rangers News

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Rangers-Indians Preview (The Associated Press)

Recent struggles combined with trading away a pair of key players appear to make it clear that the Cleveland Indians are looking toward the future. The Texas Rangers may already be doing that. The Indians will try to begin reversing their sluggish stretch Friday night by capitalizing on a three-game series against the team with the worst record in baseball. Cleveland (53-55) is third in the AL Central, 6 1/2 games back of first-place Detroit, and trails Toronto for the second wild-card spot by six. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Yankees-Rangers Preview(The Associated Press)

Despite nearly letting a six-run lead slip away, the New York Yankees are grateful they have a much-needed victory to build on. They'll look to do so in the decisive series finale against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night. Brett Gardner homered for the third time in two games, had three other hits and caught Adrian Beltre's fly ball at the warning track with the bases loaded for the final out of New York's 12-11 win Tuesday. The Yankees (55-51) broke out after totaling 10 runs while losing their previous three. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Rangers RF Rios leaves after getting hit on quad (The Associated Press)

Right fielder Alex Rios has left the Texas Rangers game after getting hit by a pitch on the left quad. The Rangers called the move precautionary after Rios left Wednesday night's game against the New York Yankees. Rios, considered a potential trade possibility before Thursday's non-waiver trading deadline, stayed in the game to run after getting hit by a pitch thrown by Hiroki Kuroda in the third inning. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Lewis pitches Rangers to 3-2 win (The SportsXchange)

For the first time since returning from a two-year recovery from an arm injury and hip replacement, an older Colby Lewis looked more like the old Colby Lewis. The Texas Rangers right-hander retired the last 13 hitters he faced in his strongest outing of the season and Texas took two of three games from the New York Yankees with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night. Lewis (7-8) gave up solo home runs in the first and third innings but otherwise was unscathed, setting down 17 of the last 19 batters he faced. He gave up two runs, four hits and two walks with four strikeouts in seven innings for Texas (43-65), which won its first series in more than a month. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Here's a video montage of Adrian Beltre reacting to people touching his head (Big League Stew)

Your browser does not support iframes. Allow us to take this very brief break from staring at the computer and/or television waiting for any kind of trade deadline news — we might even settle for what Jon Lester had for dinner — to bring you a special video presentation on Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. It's not a career retrospective, because Beltre's still going strong in his 17th big league season. It's not a top ten countdown of his greatest defensive plays, because that would obviously require much longer than the 23 seconds allotted. It's not even a video of Beltre and his son taking batting practice at Globe Life Park, although we wouldn't complain about that either . No, this video is actually a history lesson on just how little Adrian Beltre appreciates having his head touched by anyone, whether it be a teammate, an opponent or basically any human being walking the face of the earth. He does not like it. He may harm you if you try, so it's necessary that you watch this video for these three important reasons: It could save your life If this video prevents one person considering touching Beltre's head from going through with it and experiencing his glove-throwing, cup-checking wrath , it will be worth it. It's educational Some people may have thought this was only a recent issue that started with the Texas Rangers and, more specifically , with teammate Elvis Andrus . As we see here, it actually existed during his 2010 stint with the Boston Red Sox, and we believe it goes back a lot further than that. It's hilarious Forget the first two. This is what it's all about, especially if you're not one of those attempting to irritate Beltre. You might especially enjoy Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano teaming up on him before the AL's team picture at the All-Star game. That's obviously the best way to get one over on Adrian Beltre, though we're sure he'll get revenge somewhere down the road. Likely when they least expect it.  Isn't that right, Mr. Andrus?   BLS H/N: Cut 4 More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813 [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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