Hello, all!!! I am now out of the funk that has affected my blogging for the last 2 months, and I’m resuming my blog! I’m sure I lost a bunch of followers during my hiatus, so I would like to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for reading and sincerely apologize for my absence.
Okay, now to the baseball stuff!! The MLB baseball season began about 6 weeks ago, so of course I’ve already been to 5 games. The Rangers got off to a white-hot 9-1 start, but then injuries started to take a toll.
Tommy Hunter, Brandon Webb, Omar Beltre, Scott Feldman, and Eric Hurley all started the season on the DL and have not rejoined the team yet. Tommy was on the road to recovery when he suffered a Grade 1 groin strain during a rehab start on Monday, May 10, setting him back a few weeks. Brandon Webb is in extended Spring Training, and he’s not expected to join the Rangers until the 2nd half of the season.
Josh Hamilton has been out since April 12 with a fracture in his right shoulder, and he should be out for another 2-3 weeks. The funny thing about his injury (funny-strange, not funny-haha) is that he hurt himself while sliding headfirst into home plate.
Ron Washington and the Rangers’ higher-ups seem to think that Josh only injures himself by running into walls in center field, but even limiting Josh to a DH role wouldn’t have stopped this injury. He just plays all-out instinctual baseball. In the heat of the moment, he doesn’t think ‘Is this going to hurt me and keep me out of the lineup?’ He just goes for it. And it’s hard to be mad at the guy for following his instincts, especially because he plays some beautiful baseball. But I sure do miss him.
Nelson Cruz went on the 15-day DL on May 7 retroactive to May 4, so he should be eligible to come back on May 19. Having Nelly and Josh out has put a big fat hole in our lineup, but other guys are starting to step up. More on that later.
Alexi Ogando has been filling in as a starter for the Rangers this season, and he’s been surprisingly awesome! But he has a recurrent blister on his right hand that has been giving him trouble, so the Rangers skipped Ogando in the rotation once to give the blister time to heal. He’s scheduled to make his first start in 10 days tomorrow night (May 13) opposite Jered Weaver and the Angels.
Darren O’Day has been having trouble with his hip for a long time, and it finally got to the point where he had to say “enough is enough.” Turns out he had a partially torn labrum in his left hip, so he had to have surgery on April 28 and he went on the 60-day DL.
Mason Tobin was placed on the 60-day DL on April 20 due to “right ulnar collateral ligament inflammation.” Wow, that’s a mouthful. But basically, it means that he had Tommy John surgery 2 years ago and hasn’t fully recovered yet.
Neftali Feliz went on the 15-day DL because of a sore shoulder, but he’s back now and as effective as ever. It was kind of foreboding though, because if he’s already having shoulder problems at such a young age, what does that mean for his future? Well, hopefully it’s not a harbinger of things to come!
The Rangers were starting to look pretty bad, and they even dropped to a .500 record on May 10th for the first time in over a year. But I think they may have turned it around.
They’ve been showing more promise in the last few games, and I’m hoping that the luck that Michael Young, Julio Borbon, Mitch Moreland and Craig Gentry have found lately will stick around.
I went to the game this past Tuesday (the one with the hour-long rain delay), and on the way there I was talking with my dad about how I don’t like that Ron Washington seems to get stuck with his lineups. “Sometimes you just need to shake things up and see what happens,” I said. “I wish he would be more open about changing up the lineup.”
My dad’s advice was that I blog about it, because he has hated my hiatus. But that was the first time that I actually thought, ‘You know, I should start blogging again.’
Anyway, when Chuck Morgan read the batting lineup right before the start of the game, my eyebrows shot up and my mouth went into a little “o” shape. “He changed thing up!!” I said to my dad, excited to see how things worked out.
By the time of the rain delay, it was already apparent that the new lineup was working out well. The Rangers were already up 5-0! They ended up winning the game 7-2.
Yesterday’s game was rained out in the top of the 4th inning, but the Rangers were leading the A’s 7-0 before the skies opened up. Unfortunately, they called the game, meaning that those 7 run don’t officially count, including Mitch Moreland’s first ever big league grand slam.
Even though the game doesn’t count, I still think the hits/RBIs/innings pitched/etc. should count. I mean, just because the game got rained out, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a big league at-bat with big league results. I just think it’s not fair that Moreland’s first grand slam got taken away. Poor guy!
Okay, I’ve got one more thing I have to tell you before I wrap things up. Today is actually my birthday, and my dad gave me my birthday present a little bit early this year. I work M-F, but my dad is retired and only works on the weekends. So that makes it hard for us to hang out sometimes.
But we’ve discovered that Friday nights are good times for us to get together. So a regular Friday night during baseball season usually involves me driving out to my dad’s, pizza, and the Rangers’ game.
Last Friday was the Rangers vs. the Yankees, and dad decided during one of the commercial breaks to give me my birthday present a little early. He pulled out a long skinny box, and I immediately joked “Oh, is it another Michael Young commemerative bat?”
[I don't know if you guys remember or not, but one of my Christmas presents from my dad was one of 500 Michael Young bats to commemerating when he became the all-time Rangers hits leader]
When I opened the box, I discovered that it was indeed a bat, but it was wrapped in bubble wrap and it had a tube sock on the barrel. I started to whip off the sock, but my dad stopped me and told me to take it off slowly and read it out loud.
The first thing I saw was “Louisville Slugger.” Well, duh.
Then I saw that it said “Number 17 of 500.” So it was another commemerative bat!
Then I saw the words “Josh Hamilton.” It was a bat to commemerate him winning the AL MVP award and winning a batting title in 2010! But that’s not all…
It was signed by Josh Hamilton in blue Sharpie!!
After I oohed and ahhed for a few minutes, I said “Now I’ll have to get a display case for this so that I can show it off.” “Actually…” he began…
Dad went back behind the couch and came out with another log skinny box, but this one was about twice as fat as the bat. “No way!!” I said.
“They threw it in for free!” Dad said. “Uh-uh, no they didn’t,” I argued. “Oh yes they did!” he exclaimed.
[Do you understand yet that I was really excited? That we were both really excited?? Because I can only add so many exclamation points before it starts getting ridiculous.]
So yeah, I like my present. I didn’t put the bat down all night. I told dad, “You know you’re never going to top this, right?” “Yeah, it’s all downhill from here,” he agreed.
“This is going to get you a lot of credit. You’ve now been upgraded from a crappy nursing home to a solid mid-level place,” I told him.
He got a big belly laugh out of that.
Okay, that’s it. Our next game will be on Monday, May 23, which also happens to be the day when a Josh Hamilton figurine is the give-away. Should be fun!
Days ’til my next game: 11
Overall Rangers’ record: 18-18
My Rangers’ record: 4-1