Category Archives: Rangers Evidence

Rangers Evidence: More Proof the Rudy Jaramillo is the Most Valuable Man in the Rangers Organization

Just read what Marlon Byrd had to say about Rudy Jaramillo.

Again, why do we draft pitchers instead of hitters that Rudy can turn into GMJs and DeRosas who could command pitching in return via trades?

Rudy is THE FRANCHISE!

Rangers Evidence: Go Loe!

Would the real Kameron Loe please stand up?

What a difference three weeks can make!  Back on June 3rd, I was about ready to write off K Loe as a future bullpen assett at best, but realized that if ever a team could be patient with young pitchers, the current Rangers are it (https://rangersorrobbers.wordpress.com/2007/06/03/fighting-to-be-patient-with-rangers-pitchers). 

Until this month, Loe had only seen the win column once all season – in his first start back on April 21.  Nine mostly bad starts after that, his era ballooned up to 7.40 on June 7 when he gave up 9 runs in only 2.2 innings to the Detroit Tigers at home in the Ballpark.  And even “Mr. Optimism” Ron Washington was losing patience with Loe.

But injuries to other pitchers ensured that Loe kept getting starts.  And since then, Loe’s won three straight, including a gem against the same Tigers tonight in Detroit, and his era is an amazing 2.07 over 21.2 innings in those three starts.

This is looking earily like the Loe we saw hints of in ’05 and Spring Training.  Loe becomming a bonified starter who can win more than lose could become the biggest story this side of Marlon Byrd for the Rangers this year.

Rangers Evidence: WHAT A GAME!

Just had to pop on and say… wow!  Kinsler just hit a homer in the bottom of the 9th to tie it up again after the Rangers rallied for 4 in the 8th to tie it at 7 but Gagne gave up 2 in the top of the 9th.  Then Super-Byrd pinch hits and homers, Vazquez and Lofton battle but get out, and Kinsler ties with a homer.

Young strikes out to send it to extra innings.  This is why we watch!  Love it!

MORNING AFTER UPDATE – and the 10th inning is why it can be such torture to be a Rangers fan. 

Rangers Evidence: Great Game Tonight! & It’s a Plane, It’s Superman, It’s a Byrd!

Hats off to McCarthy for a solid start and Benoit for 3 innings of 1 hit ball!  That would have been plenty to be excited about.

But then the bottom of the order (which makes it extra phenomenal) starts a 2-out, bottom-of-the-ninth rally against former teammate and recently unhittable Francisco Cordero in which six consecutive batters – Wilkerson, Vazquez, Laird, Lofton, Byrd and Young – all hit singles to cap a 4-run comeback and win 4-3!  That’s awesome!

The other thing that’s awesome is Marlon Byrd of late!  His AB tonight saw him foul off 3 pitches after falling behind 0-2, and then singling to right off Cordero to drive in the game-tying run!  In 14 games played this season since getting the nod May 26, Byrd has a hit in all but 2 games, has a .377 average with 5 multi-hit games, and a .514 OBP through 8 games in June.  And this has generally been against teams with solid pitching – DET, OAK, BOS, MIL, SEA.  That and an outstanding defensive play tonight and in general are looking like the brightest spot for this team right now.

But, more importantly, a win like this is the type of win this team needs.  Younger guys stepped up to get it done.  Underachievers contributed to scratch out a win.  Finally, the team caught some breaks, and they did it with Tex out.

That means the team has a chance on Sunday to tie a season-high win streak of 3 games.  Maybe tonight’s gritty performance will motivate Padilla to get into the bulldog mindset he needs to find to succees Sunday.  And if they do, don’t look now, but the Rangers will have a winning record for June (5-4) after having won two consecutive series against two tough teams – DET & MIL.

Go Rangers!

Rangers Evidence: K Loe KO’s Water Cooler

Things are so bad for Rangers fans right now that I thought I’d post something positive.

I heard a report last week that after some errors and misplaced pitches in his last start Kameron Loe took some frustrations out on a water cooler in the dugout, and said some things about their performance not cutting it.  I love that!

Here’s a guy who’s trying – for like the fifth time – to establish himself as a major league starting pitcher.  I’ve never heard, and can’t really imagine, that he’s some kind of leader on the team.  But apparently, he was passionate enough about wanting himself and the defense to play better that he had to release some anger onto a cooler.  Cool!  That at least shows that he cares. 

And, while the real test will be to see how long they continue to care if the season continues to be pathetic, I believe that the guys on this Rangers team care.  In fact, that’s been an admirable trait of this team for years.  Despite the Rangers franchise’s complete lack of anything resembling a winning tradition – or really any tradition at all other than sub-par starting pitching and generally above-par hitting – the players always seem to care.  I can’t remember many guys pulling a “Rany Moss” and mailing in a game or a season when they’ve had plenty of reason to.

But unfortunately, competitive integrity and character alone can’t overcome ingenuous, non-committed ownership/management.  I’d be super pumped if I heard a report that – in a fit of frustration over bad trades, poor signings, continued loosing and no hope for a championship season within site – Tom Hicks threw some punches at his Cognac bar, sending some Louis XIII flying across the owner’s suite.  Now that would give me some some hope!

Rangers Evidence: Last Night’s Game: That’s More Like It!

Last night’s game displayed many of the things we expected to see more of this season.  Things the Rangers need to continue to turn things around.

Back-of-the-rotation pitcher Mike Wood allowed 4 earned runs over 4 innings (plus one unearned) – on 7 hits and one walk.  That will suffice more often than not.  And if he can avoid the 3 long balls, it would more than suffice.

Then the Daniels-labelled “competitive advantage” bullpen took over for 5 innings of 6 hit, 1 run baseball.  They did their job of keeping the game winnable – in fact, they kept it tied up for the final three innings as, for the first time all season, Otsuka and Gagne made it a 7-inning game for the opponent’s offense by slamming the door shut in the 8th and 9th innings.

Meanwhile, the same players that have been killing the team on offense and defense (Wilkerson, Laird and Cruz – see Saturday’s Morning News wrap up for details of that ugly outing), stepped up big time.  Maybe they knew they were approaching a now or off-to-OKC with you point and responded well, as Wilkerson homered, Laird scored a run and of course, Cruz woke up at a great time to hit his first HR of the season – a solo, walk-off shot in the 9th.

Almost everything about yesterday’s game is very encouraging – most especially that it came against the Angels.

And while one game does not make a season, it can help a team turn a corner.  Let’s hope that today’s contest shows more evidence that the Rangers are ready to turn the corner and make a run at a very winnable division, because I still believe it’s now or never.  If the Rangers are not pulling close to the front of the pack by the end of May, it will be time to re-assess the team’s goals for the season: win this year – or build for a real championship run in 2008 (or more liekly, 2009)?

Rangers Evidence: Second Witness – Rudy Jaramillo

While an 0-3 start in Anaheim has me leaning toward a Robbers Evidence post, I decided to focus on a bright spot and write a Rangers Evidence post (click About above for more on what that’s about).

Rudy Jaramillo stands as a strong witness supporting that the true soul of this franchise is that of a Ranger – relentlessly fighting for victory.  That this team has kept him (and paid well to do so) says something, as does Rudy’s seeming ability to produce above average Major League hitters almost at will. 

If hitting a baseball is, as many say and I believe, one of the hardest things to do in sports, then teaching someone to do it with well must be the hardest coaching job in sports.  Dozens of past and present sluggers prove that Rudy is the best (perhaps ever) hitting coach in the game – and you don’t become the best at something without a relentless pursuit of excellence. 

At least two batting titles and 3 MVP awards should be largely attributed to Rudy – and those are just the ones guys won while still with Rudy, not counting the batting accolades won by players who learned from Rudy and moved on to other teams.

If everyone in the organization dedicated themselves to the pursuit of excellence the way Rudy has, then there would be no debate about the character of the Rangers franchise.