Tag Archives: Texas Rangers

My National League picks for the 2014 baseball season

These picks and $3 will get you a coffee and donut at Dunkin’ Donuts:

East

1. Atlanta – Top of a weak heap

2. Washington – They’ll make it interesting

3. New York – Struggle, they will

4. Philadelphia – It’ll be a long summer

5. Marlins – It’s always a long summer

Central

1. St. Louis – The team to beat in the NL

2. Piitsburgh – Another fine year

3. Cincinnati – Missing it by “this much”

4. Chicago – Friendly confines but little more

5. Milwaukee – It pains me to place them here

West

1. Los Angeles – It pains me to place them here

2. Diamondbacks – On the upswing

3. San Francisco – Rotation is beginning to fade

4. San Diego – This will be a tight race; they could go higher

5. Colorado – Another year or two of scraping bottom

At the risk of having all my fellow Giants fans bail forever, I’m picking the Dodgers to take the NL pennant and (brighten up, Bay Area!) lose to the Rangers in the World Series.

Advertisements

My Amerian League picks for the 2014 baseball season

These picks and $4.50 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks:

East

1. Boston — Sizemore, win more

2. New York — A close second

3. Tampa Bay — Another “so close” season

4. Baltimore — One of these years, but not 2014

5. Toronto — Still the best team in Canada

Central

1. Detroit — Too much talent

2. Cleveland — Playoffs again, if briefly

3. Kansas City — Better, but not best

4. Chicago — Poor

5. Minnesota — Poorer

West

1. Rangers — Too many bats not to prevail

2. Oakland — All-around strength

3. Los Angeles — Persistent under-achievers

4. Houston — Wild hunch; I may be the only one on the planet not to pick them last

5. Mariners — Sorry and soggy year ahead

I predict the Rangers will make it to the World Series and win the whole shootin’ match, to use Texas phraseology.

Link

From the mouths of babes: My daddy is going to be an Inidan

From the mouths of babes: My daddy is going to be an Inidan

There’s a delightful story this morning off the AP wire about how the 5-year-old daughter of David Murphy spilled the beans on her father signing with the Cleveland Indians. According to the story, Indians General Manager Chris Antonelli relates how little Faith Murphy was at day care in Texas learning about Thanksgiving. The talk turned to pilgrims and Indians, and that’s when the girl informed people, “My daddy is going to be an Indian.”

Manager of the year in baseball? Bob Melvin

Who was the best manager in baseball in 2012? I’m going with Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics.

My criteria are twofold: I go with the skipper whose team is a winner and whose team achieved its success in disproportion to its expectations and talent.

By those standards, Melvin is a slam dunk (and I apologize for using a basketball term).

Think about it. Did anyone seriously believe as the season started that the Oakland Athletics could make a serious run at the America League West title given the powerhouse teams assembled by the defending champs in Texas and the Pujols-improved Angels?

Nope.

Did anyone seriously think after the first two months of the season that the A’s could turn it around and contend for the division title?

No way.

Did anyone seriously think with about a month to go that Oakland — improbably staying afloat in the wild card race — would be able to overtake the Rangers and emerge as division champions?

No siree, Bob.

So here’s my ballot for the BBA Connie Mack Award:

1. Bob Melvin, Oakland

2. Buck Showalter, Baltimore (You can make a case for him as No 1, certainly, but I give Melvin the edge for overcoming even lower expectations than the birds had)

3. Bruce Bochy, San Francisco (I know, I know. I’m a Giants fan. But look how the Giants responded when Melky Cabrera went away for steroids and the Dodgers spent their way to a title except they ended up eating the G-men’s dust.)

Honorable mention: Joe Girardi, who probably was a contender for the Nobel Prize in medicine this year, given all the Yankees’ injuries; Davey Johnson, because he brought the Nationals to the playoffs and the best record in the NL.

 

 

 

Baltimore-Washington wins the 2012 Major League Baseball metro-area title

Which metro area had the most successful baseball season? After listening to the Athletics overtake the Rangers on my way home from work last evening, I was all set to declare the Bay Area the cross-league, total victory champions.

But then I remembered that Baltimore-Washington is eligible, and a check of the standings this morning shows the Orioles and Nationals with a combined 191 victories. That’s three better than the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s at 188.

Third place goes to Los Angeles, with the Angels and Dodgers piling up 175 wins. The New York metropolitan area checks in at fourth with 169 wins for the Yankees and Mets. And in fifth, the White Sox and the wretched Cubs trailed with a mere 146 victories, well below the .500 mark of 162.

Does anyone else on the planet care about this matter? I doubt it.

What people do care about is predictions on who will meet in the World Series.

I’d love to see an all orange and black series with the Orioles facing the Giants, and another Bay Bridge series between the Giants and A’s would be fun.

No team is a lock to make it out of its first round, let alone get to the Series. Acknowledging that the playoffs are all the more so a crap shoot with the new wild card format, I’ll pick the Giants to square off against the Yankees.

Another magic night in Baltimore: Josh Hamilton clouts four home runs

When I heard last night that Josh Hamilton hadĀ hit four home runs in Baltimore, the Cleveland Indians genetic coding in my brain lit up. It was in Baltimore back on June 10, 1959, when Rocky Colavito knocked out four homers against the Orioles at old Memorial Stadium.

Hamilton homered twice, doubled, then homered twice more as the Texas Rangers pounded the Orioles 10-3. Colavito hit his four homers in successive at bats, and the Baltimore Sun hasĀ a wonderful account of it on the Orioles Insider blog.

I was a toddler when Rocky had his big night and likely was sound asleep when he circled the bases for the fourth time. Yet it was one of the earliest stories about Indians’ history I can recall related to me by my father.

Hamilton and Colavito are among just 16 major leaguers to hit four homers in a single game. That’s rarer than pitching a perfect game — an outstanding accomplishment.

Missing the Washington Senators

A national touring production of “Damn Yankees” is swinging by the Modesto area, and the news dredged up some unexpected pleasant memories. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Senators, and I think I know why.

Growing up an Indians fan in the 60s, I knew that if I went to a game at Cleveland Stadium, the odds were always better for a Tribe win if the Senators were in town. But it goes deeper than that.

With the Nationals in our nation’s capitol, the Senators take on a patina of old-timey cool. There are two ex-Senators clubs, of course: the Twins and Rangers, each created when the original teams fled the District for greener (as in money) pastures.

The franchise that is now the Twins was the one on which “Damn Yankees” is based. Even though I was born before they headed to the Twin Cities, I have no memory of that club. But the Texas-bound Rangers that formed as an expansion team in ’61 I knew well, and that team seemed damned to an eternity of being “last in the Amerian League,” as the saying goes.

I’ve just looked over the Washington Nationals roster, and I don’t find enough recognizable talent to project anything more than a mediocre team in 2012. I’d like for the Nationals to succeed, though, and break that ancient curse.