Friday, October 30, 2009

Replacing Rudy.

The Rangers announced late yesterday that they are down to four finalists to replace Rudy Jaramillo as hitting coach.

Rusty Greer, shown here on card number 513 of the 1995 Donruss set, is probably the fan favorite but is likely the dark horse of the bunch. Rusty was a Ranger from 1994 to 2002. He played his entire career for Texas and was wildly popular with the fans. He also managed a career .305 batting average with a .387 on base percentage. Rusty has never been a hitting coach though and has never coached above the college level.

Clint Hurdle is interested in the job after getting fired as manager by the Rockies early this season. Before becoming Colorado's manager Clint was their hitting coach from 1997-2002.

Thad Bosley was the A's hitting coach from 1999-2002. This would have been at the same time Ron Washington was on the Oakland coaching staff. Bosley has a Rangers connection after logging the final two seasons of his career with them in 1989 and 1990.

Gerald Perry is the fourth candidate. He has been a hitting coach since 2000 for a total of four different teams. He is looking for work after getting sacked by the Cubs in June.

So it's down to the final four. These guys will all get face-to-face interviews. Who will get the job? Any thoughts?

Belated post.

Sorry about not posting last night. Had a work function in the evening and then watched the last part of game two of the World Series before running out of gas. Please consider this to be yesterday's post.

Have to post a card of Mark Teixeira as much as I would rather put one up to celebrate a Phillies win. Money Man, shown here with a piece of his jersey in Upper Deck's 2005 Game Jersey set, hit a solo home run off Pedro Martinez to tie the game in the fourth inning. A later shot by Hideki Matsui would give The Empire a one run lead and that would be all they would need. They did tack on an insurance run in the seventh though.

At least the 3-1 game wasn't the thumping the Phillies handed the Yankees in the first game. Hopefully the momentum hasn't swung and the Phils will be able to take advantage of being at home tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New hope.

In honor of the Phillies' 6-1 victory in game one of the World Series I am posting Jamie Moyer's 1991 Score card, number 437 in the set. I know Jamie is out hurt for the Series but he is the only former Ranger represented on the Phils that I am aware of.*

Anyway, good game guys. Awesome pitching performance by Cliff Lee and the offense never said die either. Gotta tighten up that ninth inning defense a little though or the Empire will strike back.

All the same, it did my heart good to see the Yanks trounced in their home park. Perhaps Philly can pull it off.

*Thanks to reader Raymond, I have been corrected. There are at least two other former Rangers with the Phillies. One is Chan Ho Park whom I have previously mentioned in connection with this post-season. Oops.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1972 Topps - Dave Nelson.

Not much going on as the baseball world waits for the World Series to kick off. Seeing as it had been awhile since we visited 1972 I thought this would be an opportune time to do so. Today we see Dave Nelson on card number 529 of the set.

The Senators acquired Dave in a trade in December of 1969 with the Indians. That trade also brought in Horacio Pina and Ron Law. Prior to that time Dave had been playing sporadically for Cleveland in 1968 and '69. Once with the Senators he bounced in and out of the minors in 1970 and '71. His most notable accomplishment with Washington was that he scored the last run ever in RFK stadium.

In 1972 Nelson made the move to Texas with the club and appeared in a career high 145 games, most of them at third base. He would have 51 stolen bases that year, second in the American league. He would also lead the league in times caught stealing with 17. He started to get a reputation for speed on the basepaths. Dave also improved significantly in runs scored and walks taken.

Dave's card contains another fine example of Topps' mediocre airbrushing skills. As bad as his cap looks though, it doesn't hold a candle to Hal King's cover. Looking ahead, there are only five more cards left that I haven't posted from the 1972 Topps team set.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yanks down Angels.

Darren Oliver was flawless last night against the Yankees. Oliver, seen here on card number 153 of the 1995 Upper Deck set, came in with the bases loaded and Jorge Posada at the plate. He managed a double play ball to get out of the inning. Darren then pitched two more scoreless innings to keep Anaheim in the game. In the end it didn't matter much though as the Yankees won 5-2 to eliminate the Angels.

This leaves the Phillies as baseball's last hope to avoid a Yankees' championship. If they fail then we will all be condemned to hearing about how great the Yankees are until the end of the 2010 World Series. Go Phils!

In other baseball news, the Cardinals have resigned Tony La Russa as their manager. Only one coaching position will change and that will be the hitting coach. Mark McGwire will be returning from exile to fill the position. I like this news. My brother was a big McGwire fan growing up and I always liked Big Mac. He probably has a lot to pass on to young players. McGwire plus La Russa could make the Cards an even more dangerous team than they have been.

Before anyone makes any accusations against Mark please be prepared to bring forth proof of wrong-doing or cheating. Remember that the Mitchell report cleared him and that the only person to publicly accuse him of PED use was Jose Canseco. Canseco was accurate with a lot of his names but not all of them. He also has a serious axe to grind against McGwire since he felt the A's slighted him by trading him to keep McGwire. Merely not wanting to discuss the issue with a bunch of overreaching, grandstanding politicians is not proof of guilt.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I like this card, number 424 in the 1999 Pacific set. Kind of surprising really. Pacific never did much for me and I didn't even notice them leaving the baseball card scene. I didn't like the red uniforms, either the first time around or this time. I only have a vague recollection of Tommy Goodwin with the team.

In spite of all of this, I like the card. I like the hustle and the headfirst slide. The dirt kicking up ahead of Tommy as he grabs the bag. The concentrated set of the mouth.

I would like to imagine he is swiping second or third but this is likely taking place at first as he dives back in under a pick-off attempt. Either way, it is a nice shot. Even if you can't see Tommy's eyes.

Late post.

Sorry this post is after midnight. Please consider it as October 23rd's post.

Not much to report today. Elvis Andrus was named as the Rangers top rookie. Not much surprise there.

Decided to post card number 375 in the 2009 Upper Deck set for several reasons. First, I just got the card so it is downstairs instead of up with the rest of my collection and I really don't feel up to running up and getting a different card. Second, I just realized I haven't posted a 2009 Upper Deck card until this one. Third, I really liked these uniforms.

I always liked the vest style uniforms and was glad when Texas went to them. In my opinion the gray ones looked better than the home whites. One of the things I was bummed about with the new uniforms this past year was the change away from the vests. In my view the vests are a nice looking throwback design. Kinsler wearing his socks high helps complete the look.

So, vests or regular jerseys? Which would you go with if you were in charge of uniform design?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Angels buy plane tickets back to NY.

So the Angels stayed alive tonight, but just barely, to avoid elimination in the ALCS. In spite of Mark Teixeira's bashing, the Halos are sending the series back to New York.

Money Man, seen here on card number 43 of the 2005 Bowman game-used set, went 2-for-5 with three RBI. (Had to post a Yankee card since I don't have either an auto or game-used card of an Angels player.) His RBI came at a critical time and helped spark the Yankee's six run seventh inning.

The Angels were able to come back though against The Empire's bullpen after knocking out starter A.J. Burnett. That means that game six will be played in New York on Saturday. I would like to see Anaheim pull off a humiliating defeat of the Yankees in the series but I am doubting that it will happen. Two straight in The Belly of the Beast in October is a tall order indeed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Phils, Yanks push opponents to edge.

Sorry about the lack of posts. Had house guests the past couple of days and so time got short.

Since I last posted the Phillies and Yankees have taken commanding 3-1 leads in their respective series. The Phils are trying tonight to finish off the Dodgers. Currently they are in the bottom of the fourth inning and leading the Dodgers 4-2.

The Yankees try to finish off the Angels tomorrow. Thus far on of the Angels' biggest problems has been Alex Rodriguez's bat. The Halos have to stop Alex, seen here on card number 1 of the 2001 Absolute Memorabilia set. If he can keep bombing Anaheim pitching the series may end tomorrow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Recent arrival.

Spent the afternoon after work trying to get the house ready for family coming to visit and then got called into work for a couple of hours this evening. I am sorry to say that left me with little time to get a post together.

Due to the time constraints I will leave you with this autographed 1983 Topps Charlie Hough card. I mailed this card to Mr. Hough on September 21st and asked him to sign it. He did so and it came back today.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dodgers even series with Phils.

Vicente Padilla, seen here on his 2007 Upper Deck First Edition card, pitched 7.1 innings tonight in L.A. and only gave up one run. Amazingly enough he also hit no batters. What's wrong with this guy? Anyway, that performance was enough to get him a no decision as the Dodgers rallied in the eighth inning to down the Phillies 2-1. Chan Ho Park gave up the winning Dodger run. I wonder if the team is rethinking his addition to the NLCS roster. The series is now tied at one game apiece and the teams will be heading to Philly tomorrow.

On the other coast, the Yankees are currently leading the Angels 4-1 in the seventh inning. Anaheim has to win one in New York if they want to take the ALCS.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Last minute roster moves for the NLCS.

So Chan Ho Park, shown here on card number CP of the 2004 Topps set, made the NLCS Roster. The Phillies dropped Brett Myers from their roster to make room for Park. Apologies to Ranger fans for today's card but coming up with game-used or auto cards of former Rangers' players involved in the post-season is not always easy.

Heading into the game tonight the Dodgers added Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Elbert. Jeff Weaver and Jon Garland got the axe to make room.

Not being a regular follower of either team I am unsure about these moves. On the surface I question dropping Meyers for Park but have no idea on the Dodgers' moves. Any fans of the clubs care to add their thoughts?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Help wanted.

So hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo turned down the Rangers offer for next year and will be leaving the organization. Rudy has been with Texas for 15 seasons and is regarded by many as one of the best hitting coaches in the Bigs. He wanted a multi-year contract though and Texas only offered one year so he is hitting the road.

Now comes the sweepstakes as to who might replace him. Current first base coach Gary Pettis has been mentioned, as have former MLB hitting coaches Thad Bosley (a Ranger in 1989 and 1990) and Gerald Perry.

It seems that Scott Coolbaugh might also be a possibility. Coolbaugh, seen here on card number 612 of the 1990 Score set, is currently the OKC Redhawks hitting coach. Some credit Scott with turning Chris Davis around when he was sent down to Triple A this season. Others say it was just the change of pressure that did the trick.

Two things are certain. One is that the Rangers need a new hitting coach. The other is that it will be interesting to see what happens and who ends up with the job.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Say what?

The Phillies website is reporting that Chan Ho Park will be traveling with the team to L.A. and is a possibility to be added to the roster prior to the NLCS. No word on who will be dropped if Park makes the team. Didn't Park get shelled by the Phillies last year when he was playing for the Dodgers? I'll leave you to look at this 2002 Topps All-World Team card, number AW-25, of Chan and consider the possibilities.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Then there were five.

The Twins and the Red Sox joined the Cardinals at home on Sunday night. Literally and figuratively. Both teams were back at home in their series and both were eliminated at the end of sweeps. This leaves five teams still alive in the playoffs. Three sweeps in four series. Been kind of a boring post-season so far.

So now the Yankees are slated to face off with the Angels in the ALCS while the Dodgers still await the outcome of the Phillies/Rockies series. Philly managed a win last night to take the lead in the series 2-1 and are leading the Rockies 2-1 in game four right now. Anything could happen though.

As the Yankees finished up their sweep of the Twins Jerry Hairston was sent in to pinch run for DH Hideki Matsui. Jerry, shown here on card number 222 of the 2007 Upper Deck set, didn't do anything spectacular. He didn't even score a run. What he did do was make his post-season debut. After 14 Big League seasons and over a thousand games played he finally made it. Sorry you had to do it as a bad guy Jerry.

So, who are you liking in the League Championship Series? For the ALCS I am going to have to pull for the Halos. Hope they have the juice to down The Evil Empire. Seeing them win and the Dodgers take the NLCS would be cool it seems. A freeway series for the first time would be something to see.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

One down...

It pains me to post this 2007 Topps Texas Rangers card of Vicente Padilla. To post card number TEX6 in this set is to post a card of one of the former Rangers that I was least upset to see go. I have to do it though in order to give credit where credit is due.

Vicente pitched seven scoreless innings tonight to send the Dodgers to a first round sweep of the Cardinals. Amazingly Vicente didn't hit any batters and seemed to cause no problems with his teammates. If he could have done that for Texas he might have been in the playoffs with a different team.

One team out of the playoffs but there should be three more joining them soon. Just too bad the Cardinals had to go first.

As an aside, the Phillies/Rockies series is tied up at one win apiece and game three was delayed until tomorrow due to snow. That means that the Dodgers will have to wait several days before their opponent in the next round is decided. It also means that opponent will likely have a shorter layoff between series. Will this lull work to the Dodgers' advantage or disadvantage? Why?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Twins, Cards on edge of going home.

So the Twins and Cardinals are dancing on a razor edge right now. Both are two games down in their best of five series. At least both are headed home rather than to their opponent's parks.

New York's win tonight over the Twins was almost all former Rangers. Alex Rodriguez picked up three RBI while Mark Teixeira picked up the fourth to conclude the Bombers' scoring. Teixeira, pictured here on card number LC-18 of the 2006 Fleer Lumber Company subset, managed to knock a walk-off homer for the Yanks in the eleventh inning. Final score, 4-3 in favor of The Evil Empire.

Right now the Angels have just taken a 2-1 lead over the Red Sox in the seventh inning of game two of their series. With their first game win it seems that the Halos have finally figured out how to handle the BoSox in the post-season.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Short post.

Eight hours of work, two hours of kiddo-watching, and four hours of class have left me with little time to post today.

With that in mind, I give you the quick rundown. Rockies win. Cardinals lose. Anaheim leads. There you have it.

For today's card I give you this 2002 Bowman's Best Certified Autograph issue card of Mario Ramos. Mario's 13 inning career was almost as short as this post. His 6.23 ERA may have been prettier but that is probably saying more about the post than Mario's performance.

I do apologize for posting and running but I will try and do better tomorrow. Thanks for hanging in there.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A cloud rises in the East.

So the post-season has begun. The Phillies jumped on top of the Rockies 5-1 to take the lead in their series. Good news for the readers who want to see the Rox swept. Right now the Dodgers are leading the Cardinals 2-1 in the second inning. The Angels/Red Sox series starts tomorrow.

The most disturbing development by far occurred in New York as the Yankees jumped on the Twins 7-2. Former Ranger Alex Rodriguez, shown here his 2003 Donruss Estrellas Estrellas card, number E-2, had a nice night at the plate. He helped advance The Evil Empire with a 2-for-4 night with two RBI and a run scored.

This does not bode well for my hopes of seeing the Yanks exit the playoffs in the first round. Perhaps this is just a small cloud in the Twins sky and they will be able to defeat the darkness.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Twins win!

So the Tigers gave the Twins a run for their money but just couldn't quite get it done. In 12 innings of great ball Minnesota managed to edge Gerald Laird's Tigers 6-5 to take the A.L. West title. That gives the Twins a date tomorrow in the Bronx against the Yankees. Good luck against The Evil Empire guys.

Looking at the comments to the previous post I see that most of you were pulling for the Twins with Frank being the lone Tiger vote. Jim came eerily close to an exact prediction of the outcome. He got the walk-off single right but predicted Nick Punto rather than Alexi Casilla. Wow Jim, if the old crystal ball hadn't been a little foggy you would have nailed it.

As for Laird, shown here on card number 412 of the 2007 Topps set, he had a terrible night tonight. 0-for-6 at the plate with two strikeouts and grounding into a double play. The ten runners he left on base in a one run loss must rankle. Gotta feel bad for the guy.

Three of the four division series take off tomorrow. A quick scan of the rosters involved shows former Rangers on at least six of the involved teams. That means I should be able to post cards relevant to the games most of the time.

Looks to be a great post-season. Is there one team that you would like to see get swept out of the first round? Who and why?

Monday, October 5, 2009


So the season is over and the post-season is about to start. Well, almost. Seven of the eight teams are decided for the playoffs. Detroit and Minnesota have a one game tiebreaker scheduled for tomorrow to decide the A.L. Central champs.

Gerald Laird, here on card 117 of the 2007 Topps Heritage set, and his Tigers teammates will be traveling to the Twin Cities for the showdown. Both teams are starting double digit winners who have only nine losses each. Both will be pumped and the Metrodome is sure to be deafening. Should be a great game. Anybody care to make any predictions?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tea topples Mariners.

Taylor Teagarden came through for Texas in the ninth inning last night against Seattle. Taylor's RBI single put the Rangers on top for good and nets him today's card, number 672 in the 2008 Topps Heritage set.

The line drive single brought Teagarden to 2-for-5 on the night with two runs scored and a RBI. That was a good night but not quite as good as Chris Davis' 3-for-5 night. Davis has just been on a tear recently.

Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo is a free agent this upcoming off-season. Hopefully Texas can resign him. He says he wants to stay with Texas but there are some calling for his ouster after the disappointing offensive season the team has had.

I say the team should make every effort to re-sign Rudy. Youth has it advantages and disadvantages. One of the latter is all too often impatience at the plate and thus lower offense later in the season. A coach can try to counter youth's natural impetuosity but the going is often slow. Next year the offense should be back in force. Rudy has shown his value for the past 14 plus years, better to not toss him too quick and live to regret it as the Astros have done.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The kids are staying up late (in the season).

So, Mike Scioscia says the Rangers had a good year and will be a team to be reckoned with for at least the next few years. Good to hear that kind of praise from a manager who obviously knows what he is doing. Scioscia's prediction of continued success in Texas probably comes in part from his observations of the younger players on the team.

Elvis Andrus appears to be part of the Rangers' next few years. Elvis, shown here on card number BDPP89 of a 2008 Bowman Chrome issue, has been busy all year making an argument for his continued employment. Last night against the Angels he continued his case. Elvis went 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. One of those hits was a double. He also worked a walk and swiped his 33rd base of the season.

Chris Davis was the other Ranger who had a big night and another who hopes to figure big in the near future. Davis went 3-for-5 at the plate with a run scored and three RBI. One of his hits was a home run off Anaheim starter John Lackey. If Davis can keep his offense running next year he should be a lock at first with his Gold Glove level defense.

Nice to see those two performances even this late in the season. Stuff like that can help keep winter's chill at bay.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Season, tenures winding down.

So the season is winding down. So apparently is Hank Blalock's time in Texas. Hank, pictured here on his 2001 Royal Rookies Futures auto card #7, has been with the Rangers for ten years. They are the only team he has played with. This off-season he will file for free agency. The club is not planning on re-signing him. Gonna miss The Hammer. It will be interesting to see where he lands. I do hope he does well wherever he ends up.

Nice to see the Rangers trounce the Angels tonight 11-3. The game has no bearing on who goes to the post-season and who goes home but it is good to see the team end the season against the Halos on a high note.