Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Call in the orthopedic surgeon – it’s time to knee jerk!
One of the things I love about Rangers Opening Day – is the day after when everyone hyper-analyzes one game of a 162 game season. After listening and reading all about it I decided to join in the fray. A few “random thoughts” from last night’s game.
So where’s the criticism? During Spring Training Evan Grant of the Boring News picked out one particular at bat by Jason Botts - one where he had runners in scoring position that he didn't drive in. Grant wrote about that one AB at least four or five times during the next few weeks. So Evan are we going to hear all about Marlon Byrd’s AB’s last night, you know the ones where he left three runners on in scoring position? I didn’t see it mentioned in today’s game story but I fully expect to read about on your blog and in your weekly Q and A - same exact situation, different player - albeit one that has much higher expectations that Botts - just askin'.
Jim Reeves got it right about the lineup:
“As the Rangers had feared, the Mariners took advantage of a lineup heavily loaded with left-handed hitters, first with Bedard and later by bringing in Eric O'Flaherty to face Josh Hamilton in a key situation in the seventh.
One thing Washington can to do, hopefully by tonight's game, is break up Hamilton and Blalock hitting third and fourth. The manager needs to follow his original plan by moving Bradley into the cleanup spot and hitting Blalock fifth.
Blalock has historically struggled with left-handers, and Hamilton hit just .222 with only one of his 19 homers off left-handers last season. By the second half of last season, the Reds weren't letting Hamilton face many left-handers.
‘Our left-handers are our best hitters,’ Washington said. ‘We certainly can't pinch hit for them.
‘The lefties we have in this league are pretty good. They're going to have to get used to it.’
Here's a suggestion: Do it fast, or it'll be too late.”
Excuses, excuses: Jamey Newberg is one of my best friends - and I know he won't take it personally when I say – please stop complaining about the Rangers being scheduled to open on the road.
The Rangers play 81 games on the road - if they think of themselves as contenders and their fans think the same - then when and where they play shouldn't make a bit of difference. Contenders need play well every game no matter where they open their season, end their season , play on holidays or whatever the weather conditions may be.
Speaking of weather conditions: I really, really hate it when I read or hear one of the media types complain about the weather during a game. Let’s get this straight fellas: you aren’t on the field playing the game. You sit in air conditioned or heated press/radio/TV booths while the rest of us sit in the heat or cold during the game. You pay about 1/10th the price we pay for a hot dog and beer for a catered meal in the press area. You stay in nice hotels and dine at good restaurants on road trips -- all on an expense account re-imbursed by your employer. You get paid to watch and write/describe baseball games. Stop whining – I’ll make you an offer – I’ll gladly switch jobs with you anytime.
Finally, the game itself: it’s one game of a very long season. I knew the Rangers weren’t going to go 162 –0 and other hand I’m pretty sure they won’t finish 0-162 either. Let’s put on our game face, calm down and wait a few weeks before we get all worked up, one way or the other.
As the great Annie Savoy said: “It’s a long season, you gotta trust it.” – Marla Hooch