Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why Haven't You Written Anything Lately?

I had to wash my cat.
The phone rang.
The dog ate my keyboard.
I was watching the new episodes of "The Closer" and "Saving Grace"
It was too darn hot.
I had a blister on my pitching hand.

Okay, frankly speaking, the way the Rangers have been playing does anyone really want to think about them much less write about them? I know I didn't.

Plus, I really have been busy:

-- Went to New Mexico to visit the New Mexico Bean. Spent a wonderful long weekend in Santa Fe enjoying the cool weather, scenery, great food – didn’t read a boxscore which turned out to be a good idea.

--Actually attended a Rangers game with Baseball Mom and Mrs. Schmenge courtesy of the Rangers (those free tickets from voting for the Ranger All-Stars) and they won – beating the Tigers 9-1. It was a gorgeous cool evening. The highlights: (besides the five Ranger home runs) seeing the lovely Kate Schiller during the Birthday Parade on video screen.

Last month the Rangers could not sweep a series – they always seemed to win two of three each time – while this month it’s just the opposite – they are staving off being swept – usually winning at least one game during a series which is a small comfort I suppose.

-- Watched some of the Olympics – when I was a kid I remember being glued to the television during the Summer Olympics, but these days the saturation of televised sports has made me less and less interested. I’ve reached one conclusion from the Bejing games: Michael Phelps is a terrific athlete – but nobody and I mean nobody ever looked better in a swimsuit than Mark Spitz.

Since the last blog entry: Haven’t changed my mind: still contend change for the sake change is not necessarily the answer to the Rangers pitching woes.

The team ERA since the Connor/Chiti departure is 6.42 (112 ER in 157 IP).

Once again, just my opinion: it’s not about the coaching – it’s about the quality of the pitcher you are working with. I defy anyone to prove that from the Spring Training proposed rotation of Millwood, Padilla, McCarthy, Jennings and Gabbard there was a bona fide “front of the rotation” #1 type pitcher. At best, based on performance (not potential), it was workhorse type rotation with enormous injury concerns (based on recent history). I don’t have to rehash what happened, but I will say that I still can’t blame all the health problems on the coaching.

What is the solution? In my never humble opinion – better pitchers make pitching coaches look good (for example: Rick Peterson’s reputation when he was coaching Zito, Hudson and Mulder in Oakland – and then after he left for the Mets – he wasn’t quite as smart).

How do you get those pitchers? See Mike Hindman’s dissertation on the DMN Blog about developing/ trading for pitching vs signing free agents.

How can the Rangers do this? Start with better scouting, find a development plan and stick with it.

What should be the plan? Let me steal a line from a comment I read:
1. Patience
2. Luck
3. Patience

The Last Word…err…. Song: From the mind and e-mail of Mrs. Schemge – a musical tribute the Rangers recent woes:

“Mama Mia and Vincent Padilla”

(with apologies to ABBA – set to the tune of Mama Mia)

I've been rooting for you since I don't know when
So I made up my mind, it must come to an end
Look at me now, will I ever learn?
I dont know how you suddenly lose the West
Even with Josh, the best

Just one pitch and I can hear a bell ring
One more pitch and I forget everything,
o-o-o-ohVince Padilla, there you go again
My my, how can you have hit him?
CJ Wilson, stop that toss again
My my, now we’re gonne miss him

Yes, Ive been brokenhearted
Blue ‘cause we have no starters
Who’s left to call to the Show?
Oh Mr. Hicks, now we really know,
Chris Young, you should not have let him go.

I've been angry and sad about the things that you do
I can't count all the times that I've said we were through
First, D-V-D – then you let them go
What more phenoms will you let slip through
Our waiting hands
You know we're not Cub fans....

Just one pitch and I can hear a bell ring
One more pitch and I forget everything,
o-o-o-ohVince Padilla, here I go again
My my, how can we relieve you?
Hey Jon Daniels, does it show again?
My my, why we can't believe you?
Eddie you have the honor
To show up Coach O’Connor
Why, why did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia, even if I say
Bye bye, leave me now or never
Nolan Ryan, fix this game we play
Bye bye doesn’t mean forever

Sing out sister! -- Marla Hooch