Friday, September 5, 2008

Playoff Fever: Here’s Johnny!

From the Blue Notebook on Thursday's 6-1 Frisco Victory over San Antonio:

-- I talked to and hugged John Whittleman before yesterday’s game – he had two hits and three RBIs – coincidence? I think not.

-- The Steve Murphy Show - The Sequel continued last night: The Riders were clinging to a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded and two out. Murphy battled Missions reliever Gabe Hoyos and knocked in a single to right that drove in two runs that sealed San Antonio’s fate.

-- Neftali Feliz’s first inning was a bit shaky: he seemed to be having some control issues there was a strikeout followed by walk, a single and a wild pitch that put runners at second and third with only one out. Pitching coach Terry Clark made an unusual first inning visit to the mound – I’m not sure what magic words he used – but after that Neftali was good, very very good – only giving up two more hits and striking out ten batters. Maybe Terry Clark needs to visit the mound in Arlington the next time Vincente Padilla and Jamey Wright pitch.

-- Grant Schiller boldly predicted that the Rangers will win the World Series in 2011

-- Celebrity Sightings at the Thursday game: Rangers reliever/closer Frankie Francisco as well as former big league manager Jim Tracy (whose son Chad played first and hit a double)

-- The intensity of the Frisco crowd reminds me of my 4:00 p.m. Economics class in junior year in college – it’s not exactly fever pitch – more like a glassy eyed stare and yawn. But I’ll give the fans credit – they gave Elvis a big hand for his terrific throw on Wednesday and everyone stood and cheered Andrew Laughter’s last out of the game Thursday night.

-- Grant Schiller’s sister Kate discovered the joys of funnel cakes and looking through binoculars backwards

-- One of the reasons I love minor league baseball is that these players haven’t adopted the grumpy, arrogant attitude that infects most major leaguers. There’s a joy and enthusiasm that somehow disappears when players don the big league uniform and get their MLPBA card. For example: before each Frisco game at the end of warm-ups, CF Julio Borbon, 2B Jose Vallejo and SS Elvis Andrus play a baseball version of “hot potato” tossing and catching several baseballs to each other using only their gloves. There are big smiles, laughs and exaggerated gestures of triumph and frustration always ending with one baseball being tossed by Elvis to the appreciative third base crowd.

Playoff Fever: Winning Is The Only Cure! -- Marla Hooch


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Playoff Fever - Catch It!

Quick game report from Frisco's 5-1 win over the San Antonio Missions in the first round of the Texas League playoffs.

What's the thing that impressed me the most?

It wasn't Derek Holland's 7 1/3 IP, 2 Hit, 5 K, 1 BB outing (although that was pretty darn good). It wasn't The Steve Murphy Show - 1 HR, 1 3B and 2 runs scored. Or the amazing throw by Elvis Andrus for the final out of the 6th inning (from behind third base, almost standing on the foul line to a stretched out Emerson Frostad at first). Or Julio Borbon's 2 hits (including a HR) or John Whittleman's nice 2 out RBI that put the game out of reach for the Missions. Or even that Nolan Ryan, Jon Daniels, Thad Levine, Jim Sundberg and Scott Servais were all there ( they stayed until the end of the game).

What really impressed me were the three guys sitting by the Frisco dugout watching the game: Chris Davis, Taylor Teagarden and Warner Madrigal. That kind of comaraderie, especially from guys who are now in the big leagues, says alot about these three young men who all played on the Dr. Pepper field earlier this season, and I hope about the mindset of the org - all pulling for eachother and in the same direction.

Watch this space for more playoff rhetoric -- Marla Hooch