August 2, 2pm, Texas. The perfect combination for baseball.

 

One problem writing is you can’t really write sarcasm. You hope that people will understand that what you are writing is a joke and not be offended.That being said, Today I don’t really care who I offend.  An Open letter to MLB baseball.

Dear Dummies,

Who in their right mind would make a day game in Texas in August.   As I am writing this the temperature is between 93-95 depending on who is reporting it.

This historical avg  high for today is 96 and the all time high is 107.

Let me tell you a little about Globe Life, plastic and metal and concrete make it boiling in the stadium.   On the field it’s even worse.  but I am not telling anything you don’t know. and yet here we are.

The average ticket to the Texas Ranger ball game cost between $15-$40.For $40 and you too can lose water weight and most of your electrolytes.

The only glimmer of hope I have is there had to be some mistake.  Maybe you thought the Giants was the home team. The temp at this writing is a balmy 62 and the historical high for this day in 1946 it was 91. Maybe you confused us with Houston, they have a roof, we do not.

I know you are going to tell me it is hard to make the schedule in baseball, you have my sympathies  but for the love of everything good and baseball. DO NOT MAKE DAY GAMES IN TEXAS IN AUGUST!

Thank you for your time

Sincerely,

Miss Baseball.

 

 

Cole Hamels is a Texas Ranger

Cole Hamels is on his way to Texas.  I have been reading and watching all the information I could get about the Hamels trade deal.

For those of you who do not know, “cash considerations” is a nice way to say money, and in this case, about $9 million.

I have concerns, and quite frankly, I think Hamels would be better suited with the Dodgers.

My top concerns about the Hamels trade:

His ERA is high against A.L. teams: 4.73

According to baseball prospectus, his fantasy rating gets a ding with the ballpark factor. The Rangers ballpark has a history of eating pitchers alive. (Remember Chan Ho Park?) He also gets a ding for coming over to the power-hungry A.L.

He comes from a weak division, the NL East. It has the Nationals, with a PCT of .535, and the fourth-place team (Hamels’ Phillies are last) is the Marlins, at .416. Now Hamels is coming to a strong division in the AL West. The Astros just came out on top after last night’s win against the Angels and have a PCT of .559. And the last-place A’s, who lost last night to the Dodgers, have a PCT of .441.

Him being healthy scares me. He has had no injuries. I am a longtime Rangers fan, and we have not been very lucky with the health of our pitchers. Is Hamels a ticking time bomb?

I feel like we gave up too much for Hamels, especially Jake Thompson and Nick Williams. While you never know with a prospect if they are going to be any good, I got to watch these guys play and I see something really good in both of them. I am making a call on Thompson. We are going to be sorry in a few years. Williams could be a bat for someone, and I think we are going to get hurt on this trade.

I talked before about lopsided trades, I just hope this is going to be another one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lopsided Trades

The July 31 trade deadline is ever looming. ESPN put out a story about the Most Lopsided Trades.

This made me think of some crazy, lopsided Ranger trades.

Sammy Sosa:

I once heard George W. Bush talk about how he did regretted trading Sammy Sosa, but at the time, Sammy was 20 years old and not really doing anything. Who knew what would become of him? The bigger regret is who also left when we traded him to the Chicago White Sox.

Wilson Alvarez: In the past, the Texas Rangers have not been known for great pitching. In 1989, there was a trade for Sammy Sosa, Wilson Alvarez and Scott Fletcher. The Rangers got Harold Baines and Fred Manrique. As a longtime Ranger fan, I am still crying over this trade. Alvarez went on to be an All-Star pitcher, with a 14 year-career and an overall 3.96 ERA and a 1.390 WHIP. I know the Rangers sure could have used him.

In the ESPN Lopsided article, they talk about the Mark Teixeira trade, and the Rangers really benefited on that one. July 31, 2007: Traded by the Texas Rangers with Ron Mahay to the Atlanta Braves for Beau Jones (minors), Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

There was a trade in which I almost feel sorry for Detroit. Juan Gonzalez was traded in a nine-player deal. The Rangers traded Gonzalez, with Danny Patterson and Gregg Zaun, to the Detroit Tigers for Alan Webb (minors), Frank Catalanotto, Francisco Cordero, Bill Haselman, Gabe Kapler and Justin Thompson.

Alan Webb and Justin Thompson: While these turned out to be duds, the rest of the deal worked out great for the Rangers.

Francisco Cordero went on to be an All-Star closer for the Rangers. In 2004, he had 49 saves, an ERA of 2.13 and WHIP of 1.284. He played for the Rangers from 2000 to 2005.

Bill Haselman was a great backup catcher for the Rangers. His five years with the Rangers included an overall batting average of .273

And two of my favorite players came over in the trade

Gabe Kapler, a good outfielder and good numbers, with a BA of  .280.  He was a fan favorite, especially with my girlfriends.

Frank Catalanotto, called by fans Little Cat, was another fan favorite, and I would say one of my absolute favorite players of all time. I followed his career after he left the Rangers.  He was so versatile in both infield and outfield.  His overall BA with the Rangers was .290

Trades are a part of the game. There are some who underperform, or a trade was just what they needed to get their game on. You truly never know how a player is going to be until they are in uniform on the field.

What’s a crazy trade you remember? Drop me a line, and let’s keep the conversation going.

 

 

Q and A with Miss Baseball

For today’s post, I was inspired by Jon Heyman. I used a few of the question he answers For example, he was asked who gives the best interviews. I haven’t had any responses yet to my two interview requests.  Feel free to ask me questions, and I will respond.

1. DH or no DH?

DH. This chick digs the long ball.

2. Favorite team: Rangers or Royals?

ALWAYS RANGERS!

3. Favorite baseball movie?

“A League of Their Own.” Also answer to favorite movie.

4. Peanuts or Cracker Jack?

Cracker Jack

5. Slugfest  or pitchers’ duel?

Slugfest. Chick digs the long ball!!!!!

6. Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig?

Lou Gehrig

7. Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays?

Mays

8. Favorite baseball food?

Hot dogs

9. Beer or soda during a game?

I always drink soda because you never know when a ball is going to come flying at you.

10. Surprise team of the year?

Houston Astros

 

Miss Baseball’s Guide to going to a Texas Rangers game.

Pardon me as I squeal for delight as someone asks my advice on my favorite team and ballpark. While it is called Globe Life Park in Arlington, I refuse to acknowledge the name, and I will refer to it as The ballpark in Arlington. One of the most beautiful ballparks in the country.

I could write a big book of advice for the ballpark, but I will just give you my top 10 tips for a Texas Rangers game.

1. My favorite entrance is home plate. I think it’s the best place to take pictures.

2. Take a Tour of the ballpark. You learn all the history and get to see everything. Ask permission, and you may be able to take some dirt from the warning track.

3.  Go to the Grand Slam gift shop. This is my favorite. It has just about anything you could want.

4. Eat something from this LIST. There are so many wonderful options to choose from, I couldn’t decide.

5. Leave a little room and get an ice cream in a Ranger hat bowl.

6. Even though it is a night game, this is TEXAS. It is HOT. Bring a towel to put on your seat.

7. If you want to get autographs, I like a pennant or a hat. Baseballs are horrible to sign. Also bring a silver sharpie-like pen; it is much better to see the signature in silver ink than in black ink.

8. Bring a glove.  Watch out for foul balls, bats, home runs.

9. If you are lucky enough to catch a ball, it is nice but not required to give the ball to a kid. If a kid is about to get the ball, back off and let him or her get it.

10. Soak in everything: Watch the field get prepared, watch batting practice, watch the players take the field.  When the game is over, don’t rush out. Enjoy the experience.

 

MLB trade talk: Is Cole Hamels coming to the Texas Rangers?

    

 

July 31 is the trade deadline and rumors are running rapid. Miss Baseball had to answer some Texas Ranger fans’ queries about whether Cole Hamels was really in talks with the team. The story popped up and then faded away. This showed me there was no real talk about it.

Then there was this article from Fox: Cole Hamels open to all trades.  To quote Hamels:

“I have not been approached,” Hamels said about accepting a potential trade, via CSN Philly. “When I’m approached, then I can make a decision and provide an answer about a team. But I’m open-minded on everybody and everything.”

Reports were that he turned down trades to the Toronto Blue Jays and the Houston Astros. Rumors were that he had waived his no-trade clause for the New York Yankees and the Rangers, but according to Hamels, that was just scuttlebutt.

What can Cole Hamels bring to a new team?

Year W L ERA G GS SV IP SO WHIP
2015 Stats 5 6 3.26 15 15 0 99.1 106 1.17
MLB Career Stats 113 89 3.27 290 289 0 1900.2 1813 1.14

The Yankees and Blue Jays could sure use his help. He could also solidify a surprisingly good Astros team.

We will have to wait to see if the Rangers throw their hat into the ring, so to say, but Miss Baseball has been very impressed with the Rangers thus far, and some of our regular pitchers are coming back from injury. So I don’t see a Ranger need for a pitcher. Sorry, no Cole Hamels, as of right now.

 

Joey Gallo, the future in the present.

 

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Joey Gallo on deck at the Big League Weekend

I saw Joey Gallo in my hometown during Big League Weekend. My first reaction. He is HUGE! I had this image of a cute little infielder, nothing could be further from the truth. He stepped into the on deck circle and Whoosh! His bat was inches from hitting me in the face.  He very politely stepped to the side to work on his swings. At 6’5″ 230 lbs he is impressive to say the least.  While playing for the Frisco Roughriders, he was hitting .314/.425/.636,another impressive stat. While I watched him, I noticed his arms are massive and his swing is that of his mentor Jason Giambi.

http://www.wfaa.com/story/sports/2015/01/28/rangers-gallo-find-mentor-in-giambi/22477325/

The question comes up is it too early for Gallo, and I am going to say NO. He’s young and a power hitter. The glove can be developed. In Texas he will be playing third base and that will help focus. During his time in the minors he has been at 3rd and left field and I think this is a mistake, he need to focus on his infield position not spread himself out.

www.baseballamerica.com/minors/expect-rangers-3b-joey-gallo/

Baseball America doesn’t see very much coming from Joey but I disagree, I see something in him and I am very excited. Its time to see if our baby duck can swim.

Metric Monday: BRR it’s cold.

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Why did I wait so long to understand this stuff. I feel like i am entering into college at 50.

I am looking at stats and these new stats pop up at me. TaV, BABIP, BRR, FRAA and WARP. What does it all mean? Well I thought  I would look over Prince Fielder and learn what all these stats mean.

 

What is

TaV:True Average what a player does at the plate. Hitting, walks, strike outs. what makes this a true average is it takes in how the player is used and where.

.300 is exceptional  .260 is average and .200 is poor

BRR no its not cold in here This is Baserunning Runs The player’s ability to steal and advance bases.  ( like how likely they will go from 1st to 3rd on a single)

5-12 is Excellent  0-4 is Good 0 is average -4 through -9 is poor and anything above -9 is very bad.

BABIP: Batting Average on Balls in Play and there is a fun equation to go with it. BABIP = (H – HR) / (AB – K – HR + SF + SH)

FRAA: Fielding Runs above Avg, While reading up on the history of metrics they were not always standard. So Baseball Prospectus has their own stat here. Here is their explanation:

” The biggest difference between Fielding Runs Above Average and similar defensive metrics comes in the data and philosophy used. Whereas other metrics use zone-based fielding data, Fielding Runs Above Average ignores that data due to the numerous biases present. Fielding Runs Above Average instead focuses on play-by-play data, taking a step back and focusing on the number of plays made compared to the average number of plays made by a player at said position. The pitcher’s groundball tendencies, batter handedness, park, and base-out state all go into figuring out how many plays an average player at a position would make.”

WARP: this one you may have seen as WAR but its Wins Above Replacement Player

This takes all the stats and also accounts for position played and this shows how this particular player is better than the replacement.

Here from the Baseball Prospectus website:

Here is an example of the Wins Above Replacement Player spectrum based on the 2011 season:

Excellent – Jose Bautista 10.3
Great – Hunter Pence 5.2
Average -Gaby Sanchez 2.0
Poor – Adam Lind 0.5
Horrendous – Adam Dunn -1.7

I go to my trusty Baseball Prospectus 2015 , turn to page 401 for the then,  I go to the BP website for the now.

Prince Fielder

Then                                                                                                     Now

TAv: .311 (Exceptional)                                                                 3.09

BABIP:.297 ( Average)                                                                    3.76

BRR: -.2.1 (Poor)                                                                             -3.2

FRAA:-1.8                                                                                           -0.3

WARP: 1.3 (below Average)                                                         1.9

I am seeing improvement, Prince is playing DH more than 1st right now. He has got some moves like on Sunday’s game he came all the way from 1st to home on the Josh Hamilton double.  Great to see after being injured. I love the Ranger comeback.

Fun Fact Friday: Jersey Day

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Today is jersey Day at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Those wearing a jersey to the game get to be a part of walking on the field. I am wearing my Kapler jersey. Today for Fun Fact Friday I thought I would show you the history of the jersey.

There is a wonderful online exhibit from the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

http://exhibits.baseballhalloffame.org/dressed_to_the_nines/jerseys.htm

 

Here are a few highlights:

Pete Browning of the American Association Louisville Colonels, c. 1887

 

Running the Bases Wearing Laces

The late 1870s saw the introduction of the laced-front jersey. Styles varied, with some shirts featuring lacing that ran the entire length of the shirt, while others had lacing for just the top portion of the jersey. Laced-front jerseys remained popular through the 1890s, but by 1901 only two of 16 major league clubs were wearing the style. Ten years later, laces on shirts had disappeared altogether.

Members of the American Association Cincinnati Red Stockings in “clown costumes,” 1882

At left: Pete Browning of the American Association Louisville Colonels, c. 1887

Clown Costumes

Perhaps the boldest experiment with the baseball uniform came in 1882, when the rules of the game called for multi-colored uniforms designed to denote each player’s position. When the members of a ballclub took the field, no two men were wearing the same uniform. Shortstops, for example, were required to wear maroon shirts and caps, while first basemen dressed like candy canes in scarlet-and-white-striped caps and jerseys. Regardless of position, the 1882 rules stipulated that each player wear white pants, a white belt and a white tie. The only way the fans could tell which club was which was by looking at the players’ stockings, as each club wore uniquely colored socks. The rulebook called for Buffalo to wear gray stockings, while Cleveland donned navy blue hose. Not surprisingly, Chicago wore white stockings and Boston dressed in red socks. No doubt the wild color schemes caused mass confusion on the field and in the stands, and so the experimental uniforms, derisively called “clown costumes,” were abandoned in mid-season.

Chicago Cubs outfielder Bill Nicholson, 1940

Dressed in a Vest

In 1940, the Chicago Cubs unveiled a bold new look in baseball uniforms: a lightweight flannel vest worn over a knitted undershirt. The vest, designed by club president Philip K. Wrigley, allowed for greater freedom of motion for players’ arms and shoulders. Though the Cubs abandoned the innovation just three seasons later, the style has enjoyed a number of revivals over the years. Today, multiple clubs wear sleeveless jerseys, either as part of their primary or alternate home uniform.

Hamilton Homecoming: A Time to Cheer

Hamilton stayed over an hour to sign autographs after a game

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, well these speak volumes of a changed man. I am a very loyal fan of the Texas Rangers and I admit I had my doubts but Josh has surprised me.  I am a firm believer in actions speak louder than words. In the first two photos Josh is signing autographs but when I saw that he stayed for an hour to sign more autographs that showed me he does care about the fans.

The video: well I think if there is any doubt that he is not all here it has been put to rest by a Rusty Greer like grab.

Tonight Josh comes home and I will be cheering and I hope you will be too. Go Rangers!