Here’s to the underdogs. 57 comments


One last thought about the World Series.

What we need are more Steve Pearces. More regular guys winning the World Series MVPs. More longshots and underdogs. More Rudy stories and Hoosiers stories and 1980 US Olympic hockey team stories.

That is what makes baseball so amazing. Everybody has a shot. If you are in the lineup, you have an opportunity to make a difference. When it’s your turn, it’s your chance to shine. In every other sport, the ball is in the hands, or put into the hands, of the best players at the biggest moments.

In baseball, it’s whoever is next in line.

There is a beautiful democracy to it all. The little guy has the same opportunity as everyone else.

On that all All-Star team the Boston Red Sox trotted out on a nightly basis, it was the journeyman first baseman who was a late-season acquisition for depth that had the biggest impact. And soon-to-be $300 million dollars guys like Manny Machado who had the least.

This what makes baseball the most perfect sport of all, launch angles and shifts and pitch counts and strikeouts and all aside.

So now we drift off into the off-season. Five months of hot stove and hot air.

it was one of the hardest to watch Rangers seasons. And next season looks to be the same.

So for now we can bask in the success of others. It’s going to be a long long time before we can root for our own in the World Series.

  • calntom

    As far as Ranger pitching goes…… I would see JD making an “attempt” to sign or trade for an arm that would fit into their longer term plans for 2020 and 2021. As usual, they will sign a couple of reclamation projects as well. They will also try to fit in another starter or two from within the farm system. Aside from Mendez, they can bounce the other hopeful(s) back and forth from Nashville and Frisco throughout the season as needed.
    On to the Hot Stove.

    • dearmidol

      I’ve never been a believer in the idea that you tank the entire team if you are going to be bad. Even if the team is going to be awful, I’d love to have someone to root for.

      • calntom

        The Stros showed one way to do it

        • JacobMcCandles

          Yessireee

        • CrazyEd

          And the Royals

    • CrazyEd

      2019 (and the couple years prior) is the time to sign the reclamation projects. Once the prospects start arriving and the club is expected to be competitive again is the time to not aggressively pursue them. Getting semi-serviceable arms at discount prices is not a bad thing on a team that is not going to be competitive. The current state of the team could not compete above a third place finish no matter who they had pitching. The outfield is in tatters. Mazara has taken to misplaying fly balls, DD can’t hit, and Gallo still strikes out too much. If Beltre decides not to come back 3rd base is wide open. Yeah, IKF can play the position but can’t hit enough, Profar throws too many balls away. 2nd and SS are fine as long as Odor doesn’t regress (I don’t think he will). 1st should be good with primo defence and decent hitting (the hitting still needs to be proven over a season, but should be good). Catching is questionable. Chirinos is better than a lot of folks give him credit for but has to stay healthy. IKF is a serviceable backup with a sketchy arm but will do until somebody better comes along. Pitching is a huge downside. Yes, they can put a serviceable rotation together with what they had at the end of this year, but that’s all it is is serviceable. There you have today’s state of the Ranger’s as seen from my perspective.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Good post….keep patiently waiting on Gallo and see if he can raise that batting avg to .230-.240…light is getting dimmer…..The only part I disagree with is Maz can hit well enough to overcome defensive shortcomings, and very excite to see if Guz gets better

        • calntom

          Gallo was statistically slightly down across the board. Not something I was expecting………
          Might help if he has someone decent hitting behind him at some point.

          • elkaba

            Might help if he learned to do more than swing for the fences.

          • JacobMcCandles

            You would think that would help….IDK,,,,,If we had a good team we could absorb him

      • calntom

        IKF’s value is in his versatility. Being able to move around the IF and backup at catcher is priceless, especially in 2019. That basically creates room to go with a 13 man pitching staff anytime. I know they are going to need that as the Rangers bounce some arms back and forth from the farm in 2019. They are not going to have many 7 inning starters next year.

        • JacobMcCandles

          Good point

        • CrazyEd

          That’s why I didn’t say much about him. He’s here to stay and one of my favorite players. I’ve had him on my radar for three years. Last year was his breakout when he finally added a little power to his bat. I’ve said this before so you may have already seen it. But until year before last he had never hit a home run, not even in little league. He’s a gutsy kid with the right attitude. I think it’s the Samoan blood in him. Samoan, Japanese and Hawaiian (his dad’s the Samoan).

          • JacobMcCandles

            Been several Samoans that have played on the lines in the NFL…..tough characters

        • elkaba

          I want 3 good catchers now. 🙂

          • CrazyEd

            The now isn’t going to happen but they do have 3 or 4 good ones on the way. None of them are big bats (yet) but are above average defensively. So that makes them good catchers, not great.

          • elkaba

            I was kind of kidding. But I was so impressed with Cora’s catcher strategy. IKF should make that possible for us, and if not now then when we get competitive again.

          • calntom

            And then flip them for pitchin’

  • Nathan Whitten

    Yesterday the Arizona Ranger fan (who is a man that makes good comments, but missed on this one) posted that the Rangers had no one that could crack the lineup of either team. Kevin, you missed on it too, because you said how sad it was. I will say with confidence that Rougie is much better than either of the two 2B that Boston used. A few years ago Kinsler might have been better than Rougie is now. But at the present there is no contest. Rougie would crack Boston’s lineup–easily. I’d have to sit down and look at the lineups to see if there are more cases where the Rangers have a better player. Maybe not, but this one is obvious.

    • dearmidol

      Maybe the Rougie who came back to life for three months of the season offensively would be better. Challenge is, which Rougie is the real Rougie? Kinsler was just a stop gap before Dustin Pedroia returns, anyway. I’d rather have a banged up Pedrio over Odor because of Odor’s lack of ability to make contact. I think in so many cases it comes to the Rangers have too many players who strike out way too much. What the Red Sox victory brought to view is the miles between their ability to hit with two strikes and two outs and the Rangers. I think I would rather have Brock Holt, too. But, again, these are just opinions and this is what makes this place tick. Just fans offering opinions.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Could argue Beltre too

        • dearmidol

          Definitely Beltre, but I wasn’t considering him because he’s probably not a Ranger anymore. But he was much better than Red Sox third baseman. And as much as I love Justin Turner, I’d rather have Beltre for his stature.

          • JacobMcCandles

            I like Turner a ton….give me Arenado!!!!! And the best defensive 3B in MLB Chapman….aned another yr or so Bregman may eclipse them all

          • elkaba

            Here we depart. I’d rather have Boston’s kid. He’s 21! Turned 22 during the series!

        • Nathan Whitten

          Oh for sure. I was just thinking that he may be retired. At his best, he is one of the all-time best 3B.

      • elkaba

        Odor could benefit from a great manager and some good hitting and fielding direction.

        • JacobMcCandles

          He is a gold glove finalist and was offensively impressive second half….we have a dozen larger issues

        • CrazyEd

          People tend to forget that Odor got cheated out of development time in the minors when Profar went down. He has been forced to learn in the majors what he should have learned in the minors where it’s much easier to work on various issues. Both due to a lighter schedule and the ability to work on things without failure being a critical issue. Learning in the majors what should have been taught in the minors is a task that required coaches and the player to find time to do the work. Not an easy thing to do with the crowded major league schedule. The coaches need a lot of credit for working overtime with Odor. Tony Beasley primarily and Choo for stepping out of his area of responsibility and teaching Odor some of his batting techniques. All stuff that’s normally taught in the minors.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Spot on

          • Nathan Whitten

            I have expressed the exact same sentiment and many of the same words when folks were criticizing his defense last year. This year he has a great shot at a golden glove. That young fellow has worked hard. And, as you say, he has had to do it “on the fly” while learning from the very good coaching he’s got. I was very surprised to see him considered to be one of the best in the game. I was happy for him, too. It’s remarkable how closely our points resembled one another. In other words–great job.

          • elkaba

            Excellent point and a good reminder. We do tend to forget how fast he was rushed up the ladder!

      • CrazyEd

        I don’t know what the answer is to the hitting problem but when your best hitter hits .264 you’ve got a problem. Whether it’s lack of patience, pressing or young guys that have not made proper adjustments I have no idea. I always hesitate to lay the blame on management and coaches, but in this case I think there might have been a mismatch between players and batting coach. Maybe not, but there’s a problem that needs fixing and the coach is easier to replace than nine players. I think if a couple guys could hit .280 or better consistently the rest would become more patient and quit trying to do too much and just two guys could benefit the whole team.

        • azrangerfan

          Some of these young guys should see improvement, some just may not have the talent. IMO talent has more to do with it as a player matures than coaching.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Good call

    • azrangerfan

      Well thanks but my comment was more tongue in cheek than fact. Just trying to embellish on the fact that we have a long ways to go talent wise.

      • Nathan Whitten

        I was pretty sure you were using hyperbole, but Rougie immediately jumped into my mind. He has come a long way. But, I understand your point and it is well taken.

  • GoRangers23

    The right person in the managers position could go a long way towards pointing this team in the right direction. The right person for the job could make a very big difference. Now, does JD have what it takes to hire that person? That is the question. We need someone who knows what to do with the players, as well as someone who can really get through to JD about what he needs. Someone who is tactful, yet willing to stand his ground about what needs to be done. NOT a yes man. While writing this, I am reminded about the movie Mary Poppins. The children make a list of everything they want in a new nanny, and then semi-sing it. Of course, it all rhymes and is super cute. I don’t have time for all that right now though. 😄

    • JacobMcCandles

      First we need a new GM

      • GoRangers23

        That is totally true, but since I know that will probably not happen….

        • JacobMcCandles

          Yes Mam

        • JacobMcCandles

          Guess we need a spoonful of sugar

    • elkaba

      We need a Cora clone.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Dang….Just assembled my Everlast stand and heavy bag….there is a reason they call it heavy……weighed more than the stand itself……Right hand is good, elbows strong, Left jab was like my departed Grandmother, lol. 30 minutes, and I can’t lift my arms!!!!

    • dearmidol

      I have friends who tell me that is the best work out.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Hope so….can’t run anymore…lost a lot of muscle tissue….gained it bk with 10lb dumbells 60 reps

  • JacobMcCandles

    I have no opinion other than stating that Cora pitching decisions left himself open for recliner coaching….and they worked out…been interesting if there was a more worthy opponent

    • dearmidol

      Like in 2016 when Joe Maddon rode Chapman until his arm almost fell off. Sometimes you just get lucky.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Yeah and almost lost…bad decision with a good outcome

    • WhoKnowscs

      Yeah, short of letting Eovaldi carry the team as long as he could hold out I thought he was pulling pitchers way too early. Just because they pitched longer than Banny’s Twin did, didn’t make him much better.

      • dearmidol

        I found it ironic that a starting pitcher can’t go more than 70 pitches now but Eovaldi was allowed to throw 96 in relief.

  • CrazyEd

    When/if this guy makes it to Arlington, you are either going to love him or hate him. If you didn’t like Holland, you won’t like Crouse. He’s even looser than Holland. But he can pitch, really pitch.
    http://www.khq.com/clip/14512506/indians-pitcher-hans-crouses-unique-personality-matches-his-unique-delivery

    • dearmidol

      Bring him on.

  • CrazyEd

    If true; happy, happy, happy …. probably a foregone conclusion though.

    “Matt Moore will be fired on Wednesday and he’ll receive $750,000.”

  • CrazyEd

    Here’s one that sort of boggles my mind:

    Q. What pitcher has pitched consecutive world series clinching games against Cy Young winning pitchers* (There is only one, ever)?
    A. The guy that can’t win in the post season, David Price!
    *Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw

    • JacobMcCandles

      Morton of the Stros won the final game of the ALCS and WS….First pitcher ever

    • dearmidol

      When did Price beat Verlander?

      • CrazyEd

        My bad I worded that badly I should have left out “world series” Good catch. Blush.