The Texas Rangers are pleased to announce they are offering a fan experience unlike anything else in Major League Baseball. Every other team offers batting practice before the game. It’s usually an hour or so before first pitch. Gates open early to accommodate fans who want to come early to watch and maybe even go out to the outfield to catch home run balls.
But the Rangers, ever so progressive, have decided to hold batting practice during the game. So, all fans in attendance get to witness it, not just the early birds. How thoughtful.
Another unique feature is, rather than have one of their coaches throw batting practice only to his own team, the Rangers have graciously included the opposing team. And they use one of their own pitchers to deliver the batting practice pitches rather than the arm of some old, washed up coach. This gives the opposing team a better look at what major league pitching could be. (Now, if only the Rangers front office knew what that looked like.)
On Monday, Texas served up six runs in the eighth inning to Oakland who, until they got to Arlington, was on pace to be the worst offensive team in major league history.
Last night, batting practice commenced in the twelfth inning. Unable to win it in the bottom of the eleventh after loading the bases, Texas ran Danny Santana out for a second inning of work. They were out of available major league arms. The only player left in the bullpen was Kolby Allard. You do everything you can to avoid using him. You’d run Carlos Santana out there before Kolby Allard. Kolby Allard has authored more hits than Carlos Santana.
Danny Santana walked a batter, gave up a single, walked a batter, gave up a double, then walked a batter. Woodward had seen enough. It was getting late and he wanted to go to bed.
So, he brought in his game-ender.
Kolby Allard, inheriting bases loaded and doing his best Tanner Scheppers imitation, walked Elvis to bring in Oakland’s tenth run and ensure the bases remained loaded. Not to worry, his first pitch to Chad Pender unloaded them. Grand slam. 14-6. Eight-run inning.
Texas scored a meaningless run in the bottom of the inning.
Both teams go at it again tonight. The Texas Rangers invite all fans to come out late to watch batting practice. Please arrive about two hours after the first pitch.
You are welcome to keep any home run balls hit your way. Expect many.