Date: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017
Opponent: Houston Astros (79-51)
Starters: Martin Perez (9-10, 5.00) vs. Mike Fiers (8-8, 4.17)
The Rangers and Astros will play a three-game series in Tampa, and if you want to sound off on the announcement, press conference, and ensuing statements about how that decision was made, feel free to do so in the comments section. I don’t ever read those, and maybe you’ll feel better if you get it off your chest.
Alternately, you could take the five minutes of your life it would take to put together an ardent and heartfelt condemnation of either Jon Daniels or Reid Ryan and click on one of these links (or entire lists of links) and find a way to help some fellow Texans who have lost everything in what is now the single-largest rain event in U.S. history. Heck, even we here at WFAA are doing something.
It’s easy to feel helpless in moments like this. Nature is very big and we humans, though we are many, are very small by comparison to hurricanes and tornadoes. When faced with our own immutable limitations, some of us tend to fall into one of two unhealthy camps before we find our footing and move back toward the middle. I’ll be honest and admit that I fall into the first camp: the disappearers. If I can’t fix it, if it’s too big, I tend to despair and avoid being reminded of just how useless I am. The second camp is to over-control what we can still manipulate. If we can have a good old-fashioned heated sports argument and slam dunk on a fan of a rival, that’s something we can control and it can give us a false sense of normalcy.
Healthy, of course, is between the two. We cannot summon a mighty wind to blow Hurricane Harvey into space. We cannot wish into existence a sump-pump the size of the Astrodome and dry out the entire gulf coast. The damage is bigger than any of us can change.
Nature is very big, but we humans, though we are very small by comparison to hurricanes and tornadoes, are many. The fallout, and the ensuing recovery, and our state and for that matter, our nation and planet; these are all things that will require many many small efforts by a multitude of small humans. It does the world no good to recuse ourselves because of our fragility, nor is it useful to avoid the large task in favor of taking days to bicker over a small thing like sports.
And of course, I–a baseball writer–am not telling you that sports are a frivolity deserving of scorn. They are a national pastime, and serve an important purpose. When you are tired and need a rest, baseball will still be here to serve as a nice distraction for awhile. You can still take three hours and disappear, or yell at the rivals, or tweet about the dwindling playoff chances. And then, having taken a mental break, you can compartmentalize it and return to the real world.
What has given me the strength to un-disappear is seeing the efforts of my fellow Texans, giving me an example of how I can do a little, then a little more, then a little more.
I will do what I can to be here for you, and I hope that you will do the same. It’s the August 29th Baseball Texas Daily.
(EDIT: Just as this was about to go live, I got word that the Rangers ownership, the Rangers, and the Rangers foundation have pledged one million dollars towards the hurricane relief effort in South Texas and the Houston area. Additionally, all three of the 50/50 raffles from this weekend’s game against the Angels will also go to the American Red Cross to help their efforts in hurricane relief.
1. Jake Diekman pitched last night for Frisco, and will pitch again tonight. That’s kind of the final step of rehab for relievers: can they pitch on back-to-back nights? If the answer is yes, and there are no complications, it’s not unreasonable to think that Diekman, given a couple of days to recover, could return to the big leagues when rosters expand to 40 on September 1st.
2. Joey Gallo, who banged heads with Matt Bush on the Rangers’ last home game before embarking on this road trip,
Has been activated today from the 7-day concussion disabled list. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, Texas optioned Ryan Rua back to AAA Round Rock.
The return of Gallo will hopefully be the shot in the arm the Rangers offense has needed since his departure. Not just in the lack of home runs in Oakland, but also in the walks. In Gallo’s last seven games before going on the DL, he had 29 plate appearances. Nine of those resulted in walks (a tenth walk did not count as a plate appearance, as it was an intentional walk). Ten walks.
In the seven games of this road trip thus far, the Rangers offense has managed just 14 walks. They had 37 plate appearances in the first game alone.
3. Tanner Scheppers has apparently cleared waivers, according to a notification I got on my phone from MLB.com, which said he had been assigned to AAA Round Rock. News could be sporadic over the next three days, since there's only one beat writer that traveled with the team (Evan Grant of the DMN).
4. We do know this: the Arizona Fall League roster announcements are coming out, and here are the Rangers selected, and where they played in 2017:
- RHP Steven Bruce (Low-A Spokane // High-A Down East)
- LHP Adam Choplick (High-A Down East)
- RHP Tyler Ferguson (A Hickory // High-A Down East)
- INF Luis Yander La O (High-A Down East)
- RHP David Ledbetter (AA Frisco)
- C Josh Morgan (High-A Down East)
- OF Michael O’Neill (High-A Down East // AA Frisco)
- OF Yanio Perez (A Hickory // High-A Down East)
Way back to 2003: I’m listening to the Format. Interventions and Lullabies isn’t the best record in the world, but it is probably in my top 20 most-listened. “Mess to be Made” is a classic, but there’s no chance I could pick a favorite. If the voice sounds familiar, it’s because after The Format hit the road for about a decade of playing small clubs, their lead singer went and started a pop band called Fun., recorded “We Are Young”, and got super-famous.
(Spotify, Apple Music, Website)
During the regular season, these recommendations occasionally come from Rangers players, broadcasters, or other people around the team (here’s a complete list). If there’s a player or person you’d like Levi to ask for a music recommendation, shoot him an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or a tweet here.
You can follow Levi Weaver on Twitter at @ThreeTwoEephus, or for fewer puns and more straight-forward Baseball News updates, you can follow us at @BaseballTX, or download the app and get in-game updates and notifications by clicking on the logo below!