Welcome to The Bullpen, a weekly collection of Rangers thoughts from Greg Tepper. Let him know what you think on Twitter, and please be gentle.
It’s the April 5th, 2017 edition of The Bullpen, the real reason Richard Hidalgo was so disinterested in playing for the Rangers!
It’s the silly season of extrapolation. Baseball is a game predicated on large sample sizes, yet baseball fans are easily the most dithery in sports. And so, the early goings can seem to cause extreme overreactions. If a team starts off hot (like Colorado) or cold (like Seattle), it’s easy to put the months of thought during the offseason aside and lean on what feels right in the moment.
And so here we are, with the Rangers winless through two games against the reigning AL champion Indians. Why not just disband the franchise and just get it over with?
The other remarkable thing about baseball is that its history is rich with any sort of statistic to confirm your closest-held belief.
Think that the Rangers’ 0-2 start is a cause for worry? You’re exactly right: in the nine seasons that Texas has made the postseason, it has never started 0-2.
Think that the Rangers’ 0-2 start is no big deal? You’re exactly right: under Jeff Banister, April has been one of Texas’ worst months, with a .466 winning percentage. Only July (.420) has been worse.
Taking a small sample size and assuming things is a baseball tradition. The most important thing to remember is that you are right.
442 — The distance, in feet, that Joey Gallo’s home run traveled on Tuesday night, according to ESPN (MLB’s Statcast had yet to weigh in). If the 442 mark holds up, it would be the longest homer from a Ranger since…Monday, when Carlos Gomez hit one 451 feet.
1.75 — Dario Alvarez’s WHIP as a Texas Ranger after allowing a walk and an RBI single on Tuesday. To put that in perspective, Adam Rosales’ WHIP as a Texas Rangers is 1.5. Adam Rosales is a sprinter, not a pitcher.
69 — Uniform number that will not be worn by a Texas Ranger this season after our own Levi Weaver reported that a player’s request to wear it was denied. No Texas Ranger has ever worn No. 69. I wonder who the player who requested the number was. In yesterday's greatest upset, we found out it was not Mike Napoli.
Forgotten Ranger of the Week
Hey! Remember Scott Chiamparino? He — along with Joe Bitker — was sent from Oakland to Texas as players to be named later in exchange Harold Baines in 1990. The 23-year-old then started six games for the out-of-contention Rangers, notching a 2.63 ERA in almost 38 innings. Not bad! He would make nine more starts over the next two seasons and never be seen in the Majors again. Now he’s one of super-agent Scott Boras’ most trusted associates.
Arbitrary Top 5:
The Top 5 oldest Texas Rangers pitchers staffs, by average age of the pitchers:
5: 1996 (average age: 30.5)
4: 2005 (average age: 30.5)
3: 1995 (average age: 30.6)
2: 2004 (average age: 30.6)
1: 1980 (average age: 31)
Ballpark Food of the Week
The smoked turkey leg. Nothing says America quite like meat off the bone. You can find it in at Sweet Baby Rays BBQ, outside Sections 16 and 34.
Former Ranger Watch
Ryan Strausborger was traded to Seattle in exchange for an international bonus pool slot back in July, which is just about the most humbling commodity you can be traded for. Back in January, after being released by the Mariners, he signed a minor league deal with the Twins. He’s now a proud member of the Twins’ triple-A affiliate — the Rochester Red Wings — where he shares a locker room with fellow former Rangers Chad Allen (the team’s hitting coach), pitcher Nick Tepesch and grit machine Tommy Field.
Unrelated YouTube Video of the Week
Here is a video of a dog attacking water balloons on a trampoline.
Elvis Andrus Twitter Emoji Watch
Elvis Andrus loves emojis, so we’ll keep track of them by drawing a Tweet at random and counting the emojis.
So this week, in his Happy Birthday Tweet to Martin Perez, Elvis Andrus used six emojis — a thumbs up, a party noisemaker of some kind, a champagne bottle, praying hands, a Venezuelan flag and a trophy.
Through one week, the Elvis Andrus Emoji Count is at 6, averaging 6 emojis per sampled Tweet.
Words of Wisdom from Jose Canseco
Every week, we’ll close out The Bullpen by taking time to enjoy the thoughts of former Ranger Jose Canseco, because we have so much he can teach us.
“Be careful with bank of america they practice the art of legal extortion by holding checks longer than is legal and charging overdraft fees” — Jose Canseco, via Twitter
See you next week on The Bullpen!