Date: Thursday, August 17th, 2017
Opponent: Chicago White Sox (45-72)
Starters: Reynaldo Lopez (0-0, 3.00) vs. Tyson Ross (3-2, 7.11)
Well, well, well. We have ourselves a winning streak. The Rangers have won 5 of 6 on this homestand, including a sweep of a struggling Tigers team. And now they will face… a struggling White Sox team. The Rangers have a chance to make real progress right now, trailing the second Wild Card spot by just two games. After the White Sox, the team heads to Anaheim to face one of the teams that are currently ahead of them in the queue. I didn’t expect to write this sentence as recently as a couple of weeks ago, but there’s a decent chance the Rangers could make this season interesting beyond “They traded Yu Darvish”.
Today, we’ll look at a dugout skirmish that wasn’t, and a manager’s trust in a rookie. It’s the August 17th Baseball Texas Daily!
1. Adrian Beltre and Joey Gallo did not get into a fight in the dugout after Gallo’s 8th inning home run. That seems like an unnecessary sentence, and when people on Twitter first started to suggest they had, I immediately assumed they were wrong. I asked Jeff Banister about it in the postgame press conference, and his “just boys being boys” answer was expected. But then I saw the video.
Since I haven't seen it tweeted out yet, here's the Beltre/Gallo thing. We're havin fun here, no? pic.twitter.com/njyKmvcMQK— RJ Coyle (@coylio33) August 17, 2017
Later, word came from someone who watched it unfold, and their interpretation was that Rougned Odor had pranked Gallo by hiding his hat and glove and Beltre was pretending to give Gallo a hard time for losing his gear. I was satisfied with that explanation, but it did still look like maybe it had gotten a little heated.
So today, I asked Joey. He laughed and explained.
“So me and (Adrian), we mess with each other a lot. So every time I was hit a home run (lately), I would kinda walk by him and not give him a high five. So he started doing it back to me, completely joking around. So if you see when he hit his home run last night, I was on deck like this [raises hand] and he just walked by, so I was like ‘Crap, he got me’.”
“So when I got back in after I hit a home run, I was doing it to him. We went into the dugout and we were messing around, but I guess the camera shot made it look (serious).”
Gallo said that he brushed it off when Jeff Banister brought it up, because the dugout directly beside the camera wasn’t on them when they were horsing around, but Banister told him that people were sending him texts asking him about it. That was when Gallo realized: ahh yes. There is more than one camera in the ballpark.
“If they would have had the normal camera angle, they would have seen everything when we were laughing. But when we were (pretending to be) serious(…) that’s the video they showed, me and I was like ‘ah, that has to be the worst angle, because you can’t tell we’re joking around.”
Gallo went on to reiterate something he has told us before: “Me and AB, we have a special kind of relationship. When I started to get to know him a little more-- I was always intimidated by him, but then I got to know him. He just likes to be young, so I started messing with him, and he’ll mess with me. I call him “Abuelo” (grandpa); that’s just the kind of relationship we have. But no, I would never-- Dude, we were up by like ten runs, that would be the dumbest thing ever. Just complete horsing around, messing around.”
Then he spoke a truth so pure that it crystallized mid-air, and we all broke off a few pieces to carry around with us as a moral compass to guide us in these confusing times. “If I were going to fight somebody on the team, I don’t think it would be that guy. I’m pretty sure I would be released.”
2. Ricky Rodriguez has a 0.00 ERA in the big leagues after two starts. In last night’s game, the Rangers scored four runs in the sixth inning before he entered the game to protect a 9-4 lead. But it wasn’t 9-4 when he started warming. It was 5-4. I asked Jeff Banister if Rodriguez was warming just in case the lead got bigger, or if he was really planning to put him in a one-run game after one (admittedly impressive) outing of big league experience.
“No, he was coming in the game,” Banister said with a confident nod. “I liked what we saw in the one outing, how calm he was, the stuff. We had no (Matt) Bush yesterday. And with the ‘ups’ (warmups, plus recent usage), we weren’t bringing Tony in the game. Tony was there just in case we needed to get Cole out of that (sixth) inning. Grill, with the number of pitches the night before (was unavailable). Given the number of outings where everyone was at, I really didn’t want to go two innings with Leclerc or Claudio at that point, so we had Rodriguez, Bibens-Dirkx, Mariñez (who hadn’t pitched in 13 days), Leclerc, Claudio. So I went with the young kid who dazzled two nights prior. His stuff was good. I imagine he looked the same when he was with the Down East Wood Ducks, as far as tempo and temperament.”
3. A few short notes: We don’t have any word on Keone Kela’s return yet. Jake Diekman throws his first rehab assignment inning tonight in Frisco. Carlos Gomez is still out of the lineup with a super gross cyst on his right shoulder blade, but might be available to pinch-hit or pinch-run tonight, and Robinson Chirinos is out of the lineup despite being on a hot streak, simply because Banister is giving him regular rest, and catching in this humidity is incredibly taxing on a body.
I have a few bands I listen to when the world gets too big. Elbow is one. The Weakerthans are another. Today’s a Weakerthans day. I’ve been listening to their second album “Left and Leaving” (2000) today.
(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.
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