Posts Tagged ‘ Baseball ’

Claw and Antlers Shirts


The Texas Rangers Claw and Antler shirts are not available online. If you see someone selling them, they are fake. At least for now.

Fans can pre-order the shirts at the Majestic gift shop at the Ballpark or at the Rangers stores in Dallas and Fort Worth. You can also order them by phone at 817-273-5015.

They come in small – XXL and cost $26 each. No confirmation on price increase for larger sizes yet. The shirts are made by Nike and should be avaiable in late September.

Also available to preorder are foam claw for $9.

No word on Antler hats or anything else.

For the story on the Claw and Antlers, check here.

Getting Back in Gear


Thanks for stopping by!

It seems that I have had an infulx in Texas Rangers fan stop by my little blog, and frankly that makes me happy that I can share some Ranger love with some folks.

That being said, I am coming off a several week long binge of finding myself hating the Rangers. Now, before any panties get twisted, my loyalties are (and always will be) with the Rangers. I have just been dissapointed with their choices for trades. At first it was Bengie Molina, but then he got on my good side after going full cycle a while back. Then it was Cliff Lee, who I disliked at first because of his first two outings as a Ranger. They must’ve ordered him a uniform that was too tight and then got him a new one, because now he plays like everyone says he does. And I like that.

Moving right along, I have yet to see any particular reason to start liking Cantu or Guzman. I’m sure they fit will in Washington and Miami, but neither of them seems to have the same energetic panache as, say, Nelson Cruz or Elvis Andrus. Hell, even Michael Young and CJ Wilson look like they’re having more fun than those two (though admitedly, Cantu is more energetic than Guzman), and they’re two of the most serious and focused guys in the normal lineup!

Now, to show my fairness here, I remember saying to my girlfriend when Nelson Cruz finally came back that I was afraid that it would mess up the working chemestry on the field. We were used to seeing Borbon, Hamilton, and Murphy in the outfield, and I worried that things might not click. Lucily, that wasn’t the case. Cruz is still just as much a part of the team as ever, though his immediate future is unclear due to an injury.

When you compare our lineup now to a month or a month and a half ago, you’d barely recognize it. Gone are the days of Kinsler and Davis, but as much as I loved Davis, his batting was lackluster at best. Gone also are the days of Treanor and Ramirez. Now we see Molina, Cantu, occasionally Moreland, Guzman (though now on the DL), and more of Blanco.

Moreland is one that I like. He’s great at the plate. Not too antsy and is willing to be patient without sacrificing precision. Blanco isn’t bad at all, but he’s no Ian Kinsler. I suppose I am being too hard on Guzman and Cantu, but until proven otherwise, I just don’t think they fit well with the Texas Rangers.

And now that there are actual hopes for more than just a mediocre season, I want the Rangers to be every bit as good as they were in June! I want another 11 game winning streak! I want Hamilton to have another twenty some-odd game streak where he hit safely. I want Vlad to get his head back in the game!

Basically, I want the Rangers to go all the way to the World Series and have a shot at winning it. That’s not too much to ask, right?

Thanks again for stopping by my blog! I’m happy you did, and I’d appreciate you spreading the word by pressing either Share Button below!

Ball Clubs vs. Teams


It’s been a while since I wrote about baseball, but instead of a play by play of a game I figured I’d talk a little about something that my girlfriend and I have noticed while watching the Texas Rangers play this season: The Texas Rangers are a team, while our opponents seem to be Ball Clubs. Two totally different things.

Now, I’ll be up front about the amount of baseball that I watch that has nothing to do with the Rangers- very little- but I do watch other teams play. The other day I watched a particularly depressing game between the Colorado Rockies and the Phillies. It’s kinda strange watching a National League game because I am used to American League teams, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Both teams have good players and not as good players, and they are comparable as far as records go. (Phillies are 53-46 and Rockies are 51-48 at the time of this writing) But it’s not so much about having good players or records, it is about a group of guys who genuinely seem to get on well with each other, and neither team looked like they were extremely happy to be on the field with the rest of their team. They were Ball Clubs.

The Texas Rangers have it down. Watch a Ranger game and take notice of when one gets a base hit or a double. You’ll then witness “The Claw,” a motion that hides its mysterious genesis from the media and fans alike. It looks like they are dunking a basketball and doing an “air high 5” at the dugout, but with their hand in a claw-like position.

Every time you see one of them do The Claw they smile at each other, proud that their team mates are going the distance. There are also varying degrees of The Claw, as explained by Tommy Hunter. Basically, the better the hit or RBI’s to go along with it, then the more enthusiastic the Claw motion.

Alongside The Claw is the also mysterious “Antlers.” You’ll see base runners who hustle their way around the bases or steal bases look to the dugout and give themselves antlers and smile. 

Hamilton signs for kids at a Ranger game against Houston

These kinds of antics, along with other signs and rituals, point to a group of guys who aren’t just out there for the paycheck. They’re out there together because they love the sport and the thrill of the crowd. You won’t see them shying away from young kids on the sidelines because they’re too good to sign autographs, rather you’ll see them by the first base line smiling and taking photos with kids and adults alike when they get a chance.

Now don’t take that the wrong way; I know that other teams out there are fun and exciting. I’m not suggesting that every other team in the MLB is a bunch of greedy, no good assholes who wouldn’t give a kid the time of day. I’m just saying that when you watch your favorite team, pay close attention to how well they get on with each other as team mates.

Do they high-five after winning and leave it at that?

Do they look bored?

Do they genuinely look like they’re having a good time with each other?

I think that’s one of the reason that, while the Rangers have never had a World Series, I still watch them and love them. They are not a Ball Club, they are a Team. They were that way when I was a kid. I remember going to countless games when Nolan Ryan pitched for them. Every game I’d get to shake his hand and get an autograph, something that costed $50 or so to stand in line at a convention and get from him. But he did it with a smile.

If your team is like that, I’d love to hear some stories from your ballpark. Don’t forget to share this article across the web so I can get feedback from all four corners of the great U.S. of A!

101 Reasons to Love the 1990′s (40-21)


Further down the spiral (see what I did there?) of the 101 reasons to love the 1990’s.

40. The Blair Witch Project needlessly scared the shit out of everyone. Close ups of snot bubbles will do that.

39. Tom Cochran told us that “Life is a Highway” and that he wanted to “Ride it all night long.” I just wanted to type out “ride it all night long.”

38. Dolly the sheep was the worlds first recognized cloned mammal. So they can give old men hard-ons and they can clone sheep, but they can’t make me live forever?

Is that an iceberg in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

37. Women everywhere swooned over Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. Men cheered when the friggin’ ship finally sunk. At least Kate Winslet showed her boobs, otherwise it was a waste of 6 hours of my life.

36. M.C. Hammer told us not to touch his shit. I bet he wishes he hadn’t said that now, because I don’t think anyone’s touched his shit in 15 years now.

35. Construction started in 1998 of the Internation Space Station. Upset astronauts discovered it doesn’t serve pancakes.

I wish I was still so money...

34. Nirvana essentially changed the face of music as we knew it. Too bad that birthed Bush, who in turn gave us Nickelback.

33. Chris Farley and David Spade made fifty movies together, every single one of them indistinguishable from the others.

32. Swing music and dancing made a huge comeback, even featured in movies like “The Mask” and “Swingers.” I admit that I still think it was awesome and listen to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the Squirrel Nut Zippers, but damnit I can’t dance to save my life.

31. And speaking of dancing, “Achy Breaky Heart” came out in the 90’s, before Billy Ray Cyrus’ daughter took over the world one tweeny girl at a time.

Life is like a good hooker. It sucks til you die.

30. Forest Gump ruined the life of any girl named Jennifer.

29. Ween’s song “Push Th’ Little Daisies” came out. Confused people everywhere still listened to it.

28. Bill Clinton played the sax. It was cool.

27. Jurassic Park made us believe that Steven Spielberg could actually train dinosaurs to act. When asked how he did it he responded, “Easy, the same way we got Oprah to play the titular character in E.T. … candy.”

26. Lindsay Lohan wasn’t constantly in the news or in prison. That we know of.

25. Baywatch confirmed that slow motion + girls runningin swim suits = awesome.

I'm a bad ass "G" and I can kick your ass. Word to your mother.

24. Doom, made by id Software, was released and made us all a little sick to our stomachs, but not in the same way the movie version of Doom did.

23. Vanilla Ice rapped his way into the hearts of every American and then some. Then we all realized he sucked.

22. Baseball cards became very popluar again, the first time since the golden age of baseball. Coincidentally, the bubble gum in each pack of cards was made during the golden age of baseball.

21. Bo Jackson apparently knew everything. No one disagreed.

The last bit of the 101 reasons to love the 1990’s is just around the corner! Stay tuned!

101 Reasons to Love the 1990′s (80-61)


Here’s the next portion of my 101 reasons to love the 1990’s. Enjoy!

80. Wonderall, by Oasis. Every dude learned to play in on the guitar and played it for their girlfriend. At least it’s better than “Hey There, Delilah.”

79. Doc Martins were worn by everyone who wanted to be an individual. Which was a lot of people, therefore negating the whole “individual” thing.

Dude, we're soup, too!

78. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, giving even ugly green dudes hope for scoring with a hot reporter.

77. Viagra was released for the first time. Hooray for old guys with stiffies…

76. NKOTB. If you think you don’t know what that is you’re a big, fat liar.

75. The Dead Sea Scrolls were unvieled, even though no one knew what the hell they said.

74. The phrase “going postal” was coined, giving a bad name to hard working, asshole postmen everywhere.

73. “If it [the glove] doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Sadly for most men, they weren’t talking about condems.

72. Terminator 2: Judgement Day released in 1991, a whopping 18 years before Christian Bale even knew the meaning to half the bad words used on the set of Terminator: Salvation.

71. Furbies make a brief appearance for all of us to ask, “Why?”

I'm voting Republican. The Democrats left a bad taste in my mouth.

70. Faux hippies try to recreate the summer of love. The only difference is that they’re a bunch of spoiled brats. Otherwise, they smelled about the same.

69. The SNES came out, saying good-bye to all those crap-ass 8 bit games and ushering in 16 bit shit. Don’t get me wrong, I love both the NES and SNES, but c’mon… Other than nostalgia they really were shit.

68. Metallica still kicked ass. In fact, it wasn’t until the latter part of the 1990’s that they really started to suck terribly. The “black” album was about their pinnacle even though it signaled their stray from hard-core metal, but it was an amazing album nonetheless.

67. Everyone wanted to see exactly how many different colored flannel shirts they could wear or tie somewhere on their body. Actually, I miss those days.

66. At the school dance: “Hey, if I ask the DJ to play Boyz II Men will you dance with me?” “Yeah!”

65. Monica Lewinski ushered in an era of dick jokes unlike any woman before her. And every guy publicly winced at the thought of her, but secretly wouldn’t kick her out of bed.

Who you callin' old, bitch?

64. “Waaaaaasssssuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup?”

63. Beavis and Butthead make every parent believe their children are doing drugs. And they were right, because how else was that shit suppose to be funny?

62. Nolan Ryan pitched two no-hitter games for the Texas Rangers, and beat the shit out of Robin Ventura on the mound just for good measure. That’s how Texans roll.

61. Marky Mark asked if we could “feel the vibrations,” and most of us wished we couldn’t.

And that’s all for today. Stay tuned as I get closer to the bottom of the list!

Getting on my Good Side


The fastest way to a man's heart is from just under the rib cage.

There are many ways to reach a man’s heart. Some will say things like beef, bacon, cheese burgers, and other assorted meats; while others will say football, baseball, basketball, hockey, or any other sport. Within each of those things are a pyramid of smaller things a woman can do to gain access to the cockles of our hearts, and even those have sub-areas in which to catch our fancy.

Up to this point, the male readers have only seen the words dealing with meat, sports, and the word “cockles,” simply because it’s a funny word. Hell, that’s the only reason I chose that word to type.

But anyhoo, men have a funny sense of boundaries when we choose to adhere to something like sports. Any change is either welcome entirely or completely shunned. Which brings me to the point of this post.

Bengie Molina was traded for pitcher Chris Ray and a couple Minor League guys. Because of that trade Max Ramirez went down to the Minors and Matt Treanor took backseat behind the plate. This came just after the Texas Rangers had their eleven game win streak, and though the Astros had broken that streak we still had some fight left in us. Changing what was a well oiled machine seemed to be the last thing the Rangers ought to do.

Up until the last few games I will openly admit to having trouble with Bengie Molina being on our team. We worked just fine, and even with a hit on his first at bat as a Ranger, I just didn’t like the guy. I still feel the same about Cliff Lee (gasp!) because frankly, I liked Justin Smoak! The flip side to that coin is that I really like Chris Davis, who took back his place at first base.

Back on target here, tonight I got the chance to watch the Texas Rangers in Boston to play game two. After a relatively boring first three innings the game was delayed for an hour because of the rain, but I had taken notice that Molina was trying to gain favor with me (everyone in the world, including Steve Jobs, reads my blog and wants to be on my good side). After the rain delay Molina did something I would not have ever guessed he would do. In the fifth inning he goes to the plate with loaded bases and accomplishes the unimaginable: he hit a grand slam straight to dead centerfield. It. Was. Awesome.

And to top it all off, in the eighth inning that mofo straight hit a triple, accomplishing another feat: he got himself a full cycle, hitting a single, double, triple, and home run in one game. This means that he is the fifth Texas Ranger to ever hit a full cycle, and only the ninth person in Major League history to do so with a grand slam as the home run portion of a full cycle.

Awesome.

Needless to say, Bengie Molina has now gained that special part of my heart, joining many other delectable in life; such as Dr Pepper, cherries, flan, French Dips, provolone cheese, steaks, Fogo de Chao, Call of Duty, beer, assorted candies, most fruits, high def. televisions, Garfield, racquetball, back scratches, taking things from small children, the smell of freshly cut grass in the summer, crab legs, ankle bracelets, French Stewart, songs that fade out instead of ending, iPhones, Xbox 360’s, potpourri, scented candles, leg warmers, The Doors, six-hour naps when you meant for only one, people of Walmart, massages, lying about being from out of the country for no reason and using a horrible fake accent but still getting away with it, Donnie Darko, crushing people’s heads with my fingers, and the music video for Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Perhaps I’ve said too much…

Anyhoo, I think it’s safe to say that I have a new respect for Bengi Molina and I am happy to have him on board. If he sucks the rest of the year then I’ll just have to change my mind. So suck it.

It’s nice to have more nice things to say about the Texas Rangers, and I hope that we can void out those four losses to the Baltimore Orioles by sweeping four games from the Red Sox. God knows we could use the wins! So until tomorrow, good night, and good luck.

Back to Basics


This has been one of the most disappointing weeks of the Texas Rangers’ season, and I gotta say that I’m thrilled that it’s over. Now that we have a few days off, save for the six we’re sending to the All Star Game on Tuesday, perhaps Nolan Ryan  and Ron Washington can beat some sense into the flailing ball club.

We went from a sultry, sexy 11 game winning streak to losing four straight to no less than the complete bottom of the barrel Baltimore Orioles. I’ll give the Orioles this: they played the hell out of the last four games and well done to them for accomplishing what most, myself included, thought would be the complete opposite.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still love and will root for the Rangers, but they have some proving to do. Not just to me and the rest of the fans, but to their own players and staff. You don’t just go from winning to losing like that without a reason, and it’s time now for the Rangers to figure out what that reason is. Does Bengie need to get more practice with our pitching staff? Does he need to let Matt Treanor take over for a week or so? Is there something in the water? Did they all get too excited to go see Eclipse that they were no longer able to play the game of baseball? Each is equally possible, in my humble opinion.

"THe 40 Year Old Virgin 2: Johnny 5 Needs a Hard Reboot

I am reminded of the 80’s film “Short Circuit.” In that film, everyone thinks that the escaped robot is out to kill, kill, kill. But in reality Johnny 5 just wants to be treated like everyone else…

 

Come to think of it, I don’t know why I thought about that movie. It has shit-all to do with what I’m talking about, but it’s a great movie anyway.

More to the point,  I really am reminded of the The Doors, arguably one of the greatest rock bands to ever take the stage. Their first few albums were fantastical damn near perfect! They had rock music down to a “T,” and then they put out the album “The Soft Parade.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I freakin’ love that album. The titular song is amongst my favorite Doors song out there, but that album was completely different. It had horns and strings instead of rock and poetry. It was lackluster, to say the least. Then they made it up to their fans by putting out their sixth and final album: “L.A. Woman.” Talk about back to basics. Their blues influence returned and they nailed the rock shit out of that album.

And so I think that the Texas Rangers need to do about the same. No more glitzy this or that, just get down to basics like they did in May and June. I hope they are humbled by their win streak, and I hope that they start after the All Star Game like they started May: with a hopeful attitude for a winning season.

I think they can do it. I think that they have what it takes. They have all the puzzle pieces, but it needs to be reassembled. Good on them for a job well done in the first half. Honestly. But let’s kick it up a notch in the second and win not just the American League West, but the American League all together! Hopefully the can realize that inside they are just as able to win as what they are now as opposed to what they were back then, kinda like how Johny 5 learned that he could be a robot and still wanna pork that hot chick he was shacking up with… Alright, I made that last one up…

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