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Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


Rangers Newsbeat

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Newberg: The varying degree of cutting ties. -

Tom Wilhelmsen is not a Jerry Dipoto trophy.  He was an asset for a new General Manager to evaluate, to decide whether his greatest value to the club was in the bullpen or in a trade.  Rumored for weeks to be hunting for a center fielder (such as Brett Gardner, Peter Bourjos, Jon Jay, or Martin, according to Fox Sports columnist Ken Rosenthal earlier this month), Dipoto clearly decided that adding Benoit (on Thursday) would facilitate flipping Wilhelmsen for that center field addition.

Just a week ago an NL club executive explained to Joel Sherman (New York Post), in the context of this wave of GM changes around the league: “What happens is that when you have new people, they do not view the talent left behind like the old people did.  When you draft and develop a player, you tend to have a higher opinion and affinity for the player than someone outside the organization.  The new person doesn’t have the same ties and is more willing to trade them.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2015 at 06:14 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, jerry dipoto, mariners, rangers

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mariners get Leonys Martin for Tom Wilhelmsen |

The rapid evolution of the Mariners’ roster under new general manager Jerry Dipoto continued Monday as the club acquired center fielder Leonys Martin and right-handed reliever Anthony Bass from the Rangers in exchange for part-time closer Tom Wilhelmsen, outfielder James Jones and a player to be named.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2015 at 07:26 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, rangers

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Rangers notes: Yu Darvish headed home to Japan during ‘no-throw’ rehab | The Star-Telegram

With Darvish penciled in for a return around May and pitchers like Gonzalez and Martinez seemingly ready to contribute, do the Rangers really need anything more than depth signs?

The Rangers are looking to add one starting pitcher this off-season and hope to find a fifth rotation member during a spring training competition among a slew of candidates, including Chi Chi Gonzalez, Nick Martinez, Nick Tepesch, Anthony Ranaudo, and Phil Klein.

The rotation currently consists of left-handers Cole Hamels, Derek Holland and Martin Perez. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo has until Friday to accept or decline the club’s qualifying offer. If he declines, the Rangers’ desire to engage with free agent Colby Lewis is likely to intensify.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 11:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yu darvish

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Derek Holland not a fan of Jose Bautista on the field, and ‘personally, I don’t like him, either’ | Dallas Morning News

The Bautista bat flip - have you ever seen a bat flip like that?

Holland: He’s the most animated player I’ve ever seen. After watching him in the outfield cry about every single thing, it’s unbelievable. I don’t care if he hits a home run off me, that’s fine, I give up home runs, I’ve struck people out, I do all that stuff, it’s how baseball goes. But the way you do it - is he better than the game? Yeah, you lived in the moment, that’s great. You hit a home run? Yeah, you can pimp it. That’s fine. But the way he did it, I just think that one - that’s a bit much. That’s cool if you want to stare at the pitcher, because obviously the pitcher made the mistake. If it’s me, I made the mistake; you hit the home run? Cool, stare at me. I’m going to be the one that’s not actually staring at you, I’m going to watch and see how far you just hit it because that’s how I am. I like to punish myself by seeing that. But the way he did it, I don’t like it at all. I mean, personally, I don’t like him, either. Especially after seeing more about him during the game, and being out in the outfield and seeing how he complains about every single thing. It’s like, no matter what, if you throw anything close to the plate, and it’s a ball, it’s supposed to be a ball for him - no matter what. It’s like we can’t have any calls or anything like that, it’s always his way. I just don’t like that. I’m not a big fan of him.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2015 at 09:41 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, derek holland, jose bautista, rangers

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ugly scene at Rogers Centre in Game 5 can’t happen again | FOX Sports

Get control of yourselves, you rowdy Canadians!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 15, 2015 at 06:04 AM | 146 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, playoffs, rangers

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Jays’ Marcus Stroman on Game 5: ‘I’m extremely confident’

“It’s got the makings of a really, really good story here if it plays out the way we want it to,” Gibbons said on Tuesday prior to the team’s off-day workout. “I don’t think it really surprises anybody that knows him, that’s been around him. He’s got a great arm, he’s got great stuff — whatever you want to call it.

“But there’s something different about him, too. He’s smart, he’s intelligent. He’s one of those guys that everybody gravitates to because he makes you feel good and he makes everybody play better. And I expect if anybody can rise to the occasion, it would be him.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2015 at 06:23 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, playoffs, rangers

Sherrington: The only ace left in play belongs to the Rangers, and it could be enough | Dallas Morning News

If you’re fortunate enough to own an ace, you must first hope he’s available for the biggest game of the year. One way to ensure such a result is to refrain from using your ace as a long reliever a couple of days beforehand, especially with a six-run lead and a knuckleballer who could pitch until Thursday, if necessary.

John Gibbons, Toronto’s manager, can say what he wants, but it’s clear he didn’t believe in R.A. Dickey or his ace, David Price.

Jeff Banister, on the other hand, is all in on Cole Hamels. And for good reason.

Hamels is the only Ranger living up to his millions lately.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2015 at 06:11 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, rangers

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Grant: Rangers turn to Cole Hamels for ALDS Game 5, who’s in a position he’s never been | Dallas Morning News

His team won all four games. You’ll have to read the article to get the specifics.

When Cole Hamels starts Game 5 of the AL Division Series on Wednesday in Toronto, it will be the fifth start of his career in which his team has a chance to close out a postseason series. It will, however, be his first win-or-go-home start. A look at Hamels’ previous performances in series-clinching opportunities:

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2015 at 01:56 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cole hamels, rangers

Monday, October 12, 2015

Leonys Martin jilts Texas Rangers, skips workouts in Arizona | Dallas Morning News

I guess he’s not a team player.

Outfielder Leonys Martin has weakened his always shaky status with the club by failing to report to the Arizona Instructional League as planned.

The Rangers included Martin in a group of players sent to Surprise, Ariz., on Wednesday to continue workouts during the post-season and be ready if needed. Team can change rosters at all times during the post-season.

General manager Jon Daniels said Martin apparently was upset at being left off the roster for the American League Division Series against Toronto. The Rangers kept veteran Drew Stubbs as a back-up center fielder and pinch-runner.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 10:13 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: leonys martin, rangers

Cowlishaw: Rangers need Beltre back, Choo, Fielder to show up | Dallas Morning News

Another big game today. Playoff baseball is the best.

But Fielder already knows how a team’s fans can sour on a slugger during or after a really poor post-season. It happened in Detroit two years ago.

There’s still time for Choo and Fielder to write positive post-season chapters to their 2015 tales. It could happen as early as Monday afternoon against Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. In fact, changing the story in the next few hours sure beats trying to do it two days from now in an elimination game in Canada.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 08:12 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, playoffs, rangers

Toronto Blue Jays’ R.A. Dickey would be ‘disappointed and sad’ if he doesn’t get a chance to pitch in post-season | National Post

Dickey can go a long way in making the deal with the Mets seem better.

“Look,” said Dickey, “you had to win three games anyway, right? The order in which you’ve won those games is insignificant to winning them. So if you won the first one, lost the next two and won the next two, it doesn’t matter, if you won three in a row, it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to win three. Here we are having to win three. We’ve had an 11-game win streak this year. Nobody in (the clubhouse) is thinking that we have some kind of insurmountable mountain that we can’t climb.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 08:05 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, r.a. dickey, rangers

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Toronto Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson mum about Keone Kela, Pete Rose jabs - SweetSpot - ESPN

The skirmishes during the season don’t really bother me. It’s a long season and sometimes emotions get heated. During the playoffs, though, they are just stupid. There is too much riding on each game for players to act like this.

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson offered little insight on the heated exchange he had with Texas Rangers reliever Keone Kela in the 13th inning after Donaldson’s bid for a second home run in Game 2 Friday afternoon sailed foul.

Benches cleared briefly after Kela, who had walked in toward home plate after Donaldson pulled a drive that landed about 15 feet to the left of the foul pole. It was difficult to determine who initiated the exchange between pitcher and hitter, but Donaldson could be seen cursing Kela, the pitcher took off his glove and spread his arms in a “come and get me” gesture, which caused players from both sides to rush toward the plate.

“We made eye contact, exchanged a few words ,” Donaldson said. “He didn’t back down. I didn’t back down.”

There was some speculation that Donaldson was upset at what he thought was a quick pitch from Kela.

“It was a couple of things, just leave it at that,” Donaldson said.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 09:25 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, josh donaldson, keone kela, rangers

Horn: A letter to Rangers fans who feel national broadcasts are against them | Dallas Morning News

Is there a more tiresome broadcasting team than Costas and Kaat? They are just awful. Among the many stupid things they talked about yesterday was the umpire’s strike zone. The umpire was all over the place. Repeatedly, though, they would complain about a pitch being called wrong even when the pitch tracking clearly showed the call was right. Now they don’t have to love all the new stats or technology but not understanding pitch tracking just makes them look completely out of touch with today’s game.
I could go on and on.

MLB Network on Friday offered up Bob Costas and Jim Kaat in the booth. That was an improvement. Costas messed up on the score once, insisted reliever Sam Dyson pitched the last five games of the Rangers regular season when he did not, and referred to Adrian Beltre as Albert Belle. Kaat knows pitching. But he fell on his face when after a blowup between Rangers reliever Keone Kela and Josh Donaldson he tried to play sociologist on TV.

“He’s a young kid,” Kaat said about Kela. “He came out of a tough area where he’s used to a lot of violence.”

And when it was over, instead of celebrating the winners, you may have thought Costas and Kaat spent too much time lamenting the losers.

But you may not have hung around to listen. Late in the pre-game show analyst Mark DeRosa predicted a Blue Jays victory. That’s fair game.

And then he added: “Last thing I want to see is the Jays get on a bird to Texas down 0-2.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 09:10 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, grumpy old men, rangers

Rougned Odor Slides Around Instant Replay | FanGraphs Baseball

I am not a fan of instant replay. It’s tedious. They often review calls and get it wrong. I also dislike when people complain about a call not getting overturned when there is no conclusive evidence. I watched the replay multiple times. To me it looks like his spikes are still touching the bag. At the least, it proves the evidence isn’t conclusive, which means the original call stands. The original call made by the umpire who was only a few feet away.

The glove is on the leg. The cleat, at least, isn’t firmly on the base. Because of the angle, we can’t conclusively say whether there was space between Odor and the bag. It seems probable there was.

After the review, the crew chief signaled safe. Odor was alive on second, the Rangers alive in the 14th, and shortly thereafter Odor would score the go-ahead and eventual winning run. For good measure, the Rangers added a run of insurance. Then came Ohlendorf, then came preparation for a long flight to Texas.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, instant replay, playoffs, rangers

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Cubs Edge toward Destiny as WS Fave Jays Open ALDS

Rational Pastime’s playoff simulator now projects the Cubs as 34% favorites to represent the Senior Circuit in the Fall Classic, and 5:1 to win it all… Among today’s American League contenders, the Toronto Blue Jays remain big favorites at 2:1…

Summary of projections:

TOR 3:1
CHC 5:1
HOU 5:1
LAD 8:1
KCR 11:1
NYM 12:1
STL 13:1
TEX 16:1

J-Doug Posted: October 08, 2015 at 01:41 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: alds, astros, blue jays, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, nlds, playoffs, projections, rangers, royals, world series

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Toronto Blue Jays Big Favorites as 2015 MLB Postseason Begins

It begins again: Rational Pastime projections for the 2015 postseason. Tonight, the RP model has the Houston Astros as slight favorites over the New York Yankees. Were these teams evenly matched, the Yanks would be favored 54-46, thanks to home field advantage. However, my RP Score system believes that the Astros are a better team.

As for the rest of the playoffs, the model—which relies on the Log 5 equation and Matt Swarz’s numbers for home field advantage—picks the Toronto Blue Jays to win it all as nearly 2:1 favorites.

J-Doug Posted: October 06, 2015 at 04:19 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, pirates, playoffs, projections, rangers, royals, yankees

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Rangers win sixth AL West; Angels’ season over |

Congrats to the Rangers and Astros.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 04, 2015 at 06:52 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, playoffs, rangers

Friday, October 02, 2015

Rangers wait to celebrate division title |

They certainly had quite the ride.

The Rangers reached postseason by going 44-23 in their last 67 games. That goes back to July 29, when they started the day 47-52 and eight games out of first place.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 05:24 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, rangers

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Grant: It worked for the 2013 Boston Red Sox…how Mike Napoli and a box of U.S. flag-themed shorts hope to spark a postseason run for the Rangers | Dallas Morning News

“He’s a relationship guy and loves to connect with everybody in the clubhouse,” Banister added. “He brings that intensity and some camaraderie. It’s real. ... You need a guy like that.”

It’s not as if Napoli learned the art of connecting overnight. For the start of his career, he played with well-respected, clubhouse-uniters such as Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero in Anaheim. With the Rangers, he lockered next to—and gravitated toward—Michael Young for two years and was also around Adrian Beltre. In Boston, it was Gomes, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz.

Now, in his 10th year in the majors, he is being the center of gravity.

“He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had,” Young said. “There are no clubhouse walls with him. He always finds himself with winning teams.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 22, 2015 at 07:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mike napoli, rangers

Friday, September 18, 2015

Rangers complete four-game sweep of Astros |

This was not a pretty series for the Astros.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 18, 2015 at 08:12 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, rangers

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Prince Fielder giving Rangers a crucial boost |

Vintage Fielder could decide the division.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 10:28 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: prince fielder, rangers

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

5 MLB teams with offseason holes and in-season jackpots -

Getting lucky doesn’t hurt.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2015 at 10:08 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, diamondbacks, giants, pirates, rangers

This land is Moreland: Texas overtakes Astros in West |

It’s a Texas-sized pennant race.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2015 at 06:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, rangers

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Wild West shows why it’s time for radical MLB realignment

The world should be ready, 18 years after Bud Selig put the idea forward, for baseball to have geographic realignment. Interleague play demystified the concept of every team playing against every other team, the game would benefit from adding intensity to the rivalries it has generated and, as a bonus, it would allow MLB to once and for all settle the designated hitter debate — if the majors are split into regions, there would be no more hand-wringing about ruining the sanctity of National League baseball. Further, if baseball stuck with an unbalanced schedule, geographic realignment could further reduce the travel burden for teams, helping players stay healthier and the on-field product to be stronger than ever.

Imagine this year’s races with the Astros-Rangers race joined by Mets-Yankees and Cardinals-Royals races, or last year with Angels-Dodgers and Orioles-Nationals. Last year, Baltimore and Washington both went 96-66 – they could have had the Beltway’s answer to the 1951 Dodgers-Giants playoff, which is only one of the hallmark moments in baseball history.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2015 at 02:43 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, rangers, realignment, rivalries, schedule

Prince pulls Rangers closer to the top |

Look out, the Rangers are making their move.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 15, 2015 at 06:31 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, prince fielder, rangers

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