It’s finally here. Sure, the ‘Riders have been done for a while, but this is the first Monday in a very long time without major league baseball. In fact, the last Monday the Rangers had without baseball going on was Monday, February 21 (Spring Training games began for Texas on Sunday, February 27).
It’s an incredibly long and stressful season and, for the second straight year, the off-season for the Rangers will be brief. That’s the price of October baseball.
As the off-season begins to stir, here are some news and notes from around professional baseball:
- Tony La Russa retires after 33 seasons with the third most wins in major league history (2,728).
- Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels told reporters today that prior to Spring Training, the clubwill decide if former RoughRider Neftali Feliz will move into the rotation. According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, “The club will likely decide some time in January. And it will partially depend on what kind of players they sign, how the rotation looks this offseason and what Feliz wants to do.”
- Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore wins the Spink Award as the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year. You might remember the lefty’s seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball in Tampa Bay’s 9-0 victory over the Rangers in Game 1 of the Divisional Series.
- The Rangers announced today that the team has exercised the club option on right-handed pitcher Colby Lewis for the 2012 season. Lewis, 32, has posted back-to-back seasons of at least 12 wins and 200.0 innings, the first right-handed pitcher to accomplish that feat for Texas since Rick Helling in 1998-99-2000-01. He has also gone 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA (13 ER/50.0 IP) over 8 postseason starts the last two years
- 148 major leaguers are now free agents.
- According to several reports, former RoughRider Mitch Moreland had what is being described as wrist soreness/tendinitis for most of the second half of the season.
- Six years ago today on Halloween, former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein avoided talking to reporters following his resignation by dressing up in a gorilla costume before leaving Fenway Park.
- There have been no reports of a gorilla exiting Busch Stadium in St. Louis.