Results tagged ‘ David Murphy ’

Meet the Press – 2013 Edition

We’re just a few days away from the start of another baseball season and, even though Tuesday night’s “Future Rangers Showcase” was rained out, everyone here at the RoughRiders is excited to start our 11th season.  Over the next five months, you’ll be a seeing a lot of new and interesting stuff in this space as we help you stay up to date with the team and let you get to know the players a little better.  I’ll be keeping you up to date with news from the road the best I can, but since I won’t be the only one you’ll hear from, it’s only proper to introduce to you the other members of our blog team for the 2013 season.  In addition to contributing here, Nathan Barnett will join me on the radio broadcasts this season while Ryan Garrett will be helping us run things up in the press box.  Since they will undoubtedly do a better job writing about themselves than I can (a hiring prerequisite), I’ll turn it over to Nathan and Ryan so that they may introduce themselves in their own words (if you want to read a far less interesting introduction of yours truly, you may do so here, even if it is not recommended).

- Alex

Nathan Barnett

The ever-present construction and stop-and-go traffic of I-30. The Dallas North Tollway exit from I-35, curving left over the grandstands of Reverchon Ballfield. The northbound Tollway exit at Royal Lane. The most herky-jerky moments during my ride back from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (then simply known as the Ballpark in Arlington) that woke me from my slumber that had become oh-so-routine.

With heavy eyelids and a grumpy moan I woke from my slumber only to realize that waking wasn’t so bad. The cordial narrative coming from the radio, the smooth voice of Eric Nadel, reminded me that baseball was around me. My interrupted slumber caved way to pleasant surprise.

Maybe it was the waning moments of the game: a Jeff Zimmerman punch-out, a heroic whack from Pudge, or a miraculous feat by Rusty Greer or what was left of the Arlington faithful still screaming their voices hoarse.

Perhaps it was a highlight: “that ball is history,” punctuated at least once in the postgame show. If not twice. Or more (as often was the case with those mid 90s Rangers teams). A familiar and comfortable voice reminding me of the great night that was at the Ballpark, retold as if it was happening all over again—like I was there in my seat, when in reality, I was stuck at a red light at Royal Ln and Preston Rd in the back seat of my dad’s sedan.

Nathan can hardly look away from the action on the field at the SCCBL Championship Series.

Nathan can hardly look away from the action on the field at the SCCBL Championship Series.

I didn’t realize it until I was a college senior, slamming down my LSAT Prep book—never to be opened again (it still sits, dusty and somehow lightly stained on my bookshelf at home)—that it was in that thirty-or-so minute car-ride back home, on a school night, when nine innings was almost never in the cards for a young boy of thoughtful parents, that I found a certain romance in calling a baseball game. That feeling of bringing someone the game.

No, more than that: of bringing someone to the game, away from everything else. Away from the bills, and the traffic and stress of everyday life for someone who doesn’t have the time, money or energy to make it to yard themselves.  That is what I find so rewarding about what I (somehow) get paid to do.

This business can be crazy. In all the madness that is working in sports—working  100-hour weeks, pushing out  100 sales calls a day, sleeping on floors and even in dining rooms, broadcasting with the flu, calling games cramped two people to a three-foot wide table, staring at a computer on overnight bus trips—everything melts away when that pitcher toes the rubber for the first time and the batter kicks up the chalk of the box in the first.

One of my first mentors in sports once told me “working in sports beats working.” Getting to do the most fun thing I can imagine within sports—well, it is truly indescribable for me.

With this privilege comes obligation: I hope to bring you to the game not just bring you the game.

And here on the blog, I hope we can all bring you closer to the players, the coaches and to us, so that when and if you do tune in to Alex and/or myself on the air this season, the insights and information this forum can provide help attain that goal.

Who knows, maybe we too can feel like the comfortable and familiar voice I heard riding home, with droopy eyes, hearing my role model bring me back to the ballpark.

Or maybe in reading this here, we just get the occasional chuckle out of you. Or tweet. I sure would love that too.

- Nathan

Ryan Garrett

As a kid growing up in Roswell, NM, baseball was the one sport that I enjoyed playing.  I was never the fastest runner, the best hitter (though I did hit the lone grand-slam of my 1999 little league team), or never was really competitive or athletic, but I loved the game and I loved spending time with my dad, who served as an assistant coach.

Through the years, especially after moving with my family to the Dallas area in 1998, my lack of athletic talent forced me to realize I was a better fit for watching the games, being an excited fan in the stands or in the comfort of my own home.

I’ve lived the majority of my life in nearby Rockwall, TX, active with school, church and a local boy scout troop.  As a 6th grader, music became my passion and I began to play the clarinet.  Through high school, I rooted on my Rockwall Yellowjackets as a member of the marching band, and was also the editor of the school newspaper.  It was through the high school paper that I found my love for writing and journalism.

A couple of Baylor Bears making sweet music.

A couple of Baylor Bears making sweet music.

I began my first two years of college life in an unusual way, becoming a member of the Corps of Cadets at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell (alma mater to Dallas Cowboys great Roger Staubach).  At NMMI, I studied journalism and continued my music career, playing clarinet in Headquarters Troop, Regimental Band.

After graduating from junior college, I followed in the footsteps of my parents, sister and 20-plus other relatives, attending Baylor University, majoring in Journalism & Public Relations.  I donned the uniform of the Baylor Golden Wave Band, and proudly had a front-row seat during RG3’s 2011 Heisman season, the 2012 National Champion Lady Bears’ 40-0 season, and a tremendous “Year of the Bear” in Baylor sports.

Through marching band, my love for sports has grown tremendously. I enjoy watching all sports, cheering on my Baylor Bears, Texas Rangers, Houston Texans and Washington Redskins (RG3).  I graduated from Baylor this past December, and started work with the RoughRiders as the Media Intern in February.  I love the game of baseball, and I look forward to this season with the ‘Riders, writing articles, blog postings and game stories and spending game days at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

- Ryan

Costly comebacker could have Rangers scrambling

Martin Perez gets checked out by a trainer after being hit by a line drive in Sunday's game vs. Seattle. (photo credit to Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports)

Martin Perez gets checked out by a trainer after being hit by a line drive in Sunday’s game vs. Seattle. (photo credit to Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports)

First there was “The Case of the Poorly Timed Tattoo” and now there’s a much more serious Rangers injury to be concerned about.  In the sixth inning of yesterday’s 7-6 loss to the Mariners, former RoughRiders pitcher Martin Perez was struck just above the left wrist by a Brad Miller line drive and after the game it was revealed that he suffered a fracture of the left ulna bone.  It will be at least four weeks until he can begin a throwing program and most indications are that he will be on the shelf until May at the earliest.

What makes this so unfortunate is that Perez was the clear leader in the clubhouse for the fifth spot in Texas’ rotation, a position that failed to produce any wins down the home stretch of the 2012 season.  The former RoughRider was having a strong spring training while the other competitors were either: a) struggling; b) injured; or c) inexperienced.  Perez, the Rangers’ top minor league pitcher who has been on prospect radars everywhere for the last few years, was looking to make that next step to become a reliable major league starter.  That still may end up happening, but this is a big blow in the short term for the club.

The calls for veteran free agent pitcher Kyle Lohse were already out there to some degree and they’ve only gotten even louder since Sunday afternoon.  The Rangers will have to decide how big of a setback this is and if they want to put themselves into a position they were in last year with Roy Oswalt.  Texas was practically forced to sign Oswalt after some injuries to their pitching staff, but had to stash the former all-star in the bullpen because of ineffectiveness which didn’t sit well with ol’ Roy.

It’s not completely an apples-to-apples comparison, as there would be some differences and some similarities if they were to sign Lohse.  The former Cardinals righty is 34, the same age as Oswalt when he signed with Texas a few months into the 2012 season.  He has been better than Oswalt in recent years (including a stellar season last year) but has a career track record of mediocrity; he’s almost the opposite of Oswalt’s in that sense.  The primary reason Lohse has not signed yet is because he and agent Scott Boras likely want more money and more years than the market has been interested in giving him (as well as the forfeiture of a first round draft pick and the signing bonus pool money that goes along with it), whereas Oswalt simply wasn’t interested in pitching a full season, Roger Clemens-style.

What makes this a tricky situation is the expected return of Colby Lewis as soon as May, when Perez would likely be back.  The question the Rangers need to answer is whether they feel they can last the first six weeks of the season with a big question mark in that fifth rotation spot (whether it is Robbie Ross, Justin Grimm, Kyle McClellan, Nick Tepesch, etc.) or if they need to feel a little more certain with a veteran who finished seventh in the Cy Young voting last year.  In a very competitive A.L. West, it’s a decision that will likely have big consequences.

Now, on to today’s links, with the two most important off-the-field stories leading off:

In trying to keep Jon Daniels in town, Rangers must be careful not to squeeze out Nolan Ryan – If you missed it, the Rangers announced the promotion of Jon Daniels to president/GM on late Friday afternoon, normally a release time for when businesses want to sweep under the rug to avoid maximum attention.  (I’m not trying to say that that’s what the Rangers were trying to do in this case, just pointing out a common practice.)  Nolan Ryan, now no longer team president, will continue as CEO and Daniels will report to him.  Kevin Sherrington explains the tight-rope walk that Rangers ownership must embark upon to satisfy all wings of their baseball operation and maintain success both on and off the field.  A good read.

Nolan Ryan could leave Rangers by the end of spring training, sources sayRandy Galloway has sources who say that Nolan Ryan’s departure from the Rangers is imminent, based on changing roles over who gets final say baseball-wise.  Another interesting read on a subject that threatens to take over the narrative of the next month. (note: for this story you need a subscription, but you can easily read the text around the “sign in” pop-up.

Perez injury leaves Texas Rangers’ rotation with questions that Kyle Lohse could answer (subscription required)Gerry Fraley gives us his thoughts on the rotation quandary created by Perez’ injury.

Justin Grimm all but eliminates himself from Texas Rangers rotation after another ugly outing - Fraley reports on Grimm’s latest rough big league appearance.

Fraley on Joe Nathan’s new pitch and Julio Borbon getting to the end of the line

Tough day for 5th-spot contendersRon Matejko of ESPNDallas.com notes that it was a rough Sunday for two of the Rangers’ top rotation candidates.

Martin Perez out at least two months with broken forearmJeff Wilson’s report on the injury of the day.

Tepesch making early impressionDrew Davison’s notes column brings up Tepesch as a possibility for the fifth spot as well as David Murphy’s thoughts on PED penalties.

Murphy eager to step into everyday roleAnthony Andro writes that Murphy expects big things now that he knows his role as an everyday player going into a season.  A big year would certainly help his bottom line come the hot stove season, as he is a free agent after 2013.

Nathan makes scoreless debut in Rangers’ lossLost in all of the Martin Perez/Nolan Ryan news was that Joe Nathan looked pretty good in his first spring outing.

Grimm remains determined for Opening Day roleDespite poor results this spring, William Boor of MLB.com writes that Justin Grimm is confident he can turn things around and be a contributor to the big league club.

Nathan, E. Beltre primed for spring actionBoor’s notebook has more on the return of Nathan and Engel Beltre, who is back from a left shoulder injury.

- Alex

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