Results tagged ‘ Frisco RoughRiders ’
While the ‘Riders were busy winning the series three-games-to-one over against the San Antonio Missions the past few days, we here in the ‘Riders media office were frantically racing around the ballpark to uncover some important data. With the Kentucky Derby set to take place Saturday afternoon (just hours away!), we wanted to know who had the most knowledge off the equine racing elite. Which RoughRider could correctly guess the Kentucky Derby winner?
With no Kentucky natives on the roster, there is no clear-cut front-runner in this quest of bronco brain-busters. Our field of 24 men seems wide open. We of course have Ryan Rodebaugh, a Marietta, Georgia product, so he has the southern connection. That said, a little-known fact of geography reminds me that Kentucky is actually pretty far north for a southern state, and Churchill Downs, awfully close to both Indiana and Ohio. The ‘Riders have three on the roster from Ohio (Hoying, Klein and Tufts) and Strausborger hails from Indiana. None of the RoughRiders moonlight as a jockey (as far as I know), so it seems like this could be anyone’s contest.
So alas, we reveal the picks. The players were given a list of the names of the horses and were told nothing of the odds or their post position. From great research (or sheer luck), Odubel Herrera and Tyler Tufts both picked favorites. Tufts actually mentioned he knew something about his horse selection because it was Rick Pitino’s horse. Newcomer Phil Klein came away with Orb, at six-to-one (and the favorite at seven-to-two just a few days ago)–not too bad for his first week with the team. Ryan Strausborger might be the fastest player on his team, but apparently his horse might be slowest in the field, as he netted the worst odds with Falling Sky at 49-to-one.
The 2013 Frisco RoughRiders
Pick the Kentucky Derby Winner
***Post Position – Horse – Odds – RoughRiders player who selected it***
***(odds of winning as of May 3, 12:00 CT)***
#1 – Black Onyx – SCRATCH – SS Hanser Alberto & RHP Ryan Rodebaugh (Because of the scratch, we have given them Palace Malice)
#2 – Oxbow – 25:1 – UTIL Guilder Rodriguez
#3 – Revolutionary – 5:1 – 2B Odubel Herrera
#4 – Golden Soul – 31:1 – OF Chih-Hsien Chiang
#5 – Normandy Invasion – 8:1 – RHP Neil Ramirez
#6 – Mylute – 14:1 – RHP Jose Mavare
#7 – Giant Finish – 44:1 – OF / 3B Alejandro Selen
#8 – Goldencents – 5:1 – RHP Tyler Tufts
#9 – Overanalyze – 14:1 – C Tomas Telis
#10 – Palace Malice – 26:1 - 1B / C Brett Nicholas, IF Hanser Alberto & RHP Ryan Rodebaugh (not by choice, but because their horses scratched)
#11 – Lines of Battle – 42:1 – C Zach Zaneksi
#12 – Itsmyluckyday – 11:1 – RHP Randy Henry
#13 – Falling Sky -49:1 – OF Ryan Strausborger
#14 – Verrazano – 11:1 – OF Teodoro Martinez & RHP Kevin Pucetas
#15 – Charming Kitten – 32:1 – RHP Cody Buckel
#16 – Orb – 6:1 – RHP Phil Klein
#17 – Will Take Charge – 31:1 – RHP Wilmer Font
#18 – Frac Daddy – 15:1 – RHP Carlos Pimentel, LHP Jimmy Reyes and RHP Ben Rowen
#19 – Java’s War – 22:1 – RHP Roman Mendez
#20 – Vyjack – 43:1 – OF Jared Hoying
Alternate – Fear the Kitten – SCRATCH – 1B / C Brett Nicholas (given Palace Malice because of the scratch)
- Nathan (with plenty of help from Alex and Ryan on this one)
Baseball term of the day: Painting the black – a pitch on the outside edge of the plate
After an opening month of relative silence on the roster-move front, the Frisco RoughRiders began May with a splash of changes. April saw just three total transactions and only one moving player:
Today, Jake Brigham, Alex Buchholz and Ryan Feierabend were promoted to Triple-A Round Rock. This marks the first trip for Brigham and Buchholz to the Triple-A level. Feierabend spent time in the majors with the Mariners from 2006-2008.
Klein and Mavare will both be at the Double-A level for the first time. Klein was selected by the Rangers in the 30th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur June Draft out of Youngstown State University. The 24-year-old was spending his second season with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the Carolina League. This season the 6’7” 230 lbs. right-hander posted a 1-0 record and a 1.98 ERA with 12 strikeouts and just three walks over 13.2 innings in seven appearances in Carolina League play.
Mavare, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Venezuela in 2009, is in his fifth year of professional baseball. The 23-year-old sported a 0-1 record with a 2.38 ERA in seven outings in his first season with Myrtle Beach. He struck out 12 batters and walked three in 11.1 innings of work.
Frisco’s roster now has 24 active players, one below the Texas League limit.
Klein is not small to say the least. His 6’7″ frame makes him the tallest ‘Riders player on the roster. Font, Pucetas, Ramirez and Rowen are 6’4″ and the closest in stature to Klein. It’s was also Klein’s birthday yesterday (happy 24th!), so he’s probably feeling about as good right now as he did when he threw a perfect game in the Atlantic Coast Baseball League at age 19. Not a bad 24 hours for the young man.
The Ohio native, Klein has shot up the Rangers system quite a bit in the last calendar year. He was promoted to Myrtle just last August, and is now among the first duo to make it up to Frisco from the Pelicans this year. Oh, and Klein pitched for a team whose mascot was the Penguins in college, in case you were curious.
Here is a snippet of what LoneStarDugout’s Jason Cole had to say about Klein when he was promoted to Myrtle in August (click the link to read the full report):
Coming from a high three-quarters arm slot this year, Klein shows a loose arm with clean mechanics that produce an 89-92 mph fastball that has touched the occasional 93-94. He also features a short-but-late breaking slider at 83-84 mph with slight tilt.
According to Cole, Klein was sitting 91-93 with the heater and touched 94-95 at fall instructs.
Jose Mavare’s first stateside season came in 2010 with the Rangers AZL club. After a fantastic 2011 season between rookie ball and Short-Season A Spokane, things slowed down a bit for him in his first year of full-season ball in 2012 with Hickory, but he pitched well enough to open the season with Myrtle Beach this year. He throws an upper 80s to low 90s fastball and sports a curve and change to go along with it. The strikeout potential is clearly a big part of his game, but he doesn’t posses an overpowering fastball despite raking up over 11 k/9 IP in his career.
Taking a look at the numbers, both have been impressive:
RHP Phil Klein
|2011||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A–Rk||1||2||3.98||12||0||0||20.1||20||13||9||1||16||31|
|2012||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-A+||6||0||1.73||40||0||8||62.1||39||13||12||3||23||67|
|A+ (2 seasons)||A+||1||0||1.50||14||0||0||24.0||8||5||4||1||5||26|
|A (1 season)||A||6||0||1.90||33||0||8||52.0||37||12||11||2||21||53|
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||0||0||0.00||3||0||0||2.2||2||0||0||0||1||7|
|A- (1 season)||A-||1||2||4.58||9||0||0||17.2||18||13||9||1||15||24|
RHP Jose Mavare
|2009||2 Teams||1 Lg||FRk||4||2||1.36||20||5||2||59.2||43||15||9||1||19||58|
|2009||Rangers 2, Rangers 1||DOSL||FRk||4||2||1.36||20||5||2||59.2||43||15||9||1||19||58|
|2010||2 Teams||2 Lgs||Rk-FRk||5||1||2.08||23||0||2||43.1||28||14||10||0||15||61|
|2011||2 Teams||2 Lgs||Rk-A-||0||1||1.95||17||2||0||37.0||24||10||8||0||15||54|
|FRk (2 seasons)||FRk||5||2||1.07||26||5||2||75.2||48||16||9||1||23||85|
|Rk (2 seasons)||Rk||4||2||2.66||26||2||2||50.2||37||18||15||0||19||68|
|A (1 season)||A||5||5||3.57||40||0||5||80.2||66||34||32||6||27||102|
|A- (1 season)||A-||0||0||1.98||8||0||0||13.2||10||5||3||0||7||20|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||0||1||2.38||7||0||2||11.1||7||5||3||1||3||12|
We give a big, warm Texas welcome to these two guys, your newest RoughRiders. And Congrats to Jake, Alex, and Brigham — best of luck in Round Rock!
Baseball term of the day: duck snort – a softly hit ball that goes over the infielders and lands in the outfield for a hit. The term was popularized by White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson.
On April 27, Dr Pepper Ballpark held host to RoughRiders Kids Day. Parents and children came out early Saturday morning, excited to meet players on the ‘Riders roster, got to meet Deuce and Daisy, and participated in fun activities and enjoy a morning at the ballpark.
Young fans pose with their favorite groundhog Deuce.
The kids enjoyed running the bases of Dr Pepper Ballpark.
Wiffle Ball Hitting with with Alex Buchholz and other ‘Riders.
Kids tested how accurate they could throw, also!
Fans also jousted their favorite RoughRider. Here, one young fan battles pitcher Kevin Pucetas.
The kids also enjoyed other inflatables: Giant Slide, Obstacle Course and Boxing.
At the end of the morning, the kids enjoyed getting autographs from the 2013 RoughRiders.
Think about your all-time favorite story. Is it a story about your family? Perhaps it’s a poem or song that you have treasured throughout your life, or a favorite book you couldn’t put down and have read four, eight, ten times and find something new and still enjoyable each time you read it. We all have stories to tell and should take the time to share them with people. Stories are what help define who we are and what we have faced in our life.
Today, April 27, is “National Tell a Story Day” in the United States. The origin of the day is unknown, it’s a day designated for people to share their stories, read books to a group, sing a song or read a poem they’ve written, and listen to others stories.
Like the country song “State of Mind” by Clint Black says: “ Ain’t it funny how a melody can bring back a memory, take you to another place in time, and completely change your state of mind.” We all have a song that takes us back to another time and place, taking us away from reality for a while, allowing us to relive a memorable moment from the past. One such song for me, Garth Brooks’ “The River” and most other songs from his album The Hits takes me back to growing up in Roswell, NM, playing three seasons of little league. That was one of my favorite CD’s as a kid, so I automatically link those songs with the joy, and the sights and feels of those three little league teams, playing with my friends. Every time I hear those songs, I revisit my childhood for a bit while I enjoy great music.
So what story do you have to tell? What fond memories do you have that you want to share? If you don’t have a favorite, you can always make one up! Celebrate “National Tell a Story Day” and share something with a friend, your children, your parents or whoever.
Other events for April 27:
April 27 marks Babe Ruth Day. On this day in 1947, “The Bambino” returned to Yankee Stadium to be honored and recognized.
April 27 is also recognized as “National Prime Rib Day.” Enjoy!
The RoughRiders continue their four-game series with the Corpus Christi Hooks this evening at 7 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Once again, tonight’s game will be televised locally on KTXD. Tomorrow’s game will be as well. Jason Cole of Baseball Prospectus and Lone Star Dugout will join Alex Vispoli for the call of both games. RHP Cody Buckel starts for the ‘Riders. The Hooks counter with the tandem of RHPs Bobby Doran and Nick Tropeano. See the full game notes here.
Baseball term of the day: Salvage Corps – A team’s relief pitchers
Happy Television Day! The RoughRiders begin their new relationship with television partner KTXD tonight, one that brings you the first of nineteen games this season and three this weekend over the DFW airwaves. If you didn’t know the ‘Riders moved to KTXD this season or want to see the complete story, we wrote about it last month.
Some of the highlights from Alex’s post:
You can watch the games on KTXD-TV, the Addison-based station that airs local Texas news and Me-TV programming. This is great news for ‘Riders fans because basically, if you have a TV and live in North Texas, you’ll be able to watch those games.
According to KTXD’s website, here’s how to find the station based on the different cable providers:
- AT&T: Channel 47
- Charter: Channel 22
- Direct TV: Channel 47
- DISH: Channel 47 & 8414
- Grande: Channel 99
- Time Warner: Channel 24 & 428
- Verizon: Channels 18 & 518
For most of the games, I’ll be joined on the broadcast by my good friend Jason Cole of Lone Star Dugout and Baseball Prospectus. Jason does a terrific job covering the entire Rangers farm system from top to bottom and knows the personnel better than anyone outside of Texas’ own front office.
The first television game airs at 7:00 pm Friday night with the Voice of the RoughRiders, Alex Vispoli, and Jason Cole on the mic, on camera. Should be fun. Nathan Barnett will handle the radio broadcast for the weekend, and the subsequent games when Alex is busy looking pretty on TV. The ‘Riders will be on KTXD Saturday night (7 pm) and Sunday afternoon as well (4 pm).
As far as the baseball goes…
A crowded South Division greets the RoughRiders on their arrival back to Dr Pepper Ballpark on Friday. The eight game home stand pits the RoughRiders against their two most recent opponents, the Corpus Christi Hooks and the San Antonio Missions. The former comes in tied with the RoughRiders for second place in the Texas League at 11-9. Both teams trail Midland by one game. The RoughRiders split the first series with the Houston affiliate last week, two game a piece.
Here is a preview of the game information and promotional schedule for the next week:
Friday Night Post-game fireworks
- Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Free ‘Riders Mini Bats Left Field, next to ‘Riders Team Store
- RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger
- Smashburger SMASH inning
- Uncle Julio’s $10 Gift Card Giveaway and Free Chicken Fajita Sampling – Pregame outside of Homeplate Gate
- Constellation Wine Sampling – Inside Homeplate Gate
- Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Free ‘Riders Mini Bats – Left Field, next to ‘Riders Team Store
- Texas Back Institute Free ‘Riders Seat Cushions – Above Sect. 119 (while supplies last)
- Budweiser Good Sport
- 97.5 KLAK Live Remote – Pregame outside of Homeplate Gate
- Dairy Queen Triple Play
- Kids Run the Bases
- RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger
Dollar Hot Dog Night
$1 Dr Pepper Thursdays
- Texas Back Institute Free ‘Riders Seat Cushions – Above Sect. 104 (while supplies last)
- RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger
Friday Night Post-game fireworks
- UnitedHealthCare Starting Lineup – Winning kids will get to take the field with the ‘Riders during the starting lineups
- Free ‘Riders Tumbler, courtesy of Carrier & Colony Air Conditioning
- Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Free ‘Riders Mini Bats – Left Field, next to ‘Riders Team Store
- Friday Night Fireworks presented by JCPenney
- Smashburger SMASH inning
Baseball term of the day: dabber – finesse pitcher
The 2013 (Nearly) Complete Twitter Guide to the Frisco RoughRiders, the Texas League and the Texas Rangers Farm System: Part One
A couple days ago I wrote a post here with the best resources for keeping up on the Texas Rangers and its minor league teams and prospects, and the entire time while writing it, I kept thinking about how I get as much or more information on Twitter these days.
I still hit the ‘ole feedly reader every day. Sometimes 140 characters just doesn’t really cut it for a topic. Yu know, like Darvish’s outing last night. (For more on that, read this, and this, and this and this. Oh and you have to watch that).
And while that is true, Twitter is still great, especially for breaking news. Want to be the first one to find out that Nelson Cruz’s home run last night actually came with a broken-bat swing? FSSW’s Emily Jones has you covered:
Just confirmed Nelson Cruz broke his bat on that homerun. #beastmode
— Emily Jones (@EmilyJonesFSN) April 25, 2013
Did you see former RoughRiders pitcher Robbie Erlin got called yetserday? With Twitter, you could find great stuff on who is behind the numbers from excellent Rangers prospect guru Jason Cole:
— Jason Cole (@LoneStarDugout) April 25, 2013
And, yeah, you might have heard that 17-year-old Rangers prospect Nomar Mazara hit his second home run last night for Class-A Hickory, but how impressive was it? Crawdads’ broadcaster Aaron Cox does a very nice job tweeting in-game. See:
17 year old Nomar Mazara with a towering solo homer over the video board and clock in Greensboro to give the #Crawdads an early 1-0 lead.
— Aaron Cox (@TheAaronCox) April 24, 2013
SO, without further ado, here it is: The 2013 (Nearly) Complete Guide to the Frisco RoughRiders, the Texas League, and the Texas Rangers Farm System.
Why “nearly” complete? Well. 1) this is not necessarily exhaustive. Plenty of people tweet about these topics, but this is a great starting point. And 2) of course we need your input! Let us know who we are missing by commenting below or tweeting at me (@NathanSBarnett) and 3) I am not done with the rest of the parts yet…
And, yes, this is just Part One of The 2013 (Nearly) Complete Twitter Guide (TNCTG). I will have a few entries over the next week or so and also update them, as I find new handles worthy of the all-important “follow” click.
Part One looks at the teams and key employee follows in the Texas League and Rangers system. Future entries will include key journalists, commentators, and bloggers to follow. And players! Yes, the exhaustive list of players as well. Stay tuned!
TNCTG PART ONE:
Texas League Teams:
Frisco RoughRiders: @RidersBaseball
Corpus Christi Hooks: @CCHooks
Midland Rockhounds: @RockHounds
San Antonio Missions: @MissionsMiLB
Arkansas Travelers: @ARTravs
Northwest Arkansas Naturals: @NWANaturals
Springfield Cardinals: @Sgf_Cardinals
Tulsa Drillers: @TulsaDrillers
Teams in the Rangers System:
MLB – Texas Rangers: @Rangers
Double-A – Frisco RoughRiders: @RidersBaseball
Advanced-A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans: @PelicanBaseball
Single-A – Hickory Crawdads: @HickoryCrawdads
Short-Season A – Spokane Indians: @SpokaneIndians
Rookie – AZL Rangers: No official Twitter handle, that I am aware of. There is @AZL_Rangers which was created by a fan. Decent follow.
Rookie – DSL Rangers: Ditto. Some do cover this team, however. More to come in future TNCTG entries.
Alex Vispoli, Frisco RoughRiders: @Vispoli
Michael Coffin, Corpus Christi Hooks: No twitter account (see team Twitter handle)
Mike Saeger, San Antonio Missions: @SAMissionsRadio
Phil Elson, Arkansas Travelers: @ElsonPhil
Eric Nadel, #1 MLB – Texas Rangers: @NadelEr
Matt Hicks, #2 MLB – Texas Rangers: @RadioHicksie
Mike Capps, Triple-A – Round Rock Express: @RRExpressRadio
Travis Lucian, Advanced-A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans: @TravisLucian
Aaron Cox, Class-A – Hickory Crawdads: @TheAaronCox
Mike Boyle, Short-A – Spokane Indians: @MrMBoyle
Other good employees and team-related follows:
Nathan Barnett, Media Relations & Broadcasting Assistant: @NathanSBarnett
Ryan Garrett, Media Relations Intern: @Garrett_RM
Corpus Christi Hooks:
Chris Blake, Media Relations Coordinator: @ChrisCBlake
Greg Bergman, Assistant GM / Media Relations & Advertising: @GregBergman
Brian Carroll, Director of Media / Public Relations: @BKC001
John Blake, Executive Vice President of Communications: @RangerBlake
Updates on Rangers Ballpark: Parking, Traffic, Valet, Gate Openings, Weather & Events: @RangersInfo
In-game Rangers Twitter handle: @theRangersGame
For those of you out there wanting to keep up with every with a Twitter “list” — I have made one with most of these handles on there. Feel free to subscribe, I plan to keep it up to date this season.
Baseball term of the day: wand - baseball bat
Today a few members of the RoughRiders and I took advantage of an incredible opportunity while staying in San Antonio. One of the three SeaWorld theme parks in the USA is located just a few Joey Gallo home runs away from our team hotel in San Antonio. Thanks to a connection provided by team trainer Carlos Olivas, we got a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the park and spent some up-close time with a few of the incredible animals. In addition to Carlos and me, the others who came along were Cody Buckel, Ben Rowen, Ryan Rodebaugh, Kevin Pucetas, Ryan Feierabend, Jake Brigham, Brett Nicholas, Jimmy Reyes, Tyler Tufts, strength & condition coach Eric McMahon and bus driver Paul Watkins. Dave Yordi, SeaWorld’s Supervisor of Animal Care, was kind enough to take our group of 13 around the park and here are some of the sights of an awesome morning.
(click on the pictures to see bigger photos)
A week ago today, the small town of West, Texas was hit by tragedy when a fertilizer plant exploded and engulfed a large portion of the small Central Texas town in flames. This explosion came just two days after the terror attack in Boston, making for an extremely tense and sad week in news. In both Boston and West, the spirit of kindness shined through the destruction as complete strangers stepped in to lend a helping hand and a prayerful heart to those in need.
During the three-game weekend series with Seattle, the Texas Rangers collected tens of thousands of essential items for the West victims and residents that filled two large meeting areas at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington as well as thousands of dollars in gift cards. In addition, some $40,000 in cash donations went to the citizens of West from Texas Rangers fans and employees and the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. Players’ wives, Rangers employees and former Rangers outfield Kevin Mench, who has family in West, loaded the boxes of toiletries, food and supplies were loaded into a truck to take to West yesterday morning. The Fox Sports Southwest Fan Express accompanied the equipment truck to West, and delivered the items to the West Fairgrounds.
Along with the collection of supplies for West, the Rangers teamed with Carter BloodCare and reported that 80 donors were processed during the blood drive at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington prior to Sunday’s game against the Mariners. The number of units of blood drawn equates to over 200 lives saved.
“Texas Rangers fans demonstrated overwhelming generosity for the team’s relief initiatives for the devastating explosion and fires in West, Texas last week,” said the Rangers in a press release yesterday.
The Rangers’ efforts to help the town of West were one of many in Texas and around the country. Lines at blood banks stretched far outside the doors in Waco and the DFW area in the days following the explosion. Students at Baylor, UNT and other nearby colleges held drives for food, toiletries, school supplies and other necessities to aid the families in West. Companies and organizations all over Texas held similar drives, encouraging people to give as much as they could for those whose lives have been shaken. Nearby school districts donated desks, chairs and even a few buildings for the school that was destroyed by the fire. All these efforts brought to light how, in the midst of tragedy and destruction, people will come together to help one another.
The next few weeks and months will be difficult for those affected by the tragedies in West and Boston; please keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers as they begin the rebuilding process.
Tomorrow (Thursday, April 25), a public memorial will be held at 2 p.m. inside Baylor University’s Ferrell Center for the firefighters and first responders who lost their lives in the explosion.
RoughRiders Game Notes:
Tonight, the RoughRiders continue their series against the Missions in San Antonio. Kevin Pucetas looks to bounce back from a defeat his last time out against San Antonio’s Matt Andriese. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 tonight. Read the game notes here.
Baseball Term of the Day: Cowhide Joyride: a home run
In my digging to learn everything I can about the Rangers farm system, I have come across a number of great websites and writers that cover this system extremely well. The Rangers fanbase is blessed by its coverage, especially since DFW is not a baseball town. There are a number of very talented folks out there working hard to give you tidbits and insight on the big league team and the youngsters on the way. I was hard pressed, but here is the list of the 10 Rangers minor league/major league must reads:
Top 10 Rangers major league and minor league resources
A definitive source to the Rangers minor league system, especially at the lower levels. Jason Cole has a tremendous reach and connections within the organization and in the scouting circles His work with Baseball Prospectus takes him away from his work with this site at times, but it is incredible stuff. Outside of the national scouts covering Rangers prospects on the rare occasion, you won’t find better scouting information on Rangers farmhands. He does a good minor league recap on a more-or-less-daily basis of all the affiliates, and I absolutely love his player Q&A’s. He talks to players in the system that no one else does. While everyone else is going gaga over Profar, Olt and Alfaro, Jason shows us why we need to pay attention to Nick Williams, Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo. For you Rangers minor league junkies, this is a must read. Unfortunately some content is behind a pay-wall, but if you are a die-hard, it is worth the cost.
2. Baseball Time in Arlington (BBTiA)
Run by Joey Matschulat and Mike Hindman, BBTiA is a fun mish-mosh of Rangers coverage. Joey “Matches,” as he is known in the Rangers community, is the more prolific of the authors (they do have others that contribute sometimes as well), but Hindman’s posts are often longer, a bit more creative and on the opining side. Either that, or he is telling some good war stories. Matschulat’s puts up some great sabermetrics-y posts on occasion for the number-crunchers of you out there, which is the highlight of the site for me. Jason Parks used to write for this publication before he joined Baseball Prospectus, so you know they are doing the right thing over there.
Emotional, stream-of-conscious driven, passionate, yet also analytic and well-written and absolutely optimistic, the Newberg Report is one of the longer-standing Rangers blogs. Well, really it began as an e-mail list, which you can still sign up for. Jamey Newberg was ahead of his time, covering the Rangers farm system inside-and-out beginning in 1998, well before many saw the hunger of baseball fans for this kind of coverage. His brand has really exploded in recent years, as he has expanded to his own website and MLB-recognized blog, not to mention a brief stint making Rangers farm system videos that played at Rangers Ballpark during games a few years back. Since the team has turned things around at the big league level, Newberg writes more about the major league team now than he used to, but he still provides some juicy tidbits on the up-and-comers. I think Newberg is at his best when has the chance to go down to Spring Training and Fall Instructs. Newberg does an excellent job of painting the picture of the minor leaguers as people, not just baseball “tools.” He has a great eye for the intangibles. He wrote this about Elvis Andrus in 2007, just after the Mark Teixeira trade, and now we all know how spot-on he was:
For some players, the ball just sounds different coming off their bat. Some can spin a breaking ball in such a way that you know the hitter has no chance before the pitch is halfway to the plate. There are others . . . who you can tell are different simply by how they carry themselves.
I’m struggling as to how to explain it. It’s not really a swagger that [he] has. It’s more of a comfortable magnetism. He reminds me of a feature tailback, or a really good cover corner, with that smile that says he knows he’s going to beat you more often than not. He’s going to be a leader.
Another great component of the Newberg Report is the Rangers Farm Report, authored by Scott Lucas, who writes a daily recap of the Rangers action at all the minor league levels. It’s a convienent way to keep on the affiliates, especially since if you simply subscribe, it comes straight to your e-mail inbox.
A very diverse set of commentary and quips, Lone Star Ball (LSB) is without a doubt one of my favorite Rangers reads, especially since there is so much Rangers content out there. LSB is unique. Adam Morris is the guru behind it, who I was first introduced to by Ted Price’s Rangers Podcast in Arlington. Morris can come off as surly at times, but that is an enjoying changeup in a pretty optimistic market. It makes for a great follow on twitter too (@LoneStarBall). Everything from newspaper-ish rundown of the day’s Ranger game to simply embedding offensive numbers from a Rangers affiliate from baseball reference to one of the more entertaining posts I’ve read this season, Lone Star Ball has a little something for everyone.
The blog of the Rangers Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express, Express Tracks is a fun way to be in touch with the Round Rock community. Good especially for those living in the surrounding areas, they do some fun interactive things with the fans through their blog. Like us here at the Riders ‘Insider Blog, they are committed to covering their team as well with some nice analysis and feature stories on the guys on the farm.
6. Texas Rangers Report (ESPNDallas.com)
With an excellent team of reporters, ESPNDallas has put their full weight behind the Rangers since signing the Rangers broadcast to their radio lineup before the 2011 season. Richard Durrett, Todd Wills and Sahadev Sharma (among others) write multiple posts every day covering the Rangers. Probably the most exhaustive source out there, following the site on an RSS reader can be overwhelming, but they do a fantastic job. This is also home to my favorite weekly read on the Rangers, Wash’s Wisdom, which is now authored by Todd Wills.
7. Foul Territory (part of Star-Telegram.com)
Foul Territory is the Star-Telegram’s Rangers beat. Jeff Wilson and Drew Davison do a nice job and occasionally cover the minor league teams as well. Drew has made it out to a game here at Dr Pepper Ballpark this year and comes periodically to ‘Riders games. Good daily coverage for all things Rangers. Similar to ESPNDallas’ coverage and also to SportsDayDFW.
8. SportsDayDFW (powered by the Dallas Morning News)
Evan Grant. Enough said. Well, okay, I’m long-winded, so I won’t stop there. Grant is arguably the most respected Rangers beat-writer in the market and for good reason. The Dallas Morning News was smart to keep their Rangers coverage alive and get Evan Grant back on board after his brief stint with D Magazine’s Insider Corner blog. His work alone make this site worth a look, but the contributors are all solid. Like ESPN Dallas and Foul Territory, the DMN’s coverage will hit every issue and topic with the team. Reading all three can be repetitive, so find the writers you like the most.
Home of a weekly piece on the RoughRiders, The Sports Page Weekly is your home to some exclusive content for your favorite DFW sports teams. They do some nice off-the-beaten path stories and their style is a refreshingly more in-your-face alternative in a pretty calm media market. Plus they even PRINT IT, which you know, is pretty rare these days, so bravo to the bastions of paper and ink!
The blog of T.R. Sullivan. I think most of you know to go to TexasRangers.com to get news, so I didn’t include it. Sullivan is a writer for MLB.com covering the Rangers, and when he posts here, the blog has some good stuff. Plus it is my favorite named blog on the list, so it earned a spot. There are some incredible photos from Rangers’ photographer Kelly Gavin here as well…an enjoyable weekly scroll at the very least because of that.
Sweet Spot in Baseball - unique photos and commentary from Kaylan Eastepp, the Rangers Director of Interactive & Social Media. She has exclusive access to the Rangers players in non-baseball situations. Want to see Tanner Scheppers feeding birds or Elvis Andrus answering FSSW’s Emily Jones’ cell phone? This is the place for you.
DallasSportsNetwork - Home of the RoughRiders Roundtable, Ted Price puts together some of the most unique content of Dallas sports conversation out there. From the excellent Rangers Podcast in Arlington to the TCU “Frogs O’ War,” if its DFW sports, Ted has you covered, bringing a long-form discussion to the teams you love the most with the people qualified to talk about them. Great stuff for the morning commute.
Spokesman-Review – Indians Coverage - Just a local paper in Spokane, Washington. But they do a really nice job covering the Rangers Short-Season A team, the Spokane Indians. The Indians start their season in June.
MLB Trade Rumors – Texas Rangers Feed - A MUST read for any Rangers fan around the trading deadline and in the winter at the very least. This is not a Rangers-specific site, so I didn’t include it on the list, but they are THE source for trade rumors, many of which, of course, include some of our favorite RoughRiders and former ‘Riders, so it’s relevant stuff. I remember reading or hearing somewhere that many GMs even use this site to keep up on news because they are so good at what they do. I can’t find where I heard that though, so I might just be making that up. Even still, it could be true.
Minor League Ball - Another more general baseball site but a great follow for the minor-league aficionado. John Sickel’s “Minor League Ball Gameday” posts are great. Basically it points out the best minor league story lines from yesterday and what to look out for today. Some occasional college-ball content as well, which is nice if you miss the metal bat every now and then.
B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful - Jonanthan Mayo is a senior writer for MLB.com and is very respected in the baseball world. This is his prospect blog. He doesn’t write too often, but when he does, he usually focuses on the top prospects in the game. A good, simple, straightforward read. And he doesn’t write too much, which is nice because it’s never an overwhelming addition to your list.
MiLB.com’s PROSPECTive Blog - Similar to the last one but they post a bit more often. Plus they have pretty pictures. Some good stuff on Profar the last month or so on this site.
And a blog I wish would come back:
Beachbound & Down - Run by former Myrtle Beach Pelicans broadcaster Joel Godett, who is now the voice of Ball State men’s basketball and football, I am told this might be down for good. Hopefully we see something out of the Pelican’s blogosphere soon; I doubt the name will be this great though.
How do I keep track of all of this?
Well, if you don’t already have an RSS reader you use, I would recommend getting one. It makes life easier in the expansive interwebs. Google Reader is my favorite: the simplest and the most popular…but is also getting canned in July. Instead of waiting for the death-date, I ripped off the band-aid and moved on over to Feedly. I am a fan. A pretty big fan actually. But, don’t take my word for it, there are plenty of options out there. Happy Reading!
HEY!!! You forgot my favorite Rangers news source!
Did I? Well, let us know! We are always looking for more resources, and your fellow readers are as well. Post a comment with other sources of Rangers news!
Oh, and game notes are here for tonight’s game! Broadcast hits the airwaves at 6:40 for the 7:05 start for Nelson W. Wolff Municipal in San Antonio.
Baseball Term of the day: huckleberry – a rookie