Results tagged ‘ Jim Crane ’

A new Lowe for the Rangers

Maybe the weirdest baseball card a player has ever had?

Maybe the weirdest baseball card a player has ever had?

We interrupt today’s edition of “Nolan Ryan Talk” to bring you the latest development involving the guys who are actually on the field: last night the Rangers announced the signing of veteran pitcher Derek Lowe to a minor league deal.  Lowe split last year between the rotation and bullpen for the Indians and Yankees, going 9-11 with a 5.11 ERA and one save in 38 games, 21 starts.  The big sinkerballer has bounced around the last few seasons, but is best known for being one of the chief “idiots” on the 2004 World Series-winning Boston Red Sox, earning the clinching win in all three series that post-season.

While he’s not on the Rangers’ 40-man roster at the moment, you would have to think he’s a at least a decent bet to make the club out of spring training given his versatility, the team’s lack of experienced middle relievers, and the fact that the Rangers were facing the prospects of going into a season without a pitcher named “Lowe” for the first time in four years (Mark signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers last month).

As someone who grew up in the Boston area and remembers when Dan Duquette pulled off one of the greatest heists in big league history – trading Heathcliff Slocumb for Lowe and some guy named Jason Varitek – I have a special place in my heart for the Michigan native.  I watched him go back-and-forth from the starting rotation to the closer spot and have success in both positions, pitch a no-hitter in 2002 against the Devil Rays, and put a lot of Boston nightclub owners’ kids through college.

It’s a smart, low-risk move for the Rangers, who could benefit tremendously if Lowe can locate his sinker and be effective for a couple innings at a time when called upon (or even fill in as a starter).  If he doesn’t work out, he didn’t cost you much to begin with so there’s no obligation to keep him.  He should be a strong clubhouse presence as a player who has succeeded on the biggest stages and is known to be a good teammate.  And, at the very least, his acquisition has slowed down some of the Ryan talk that has become a distraction for the organization.

***

The Rangers won a 3-2 decision over the Cubs in Surprise yesterday and got some strong pitching from Robbie Ross (4 IP, 4 H, 1 R) and Alexi Ogando (3 IP, 6 K, 1 R).  Lance Berkman also homered as the team won its second straight Cactus League contest.

Jon Daniels has the power; Nolan Ryan has the love(Note: read around the “sign in” bubble to take in the article) Before we get to the on-the-field items, this Randy Galloway column is a must-read for fans interested in the Nolan Ryan story (i.e., pretty much all Rangers fans).  Galloway has been all over this story from the start and says that Daniels was actually offered the full CEO job that belonged to Ryan, in addition to the president title, back in November but turned it down.  More interesting stuff to chew on.

Berkman confident about health as Opening Day approaches - Jeff Wilson has the Big Puma feeling good about his ability to be ready to go come March 31.

Rapid Reaction from Texas winRon Matejko’s fast facts on yesterday’s victory.

Robbie Ross continues to impressWith Perez out until May, the former RoughRiders lefty may have cast himself as the new favorite to take the fifth starter spot after yesterday’s outing.

Alexi Ogando rewards Ron Washington’s faithGiven the way his first two spring outings went, Ogando’s strong performance was maybe the most encouraging thing about yesterday’s game.

Derek Lowe gives club versatilityRichard Durrett gives his thoughts on the Lowe acquisition.

Astros should woo Nolan RyanESPN.com’s Johnette Howard argues that Jim Crane should be pulling out all the stops to swipe away the Rangers’ CEO.

Angels’ Hamilton primed for monster year — but holds no grudgesSome interesting nuggets on CBS.com’s Jon Heyman’s interview with former Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton, including Hamilton saying that Nolan Ryan wished that Texas hadn’t dragged its feet in the negotiations.

Rangers don’t plan to return Alexi Ogando – and maybe Robbie Ross – to bullpen (subscription only)Gerry Fraley thinks that the starting rotation is the final destination for both Ogando and Ross.

Ogando, Ross giving Rangers confidence in rotationT.R. Sullivan’s report on the two pitchers impressing Ron Washington yesterday.

Rangers press on despite Ryan’s uncertaintySullivan has plenty of quotes from Daniels on the Ryan story.

Olt, Martin pulled out of Rangers’ lineupSullivan’s notes column has injury updates on Mike Olt (tooth pain, not the Rory McIlroy type), Leonys Martin (hamstring), Kyle McClellan (shoulder), Tanner Scheppers (hamstring) and Yoshinori Tateyama (back).

- Alex

Metroplex abuzz with Ryan talk as Rangers walk off

Nolan Ryan played his last five big league seasons as a Ranger.

Nolan Ryan played his last five big league seasons as a Ranger.

Things have pretty much blown up around here regarding the Nolan Ryan situation.  There are a good number of compelling on-the-field Rangers stories to be discussed throughout this spring, from filling the fifth spot in the starting rotation to the center field position battle to rebuilding a bullpen to overcoming the loss of key free agents.  Throw in some exciting, young prospects, a new hitting coach, record ticket sales and there’s a lot going on for Ron Washington’s club.  But the story that risks swallowing all of that up like a Texas-sized black hole is the “will he or won’t he leave?” for Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan after his president title was removed and given to general manager Jon Daniels.  The possibility was first raised yesterday in the Star-Telegram by Randy Galloway that Ryan could be gone from the organization before camp is over out in Surprise.

There’s a lot going on with this, from a possible power struggle to jealousy within the organization over credit and the looming specter of the rudderless Houston Astros swooping in and reclaiming the state’s greatest natural resource.  Now, I heard the Morning News’ Evan Grant interviewed on The Ticket yesterday and he feels that it’s a long shot that Ryan leaves for the Astros.  Grant insinuated that Ryan is not he biggest fan of new owner Jim Crane’s and that many people Ryan was close to in that organization have gotten whacked.  This doesn’t mean that it couldn’t still happen, however, even with Ryan having three years left on his Rangers contract.

Adam Morris of Lone Star Ball made  the point on Twitter last night and I can’t help but give it at least some credence.  In the 80+ hours it’s been since the title announcements were made by the Rangers, we have heard nothing from Ryan and very little from Daniels.  Sometimes silence says more than words, which could indicate to some that there’s something less than warm and fuzzy going on in the front office.

By the way, the Rangers walked off with a 5-4 win over the Padres yesterday with Jeff Baker plating Julio Borbon for the game winner.

Today’s links (note: with the Star-Telegram stories you can easily read around the “sign-in” bubble that appears when you open the page):

Daniels has said nothing has changed with Nolan RyanJeff Wilson has Daniels offering very little in terms of reaction to the Galloway story, saying that he reports to Ryan and that this is essentially a non-story.

Rangers’ power shift could have Nolan Ryan looking for exitGil Lebreton writes that he thinks Ryan will leave but that ownership wants him to stay and continue the work that has made the Rangers so successful.

Rangers’ Martin Perez focused on quick recovery after breaking forearmThe other big story of the week gets some follow-up coverage from Wilson along with a quick note about Adrian Beltre’s Cactus League debut.

Darvish does good work without best stuff as Rangers rally - Wilson touches upon Yu Darvish’s scoreless three innings in the Rangers’ 5-4 victory over the Padres yesterday.

If Rangers must pick between Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan, the choice is clear…Tim Cowlishaw checks in to give his thoughts on the Ryan-Daniels situation and says if you’re choosing between the two, he goes with Daniels.

Understanding the situation between Nolan Ryan and Rangers managementGrant has a pretty good overview of all the issues involved in this story.

Rangers in communication with Porcello, Lohse - Gerry Fraley says the Rangers have not been idle since Perez went down due to injury on Sunday.  Rick Porcello is arguably a more palpable choice over Kyle Lohse because he is younger and won’t cost you a draft pick, though he would force you to give up some level of prospect(s).

Rangers betting on youth for futureNormally a headline like that would be used for the makeup of your team or farm system, but ESPNDallas.com’s Jean-Jacque Taylor is using it on the Rangers’ front office.

Does Kyle Lohse make sense now?Richard Durrett asks the question in a blog entry from this morning.

Yu Darvish impressive againRon Matejko touches upon Darvish’s outing yesterday against San Diego.

Beltre back in the swing with successful debutMLB.com’s AJ Cassavell has a full report on Beltre’s return to the lineup.

Darvish keeps spring hitless streak intact - Cassavell’s notes column touches upon Darvish, Perez and Nate Robertson’s comeback attempt.

- Alex

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