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Well Hello Friends, Family and Fans!

Let me start by apologizing for not blessing you with my internet presence for the past 6ish months. Honestly, I bit off more than I could chew with my plans of writing and blogging and preparing to move back to Texas (hallelujah Californians are crazy!) You should also know that I was so condemned to update you that I am writing this post in my history class…not paying any attention to my monotone professor. Actually, his voice is more like static in the background, providing some white noise making my blogging easier.

I want everyone to know I hate winter. I hate being cold and I hate not having baseball.

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So just so y’all know I have every intention of completing the book. I just don’t have a time yet. I have thousands of pictures and pages of notes to go through. Writing a book is a BIT of a tedious task, and I definitely underestimated it. But, it is still a dream of mine and I want to get it done.

This post is also in part due to the fact that my professor wants to read it. Thanks for the motivation to get back to my blog! There’s a follow button at the bottom right, make that happen Geoff! And did I use that colon right in my title? I pulled out my stylebook and I am going for emphasis!

For now you get to hear my frustration with the Rangers winter decisions.

WHY DIDN’T WE GO AFTER PRICE?!?? Can you imagine finishing a game thanking God you weren’t a victim of a the Strike Out King  thinking, “Whew, got through Darvish, who’s throwing tomorrow?” Then your almost excitement diminishes realizing it’s David Price.  I mean here we are spending stupid money and not buying arms. We need pitching JD, where’s your head at?

I do not agree with the Prince-Kinsler trade for many reasons. Obviously, I’m a girl…I like to look at Ian. And his old school pants are my favorite. But don’t get all sexist on me and ignore my valid reasons for hating this trade due to my wanna-be-baseball-wifery. Kinsler was a cornerstone in our franchise. He was loved by the fan base AND he is CONSISTENT.

Most of you are looking at the trade like a complete positive. And, don’t get me wrong I am excited to gain and extra 10-15 home runs. But, I want to offer up another idea to you and see if I can sway you to think a little more, instead of being blinded by a royal prince. Which, I should also add, I am not against Prince as a player. I would be ignorant to make any claims that he isn’t a great baseball player. I just don’t think it was necessarily the best for the Rangers, but I really hope I am wrong.

MY personal baseball philosophy is that defense wins championships. It doesn’t matter if you hit Babe Ruthy home runs if you can stop the other team from getting on base. With that being said, instead of spending $120 million on Elvis and picking up 7 years of a $214 million on Fielder, why not go get pitching?

Everyone who seems to be 100% of this Fielder thing has one thing they like about him. They come at me with the, “Oh, but Prince hits so many homers and he will in our park especially!” WHICH I COPLETELY AGREE WITH.  I just feel like they are only seeing home runs and not seeing the big picture. I will also add that on the list of MLB hitters Prince comes up at number 27 on the HR list playing in 162 games. So, he didn’t take a single day off, yet 25 of the 26 hitters ahead of him had days off and still hit more than he did. So yes, he hits home runs. But, he is no Chris Davis, who clearly couldn’t what he did in a Texas uniform. I believe the Tigers definitely got the better end of the deal in this one.

The point is you can’t base your team off homers, although they are helpful and exciting, I would have rather seen that money go to pitching. SO if you bring the Prince HR craze to my attention this is my argument–We have the best prospect in the game AND he plays SS. Not to mention, he made a statement his first time at bat in the majors with a HR. I’ll just point out that Profar hit 6 HR in 286 at bats and Andrus hit 4 in 620 in 2013. Basic math would say that if Profar had as many at bats as Andrus did, he would have hit 13 home runs.  My point is, what if we didn’t re-sign Andrus, let Profar play SS, left Kinsler at second and Moreland at first? So with this HR thing people keep talking about, in my scenario Prince hit 12 more HR than Kinsler did in 2013, but IF Profar is a 13 HR hitter really we win. Let’s think about this for a second, the three positions we are talking about here are 1st, 2nd, and SS. If we go off of 2013’s HR numbers and Profar’s hypothetical 13 this is how it adds up.

What we have with Prince

Prince(at 1st)-25 HR

Profar (at 2nd)-13 HR

Andrus (at SS)-4 HR

= 33 Homers

My scenario

Moreland (at 1st)- 23

Kinsler (at 2nd)-13

Profar (at SS)-13

= 49 Homers

Obviously there are a ton of factors I have not included but it’s food for thought. Also, some people will add that Prince will hit more homers at the ballpark. Well he will have to hit 16 more to get to 49. However slim chances, that is possible though because he hit over 41 HRs in ’07 and ’09.

I only bring this scenario up because again, most people are only telling me about how many HRs Prince will hit.

But in my scenario, we have PLENTY of money to buy a great pitcher. Specifically, David Price. I’m also not against Andrus by any means either. He is an incredible SS and combined with Beltre, provides the Ranger fan base with some comedy on and off the field. He is very young and his type of talent doesn’t come around often. I think that having him and Profar as middle infield will be great in the years to come I just worry about the mound.

As far as JP Arencibia, SO STOKED! I’ll buy his jersey simply because he is IS NOT Soto. I won’t continue on about my feelings toward Soto, just know I am not a fan. Also, JP provides me with the eye candy that was lost with Gentry and Kinsler. ❤

Speaking of Gentry, I’m so sad to see him go.

AND Shin Shoo Choo why we signed him through 2020 baffles me. I think we over paid on that one BIG time!!!

Oh, I forgot to tell you I got Fielder’s autograph at fan fest. Definitely a cool autograph to have, regardless of my past argument.

Well that’s about enough for now. I hope I opened up a couple of eyes and I’m sure there are plenty of arguments to be had still. Ultimately, I hope our pitching surprises me because if so, we will have a great season.

55 days ’till Opening Day.

I’m thinking about taking a trip to see a the Rangers play at a stadium I haven’t seen them at. Take a look at our schedule if you have any ideas or want to tag along at a certain park. Let’s plan it =]

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There’s No Place Like Home!

Can I just say that walking in to the Pro Shop at the Ballpark in Arlington was like heaven! I’ve been surrounded with Angels fans and Angels gear and Angels rally monkeys and Angel Flags and Blah Blah Blah for WAY too long. I needed some Ranger in my life. I actually wanted to buy the whole store but then I couldn’t pay for the rest of my trip, so I settled for a cute Rangers shirt for my little baby nephew to wear to the game when I come to Anaheim. I was really stoked to see some old friends! Like a school reunion! Thanks to Blake Lemons, Drew Smith, Zach McKim, Jordan Hartsell, Caitlin Collins, Mackenzie Johnson, and Shondra Carter for coming out to see me and experience our first game of the trip!

It’s crazy how much you don’t really appreciate things or how you think of them when you grow up next to them. I know people who grew up in LA, but have never been to Hollywood Blvd and people come from all over the globe to just to walk down the street and take pictures of a marble star that people walk all over. The same goes for me I grew up going to Texas games but I had never done the tour. And also explains why I forgot to take lots of pictures and why I forgot to get my MLB passport stamp….dangit.

Well, this time I wasn’t skipping the tour. Bob was our tour guide and he was incredibly knowledgable. We toured with two Detroit fans, and it was fun to poke fun and give each other crap the whole time. My favorite part was getting to sit in the dugout. I kinda went crazy, my heart was beating fast and I was just plain star struck, like a little kid. The Ranger’s picked the first base dugout when the park was first built because it is the first one that gets shade. They are smart. I’m actually upset I didn’t have the courage to leave a love note in Craig Gentry’s helmet! He wears a 7 1/8 inch in case you were curious. Alexi Ogando is currently on the DL and therefore when I brushed shoulders with him in the hallway I was caught way too off guard to even think straight…basically I need to get it together! I learned that there is a room called the Ryan Room right behind the dugout. It doubles as a training room but it was Nolan Ryan’s idea to increase the size of the room to allow pinch runners or new batters or just anyone feeling a little stiff during the game. The suites have names from different Hall of Famers and lots of them played for the Yankees…so of course my Yankee friend Shondra was going crazy about that.

In case you didn’t know: It is up to the starting pitcher what color the Rangers wear for their home games.

The game that we went to was one of the greatest pitching match ups that has happened this season. Darvish VS Verlander. I love that they play Soulja Boy’s “Crank Dat” when Yu pitches, pretty fantastic and made me smile. There was a ton of talk about how Rangers have not had a huge challenge yet this season and blah blah blah…well we rocked Verlander, one of the best pitchers in baseball currently. Until he came to Arlington at least… we put up 8 runs on him the first 3 innings…7 of which came from the 3rd. AND two of them were walked in! BULLPENNNNNNN!!!! He didn’t last past that. And he racked up his second loss in a row.

Darvish lasted a little longer than usual. He threw through the 8th and had a career high of 130 pitches. He allowed 7 hits and 4 runs but with the run support, it was no issue. With a 10-4 win over the Tigers, he is now 7-1 with a 2.97 ERA.

Some of the things that made me feel at home about the park were some things I remembered from being a little girl. When the Tigers went to the bullpen the scoreboard doesn’t let him go easy. They play a cartoon with a Texas Ranger batter with oversized cowboy boots on who stomps to the mound and kicks the opposing pitcher out…and I love it. I can sing my heart out to “Deep In The Heart Of Texas” in the middle of the 5th and there is the Texas Legends race in the middle of the 6th. This is where mascots dressed as Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Sam Houston race around the field. That’s also an exciting experience. If you don’t know who they are…you’re not a Texan so don’t worry about it. I’m wondering if this replaced the dot races that used to happen at the ballpark. They would pass out little Ozarka cards with a red, green, or blue dot and people dressed in Dot Mascots would race around the park. And people would cheer for the card that they got. As a little girl I was sneaky and I would take one of every color…I’m too competitive to lose to my dad and that method was foolproof! At the top of the 7th they do the ‘Steal a Base’ where they have a young kid run from outfield to pick up third base and bring it back and if they do it under a certain time they get to keep it. I’m always jealous of that…I would so get back in time and I want a real base!! Obviously we play “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch but if you stay standing you can dance to a southern classic “Cotten Eyed-Joe” immediately after.

All of these traditions are what makes one fall in love with their home field. I know that as a 22 year old I can come to the park and sing the same songs and look forward to the same same activities that I did when I was 5. It brings you back to that place and just puts a smile on your face and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I loved being back home and I loved watching Texas whoop up on the Tigers. I can’t wait to watch Texas again on Memorial Day.

What I learned from my friends that did the tour with me was that only in baseball do you have a connection between players, fans, and managers. It’s different than other sports. It’s like you can understand one another on a different level and you can feed off their passion.

Well the bar is filling up across the street from Minute Maid! Which tells me its about time I get ready for the game….Rootin for the home team tonight!!! Royals @ Astros

Texas Love is Patient

THE Texas Rangers.

I’m fanatical about them.

Before I tell you about the Verlander vs Darvish game that I went to on 5/16 here is a little bit of history about my favorite team and their park.

Everything’s bigger in Texas…including the love for our Rangers.

Yes, It has been heartbreaking the last three seasons. I’ve cried, yelled, and been speechless on more than one occasion. So please, don’t remind me how many times we were one out away or one strike away. I’m fully aware and I am still healing.

I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember. Some of my favorite childhood memories are going to the Ballpark in Arlington with my dad and my glove. Pudge was my hero! Most little girls want tea parties and dress up…not me. I wanted baseball. I still want baseball, and when I’m at a Rangers game I feel like I’m home.

The Texas Rangers started as the Washington Senators. In 1961 after the original Senators moved to Minnesota, Major League baseball granted the nation’s capitol with one of four expansion teams that year. They took the same name as the old team, but were a completely new ball club.

In the first years the team was a joke. Literally. “Washington: first in war, first in peace, and still last in the American League.” They only had one winning season as the Senators. Fans stayed away while the Orioles only 45 miles away won four pennants and two World Series from 1966-1971. Bob Hope, the club’s GM, got approval to move to Arlington, Texas for the 1972 season. Arlington Mayor, Tom Vandergriff was definitely open to the idea. The team was officially named theTexas Rangers after the famous Texas Rangers law enforcement.

The Senators’ last game was chaos. Fans were livid. After the Security guards walked out early, around 10,000 fans entered the game for free. With the Senators up 7-5 in the top of the 9th, fans raided the field for souvenirs. With no bases left, no security, and fans everywhere the umpire called the game. The Senators forfeited their last game to the Yankees.

Moving to Arlington was an ideal location. Dead center of the Metroplex, halfway between Fort Worth and Dallas, the team would be able to attract a huge fan base. It pains me to say our first game on April 15, 1972 we lost to the Angels. I guess the only good part about that is that the next day we beat them. The very first Texas Rangers victory was over the Angels.

Turnpike Stadium, later named Arlington Stadium for the MLB team, was built as a minor league park in 1965. The vision of the stadium was to attract a Major League team and therefore was built to major league speculations and with the ability to expand seats when needed. The stadium had the largest bleacher section in the Major Leagues. “Bat Night” was a promotional night where kids under 12 would receive bats to bang on the bleachers to create a deafening sound. With a struggling team, this was often the only sell-out night of the year. I’m proud to say Arlington Stadium was the first in the Majors to sell nachos…I love nachos. Until 1978, the stadium had the ability to be used as a football field. That changed when they permanently fixed seats and added an upper deck. The biggest draw back to the stadium was the heat. It’sTexas, and it’s HOT. Summer temperatures often rise over 100 and no to mention the ridiculous amount of humidity. You can walk outside and two minutes later feel like you just got out of the pool. The Stadium didn’t have a roof, so there was no blocking the rays of the Texas sun. I can only imagine the sunburns that were created. For this reason most of the Rangers home games were played at night. This is still true today. Another early tradition that still stands is the playing “Cotton Eyed Joe” during the 7th inning stretch. It is always fun to do a little dancin’ after your stretchin’.

Arlington stadium, unfortunately, never saw a post season or an All-Star game. Only two players, Cal Ripkin Jr. and Oddibe McDowell, hit for the cycle and Mike Witt pitched the 11th perfect game in MLB history. Perhaps Arlington Stadiums best moments were Nolan Ryan’s 5,000th strike out and 7th no-hitter.

With Arlington Stadium aging and becoming less functional for the team, plans for The Ballpark in Arlington began. With George W. Bush as part owner the new stadium broke ground on October 10, 1991. When Bush was elected Governor ofTexas, he left his position with the Rangers.

The Ballpark in Arlington brought the same home plate, foul poles and some of the bleachers from the old field. The bleachers are now painted green but if you could find chipping paint you can experience the original Arlington Stadium. Those bleachers have since been removed and replaced with The Batters’ Eye Club. True baseball fans will notice glimmers of other parks in the architecture. The roof top double-decker outfield porch clearly copies Tiger Stadium, Fenways out-of-town scoreboard, which has been replaced by a video board, was depicted in the outfield wall, the irregularities of the outfield fence are similar to Ebbets the white fences in centerfields’ upper deck are reminiscent of old Yankee Stadium ( actually office buiildings…it’s a good thing I don’t work there I’d never get anything done), and the outer structure combines arches of original Comiskey and red brick of Camden Yards. Outside the park, on the north and west sides, is the Rangers Walk of Fame. Brick panels with the rosters of every team since the Senators moved to Texas in 1972. As for the MVP, Gold Gloves and other awards, there are special markers to set them out from the rest.

The Rangers Hall of Fame is an exciting attraction for the baseball enthusiast. Vandergriff Plaza in center field is fun for the family. Here you can find a statue of Tom Vandergriff ( the father of theTexas Rangers) and Nolan Ryan. And if you’re expecting a home run, run to Greene’s hill, jump the fence and race the 10 year old boys for the ball before it rolls down the hill. Greene’s Hill is the all green batters eye located in center field. It is name after ex Arlington Mayor, Richard Greene, and is definitely a home run ball magnet.

The park opened in 1994 with an exhibition game against the Mets on April 1 and the first actual game against the Brewers on April 11. The next year Johnny Oates was brought on as the manager and the park hosted its first All Star Game. In 1996 Oates lead the team to see it’s first Division Series victory and was later awarded Manager of the Year. That year AL MVP went to Rangers Outfielder and one of the most feared RBI producers in the game, Juan Gonzalez. Oates also led the team to two consecutive AL West titles in 1998 and 1999 but neither year could they get past the Yankees…suffering two back to back sweeps in the ALDS.

As a Rangers fan, I’m used to inconsistency. You could find Texas Rangers in the dictionary definition of the word. We never failed to put star players on the field. Big names have worn Texas on their shirt : Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez, Rustry Greer, A-Rod, Alfonso Soriano, Mark Teixeira, Michael Young, Hank Blalock, David Dellucci, Sammy Sosa, Frank Catalanotto, Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Elvis Andrus, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli… and so many more. But we haven’t been able to take it all. I just want one World Series!

Whether is declaring bankruptcy or being one shy of MLB team strikeout record in one game and three days later smashing the record for runs by one team beating the Orioles 30-3 or leading the AL West the entire season only to lose the title in game 162 to a fairy tale team…being a Rangers fan is nothing but roller coaster ride. I can say though that the first two years of Nolan Ryan owning the team we had a World Series appearance…maybe we just have to be patient, I have faith, I love the Rangers, always have, always will.

 GO RANGERS!

The Courage To Follow Your Dreams

As I sit here listening to Ranger baseball on my MLB At Bat App, I’m thinking about how this trip is quickly approaching…It’s so crazy it seems like yesterday I was staying up all night long giddy about a trip that was just a possibility. It’s almost surreal. After almost 9 months of preparation, I am finally about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
Anytime anyone brings it up in conversation I can just feel my face light up and my eyes twinkle with excitement. There is something really special about working so hard for something and actually seeing it come to life. There is something about accomplishing dreams that gives you a confidence you never knew you had, I can feel it coming and I haven’t even left yet! I wanted to share a post I wrote a couple months ago with you that will hopefully encourage you to start taking baby steps and working towards your own dreams.

This post isn’t about a park or a team…or even about baseball. 

This post is about you.

When you were 7 years old what did you want to be or do when you grew up? When your dad told you you could be anything you wanted to be….a rockstar, a pilot, an astronaut, an olympic athlete, a world traveler, an elephant tamer or a ship captain, climb Mount Everest, build an igloo in Antartica or surf the coast of New Zealand…

Are you that? Or did you do it?…

Why not?

Probably because someone down the road  as you got older told you to be “realistic,” to “come back to earth” or to “wake up from that dream.” We are beat down by dream killers from the moment we walk into school. Slowly but surely losing sight of the child like faith we had in ourselves and in our dreams. Being molded into an average person by all the people around us living mediocre lives. Not because your dream is not possible, but because your dream rattles their character and shakes their heart. Your goals remind them of their lost dreams and the person they could have been, but were too afraid to be. And when you speak of your dreams with that twinkle in your eyes, it’s like putting a mirror in their face that they’ve chosen to ignore for so long. It automatically puts them on the defense and they want to bring you to their level to avoid discomfort. 

I’ve been told I dream big and I have lofty goals. I like it that way. If other people can live awesome lives, why not me? If other people can live their dreams, why not me? I was put on this earth to be the best I can be and not to be mediocre. I realize that It takes courage to step our of your comfort zone and take that leap of faith to start putting your dreams into action.  Trust me. It is scary and you will get hurt. But living on purpose is better than living on accident.

I just want you to know you can do it. Find the courage deep within you to stand out and be different. Be the person you were meant to be and don’t look back. You’re never going to accomplish everything you want in life if you continue to believe what everyone else believes. You DO deserve to live your dreams and you CAN do it. You just need to keep the faith. Not always will you know HOW something will happen just have the childlike faith that it will. The universe has a funny way of rewarding the persistant people who just keep going and never give up.

Be daring. Be over the top. Be unrealistic. Be unconventional. Be different. Be bold. Be you. BElieve.

And I can tell you one thing…when you find something that keeps you up late and wakes you up early, don’t give it up. I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had planning this trip and figuring it all out and I STILL don’t know how it is all going to work out…but i just know it will.

 

It’s easy to be one of the masses, I dare you to BE YOU.

 

What do Yu know about 11?

Baseball is all about numbers. Averages, percentages, statistics, rankings…everything.  Lately I’ve noticed an unusual number pattern, call me crazy but I just can’t ignore the 11‘s that keep showing up around Yu Darvish.

11 is often referred to as the Master Number…let’s see how it affects Yu.

Let’s begin over seas. In 2011 Darvish was the highest paid pitcher in Japan. 2011 was also the last year he pitched in Japan, before coming to the US. In his last appearance in Japan on the Nippon Ham Fighters, Darvish departed in the 7th inning allowing one run on four hits and struck out nine. Except after he left the game, their opponents, the Saitama Seibu Lions, came back to win the game in extra innings. And in Yu Darvish’s last game played in Japan…his team lost in the 11th inning.

Yu Darvish wears 11 on his back.

In his heartbreaking almost perfecto was the first time I started to truly pay attention to 11. As most of you know he lost a perfect game with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning. This made him the 11th pitcher in MLB history to lose a perfect game on his 27th batter. The perfect game was lost when Marwin Gonzalez got a hit up the middle on Darvish’s 111th pitch of the game.

Yu Darvish also pitched 111 pitches in his prior start to last night and win over the Mariners on 4/19.

In last night’s major beating of the Angel’s…which I was at and it was FANTASTIC to watch us demolish the Halos…Darvish started the game with a career ERA of 2.11 at Angels Stadium.  At the end of the game his team had 11 hits, scored 11 runs, and he struck out 11. Darvish pitched 6 scoreless innings…making that a total of 11 innings pitched against the Angels thus far.

Also, as of today batters facing Darvish with Runners In Scoring Position have a batting average of .211.

Did I mention I wore number 11 on my back when I played too? 🙂

And I also make a wish at 11:11.

Anyways, these numbers may be crazy to draw together, but I just could’t resist. I think it’s safe to say we will being seeing great things from Rangers jersey number 11 this year.

And I think it would be fitting if this continues and we dropped one numeral from 11 and made Darvish the 1st in a Ranger uniform with an AL Cy Young award.

Go Rangers!!!