All Smiles

By Dave Ervin

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Young and Old Alike are Happy With The State of the Rangers. So What the Heck am I Supposed to Write About?

I find it difficult to come up with topics for my post when the Rangers are playing so well. How do you make a first place team interesting? There’s no real drama now that the Nolan situation has been smoothed out. The injuries to the club have not caused them to miss a beat. The shine has worn off the Yu Darvish story – we get it – he’s awesome.

So, in light of the lack of suspense in the Texas Rangers 2013 season thus far, here’s some random thoughts from a lazy writer:

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

Take a look at this line and try to guess what major league pitcher it applies to:

G

W

L

IP

SO

BB

SO/9

BB/9

ERA

7

4

1

37.1

27

7

6.5

1.7

2.17

Definitely looks like an early Cy Young candidate, no? Clay Bucholz perhaps? Jon Lester? Yu Darvish? Wrong. This is the combined statistics of Texas Ranger rookie starters Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm. Okay, so it was a trick question. But it’s clear that for at least the first month of the season, this duo has stepped up nicely in the absence of big guns like Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison.

I mentioned in my post last week that the success of these guys was a big key to the Rangers staying competitive in the AL West. If they keep pitching like this, Texas may have a Quarterback controversy on their hands when some of their starting pitchers return from injury. Of course, this is all predicated by that famous April caveat: It’s early.

LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

Did you have that dude in high school that you knew by reputation only? You didn’t have any classes with the guy but you couldn’t stand him. You heard awful rumors about how he ran his mouth nonstop. He walked down the hall with a cocky grin etched into his face like he just stole your girlfriend and ran over your dog. On purpose. Then you end up sharing a dorm room with him in college and you find out he’s not that bad after all. You actually kind of like the guy. That’s how I feel about A.J. Pierzynski.

Josh Hamilton fell out of favor with Ranger fans faster than Clayton Richards pulled the same trick with late 80’s Texas Republicans (obscure gubernatorial reference), but there was a time when Hamilton was the most popular Ranger of all time not named Nolan. So the club lets him go along with Michael “Mr. Ranger” Young and Mike – “I’m going to inspire a ballpark chant in my first month on the team” – Napoli and replaced them with a guy that said the Rangers were overrated and “caught lightning in a bottle” in 2010 (Lance Berkman) and Pierzynski – the most hated man in baseball.

Needless to say, headed into this season I wasn’t thrilled with my favorite team’s new look. But now, I’m on board. I get pumped anytime one of these two new guys heads to the plate. They might not have the pop of Hamilton or Napoli, but they each have something better: Consistency. You expect them to get on base. Funny how winning heals all wounds.

DEALING THE BLUE CHIP

So what’s the deal with Jurickson Profar? All signs point to a trade. He’s playing shortstop in AAA right now, and he’s not going to replace Elvis Andrus anytime soon. So you’ve got to think he’s taking his reps at short to increase his value at that position. But so far, the plan is backfiring. Profar is currently hitting just a shade over .200. Maybe Jon Daniels should pull the trigger sooner rather than later before the kid’s stock drops?

Anyway, that’s my thoughts for the week. Not much to write about when things are going so well for the club. Best record in baseball at the writing of this post, winners of seven of their last eight, Angels still sucking.  But yes, it’s early.

Here’s hoping next week brings just as much writer’s block.

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Posted on April 27, 2013, in 2013, Angels, Rangers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. those college dorm buds…

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