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MFFL
01-14-2002, 10:58 PM
What are your predictions?

I'm going to say 92 wins and a wild card berth.

FineCubanCigar
01-15-2002, 12:37 AM
88 wins,10 games out of the division leading seattle and a wild card race with boston.

MFFL
01-15-2002, 09:14 AM
Here's a Team report from the Sporting News (http://www.sportingnews.com/baseball/teams/rangers/)

Gonzalez boosts formidable lineup
January 11, 2002
Evan Grant
Dallas Morning News

After a two-year separation, right fielder Juan Gonzalez and the Rangers are married once again. The addition, still subject to Gonzalez passing a physical, should put the finishing touches on one formidable lineup.

Gonzalez hit .325 with 35 home runs and 140 RBIs last year. The Rangers got only 14 home runs from all of their right fielders combined. In his last four seasons in Texas, Gonzalez averaged 43 homers a season. He also won a pair of home run titles early in his career with the Rangers, but those took place with Arlington Stadium as his home field, not The Ballpark in Arlington.

Gonzalez will hit either fourth or fifth in the Rangers’ lineup, depending on whether manager Jerry Narron wants a lefthanded or righthanded hitter behind No. 3 hitter Alex Rodriguez. If Narron wants to go with a lefty, he will hit Rafael Palmeiro fourth. If he wants to go with a righty, the spot will belong to Gonzalez.

In the Nos. 3-7 spots, the Rangers will have:

Rodriguez, who is the defending AL home run champ and has four consecutive seasons with at least 40 homers.

Palmeiro, who has seven consecutive seasons with at least 38 home runs and at least 100 RBIs. Palmeiro has averaged 44 homers per season in his three seasons with The Ballpark in Arlington as his home.

Gonzalez, who has two MVP awards and two home run titles and has driven in at least 125 runs in five of his last six seasons.

Catcher Ivan Rodriguez, the 1999 MVP, who has a career .300 average and has hit at least 25 homers in each of the last three seasons. That's significant, considering he missed a total of 120 games during the past two seasons.

CF Carl Everett, who averaged 30 homers and 108 RBIs in the two seasons before last year's debacle in Boston. . . .
The addition of Gonzalez makes it more likely that the Rangers will be able to afford to give 21-year-old third baseman Hank Blalock every opportunity to win the third base job in the spring. Blalock, who had the second highest average in all of the minors last year, is not yet on the 40-man roster, because he doesn't need to be protected.

He will go to camp with incumbent third baseman Mike Lamb, last year's top pick Mark Texeira and journeyman infielder Herbert Perry to compete for the job. With shortstop Alex Rodriguez, Gonzalez, first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, catcher Ivan Rodriguez and center fielder Carl Everett in front of him, the Rangers might have no qualms about putting an inexperienced Blalock in the No. 8 hole. That would make Lamb quite expendable. . . .

Free-agent infielder Scott Sheldon, the Rangers’ top reserve middle infielder for the last two seasons, signed with the Orix Blue Wave of the Japanese Central League. The Rangers will go to camp with infielders Jason Maxwell and Santiago Perez fighting for the unglamorous job of backing up Alex Rodriguez. . . . .

Righthanded pitcher Hideki Irabu, who signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers, won the strikeout championship in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He struck out 61 in 65 1/3 innings.

POSITIONAL ANALYSIS

Middle relief: The Rangers' weakest link last year was its bullpen, and the weakest part of the bullpen was the middle. Rangers relievers forged the highest ERA in the AL at 5.19, and it was that good only because of a sensational second half by closer Jeff Zimmerman.

If left to the middle, things would have been a lot worse. The Rangers' chief middle reliever started out as righthander Mark Petkovsek, who was also their top offseason pitching acquisition. Petkovsek turned in a putrid season with a 6.69 ERA in 76 innings. Shortly into the season, the Rangers turned to righthander Pat Mahomes, who had gotten off to a strong start. Mahomes wobbled to the finish.

The Rangers made addressing the middle their first offseason priority. They acted quickly to sign righthander Todd Van Poppel, who has resurrected his career with two strong seasons in the NL, and righthander Jay Powell, who can swing between middle relief and a setup role. The Rangers will also likely have either righthander Francisco Cordero or righthander Dan Kolb, both hard throwers who are injury-prone, in the mix.

If Van Poppel, who struggled with AL lineups early in his career, can fortify the middle, the Rangers should be much stronger. In 52 of the team's 89 losses, the Rangers had the lead at some point. The Rangers were only 6-12 in games that were tied after the sixth inning.

HOT STOVE UPDATE

Agreeing to terms with Gonzalez doesn't mean the end of the Rangers' offseason odyssey. The team is still looking for another starting pitcher and has talked with righthander Rick Helling, who became a free agent in December when the Rangers did not offer a contract, as well as righthander Terry Adams and righthander Ismael Valdes. . . .

Also, the Rangers could much more likely explore a trade. They can afford to give up one of outfielders Rusty Greer, Frank Catalanotto or Gabe Kapler. If they decide to go with Blalock, they could add Lamb to the deal. The Rangers’ main trade target is Baltimore righthander Sidney Ponson.

Murphy3
01-15-2002, 12:28 PM
thank you for the article MFFL
evan grant is an amazing baseball guy

i like lamb but i would love for blalock to win the job this year

i would love to see the rangers keep kapler and catalanoto and move greer and lamb...
however, i think that kapler might have more trade value than greer at this point and this might make him the one that is more expendable..

i don't see him staying on as the 4th outfielder..if he stays, i think greer goes

MFFL
02-17-2002, 09:37 AM
Pudge showed up on time this year. First time in a long time that he showed up on the 1st day. He is taking it easy on the knee.

grbh
02-18-2002, 01:08 AM
I love my Rangers, but I don't think they are over the hump just yet. The have a great lineup and will put up some runs. They have improved their bullpen, but starting pitching is a question once again. I was thinking, when was the lst time the Rangers had an ace on their staff, and by ace I mean a top 5-7 pitcher. Please don't say Nolan. I love him, but by the time he got here he was only a very very solid pitcher. The last I can think of is Fergie.
Anyway sorry for the sidetrack. As I was saying lots of quetions in the starting rotation. I am not please about the Chan Ho Park pickup. He was great at home last year (They don't call that place the colliseum for nothing), but stunk on the road. Ramos will be a rookie so who knows, and is Davis really as good as we saw in the second half of last year. My prediction 81-81

Murphy3
02-18-2002, 06:14 PM
i like nolan ryan and all..one of my favorite players of all time..
however, he is overrated... what is a shame is that he never came close to living up to his potential...alot of wasted talent that put up amazing strikeouts, a relatively mediocre winning percentage.. a slightly below ERA for the time, and an amazing number of walks...

for the rangers..i'm predicting 90 wins..fighting with seattle for the wild card spot..i think Oakland takes the West this year

MFFL
02-18-2002, 06:46 PM
Nolan Ryan's winning percentage is why I didn't ever consider him an elite player. The strikeouts and no-hitters are all well and good but the most important aspect of the game is WINNING. And Nolan Ryan didn't do that.

Rhylan
02-18-2002, 06:49 PM
Murph, man, I hope to God you never have kids. Nolan Ryan an underachiever? Agreed he didn't have a sparkling win percentage and walked a lot of guys, but 27 years in the majors and more records than anyone can count?

I think he exceeded expectations. There have been lots of skinny kids that get drafted because they can wildly throw the ball in the high 90s. How many of them did it for 30 years?

Murphy3
02-18-2002, 06:55 PM
in all do respect...with the talent and health that ryan had..he probably should have won 375-400 games.
yes, he has alot of records but most of the records are meaningless in comparison to wins and losses and ERA

i guess you would take nolan ryan over greg maddux...
that's where i see ryan as an underachiever..all the talent in the world and a blazing fastball..but not as good of a pitcher as a guy that can barely get the ball up to the plate at 85 mph consistently (he sometimes tops out for a game at 82-83)
maddux has had a much better career...lower ERA, better winning percentage, cy youngs, ....with half the gifts that ryan was given.

if strikeouts and no hitters are what's most important..well, ryan wins easily..
however, ERA and winning percentage are much better indicators of who is the better pitcher....ryan was more dominating, but not as good of a pitcher as maddux..

who would you rather have..the guy that might strike out 15, give up 3 hits, walk 7, give up 3-4 runs...
or the guy that might strike out 4, walk 0-1, give up 8 hits, and give up 2 runs..?

well, i'd take the second guy....

nolan is overrated and is an underachiever...
however, you can ask me "who is the one guy that you have a poster of on your wall"..it's nolan ryan

Murphy3
02-18-2002, 06:56 PM
what nolan ryan is..well, to be honest, he's an Icon to the state of texas..and he's a hero to millions of people that don't know alot about the game of baseball..yes, they are casual fans but real students of the game put nolan ryan in his rightful place...yes, he's a hall of famer but not among the elite pitchers of all time..not even that close

Rhylan
02-18-2002, 06:57 PM
<< Nolan Ryan's winning percentage is why I didn't ever consider him an elite player. The strikeouts and no-hitters are all well and good but the most important aspect of the game is WINNING. And Nolan Ryan didn't do that. >>



Tell Charles Barkley that. To his face. i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif Or Karl Malone.

Baseball is the worst sport of all to exclude guys for not winning. I understand that you refer to winning percentage and not playoff success, but they're too closely intertwined. Nolan did not exactly play for any storied franchises in all those years in the league. Mets, Angels, Astros, Rangers? And this was in an era in which only 4 teams even got a shot at the post-season. Despite all this, he still has one more World Championship than either of the elite basketball players I mentioned.

I am curious, how many times did a team with Nolan Ryan on it make the playoffs? '69, '81, and '86 for sure. And I do know that the 'Stros had Nolan on the mound in '86 in a game that could have won the Series for them, but I don't remember what happened. I was a little kid at the time and I'm no Houston sports expert.

Rhylan
02-18-2002, 07:03 PM
<< i guess you would take nolan ryan over greg maddux...
that's where i see ryan as an underachiever..all the talent in the world and a blazing fastball..but not as good of a pitcher as a guy that can barely get the ball up to the plate at 85 mph consistently (he sometimes tops out for a game at 82-83)
maddux has had a much better career...lower ERA, better winning percentage, cy youngs, ....with half the gifts that ryan was given. >>



I'd take Maddux over Nolan, no doubt, he's been the most successful pitcher in the league for more than a decade. But I don't immediately agree that Maddux lacks talent where Nolan had it. True, Nolan is bigger and stronger, but he also pitched all those years, basically, with 2 and a half pitches. Seems like he didn't develop that drop-off curveball until later in his career, if I'm remembering correctly what I've read. Clearly his lack of &quot;craftiness&quot; as a pitcher has as much to do with his inability to develop more variety in his pitches as it did with his unwillingness to do so because he threw so hard, he thought he didn't need to.

MFFL
02-18-2002, 07:03 PM
I'm not talking about championships, I'm talking about winning percentage. How many games did Nolan Ryan win vs how many games did he lose. The winning percentage is barely above .500.

Nolan didn't win championships because money was more important. He was the ultimate gun for hire. He left every organization over money. He selected the teams. He could have signed with a championship team for a little less money. But Nolan decided the money was more important.

Murphy3
02-18-2002, 07:05 PM
here's one...
he may win 300 games for his career..
Tom Glavine vs Nolan Ryan

Murphy3
02-18-2002, 07:07 PM
it is amazing..he was never the best pitcher in the league..hell, there was almost always 6-7 or more pitchers that were better than he was.. however, he did always leave over money..when he wasn't paid among the very best pitchers in MLB.
Hero?..yes, he's a class guy..but he wasn't loyal to the organizations he played for..

Drbio
02-18-2002, 09:20 PM
Irabua could very well mean the difference....Rangers take 90 games and get the wild card. OK, CHP doesn't hurt and Kenny's healthy again, but seriously...watch out for Irabu.

Doc

Murphy3
02-18-2002, 10:16 PM
will he even make the team?
i would kinda like davis and ramos to take the 4 and 5 spots..

i also wish that they'd dump rogers freeing up another spot...well, after he sucks for a month or so..one of the other guys will then get a shot

MFFL
02-18-2002, 10:19 PM
I couldn't understand why we signed Rogers in the first place. i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif

Rhylan
02-18-2002, 10:20 PM
I thought Davis had a strong finish last year, I hope that he doesn't get lost in the wash of new guys.

I'd be surprised if Irabu makes the team, but hey, it'd be cool if he could.

Murphy3
02-18-2002, 10:33 PM
davis was the best starter on the team last year..without a doubt.. i don't understand why he doesn't have a guaranteed spot on the team and rogers does....well, i know it's because of rogers' salary..but it pisses me off

MFFL
02-18-2002, 10:35 PM
I think a lot has to do with reliability. Rogers will pitch at a MLB level. Davis had to be sent to the minors last year to get his head screwed on right. Of course he was awesome when he came back but still.

Murphy3
02-18-2002, 10:40 PM
um...rogers didn't remotely resemble a major league pitcher last year.. not at all..

actually, oates told davis last year that the reason he was getting sent down was because he had options..that if helling and rogers had options..both of them would have gone down to the minors before him

grbh
02-18-2002, 11:05 PM
I think the talk of not promising Davis a spot in the rotation is an attempt to manage egos. Rogers was once a very solid pitcher. These guys have huge egos. Davis was great for 1/2 of a season. He hasn't had the chance to develop the bloated ego of a 10 year vet. You can play some mind games with the kids to get them to work harder, come into camp in better shape, etc.
That being said, Davis will be in the rotation this year without question. Now if last year turns out to be a fluke he could lose a spot by June. Personally I am high on the guy and really like what I saw from him last year.

Murphy3
02-18-2002, 11:06 PM
i'm worried about his WHIP's though..kinda high

Drbio
02-21-2002, 02:35 PM
I saw a photo of Irabu the other day. The guy lost a lot of weight and I have heard Acosta say he was looking like a front of the rotation guy early. That's a pretty big statement.

Doc