Sunday, August 2, 2015

Top of the 8th, 2 Outs

Let's set the scene.

Top of the 8th inning.

Leonys Martin comes in for Delino DeShields for defense.

Cole Hamels Pitching.

Hector Sanchez steps to the plate against Hamels who entered the 8th with 87 pitches.

Ball one.

Weak ground ball to second, which Odor promptly whips over to Moreland. 1 out.

Next was Angel Pagan who'd been over-matched all night, striking out twice and hitting a weak fly ball in three at bats.

Strike one looking.

Strike two looking.

Strike three swinging. 2 out.

Up steps Joe Panik, having rolled over to Elvis, Doubled in a run to left, and popped up to Adrian in his three trips.

Strike one looking.

Strike two looking.

Put-away change barely fouled past the glove of Bobby Wilson.

Ball one outside.

Fastball low and away lined up the alley for a double.

97 pitches. Out walks Banny. Damn.

With the righty Duffy comping up next, I get the move. Having thrown 129 pitches last Saturday, it first time pitching in the Texas heat, leaving with 3 run lead, Cole had done his job. Could it have been better? Yes. Was it enough though? Absolutely.

In strolls Tanner Scheppers, who has been a complete enigma in 2015. streaky decent, followed by streaky atrocious and back again.

9 pitches later, it was 7-7.

Duffy doubles. Posey doubles. Pence singles. Add another run to the ledger of Hamels.

Jake Diekman comes in and puts away Gregor Blanco on three pitches.

What I think will sting the most about this inning though, at least for me, is the Posey at bat.With Posey at the plate, who'd already flown out to deep left center and homered to left earlier, Banny sent the outfield into the traditional "no doubles" defense employed by every team 100% of the time in situations like this. And, just like my hatred for the over-shift on the infield, I abhor the no doubles alignment. I get the strategy don't get me wrong. I completely understand the desire to limit those up-the-alley drives and prevent guys from taking the extra base. That doesn't mean that I like it though. With Leonys Martin coming in specifically for defense, I would've liked to see them play straight up and let him run down any ball in the alley, like he normally does. Alas, not the case, and here we are.

The game of baseball probably owed Buster the broken bat flare double he looped in front of Leonys. He's made his fair share of outs on line shots and one-hop smashes. But man, to sit here and think that if Leonys was playing normal depth, he jogs and and makes that catch about waist high on the run and we go to the 9th up at least 2, frustrates me.

But what if right?

What if Choo doesn't chase a 3-0 change-up out of the zone and roll into a 6-4 fielder's choice that should've been a twin killing, and instead pounds the next pitch for a 2 run double?

What if the ball Buster hit in the first carries 18 more inches for his second long ball of the night?

What if Cole Hamels pitched better?

What if Tanner Scheppers wasn't worthless?

What if Jeff Kellogg had a better strike zone?

What if Keone hadn't been over -worked in April and May, and was trusted with locking down the 8th for the Ace?

What if the Rangers were better at home?

Oh well.

I really don't have a good handle on how the rest of the season is going to go, but I couldn't be more fired up.

And I can tell you the exact moment that I got re-energized and ready to run through a wall for this team:

When 35 took the methodical walk up the tunnel Friday night to meet his new teammates, wearing the white with blue letters, trimmed in red, smiling like a 15 year old.

With just over two months left in the season, there's plenty of innings left to make up the 4 game deficit in the Wild Card.

Just have to execute.


Friday, March 6, 2015

The Josh Hamilton Conundrum

This is a tough subject for me. 

On one hand, 2008. Yankee Stadium. 2012 in Baltimore. Game 6 at Busch, the top of the 10th, just so we're clear. 

There are countless times that I can remember standing up off my couch, pleading for a majestic moon-shot from arguably the greatest prospect and human specimen to ever step on a diamond. Or standing speechless, just in awe of effortlessly he could glide around the outfield. Or how his long powerful legs took him from first to third in around six big strides. 

On the other hand, towards the end his legacy as a Ranger was tarnished by a number of different things; a complete lack of effort, Katie, ocular keratitis, Sherlock's Arlington, and most annoyingly, "guys its me Josh."

Part of me wants to say good riddance, the guy has had plenty of chances. 

Part of me (the correct part) is genuinely sorry for him and his family.

Man, I don't know if there's ever been an athlete waste as much talent as Hambone has. That hurts me as a fan of this game. I can only imagine how that must eat at him daily. 

Josh Hamilton just flat-out makes you romantic about baseball. 

Honestly, if he hadn't screwed over JD & Co. and then high tailed it to Orange County, I wouldn't be bitter at all. He was a main piece here during the best years of Ranger baseball and that is something that sticks with you.

I'll say one last thing, then it's back to your regularly scheduled spring training game. 

To Josh Hamilton:

I am praying for you sir. Baseball aside, I hope you figure this out and keep your life together, I'm sorry for all those things I yelled at you through my TV. I sincerely hope you get better and are able to be a great father to those girls. Thanks for everything you did at 1000 Ballpark Way. We'll always have Game 1 of the 2010 ALCS.

I guess sometimes you just have to believe in people.

"And four weeks later nobody even speaks about it, damn, I just had to say my peace about it."

-Cheyenne T. Bauman

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Of ramblings, clean slates, amazing experiences, and what lies ahead

It’s late.

Or early, I guess, depending on who you are.

The corner of my computer screen says 1/26/2014, which means I posted nothing in 2013 and that’s upsetting for many reasons.

So for the two of you that might read this, my sleeplessness is your reward, I guess.

But even if nobody reads this, I’m going to keep spewing all the sports in my head onto this canvas.

Also, one more quick note: Drake is a lyrical genius and the best going right now. Period.

I need baseball. I need it like a bird needs a worm. And I need it because January isn't the best sports month mostly because I couldn't care less about the NBA and Stars hockey only goes so far. I’ll take anything I can get at this point, so absolutely I’m counting down until pitchers and catchers.

Baseball in 2013 wasn't very good to me. I mean yes there were very high points, but overall, Meh.

I’ll start with the good.

My team played past 162. No matter what, that’s always a positive. I got to cross another stadium off my list, Chase Field, and that is awesome. July 29th, 30th, and 31st. That’s why I love sports. Days like those. Yu Darvish did very Yu Darvishy things and watching him throw a baseball is like watching a master craftsman construct an awe-inspiring masterpiece, and I’m so glad he’s on my freaking team. Chris Davis Longview What. Man what a year for him. I’ll always love him no matter what.

Now the bad, and buckle up because here comes the soapbox.

April 2nd. I wanted that one so incredibly bad, and man five hole sucks. Ian Kinsler isn't my team anymore. And that hurts down deep. Kitten Face isn't either, which is a different kind of hurt, but a hurt nonetheless. We couldn’t get past the playoff game to get into the playoff game, which feels like a huge disappointment. Maybe I shouldn’t feel that, but I do. The Nolan/Jackie Moore smear fest on my boy JD on the way out of town was bush league. Real baseball minds understand that even though yes Nolan is a Texas icon and a respectable businessman, there comes a time when it needs to be about progression and not living in the past. And with JD, Thad, AJ, Don and crew running the show, we may never see better front office guidance ever again. So that’s a negative and a positive I guess. How terrible did the Matt Garza deal turn out to be. I really hope this doesn’t turn into a Teixeira/Schuerholz situation, but I have a feeling it might, just go look at the second halfs that Olt, Grimm, Edwards, and Ramirez had, as well as what the guys over at Baseball Prospectus have to say about those four going forward. Speaking of bad trades with the Cubbies, go look at Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks, the two we gave up for Ryan Dempster in 2012. Poised to go off this year or the next at the big league level. The cubs have seven or eight prospects in the top 100 for 2014, four of them came from Arlington in the last two years. Oy.

I could go on for hours so I’ll just leave it at that on 2013.

I’m actually going to talk about myself for a minute if you’ll indulge me.

2013 was a hell of a year for me.  I went to the PGA merchandise show as a representative of my program. I went to the Callaway Leadership conference as a representative of my program. I lived in Flagstaff, Arizona for 3 months on an internship. My sister committed to play softball in college and I could not be more proud. I met a softball player of my own, and she changed my life. My dad stayed healthy all year. I finally went a calendar year without the FLU! (knock on wood) Some people did get left in my past, but only so I could get close to my future. I got to watch my two sisters grow another year older, something I am not taking for granted, and I love those two to death, even when they drive me crazy. My parents supported me 1000% just like they always have, though I never expect that to change. I met some important people for my future, and hope to be laying the right inroads to becoming an amazing PGA Professional, changing the landscape of golf as best I can. I was elected Vice-President of the SHSU PGA Golf Management Program, which is just a testament that hard work and doing what you need to be doing is actually beneficial, and college is really about building a successful career, who would have thought? Sorry that was my jab at those who look down on me for not doing the whole “college” party thing, but I know where I’m going and there’s no changing that.

But that was last year, and it’s my job to make 2014 top that.

So here goes nothing.

I already have an internship for this summer, with the PGA of America, running their Junior Series all around the country, which I could not be more excited about, and on top of all that, one of my best friends in the world will be right there with me, because we both got hired believe it or not.

Creating happiness is easy with the right mindset, and this year is going to be a blast.

Going to 180 back to sports here for a bit and then shut up so I can go to sleep.

I’ll be nice to the Yankees since my lovely misguided girlfriend would shoot me if I wasn't, but this is what I have to say about them: They spent half a BILLION dollars on 4 players, and will finish 3rd or 4th in their division. Ouch. But it doesn’t matter because those fans will fill that stadium no matter what, just like cowboys fans.

As much as I was hurt by offseason moves, I’m so fired up for ranger baseball it’s unreal.  March 31st can’t come fast enough. This is the year, I’ve just got that feeling down deep that I can’t shake. Who knows. As long as it doesn’t end in Game 6 in Busch, I’ll be happy with another year of pouring every ounce I have into my team.

Jordan Spieth. Need I say more? Just wow. 5 wins including a major. Either the Masters or the US. May get his first of the year in about 16 hours.

Spieth, McDowell, Scott, Day are your 4 major winners this year, with McDowell at the PGA and the other 3 are a crapshoot.

Russell Wilson is my boy and I really want them to win Sunday. But how can you root against Peyton Manning? I don’t yet know who I’m rooting for, but the final score will be:  Broncos 34 Seahawks 20

Kershaw will win a Cy, as will Darvish.

Elvis Andrus should start the all star game. But no, it’ll be Jeter because people still live in the past and he’s a yankee and I swear people don’t know how to pull their heads out of where the sun don’t shine.

I’ll take JG24 in the 500 in a few weeks. Call it a hunch I guess.

I’ll be glued to any Olympic sport that’s not figure skating. Especially Hockey, where no country is any match for the Canadians.

And there’s not much sexier than a one-timer buried top shelf from the blue line. It’s on the list at least.

I hate the cowboys.

1000 Ballpark Way is going to be electric this year, that’s all I know.

That’s all for now.

If you read this and feel cheated out of a few minutes, I’m sorry.

If you read it and liked it, let me know.

Until next time.


“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

Friday, October 5, 2012

Nothing Left to Say

Amazing how this season has come down to one game that decides success or failure.

The boys will come out tonight firing and Darvish will rise to the occasion and earn all $107 million tonight.

Buckle up. Lock and load. 

It's time. Finally. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Down, but not quite out

People panicked after a horrible June. People panicked after a wretched July. All those jumped back on the bandwagon after a dominant August and now everyone is panicking again about these last few days. It's like a week ago, the A's were down 10 points with a minute and a half left. They scored the touchdown. They recovered the onside kick. They're now in field goal range and Wash has just iced the kicker with 3 seconds left on the clock. Stumbling into the playoffs is not good. This team is struggling at the plate right now. I still believe in this team and there's a way to get some swagger and mojo back going into Friday nights playoff opener. Block the freaking kick. Be big tonight demp. Be big.

--Cheyenne T. Bauman

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Let's bow our heads tonight. 6-23-2012

     I love that I'm emotionally invested in sports. And maybe too much sometimes but hey it's who I am and nothing's changing that. I could use a few reminders of some things though.

     The Rangers could drop three ugly games in a row here and to me they would feel worse than the 11 out of 14 we just won. Don't ask me why though. I guess it's just from the fact I expect W's coming from 1000 Ballpark way nowadays.

      But let's look past win-loss records and cant miss prospects for a second and talk about something more important than my desire for the Rangers to go and beat the Rockies tonight.  The bond that I share between the Rangers and my family is something that I have and will cherish forever. Isn't that what sports in general are really about? So Just for a little while let's push aside negative feelings towards Dwayne Wade and the Heat. Let's forget about how much the media wants to put the Yankees and Angels on a pedestal. We should also ignore, however hard it may be, that baseball is on the front burner of the American sports scene before training camp gets rolling, because there's something more important that needs to be addressed right now.

      I remember playing little league back in the summer and fall of 2002. My dad was my coach and we were the Cardinals. I remember writing the initials 'DK' to the left of the STL logo on my hat and '57' to the right. I knew that I was supporting a team and a guy but I don't think I really knew what I was doing other than supporting a man who was taken too young and my family has had enough experience with that.  But as my parents and I were watching MLB Network last night before the game got rolling, a 10 minute excerpt from the new Darryl Kile movie was shown. It was tough keeping your eyes dry watching that, especially hearing it all over again now that I'm truly old enough to know what happened. A great man taken from his wife and kids way too soon at the young age of 33. He was born the same year as my dad and that really puts it in perspective. It's now been 10 years and a day since that horrible afternoon in Chicago that a clogged artery took Kile's life, but the pain is still there for some. For others it's a reminder that life is fragile, and some of us could use a reminder once in a while.

         The point here is that as much is sports invigorates and enthralls us, it's just a game. So whatever you're drinking tonight, raise your glass to Darryl Kile and say a prayer for his wife and kids. Make sure when you go home next, to hug your wives, husbands, daughters, sons, and whoever else you may hold dear to your heart because you just never know.

    So to everyone near and dear to me, I Love You.

    Cheyenne T. Bauman

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday April 15th, 2012.

I was lucky enough to get to go home this weekend and that means I don't have to watch the Lastros.

I got to watch all of the Feliz outing today and all of the Darvish outing yesterday and boy let me tell you, was I ever impressed with both.

Maybe the final result wasn't exactly what both wanted, 5-5-3-3-2-3 for Neffy and 5.2-9-2-1-4-4 for Yu, but both had everything working, and every pitch was biting.

We all knew there would be an adjustment period for Darvish, especially with a bigger baseball here in the states, and his first two starts shouldn't even be alarming. He'll take the ball next in Detroit, somewhere the Rangers notoriously play dreadfully, disregarding the 2011 ALCS of course.

Joe Nathan did work today. Wash showed faith by tossing him out there in the ninth and Joe responded with a 9 pitch inning for his third save. Solid.

Elvis Andrus' reported offseason bulk-up showed for the first time today when he roped a triple off the wall over a lunging Clete Thomas scoring Ian Kinsler, Andrus went in standing up to third with the cutoff man having to eat the ball and on the very next pitch, Andrus came across on a Josh Hamilton moonshot, which I called beforehand thank you very much.

So we walk out of Minneapolis with a 3 game sweep and head to the first off day of the season with an 8-2 record. A lot can be said about how this team should be 10-0, the two losses, both charged to Nathan,  coming on a blown save with a two run lead in the 9th, and on an Alex Rios homer in the 9th with the game tied at three a piece. This is true but just think of how many times the wins could have gone complete opposite directions, especially considering how many times the Twins had the bases loaded over the weekend.

We sit in position A, with the best record in the AL and second to only the Dodgers in the Majors, who will start losing at a rapid pace if either Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier, who have 3/4 of the Dodgers RBI total on the year, reduce their production at all.

We're about to run the gauntlet of Boston, Detroit, New York, Tampa Bay, Toronto, which may be the toughest stretch we go through all year. It's time to show these guys what we're worth and we came to play ball.

To steal a line from Jamey Newberg of the Newberg Report...

Breen Gett.

--Cheyenne T. Bauman

 "I always like to see a person stand up to a golf ball as though he were perfectly at home in its presence." - Bobby Jones