Ron Washington officially hired by the Athletics

There were reports about this yesterday. Now it’s official:


Jane Lee of reports that Washington will be in uniform but is not eligible to be on the bench during games, as the A’s already have a full complement of coaches.

Washington coached the A’s from 1996 through 2006 before becoming the Rangers’ manager, so he knows his way around. As reported yesterday, he will primarily be used as an infield coach, helping the A’s address their awful defense.

So long Dave!

As the case is so many times, saying good bye to a legend is difficult.

Here is the final montage video from the final David Letterman show. I didn’t like the video because there were way too many pictures flying by so quickly, I couldn’t “see” the photos. Maybe that was by design. Maybe Dave didn’t want us to stay too long on his behalf. Regardless, here is the video to watch many times to get the full effect?

So long Dave, we are gonna miss ya man.

One step forward, two steps back

It was a so-so week for your Texas Rangers, as they won 3 games but lost 4 games for the week.

The Rangers split the 4 game series with the Royals in the first part of the week, then lost the three game set to the Indians to finish the week.

Some positives for the week include Adrian Beltre hitting his 400th career homerun dufing the week, and Josh Hamilton is doing pretty good and getting his hitting down in the minors before probably joining the Rangers sometime this week (probably).

It looks like the bullpen is a little better today since Tanner Scheppers and Ross Ohlendorf were brought up from the minors as Texas designated Kyuji Fujikawa for assignment and used  Ross Detwiler’s trip to the disabled list (thank goodness) to bring in another arm for a bullpen that was growing more concerning by the day.

On Sunday, Ohlendorf and Scheppers went right into the fire. Nick Martinez gutted out five innings and allowed only one run despite the Indians getting nine at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Ohlendorf came in for the sixth and sent the Indians down 1-2-3. Scheppers followed with an eight-pitch seventh inning and came back out for spotless eighth. It was one of the better victories for the Rangers and a win for the bullpen.

Up Next:

May 19 @ Red Sox 6:10 PM

May 20 @ Red Sox 6:00 PM

May 21 @ Red Sox 6:10 PM

May 22 @ Yankees 6:05 PM

May 23 @ Yankees 12:05 PM

May 24 @ Yankees 7:00 PM

Josh Hamilton went 0-for-4 and signed a baby’s butt

All the positive, optimistic quotes about how goodJosh Hamilton looked at the Rangers’ extended spring training complex have given way to him going 1-for-7 with three strikeouts through two minor-league rehab games at Triple-A.

Hamilton hasn’t played since October and is making his way back from February shoulder surgery as well as drug and alcohol relapses, so a couple tough games is no big deal. Still, it seems pretty clear that he’ll need a while to get back into game shape following the trade from the Angels to the Rangers.

Oh, and his time at Triple-A Round Rock also included this, via the Associated Press (and pictured to the right):

Hamilton obliged an unusual request before the game when a fan asked him to sign a baby’s butt.

“That’s happened before. … When you play long enough you’re going to see a lot of crazy stuff,” he said.

He’s expected to spend at least two weeks at Triple-A, so keep those pens ready.

Leonys Martin reaggravated his sprained left wrist

From beat writer T.R. Sullivan of comes word that Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin aggravated his sprained left wrist Monday night when he got jammed by an inside pitch. Martin is not in the Rangers’ lineup on Tuesday against the Royals and he could be looking at an extended absence.

Martin missed four straight games last week with the same injury and it obviously hadn’t fully healed. The 27-year-old was batting just .209/.246/.278 through his first 123 plate appearances this season.

Delino DeShields Jr. is playing center field and batting ninth for the Rangers on Tuesday night.

What a difference a week makes!

A Formula for Success

The Texas Rangers have had a great week going 5-2 for the week. The team traveled to Houston to take on the league-leading Houston Astros and swept all three games, then went to Tamp and split that 4 game series. It was a dramatic turnaround from that disaster from a week ago when they went 2-5. The hitting came around, and some very good pitching occurred this week so there is a good feeling that perhaps the Rangers are finally beginning to get their timing down and the pitching may be coming around as well, just at the right time to put everything together to have a great week. That’s the great thing about baseball. You never know when all eight cylinders will begin firing at the same time.

Robinson Chirinos hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, and the Rangers snapped Houston’s 10-game winning streak with a 2-1 win over the Astros on Monday night.

Kyle Blanks had three hits, including a homer, and Carlos Peguero added a two-run shot to back up a solid start by Rodriguez as the Rangers beat the Astros 7-1 on Tuesday night to win consecutive games for the first time this season.

Carlos Peguero hit a pair of solo homers, Shin-Soo Choo had a two-run shot and the Rangers routed the Astros 11-3 Wednesday night behind eight strong innings from Colby Lewis. Adrian Beltre was a home run shy of the cycle for the Rangers, who finished a three-game sweep. Houston had won 10 straight entering the series, but was outscored 20-5 over the three games.

Elvis Andrus (remember him?) had a two-run single in a four-run second and the Rangers won their fourth straight, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Thursday night.

Nathan Karns had a strong start on a day full of bad news for the Tampa Bay rotation.

Karns took a shutout into the eighth inning, pinch hitter Brandon Guywe had a three-run homer and the Rays beat the Rangers 8-2 Friday night.

Andrew Bellatti made the most of a second chance. The Tampa Bay reliever, who served jail time as a teen after a fatal car crash, was the winning pitcher in his major league debut Saturday night as the Rays beat the Rangers 7-2.

And how about this for a guy to “man up?” Adrian Beltre believes he knows why the Rangers haven’t been scoring much lately. “The main reason we’re not doing better is because of me. I take full responsibility,” Beltre said after driving in both Texas runs Sunday in a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. “Hitting in the middle of the lineup, I know my job, I know what I need to be doing. It hasn’t happened, but there’s no doubt it has to be better moving forward.”

That’s what leadership is about. Taking responsibility.

The Rangers may have very well seen and felt what it was supposed to be like to be a winning team again. All the pieces came together, and it was a much improved week for the team.

What about Josh Hamilton?

The former American League MVP spoke Sunday before starting his rehab stint with the Round Rock Express against the Nashville Sounds. He is recovering from shoulder surgery on Feb. 4 and had been working in the Texas Rangers’ extended spring program in Arizona since April 28.

He went 1-for-3 with a single and two strikeouts before being pulled after five innings of work. Facing a 2-1 count in the first inning, Hamilton slapped a hit into shallow left field. Former Cy Young winner Barry Zito struck Hamilton out twice, once swinging and once looking, in the 7-0 loss to Nashville.

On Deck:

5/11 vs. Royals   7:05 PM

5/12 vs. Royals   7:05 PM

5/13 vs. Royals    7:05 PM

5/14 vs. Royals    1:05 PM

5/15 vs. Indians   7:05 PM

5/16 vs. Indians   7:05 PM

5/17 vs. Indians    2:05 PM

I don’t have answers, but is this one a solution????

Browns coordinator says Manziel’s work ethic is “fantastic”

Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel impressed his coaches with his effort during the opening weeks of offseason work.

Johnny’s been great,” Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo told “He’s been fantastic. What he wants to talk about, before he stepped foot back in this building is his business. All I know is Johnny the football player, and he’s been awesome. He’s been working hard, very hard with myself and [quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell], and doing what we want him to do on the field.”

There was talk during Manziel’s rookie year that he wasn’t taking his job seriously enough. But DeFilippo, who was hired this offseason, says he hasn’t witnessed any of that.

“All I know is this: From the moment he stepped in this building from the last two weeks, he’s been nothing but a consummate professional,” DeFilippo said. “He’s spent every hour that he’s been allowed to spend in this building. We give them worksheets every Tuesday and every Friday, and they’re done to the unbelievable detail that we need an NFL quarterback to do. From that standpoint, like I said I can’t predict the future, but all I can do is tell you right now Johnny Manziel is putting himself in a position to be a quarterback in the NFL.”

Does Manziel fit DeFilippo’s offense?

“If Johnny Manziel’s our quarterback, we’ll have an offense to fit his skillset,” he said.

That’s still a big “If,” as at the moment Manziel is viewed as a likely backup to Josh McCown. But Manziel is at least giving himself a chance to show that he’s put the problems of his rookie season behind him.

22 Years of Late Show Guests – David Letterman

Big 12 unveils new tiebreaker procedure

The Big 12 will actually have “one true champion” in 2015.

After the conference essentially handcuffed itself from consideration for a spot in the College Football Playoff in 2014 with TCU and Baylor finishing as co-champions, a new tiebreaker system was formalized on Wednesday.

You can read the new procedure below, via ESPN’s Max Olson:

As you can see, if two teams have the same record, the team that won their head-to-head matchup (like Baylor beat TCU last season) is declared the conference champion.

If three or more teams are tied after the league’s round robin style conference schedule, it gets a bit more complicated. The teams will be compared by their results against the next highest placed teams. For example, if two of the three tied teams beat the team that finished fourth and the other lost to the fourth-placed team, the team that lost would be eliminated.

Afterward, the champion would be determined by head-to-head play.

If those two tiebreakers don’t do the trick, the champion would be determined by scoring differential (points scored vs. points allowed) among the tied teams. And if all three options cannot break a tie, the “champion will be determined by draw at the Conference office.”

The implementation of this new tiebreaker system comes a day after conference commissionerBob Bowlsby said that the league would probably not pursue the opportunity of playing a conference championship game.

This distinction could ultimately have implications on the College Football Playoff. Baylor and TCU, last season’s conference co-champions, were left out of the top four and CFP committee members have said that the Big 12’s lack of a champion did not help its members’ final resume for the top four. Ultimately, Ohio State and its dominating performance in the Big Ten title game vaulted the Buckeyes ahead of Baylor and TCU.

It remains to be seen if the lack of a conference championship game will effect the Big 12’s chances in 2015, but at least the league’s slogan – “One True Champion” – will actually live up to its billing.


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