Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram shares the surprising news …
Adrian Beltre activated from 15-day disabled list. RHP Jon Edwards optioned to Round Rock. #Rangers
— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) June 23, 2015
A report from late last week stated that Beltre, who landed on the disabled list June 2 with a sprained left thumb, was still unable to swing a bat. But he’s clearly made swift progress over the last couple of days.
Another mild surprise is that Joey Gallo wasn’t sent back to the minor leagues. Rangers management has clearly changed its mind on the readiness of the 21-year-old top third base prospect, who has tallied five home runs and 10 RBI through his first 18 major league games. Gallo is starting in left field and batting second for Texas on Tuesday night against the Athletics. Beltre will start at third base and hit cleanup.
CONCORD, N.C. — A global leader in technology and innovation, Microsoft has ramped up its involvement in NASCAR with new multi-year official agreements with both the sanctioning body and 11-time Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports. The collaborations designate Microsoft as an Official Technology Partner of NASCAR and a major technology partner of Hendrick Motorsports.
Hendrick Motorsports will adopt the Windows 10 platform and Microsoft Azure to deliver technology solutions to help improve performance on and off the track. In addition, Microsoft will support the upcoming launch of Windows 10 with primary sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet SS at Sonoma Raceway on June 28 and Pocono Raceway on Aug. 2. Windows 10 will be the Official Operating System of Hendrick Motorsports.
“NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports are perpetual innovators in motorsports,” said Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President, Developer Experience and Evangelism at Microsoft. “This sport demands constant innovation, to have its boundaries pushed, so that the sport delivers the exciting experiences expected by fans. The Windows mobile inspection application we launched last year is a great example of how innovative solutions can push boundaries and make the racing experience even better. We’re looking forward to the next solutions that we can deploy with both NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports to push each of our organizations forward.”
Microsoft will utilize two-time Daytona 500 champion Earnhardt as a spokesperson to promote Windows 10, which will be available July 29 as a free upgrade for qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices.* In addition, its new multi-year partnership with Hendrick Motorsports will incorporate technology solutions and training across the team, including competition, business and IT functions.
“I’m a big technology user and really enjoy Microsoft products,” said Earnhardt, who is NASCAR’s 12-time most popular driver. “Kicking off the Hendrick Motorsports relationship with Windows 10 is a unique opportunity, and there’s no doubt our ongoing technical partnership will help us raise the bar in many areas. It’s great to see Microsoft is having such a positive experience with NASCAR and wants to do more across the sport. We’re excited to be a part of that.”
Jane Lee, the Athletics beat reporter for MLB.com, shares the news …
The A’s have claimed outfielder Jake Smolinski off waivers from the Rangers and optioned him to Triple-A Nashville.
— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) June 21, 2015
Smolinski was designated for assignment by the Rangers on Friday after batting just .133/.270/.200 in 74 plate appearances. But he showed some promise last season in Texas and he had hit .422 with a 1.280 OPS in 50 plate appearances this season at Triple-A Round Rock. The 26-year-old former second-round pick is a nice depth addition for Oakland. He’s headed to Triple-A Nashville but could be called up soon.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. went to Germany this week in hopes of researching his genealogy. He ended up making plans to add to his family.
Earnhardt got engaged to longtime girlfriend Amy Reimann on Wednesday in Germany, where the couple is vacationing during NASCAR’s off-week.
Reimann posted a picture early Wednesday afternoon of the couple posing together in what appeared to be a church, showing off her new engagement ring.
“I’m completely overwhelmed with love & joy,” she tweeted. “Happiest girl in the world! I love you so much @DaleJr.”
— Amy Reimann (@Amy_Reimann) June 17, 2015
Earnhardt quoted Reimann’s tweet and added: “Looking forward to the rest of my life with this amazing girl.”
Looking forward to the rest of my life with this amazing girl. https://t.co/EuGZbCVynM
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) June 17, 2015
The 40-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver has never been married and mostly kept his relationships out of the spotlight over the years until he began opening up about how much Reimann has changed his outlook on life.
NASCAR fans have been quite fond of pestering Earnhardt about when he planned to pop the question since the couple had been dating since 2009.
“The people we interact with on Twitter are, ‘When are you going to do it? Pop the question already,'” Earnhardt said in February. “She gets it more than I do: People telling her all the time I need to put a ring on it. When I turned 40, it really ramped up. People are like, ‘Man, your time is running out. Amy is a good girl, what are you waiting for?'”
Now the questions can turn to wedding planning – and possibly Earnhardt’s very real jewelry phobia. Earnhardt finds jewelry “creepy” and doesn’t like anyone to wear any around him. Of course, he did just put an expensive ring on Reimann’s hand.
“We’ve talked about it,” he said in February. “I’m not going to be held accountable (to wear a ring) and she can do whatever she wants. I figure if we ever get to that step in life, I owe her that much. I’ll have to put up with (her wearing a ring). But I’m free of all my obligations in that regard.”
Earnhardt’s Germany trip is now a success whether he finds any documents related to his family history or not. The couple, along with Earnhardt’s sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller, brother-in-law L.W. Miller and JR Motorsports IT manager Martin Friedrich (a Germany native), is visiting churches and other areas where Earnhardt has traced his roots.
He told USA TODAY Sports last week it was his first visit to Europe aside shooting aJay-Z video in Monaco for 24 hours in 2006.
“I’ve got some specific areas narrowed down I want to go see and some buildings I want to go see that I know my family was somewhat connected to,” Earnhardt said. “They left Germany in 1744, so all this stuff we’re going to see or get close to is more than 300 years old.”
How exciting was that?
Probably one of the most exciting events in sports, the walk-off homer…and the Rangers just did it.
Robinson Chirinos hit a game-ending home run leading off the bottom of the ninth inning and the Texas Rangers beat the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Chirinos hit a 1-1 pitch from Josh Ravin (2-1) over the left-center field wall, his sixth homer of the season.
The Dodgers had gotten even in the top of the ninth when Justin Turner hit a two-run homer off rookie starter Chi Chi Gonzalez, who was so close to his second complete game and first shutout in only his fourth career start.
Shawn Tolleson (2-1), who had been proclaimed the Texas closer earlier in the day by manager Jeff Banister, gave up a pair of two-out singles after taking over before Jimmy Rollins’ inning-ending flyout.
Texas won both home games against the Dodgers, though the teams play again Wednesday and Thursday in Los Angeles.
Tasmania’s Gordon Dam is 126.5m tall. They went to the top and put a basketball hoop at the bottom. The rest is history (and a new world record)! I wonder if Dude Perfect has seen this?
Last Saturday, I was able to see my grand-daughter at her very first sporting competition. The Tornado (or Tornadoes?), played their first game of the season, and it was a work in progress. I’m not sure how her coach did it, but he got 5 3-4 year olds to run for 45 minutes chasing a soccer ball and trying to score by kicking it in the opponents net.
I was amazed at how this was the basis for so many things in these kids life. Sportsmanship, team goals, strategy, all the things necessary to take part and win a game in a team sport. To teach a kid for the first time that there is something bigger than themselves for a time. To see how they contribute as an individual in a team environment. It was something to see.
My grand-daughter, (I call her Sweet Pea), seemingly ran and ran while shooting the breeze with another youngster, unaware of the real goal of where the ball was, or what to do with it if she ever caught up to it. But that was ok, she was having a blast. I thought to myself how these kids could teach plenty of adults about sports and sportsmanship, and how just playing a simple game could be the time pf their lives. No contracts, no money, no “what have you done for me lately” type of attitudes. Just kids playing sports, laughing and having a blast.
The Tornado (Tornadoes?) lost but who really cares? The coach bought the team pizza, and no one was a bit sad over the loss. I can’t wait for next week’s game.
by Lew Patton
The Texas Rangers were 3-3 this week, but played some solid ball and have made improvements in many areas. Chi Chi Gonzalez has a 0.42 ERA (1 ER/21.2 IP) over his 1st 3 starts. According to baseball-reference.com, Gonzalez is the 5th pitcher in the last to pitch 5.2-or-more innings and allow one-or-zero runs in each of his first 3 ML outings (all starts). That is pretty select company. Gonzalez took his first career loss at Oakland despite allowing one run in 7.0 innings. Things look pretty bright for this new Ranger pitcher.
The starting rotation are making great improvements each game as well. The Texas rotation has allowed has allowed 8 R/7Erin 49.0 IP the last 7games (1.29 ERA) to drop the season ERA from 4.42 to 3.88, 5th in the AL and lowest since 5/14 (3.77).
Mitch Moreland batted .450 (9-20) on the road trip with 2 HR, a double, and 5 RBI. He is still shy of a few at bats to qualify for league leader status, but would rank in or near the top 10 for the season average (.308), OBP (.368) and SLG (.521).
Sign ‘em up
Lots of good things happening for the Rangers and the additional good news is they signed several draft picks, including their #1 pick Dillon Tate. The Rangers announced on Friday that they signed the right-hander as the 4th overall selection in the draft.
The 6-foot-2, 200 pound right-hander went 8-5 with a 2.26 ERA (26 ER/103.1 IP) and 111 strikeouts against 28 walks in 14 starts for the University of California – Santa Barbara in his junior season this year. Among his honors this season, Tate was 2015 Louisville Slugger All-American and UCSB’s first ever Golden Spikes Award Semi-finalist. He was rated the top pitcher and third best prospect overall in the draft by Baseball America. Here was Tate at the press conference Friday:
The Rangers came to terms with an additional 6 draft picks:
Right-Handed pitcher Jake Lemoine
Shortstop Dylan Moore
Right-handed pitcher Blake Bass
Right-handed pitcher Peter Fairbanks
Shortstop Leon Byrd
Center fielder Ledarious Clark
Games this week:
Monday 6/15 LA Dodgers@ 7:05 PM
Tuesday 6/16 LA Dodgers@ 7:05 PM
Wednesday 6/17 @LA Dodgers @ 9:05
Thursday 6/18 @ LA Dodgers @ 9:05
Friday 6/19 @ Chicago White Sox @ 7:10 PM
Saturday 6/20 @ Chicago White Sox @ 1:10 PM
Sunday 6/21 @ Chicago White Sox @ 1:10 PM