Josh Hamilton set to bat in first training game Monday

Josh Hamilton is “working his tail off in every aspect out here,” pitcher Matt Harrison told reporters.

Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton is set to bat in his first extended spring training game Monday after taking live batting practice for the first time this season Saturday.

Hamilton, whom the Rangers reacquired from the Los Angeles Angels last week, faced left-hander Matt Harrison and right-hander Kohsuke Tomita and shagged balls in the outfield Saturday.

“He looked good,” Harrison told reporters. “He’s working his tail off in every aspect out here.”

Less than halfway through a five-year, $125 million contract, Hamilton was traded to the Rangers by the Angels on Monday after two troubled seasons filled with poor performance, injuries and substance-abuse relapse.

Hamilton, who is on the 15-day disabled list while recovering from right-shoulder surgery Feb. 4, is working out in Arizona before beginning an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Round Rock.

He is on track to be activated during the second half of May.

Rangers Continue to Nosedive in the West

Sunday, 5/3/15, the Rangers went 1 and 5 for the week. That is 1 win out of 6 tries for the team. As a fan, you (I), try to be positive about the Texas Rangers. Let’s see if we can do that.

Several players have now risen above the Mendoza line (.200) for a batting average. Yay.

Here are the rest: (cough, cough Choo)

9  Corporan, C TEX C 10 31 5 6 2 0 1 3 4 10 0 0 .194  
10  Peguero, C TEX LF 17 35 4 6 4 0 0 2 9 17 1 0 .171  
11  Rosales, A TEX 1B 12 24 4 4 0 0 1 3 2 9 0 0 .167  
12  Chirinos, R TEX C 15 49 5 8 3 0 2 7 6 12 0 0 .163  
13  Odor, R TEX 2B 24 81 7 12 3 1 1 9 7 19 1 1 .148  
14  Choo, S TEX RF 19 64 6 9 4 0 2 9 8 19 0 0 .141  
15  DeShields, D TEX LF 11 15 2 2 1 0 0 2 1 5 2 0 .133  
15  Smolinski, J TEX LF 20 45 9 6 1 0 1 4 10 11 1 0 .133  


Good to see Beltre get out of the early season rut and his average is on the rise.

I’m not sure how or what’s going on with the Rangers other than this. The bullpen gave up a few games, and so the starting pitching isn’t that dominant either. The boys are trying, but the other teams in the division are playing just a little better. The Houston club leads the pack as the only team above .500 is on a 10 game winning streak. Further proof that anything Nolan Ryan touches is golden, so I’m not sure why any owner would want to fire the golden goose.

That’s old news though, so all we Rangers fans are left with are how to survive the Ryan Hex and figure out how to get in the winning column more often. But here is another thought for you to chew on in the meantime. You have to remember that Jeff Bannister is a new head coach. Obviously, new head coaches have a target on their backs. The more the Rangers lose, the more the question will be asked “how long before the new manager gets fired?”

Do we all remember how well Tim Bogar was doing after Ron Washington resigned? Bogar went 14-8 for the remaining 22 games of the 2014 season. That is a .636 winning percentage folks. I don’t know about you, but that looks a lot better than the current .333 winning percentage for Bannister. I don’t know what the answers are, but I hope someone figures out how to turn this team around before too many players decide to quit on the team. #Nevereverquit.

Oh great, the Division leading Astros to start the week*


5/4 @ Astros   7:10 PM

5/5 @ Astros   7:10 PM

5/6 @ Astros   7:10 PM

5/7 @ Rays      6:10 PM

5/8 @ Rays       6:10 PM

5/9 @ Rays       5:10 PM

5/10 @ Rays     12:10 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr. cruises to first Talladega win since 2004

TALLADEGA, Ala. — At a track that has always been good to his family, in front of an adoring crowd that so clearly favors him over everyone else in the field,Dale Earnhardt Jr. cruised to an emotional first win of the season.

NASCAR’s most popular driver won Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, where he received a thunderous ovation as he pumped his fist outside the car window during a slow victory lap.

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NFL draft shows again that the best players are in the SEC

More than one in five players selected in this year’s NFL draft played their college football in the Southeastern Conference.

As usual, the SEC led all conferences in total draft picks. This year 54 players from the SEC were drafted, meaning that more than 21 percent of all the picks in this year’s draft came from the SEC. This is the ninth year in a row that the SEC has had the most draft picks of any conference.

Although the SEC’s stranglehold on the college football national championship has been broken by Ohio State this year and Florida State last year, there’s little doubt that top to bottom, the best college football is played in the SEC. NFL teams know that.

The SEC was followed by the ACC (47 draft picks), Pac-12 (39), Big Ten (35), Big 12 (25), American Athletic Conference (11) and
Mountain West Conference (10).

Video: Nelson Cruz hit a home run off the train at Minute Maid Park

Another day, another tape-measure blast from Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz. Check out this home run against the Astros last night. It traveled 469 feet and actually hit the train at the Minute Maid Park.

It’s like he’s playing baseball inside a pinball machine right now. Cruz leads the majors with 11 home runs, 23 RBI, and a 1.125 OPS. So much for those who were expecting his numbers to taper off with the move to Seattle.

Cowboys DE Greg Hardy makes a joke out of September 11

At least Jameis Winston could say he was making a joke, and half the people would think it was funny.

Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy decided it was a good time to get on social media and have some laughs, and revisit one of the biggest tragedies in our country’s history.

A Panthers fan tweeted out a photo of tall second-round wide receiver Devin Funchessnext to tall second-year wideout Kelvin Benjamin, referring to them as the twin towers.

Hardy responded by saying “didn’t the twin towers get blown up lol.”

Some stolen crab legs might be funny in some settings. The massacre of innocent Americans at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 will never be funny.

And neither will Hardy, who is suspended the first 10 games of the 2015 season for a domestic violence incident.

Rangers put Mitch Moreland on DL, call up Kyle Blanks

Rangers first baseman/outfielder Mitch Moreland is headed to the disabled list with an elbow injury and Kyle Blanks has been called up from Triple-A to replace him on the roster.

Moreland missed much of last season with an ankle injury, but was off to a nice start hitting .304 with an .849 OPS through 16 games.

Blanks is a former top prospect whose career was derailed by injuries and he’s deserving of another opportunity in the majors after crushing minor-league pitching. He’s a career .303 hitter with 37 homers and a .977 OPS in 164 games at Triple-A.

Josh Hamilton is back!

Here was that 1st at bat Josh was talking about when he came back to Texas.

So, how are we Ranger fans supposed to feel with Hamilton coming back?


I know, I know. When you first hear the name Josh Hamilton, you think of lots of problems. You think of the dropped fly ball in Oakland, or Josh dancing on some bar able with a couple of chicks drinking with him.

Take a step back though, and think about a few things. Let’s look at the positives.

The reported impending deal with the Angels is about trying to find a spark to ignite the most under-performing lineup in baseball. The Rangers began Saturday with the lowest team batting average in the major leagues, .210. They were batting .199 on the road. The .210 average is the lowest the team has been through 16 games since 1972, the year the franchise moved to Arlington.

The deal itself is a baseball no-brainer. The Angels reportedly are going to pay Hamilton some $63 million, just to more or less go away. Hamilton, in turn, personally will be giving up some $8 million or so, just to get out of California.The Rangers could end up paying Hamilton about the same salary they’re paying, say, Ross Detwiler, $3.45 million. And no players or prospects will be sent to the Angels in the deal. A former MVP, virtually for free.

I know Josh has made mistakes, bad mistakes. But as we all know in life, life is always great when you get a second chance. In Josh’s life, he’s probably had many chances, and he has another one if/when he comes back to Texas.

We fans should show Josh what a “baseball town” is really like.


Josh Hamilton heads back where he belongs


Apr 24, 2015, 7:27 PM EDT


With the Angels so terribly eager to dump him, Friday’s trade couldn’t have possibly worked out much better for Josh Hamilton.

Hamilton, ostracized by Angels management after his drug relapse, will return to a setting that suits him far better, even if his time in Arlington didn’t end on a high note. While there is lingering bitterness from part of the fan base, some of it deserved after negative comments that Hamilton made, there’s nothing so bad it can’t be put into the past. Obviously, Hamilton is embracing it, since he’s giving up money to make the trade happen. Hamilton was, after all, a bonafide superstar in Texas, winning MVP honors in 2010 and going to All-Star Games in each of his five seasons with the club. He hit 43 homers and drove in 128 runs in his final season there in 2012.

Just getting back into a ballpark that favors left-handed power hitters should do wonders for Hamilton. His decline in Anaheim wasn’t all about the tough hitting environment there, but it did exacerbate his problems. In 2014, all 10 of Hamilton’s homers came in road games. He hit .249/.314/.302 at home and .278/.347/.527 on the road. Basically, he was still a star while playing outside of Southern California.

It’s too much to ask Hamilton to match those road numbers after he returns from shoulder surgery this year, especially with everything else he’s dealing with off the field, including a divorce, but this is the best-case scenario for him from an on-field standpoint. And it’s a nice gamble for the Rangers, since they’ll be paying a fraction of the $25 million per year he’s owed through 2017. Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan says they’ll be on the hook for a mere $15 million total.

The Rangers will have to wait for Hamilton to finish rehabbing his shoulder, but once healthy, he’ll fill their massive void in left field. They opened the spring with Ryan Rua, Jake Smolinski, Michael Choice, Carlos Peguero and veterans Ryan Ludwick and Nate Schierholtz competing for the job, eventually settling on Rua and Smolinski. Rua, though, is going to miss at least a month with an ankle injury, and he wasn’t likely to settle in as a quality regular anyway.

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