Monday, March 21, 2011

Ultimate baseball league: Texas Rangers

The all-time Rangers should score some runs, with a starting nine that includes four MVPs and two table-setters who each on-based above .400 during the representative seasons.
The pitching, on the other hand, stinks like some of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' business dealings.
The Rangers have historically never been much on developing pitching in-house, so most of the best pitching seasons, by Ferguson Jenkins, Nolan Ryan, John Matlack, et al., belong to pitchers whose best work came with another franchise. Suffice to say, having Ken Hill as a staff ace is a bit dodgy.

That said, between a pitcher who threw no-hitter on LSD and a reliever who pitched with both hands, the Rangers are colourful. So they have that going for them, which is nice.
  1. SS Toby Harrah, 1975 (6.6). He would have been a fantasy baseball darling if it had been invented, since the majors' leading palindrome was a middle infielder who was an on-base machine (he on-based .403 during his representative season). Sportswriter Mike Shropshire once wrote that he played an entire game in Tiger Stadium with congealed vomit in his hair.

  2. 2B Julio Franco, 1991 (7.0). Played forever and had an awesome, never-duplicated batting stance where he pointed his bat directly at the pitcher.

  3. 1B Rafael Palmeiro,* 1993 (7.4). He will forever live in infamy, period. Hit like a machine for a time.

  4. LF Juan González, 1993 (6.7). The most forgotten two-time MVP in history. Was it Steroid Era guilt-by- association, being a bit of a one-dimensional run producer or just radiating little personality? He was a terror during his peak years.

  5. CF Josh Hamilton,* 2010 (6.0). Still wincing at Rick Reilly's, "It's a bad night to be an atheist." Guh.

  6. RF Rubén Sierra,# 1989 (5.7). The poor, lacking-in-taste's man Roberto Clemente, or at least he seemed like it for a few years in the late 1980s.

  7. DH Jeff Burroughs, 1974 (5.7 oWAR). There was a time when Texas batters did not have a great home park factor; Burroughs won the MVP in '74 while losing about 150 points in OPS to the adverse winds at old Arlington Stadium.

  8. C Iván Rodríguez, 1998 (6.6). Realizing he's still playing is akin to finding out Sony still manufactured Walkmans as late as 2010. The upshot is the longer he plays, the more it helps his Cooperstown case, since there'll be some tacit resolution over what to do about suspect players.

  9. 3B Buddy Bell 1979 (6.9). Played his entire career in Cleveland in the 1970s, Texas in the 1980s and also managed some godawful teams. Great glove man, though.


  • RHS Ken Hill, 1996 (6.5). The de facto ace since someone has to be.

  • RHS Charlie Hough, 1985 (5.7). A knuckleballer who is threat to put up a double-double (10 walks, 10 strikeouts), just in the wrong sport. Kept his dignity intact even when hanging on while wearing a teal cap.
  • LHS Kenny Rogers, 1995 (5.2). Keep a safe distance, camera operators.

  • LHS C.J. Wilson, 2010 (4.6)

  • RHS Jim Bibby, 1973 (4.3). A human footnote; he pitched the Rangers first no-hitter, served in Vietnam and was the uncle of the NBA guard Mike Bibby. He was 6-foot-7 and his younger brother topped out 6-foot-1, so naturally the latter was the one who took up basketball.

  • RHS Dock Ellis, 1977 (3.6). His place in history was long assured by the time he ended up with the Rangers.



  • RHR Jim Kern, 1979 (5.0). Was fortunate enough to enjoy his peak years in the late 1970s, when relief pitchers became famous, to paraphrase Sam Malone. Was once concussed by his own catcher.

  • CL Francisco Cordero, 2004 (4.2). There are two other pretty good closers

  • RHR Jeff Zimmerman, 1999 (3.6). You knew there would have to be a place for the Canadian whose career was much too short after he persevered against long odds to make the majors. His 1999 season is one of the best by a Rangers reliever.

  • RHR Jeff Russell, 1992 (3.4). In '89, Dennis Eckersley issued three unintentional walks all season. Why is that being brought up right now? Because the Rolaids Relief Man Award that season went to Russell, who had the most saves in the AL.

  • RHR Greg A. Harris, 1985 (3.1). Since he played in the 1980s before relief pitching was specialized, he'd be the long man of the staff. If he gets tired, he can always switch to using his left arm.

(* left-handed hitter; # switch-hitter)

No comments: