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The Rangers
2005-08-12 12:32
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

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Unfortunately, now that we're back up and running smoothly, Bronx Banter is going to have to go into quasi-hibernation over the weekend as both Alex and I are going to have some difficulty getting on-line for a variety of reasons. The first casualty of this was a game-wrap for last night's 9-8 win over the Rangers, a game which combined a sparkling performance from emergency starter Scott Proctor (three hits and no walks in five innings, three strikeouts and 71 percent of just 76 pitches for strikes), a collapse by the key members of the Yankee bullpen (Alan Embree, Felix Rodriguez, Tanyon Sturtze and Tom Gordon, who combined to allow five runs on six hits and four walks in just 2 2/3 innings, the big blow being a three-run homer by Michael Young of Sturtze in the fifth), a game-winning home run by Derek Jeter, and yet another dominant outing by Mariano river, picking up a four-out save the day after pitching two-innings against the White Sox.

Prior to last night's Yankee victory, the Yankees and Rangers were tied 3-3 in their season series, each team having taken two of three in the other's ballpark. That the road team won the previous two series between these teams is a bit fluky, as both teams are significantly better at home. Having dropped series to the Indians and White Sox already this month, the Yankees have to hope that probability wins out in the current set as, with one victory already in the bag, it would behoove them to take two of the remaining three.

As for the Rangers themselves, I couldn't believe my eyes when I assembled the Texas roster prior to yesterday's game, but Michael Kay confirmed it during the YES broadcast: the Rangers are carrying thirteen pitchers, limiting themselves to a three-man bench. Earlier in the year I was dismayed by the number of American League teams that were carrying twelve pitchers and a four-man bench (nearly all of them), but this is just stunning.

Worst of all, it's not as if the Rangers have a Chone Figgins or Ryan Freel on their bench. They have a 39-year-old catcher who hasn't posted an on-base percentage above .310 since 2000 or a slugging percentage above .410 since 1999, a rookie futility infielder, and Passaic's own Mark DeRosa,, a career .266/.318/.371 hitter. Meanwhile, among their thirteen pitchers are the ghosts of James Baldwin and Steve Karsay. Yes, the Rangers have a formidable every-day line-up, but I find it hard to believe that their minor league system is so barren that it couldn't provide the big club with a single hitter that would be a more valuable part of this team than James Baldwin, who is with his seventh team of the last five years.

Tonight Al Leiter will attempt to justify Joe Torre's decision to send Aaron Small to the bullpen, while the 6'10" Dallas native Chris Young takes the hill for the Rangers.

Texas Rangers

2005 Record: 56-58 (.491)
2005 Pythagorean Record: 59-55 (.517)

Manager: Buck Showalter
General Manager: John Hart

Ballpark (2004 park factors): Ameriquest Field (111/109)

Who's replaced whom?

Phil Nevin replaces Richard Hidalgo (DL)
C.J. Wilson replaces Ricardo Rodriguez (DL)
James Baldwin replaces Chan Ho Park (Padres)
Kevin Gryboski replaces Ron Mahay (DFA)
Steve Karsay replaces Jason Botts (minors)

Current Roster:

1B – Mark Teixeira
2B – Alfonso Soriano
SS – Michael Young
3B – Hank Blalock
C – Rod Barajas
RF – Kevin Mench
CF - Gary Matthews Jr.
LF – David Dellucci
DH – Phil Nevin

Bench:

R - Mark DeRosa (IF)
R - Sandy Alomar Jr. (C)
R - Marshall McDougall (IF)

Rotation:

L - Kenny Rogers
L - C.J. Wilson
R - John Wasdin
R - Chris Young
R - Joaquin Benoit

Bullpen:

R - Francisco Cordero
R - Doug Brocail
L - Brian Shouse
R - Kameron Loe
R - Erasmo Ramirez
R - Kevin Gryboski
R - James Baldwin
R - Steve Karsay

DL:

R - Ricardo Rodriguez
R - Richard Hidalgo (OF)
R – Laynce Nix (OF)
R - Greg Colbrunn (1B)
R - Frank Francisco
R - Ryan Bukvich
R - Carlos Almanzar (60-day)

Typical Line-up

L - David Dellucci (DH)
R - Michael Young (SS)
S - Mark Teixeira (1B)
L - Hank Blalock (3B)
R - Alfonso Soriano (2B)
R - Phil Nevin (DH)
R - Kevin Mench (LF)
S - Gary Matthews Jr. (CF)
R - Rod Barajas (C)

Comments
2005-08-12 15:39:10
1.   tocho
No Giambi tonight. Bottom of the order is

Posada
Martinez
Williams
Womack

I hope Leiter pitches like its 1999....

2005-08-12 16:47:09
2.   yankz
On pitch 52 in the SECOND inning, leiter walks in a run. Why is Small going to the bullpen?! If Wright pitches like hes paid to, is it worth even having Leiter on the team? Sure he has flashes of mediocrity, but there are too many days like this.
2005-08-12 16:51:43
3.   unpopster
it's pretty obvious now that ole Al Leiter's career is done. Time to start printing up those "Al for Senator" posters because that's the only chance of being a winner he's got left.
2005-08-12 16:52:28
4.   tocho
These games are a pain to watch. Leiter sucks, I really cannot find his pitching style intresting. I feel Flaherty will end up pitching the 8th. and the 9th. when we will be loosing by 15 runs.

Oh, BTW yankz, Small is going to pen because he is 8 years younger than Leiter, that really makes sense.

2005-08-12 16:59:19
5.   randym77
This isn't looking good. :-P

And Chicago's already up 4-0 on Boston. This could be a chance to move up on the Sox, if Leiter can pull it together.

2005-08-12 17:38:43
6.   Marcus
This is looking a lot better than it did 30 minutes ago. :)

Leiter and Young are both up near 80 pitches through 3 innings! This is gonna get ugly.

2005-08-12 17:40:39
7.   yankz
Who would've thought the bottom of the order would be doing the damage?

tocho- dont you love our team's committment to experience? Clearly skill is never the issue.

2005-08-12 17:42:28
8.   yankz
Another RF besides Sheffield would've probably cut that ball off and Matthews wouldve had a single, not a triple.

MAN I wish we had fast outfielders.

2005-08-12 17:44:38
9.   tocho
I don't know much about baseball, but why do you bring the infield in on the 4th. inning? I think you should exchange the run for the out at this stage. Now, you have the game tied, man on first and 1 out. I'm not being sarcastic, this is a real question.
2005-08-12 17:45:18
10.   tocho
BTW, the red sox just tied. I hate that they are really good.
2005-08-12 17:53:04
11.   singledd
Not for any reason but WTF....
Tony Clark now batting clean-up for Arizona.
226 ABs, 21 HRs, .327 BA, 1.05 OPS.
Just your average Boston/NY bench player.
And I don't think he's doing 'roids.
2005-08-12 17:59:57
12.   singledd
Nice to see Jetes heating up.
Even though Cano has been slumping, he has been hitting the ball really hard. Lots of hard line drives. He's Soriano Jr.... no walks and all.
2005-08-12 18:01:48
13.   Schteeve
Couple of things: Cliff should be the next Yankee GM.

That Jeter kid is pretty good.

I have run out of excuses for Joe Torre and his ridiculous agism.

2005-08-12 18:14:36
14.   randym77
I'm not surprised the Red Sox have tied it, but I am surprised Chicago could score 5 runs in half a game against them. They sure didn't score like that when we played them. Hey, maybe Chacon and Small really are that good...
2005-08-12 18:54:17
15.   Rich
F-Rod pitched well, but he's gassed, which is a consequence of being underused by Torre.
2005-08-12 19:06:47
16.   singledd
Well...
The Sox (Red) beat the Sox (White)...
although Schilling managed to give uo 2 HRs and 3 runs in the 9th to make it close.
2005-08-12 19:17:40
17.   Marcus
And Torre calls on...Chacon? Can someone tell me the rationale behind this? I mean I understand the bullpen is taxed, but come on...
2005-08-12 19:18:54
18.   Hank
Can someone help me here? I'm reduced to GameCasting tonight, and it just said: "S Chacon relieved W Franklin."

Please tell me that someone has made a mistake. (Someone other than Joe Torre, that is.)

2005-08-12 19:20:31
19.   randym77
Jeez. The White Sox scored more runs tonight than they did in all three games against the Yankees put together. But it wasn't enough.
2005-08-12 19:21:18
20.   Marcus
So does this mean Small will take Chacon's next start? Or is this the old way of pitching relief on days when you normally have a side session?
2005-08-12 19:23:11
21.   Hank
Remember back in the dark days of the mid-80s when Michael was managing and went to a six-man rotation for a time? The idea was that then you'd have starters available in between starts for an inning or two. Geez, those really were dark days...
2005-08-12 19:53:45
22.   jkay
It was Chacon's throw day. He did his work in the game and should be ok for his scheduled start.
2005-08-12 20:37:14
23.   yankz
Cliff, are you related? I've never heard the last name anywhere else.

"BALTIMORE -- Sure, he had an opportunity to impress the coaching staff and make a case for a longer Major League stint, but Tim Corcoran had other critics in mind when he came out of the bullpen to pitch on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.
"I didn't want to look bad in front of my buddies," the former Orioles farmhand said after striking out five batters in three scoreless innings.

Corcoran spent three seasons in the Baltimore organization before being claimed by Tampa Bay in the Minor League phase of the 2003 Rule 5 Draft. "

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050812&content_id=20836&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp

2005-08-12 20:55:21
24.   Rich
Leiter is a bullpen killer. He needs to retire.

In re: Chacon, I assume it was his throw day. Pitching a starter in relief on his throw day was fairly common in the days of doubleheaders.

I suggested yesterday that Escalona should be sent down for an extra reliever. Bean would have really been useful tonight.

2005-08-12 21:07:48
25.   sabernar
I don't think Corcoran is that uncommon a name. I had an English teacher in high school (late 80's) who was named Corcoran (don't remember his first name, but he married one of the other English teachers).
2005-08-12 21:26:13
26.   Cliff Corcoran
Yankz, Corcoran is actually a pretty common Irish surname. There's the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and a related art school that also uses the name, Mt. Corcoran in California, towns named Corcoran in California and Minnesota, and the high-end real estate group the Corcoran Group run by Barbara Corcoran--none of which have anything to do with my immediate family. Tim is the tenth Corcoran to play major league baseball (and the second Tim), though he's just the third since Art "Bunny" Corcoran's lone game with the Philadelphia A's in 1915.

The most notable baseball Corcoran was Larry Corcoran, who was the ace of Cap Anson's Chicago White Stockings from 1880-1884. Larry threw three no-hitters and supposedly was the first pitcher to use signs with his catcher, relocating his wad of chewing tobacco when he was about to unleash his hellacious curve. One of the other nine Corcoran's was Larry's brother Mike, who started, completed and lost his only major league game, that coming when Anson decided that Larry was so good, he might as well give his brother Mike a shot as well.

Prior to the 1977 debut of the other Tim Corcoran, a minor league slugger who never lived up to his potential over nine seasons with the Tigers, Twins, Phillies and Mets, the only Corcoran other than Larry whose career lasted multiple seasons was Tommy the Cork Corcoran, who was a light-hitting middle infielder primarily for the Brooklyn Grooms and Cincinatti Reds in the 1890s and 1900s.

My favorite baseball Corcoran, however, was John Corcoran, a lefty-throwing SS/3B for the 1895 Pirates. You see, my father is a left-handed John Corcoran as well.

For what it's worth, I've also been told there are a lot of Corcorans in Newfoundland. Which makes some sort of sense as it's the part of the new world closest to the emerald isle.

Now Belth on the other hand . . .

2005-08-12 21:43:16
27.   KYK
"F-Rod pitched well, but he's gassed, which is a consequence of being underused by Torre."

Actually I think this is a consequence of the bullpen being called in the fourth, F-Rod warms up. Third out, F-Rod sits down. Call to the bullpen in the fifth, F-Rod warms up. Third out, F-Rod sits down. Toward the bottom of the fifth, F-Rod warms up, again. Then is called in to pitch.

2005-08-12 22:31:18
28.   Cliff Corcoran
Some great additional info on Larry Corcoran here:

http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/C/Corcoran_Larry.stm

Including the fact that Anson alternating Larry and Fred Goldsmith in 1880 created the first ever pitching rotation (2-man) and that Larry pitched ambidextrously in a game in 1884.

By the way, Larry's three no-hitters stood as the record until Sandy Koufax tossed his fourth in 1965. Cy Young and Bob Feller had previously tied Larry. To this day only Koufax and Nolan Ryan have thrown more than three no-nos.

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