Monthly Archives: July 2012
This is a big week for the Texas Rangers, a week that can shape not only the future of this season, but the future of this franchise. I say that, because the Rangers start a 4 game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County California. The Angels are all in this season, spending way too much on an aging Pujols, paid former Ranger CJ Wilson, and traded their future to get Zack Greinke this past weekend. The Angels want to win now, and their goal is to catch the Rangers. The Angels are down 5 games to Texas, so with a 4 game series the Angels are hoping to make up some serious ground.
As for the Rangers, this series might let Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels know where the Rangers stand against not only the Angels, but in the now tough American League. July 31 is the trade deadline, and the Rangers are still trying to land an Ace pitcher without giving up their two prize prospects, Profar and Olt. So early in this week the Rangers will either land an Ace without mortgaging the future, or they’ll let go of one of their star youngsters to try and win now.
If the Rangers do pay a heavy price for an Ace pitcher, the Rangers will not only have even more pressure to win it all this season, but a ton more pressure to sign free agent to be Josh Hamilton. If Profar and Olt can play next year for the Rangers, losing Hamilton doesn’t hurt that much. But if the Rangers trade one of them, the Rangers are basically saying they’re all in this season for that elusive World Series trophy.
And what if the Rangers don’t land an Ace? Can this pitching staff as is compete with the best in the AL? This week will be a big test, with 4 games against possibly the best rotation in baseball. Rangers fans should be on the edge of their seats this week, it could quite possibly be the most important week in Rangers history.
It has been a long journey, but TCU has finally returned to big time college football. Texas Christian University hasn’t been in a major conference since 1995, when the Southwest Conference broke up. While UT, Texas Tech, Baylor and Texas A&M all moved on to the Big 12, the rest of the SWC was forced to join “lesser” conferences. It has been an uphill battle ever since for TCU, fighting to rejoin the college elite. TCU first joined the WAC after the SWC from 1996 to 2000. From there, TCU then made a small step up to Conference USA from 2001-2004. Then the frogs moved on to the Mountain West Conference, a conference that had some decent success for being a mid major. It was in the MWC that TCU made its biggest strides, winning 6 of 7 bowl games, including the 2011 Rose Bowl over Big Ten champ Wisconsin. TCU also finished ranked in the top ten 3 out of the last 4 years. It is this success that made TCU the natural choice to replace Texas A&M in the Big 12 conference.
Now that TCU has finally punched their ticket to a major conference, it’s time to prove it every week on the field that they belong. TCU has wanted a chance to prove they are as good as anybody in the country, and now they get that chance. Gone are the games against Air Force, San Diego State, and Utah. Now TCU will be playing Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia yearly. Will they crumble, or will they strive and continue to be a perennial top 25 team?
TCU is built to succeed, both in 2012 and in the future. TCU was forced to build a solid program without the benefit of big conference money, TV exposure, or big games to sell to recruits. Bottom line, TCU has worked for everything that they’ve got, and are now poised to show it off in the Big 12. Coach Gary Patterson has turned 2 star recruits to NFL players, and can now sell recruits on in state games against Texas, Texas Tech, and Baylor. TCU can also sell their recent success, as mentioned before they have finished in the top ten 3 out of the last 4 seasons, and can show off the 2011 Rose Bowl trophy. And if history sells, TCU has more history than any Texas school not named the Longhorns. Sammy Baugh, Davey O’Brien, Bob Lilly, Don Meredeth, and recently LaDainian Tomlinson have all laced them up in Fort Worth. TCU also sits in the middle of the DFW area, one of the best areas for recruiting in the county.
TCU’s biggest obstacle in the Big 12 will be depth. TCU has never recruited very well in terms of bringing in a ton of talent, so even though the starting lineup for TCU can play with anybody, the depth behind them is not quite up to par with the UT’s of the world. The last four recruiting classes for TCU have been ranked #46, #46, #26 and #37. Not horrible, but not what you want if you’re planning on winning the Big 12.
Time will tell if TCU can cash in on its current success, location, and now conference affiliation. If not, the horn frogs might drown in the deep Big 12 pool.
The NBA schedules have been released for the 2012 – 2013 season.
The season opens up on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 with Dallas at LA Lakers, Boston at Miami and Washington at Cleveland. The San Antonio Spurs open up on the road on Halloween night, October 31, against the overall first pick Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Hornets. Houston opens up on the 31st as well, at Detroit. Click the link for full schedules.
The Texas Rangers are once again in 1st place of the AL West, with a 5 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County California. The Rangers are also 1 game behind the Yankees for the best record in all of baseball, even with a rash of injuries in their pitching rotation. As they prepare to get Neftali Feliz back, and just got Ogando and Holland back, the Rangers looked healthy and ready for the 2nd half of the season. But on Monday, it was reported that Colby Lewis would miss the rest of the season due to injury. This means the opening day starter will not be able to help the Rangers go for a 3rd straight AL pennant, or grab the elusive World Series title.
Many experts, fans, and critics feel the injury to Colby Lewis all but guarantees that the Rangers will be looking for an Ace at the trade deadline. Even before the loss of Lewis, many insiders and fans felt that the Rangers needed an Ace to compete with the Angels and Yankees, who both have played will the last few weeks. Rumors of Cole Hammels, Zack Greinke, and even a return of Cliff Lee have all been thrown out there for the Rangers. Besides the loss of Lewis, another reason why these rumors are running rampant is the fact that the Rangers have a deep farm system, with two stud players in particular as trade bait, short stop Jurickson Profar, and 3rd basemen Mike Olt. Profar would be the starting short stop on half the teams in baseball today, and Olt seems like a gem, leading his league in home runs. On top of these two, the Rangers also have pitcher Martin Perez, who has made a few spot starts already for the Rangers, and Centerfielder Leonys Martin, who also has played a bit already in the Majors.
So, with bait to spare, a need in the rotation, and a desire to finally win a World Series, seems like a no brainer. Pull the trigger, trade for the Ace, and let’s get ready for October baseball. Before you dig into your closet and pull out that old Cliff Lee Rangers shirt, think about a few things. Only 1 out of the three “ACES” is signed for more than 1 year, and that’s the aging Cliff Lee. Lee has a monster contract, and if the Rangers do trade for Lee, they’d be on the hook to pay Lee a lot of money for 4 more years. So if you trade for the younger pitchers, Hammels or Greinke, you’d only be renting them. Are you willing to give up a potential star like Profar for a half year rental?
Speaking of the cost, the Rangers have built this back to back AL pennant winning team by developing its talent, not overpaying in free agency. With that said, some of these players are going to want a bigger contract soon, and none bigger than future free agent Josh Hamilton. Hamilton will command a monster deal, and the Rangers haven’t exactly said they’re willing to pay Hamilton, so we might very well be looking at Ham’s final season in Texas. If that’s the case, the Rangers are going to wish they kept Olt, Profar, and Martin.
Besides the price, I don’t feel there is a real need for an “ACE”. The Rangers have a deep rotation, even without Lewis the Rangers boast Harrison and Darvish, both all stars. Holland, who has struggled but showed in the World Series that he has the stuff. Former closer Neftali Feliz, people forget this kid was a blue chip prospect who might very well become the Ace of this staff. And don’t forget the Rangers signed Roy Oswalt. I know Oswalt isn’t what he used to be with the Astros, but Oswalt has said he’s finally in baseball shape, and looked sharp in his last start. The Rangers bullpen is as deep and good as it gets in baseball, with Closer Joe Nathan, Mike Adams, Alexi Ogando, and Robbie Ross. Also, Scott Feldman and Martin Perez have had solid spot starts, and don’t forget teams only use 4 pitchers in their playoff rotation. This means Darvish, Harrison, Holland and Oswalt could be the rotation, and now you have two all star closers at your disposal, Joe Nathan and Neftali Feliz.
Nolan Ryan, don’t panic, as of today you’re only 1 game behind the best record in baseball, you have a ton of talent in the farm, and even more talent on the roster. Unless a team is willing to give up an Ace for cheap, no need to break the bank, the Rangers will be fine.