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Going to be a while getting use to seeing them at the new place. I was in 7th grade when the Temple opened. Played multiple games there. It’s just not even close to the same.

Oh well I’ll get over it. Let’s hang a championship banner in this one.

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2 hours ago, mdmost said:

New ballpark looks interesting. I do not like the field level seats behind home plate. So glad baseball is back. 

Looks like an idea ripped off from Jerry World. Seems like a terrible idea for baseball.

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2 hours ago, ztejas said:

Can someone give me a crash course on Solak and Frazier? Did they get any run last year? I know Santana was a bright spot.

 

Solar appears to be someone who can just plain hit but doesn't offer much positional flex defensively.

But in a short stint, he looks like a professional hitter.  Which is nice for a change.  

At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Between Solak Joey and Willie they're will be plenty of good ABs.  

The rest of the order who the fuck knows.

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As far as the ballpark is concerned, trust me... the first time you walk in there for a summer afternoon game hell any summer game, your first thoughts are gonna be... 'had some great memories across the street but this is AWESOME!'  or at the very least... 'I could get used to this...'

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At least Evan gets it. 

Quote

Opening day, however surreal the whole thing may be, is now in sight. It is baseball time in Texas. Even though his voice bounced off every one of the 40,300 empty seats at Globe Life Field, Chuck Morgan said so Tuesday night. 

If it’s baseball time, it’s time to talk about baseball things.

Like, for example, the Rangers lineup. More precisely: Complain about it. Baseball is supposed to bring fans some sense of “normalcy” again. What’s more normal for fans than looking at the night’s lineup and immediately dissecting how to fix it?

For Tuesday’s exhibition against Colorado, manager Chris Woodward rolled out his expected batting order for Friday’s opener against those same Rockies. There was a lot to unpack, and not because the Rangers managed a solitary run in a 5-1 loss in front of, well, no fans.

Consider these nuggets: The first base battle was won by a shortstop-turned-third baseman. Most models would suggest the No. 4 hitter should be batting at least one spot higher and the No. 2 hitter should be batting significantly lower. The No. 5 hitter was, statistically speaking, one of the 10 worst regulars in the majors last year. That’s just for starters.

It was a grand illustration of the challenges the Rangers face in the upcoming 60-game season. There may be lots of possibilities for this lineup, but there are lots of potential pitfalls with it.

“Consistency,” Woodward said when asked about the biggest challenge this lineup faces. “If everybody sticks to what they have been doing, it’s a pretty good lineup. We have a chance to be deep. The thing we lacked last year was consistency of at-bats.”

To back this up, Woodward pointed to Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who was hitting ninth. Kiner-Falefa was the story of spring training and summer camp, driving the ball in a way the Rangers never really envisioned. He forced the Rangers into putting him in the lineup regularly at third base. 

Todd Frazier will move across to first base. If Kiner-Falefa takes his spring and summer camps into the regular season, the Rangers will indeed get far more out of the bottom of the order than they did last year when the No. 9 spot produced the lowest OPS for the position in the AL (.555). But it’s the No. 9 spot. Expectations for any No. 9 spot are limited.

The far bigger issue are the spots that are supposed to be most productive: Nos. 2-5. For the time being, that goes like this: Elvis Andrus, Danny Santana, Joey Gallo and Rougned Odor. It would be great if Gallo was at least a spot higher, but he’s been productive in the fourth spot and he’s comfortable there. Woodward may try to move him higher, but only if he needs to. 

The group literally and figuratively starts with Andrus. Odor is often a lightning rod for the disgruntled fan, but, put it this way: Odor out-OPSed Andrus .721 to .707 in 2019. Odor has once again titillated with five home runs in summer camp. Andrus went 2 for 31. He has to play better. Or else.

“It’s something that I’ve had talks with Elvis, I’ve had talks with other guys as well, just about 2-3-4,” Woodward said over the weekend. “We need production. I would love for Elvis to be the guy because when he gets on base, he causes havoc. He just needs to get on base more. 

“I think he understands that,” Woodward continued. “He has an understanding of the strike zone. He has the ability to drive the baseball to the middle of the field, work counts, maybe walk a little bit more, not chase hit. If he’s productive, he’s probably best suited for that, because he can do so many things with the bat. 

“The only issue is when he’s not productive, we might have to put somebody else there, somebody else that’s being more productive. Because it’s such a critical spot, it sets up the rest of our lineup. If it’s a speed guy or a guy that’s a threat on the bases, it opens up so much pressure on the opposing team. Now you’re having to face our best hitters with pressure. It’s a huge advantage for us.”

If not, it’s trouble for the entire lineup. You simply can’t have a hole in the No. 2 spot. It’s too valuable. 

On Tuesday, Woodward drifted back toward potential repercussions. He was not talking about any player in particular but said in a short season with small samples it can become “more enticing” to sit a player who runs into a cold streak.

It’s not a threat. It’s reality. If the Rangers’ starting lineup is to be an asset, Andrus is the linchpin to putting pressure on opposing pitchers so that guys like Gallo, Willie Calhoun and Odor can thrive. It can all work together well if Andrus shows that he can be the dynamic player he was in 2016 and 2017. 

If not, well, let’s not go there just yet. This season is going to be surreal already. It will only get stranger if the Rangers have to start considering what to do about shortstop for the first time in a dozen years.

 

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16 hours ago, ss13 said:

Great post too.

Typical Shag/Surl “fan”, doesn’t have the first fucking clue about the team. 

Man, you complained about Vic derailing threads. And you're just a fucking dick to everyone on here. You should really thing about being an Astros fan. It may suit you better

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