Baseball commissioner Ron Manfred said on Thursday during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Texas Rangers' new ballpark, Globe Life Field, that he hopes to see an All-Star Game and/or World Baseball Classic in Arlington (video by Jeff Wilson). Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com
Baseball commissioner Ron Manfred said on Thursday during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Texas Rangers' new ballpark, Globe Life Field, that he hopes to see an All-Star Game and/or World Baseball Classic in Arlington (video by Jeff Wilson). Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com

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Rangers Reaction: Only good news Thursday came in a parking lot

September 28, 2017 10:38 PM

ARLINGTON

The lineup posted by Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister looked as if it came straight out of Surprise, Ariz., and a Cactus League game, if not for in-season acquisitions Willie Calhoun and Miguel Gonzalez.

That’s where the Rangers are as they stagger to the finish line and creep closer to last place, looking at kids and letting veterans catch up on rest.

The results are what you might expect.

Martin Perez will pitch Friday. Maybe he can stop the slide. Andrew Cashner and Cole Hamels will get opportunities Saturday and Sunday, though apparently they might be on a short leash with youngsters waiting to piggy back them.

Here’s some Rangers Reaction from Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Oakland A’s, who are now only two games from catching the Rangers for fourth place in the five-team AL West with three games to go. 

1. As groundbreaking ceremonies go, the Texas Rangers put together a pretty good one Thursday afternoon. Of course, the bar isn’t set very high.

But this was a production, with dignitaries on a large dais and in the crowd and free hot dogs. There were also big screens and loudspeakers for those who were stuck in the back of the crowd to hear all the brown-nosing going on.

There’s always someone trying to spice it up, as Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams did before 21 people — 21! — put shovel to dirt in a parking lot that in a few short years will be Globe Life Field.

Give the mayor the blue ribbon for enthusiasm.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, as is often the case, stole the show. The guy can flat-out talk. He also saved the best for the end of his speech, when he said he hopes the new facility will play host to an MLB All-Star Game and/or a World Baseball Classic final.

The All-Star Game is a given, based on the recent track record of sports leagues awarding cities with new venues. How soon? Well, MLB gave the All-Star Game to the Ballpark in Arlington in 1995, the year after it opened.

The first available season is 2020, but that seems like a stretch. Maybe precedent holds and the All-Star Game comes back in 2021. Manfred said last week that he could announce two or three future sites this off-season.

The WBC will be played again in 2021, so maybe that’s the first big-ticket item for Globe Life Field. Judging by the enthusiastic crowds for this year’s WBC, that might be fun. Of course, there are some skeptics out there who aren’t sure the WBC should continue.

The takeaway from Manfred is that it’s not an if, but a when, the Rangers will host a marquee event at their new ballpark. 

Banister: Rangers' slide not from lack of effort

With key veterans on the bench for a second straight game Thursday, the Texas Rangers saw their losing streak hit seven. The fire is there, though, said manager Jeff Banister (video by Jeff Wilson).

Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com

2. Rougned Odor knows what he must do to improve upon his dismal 2017 season, one that might very well see him finish with the worst batting average among qualifying players.

Two questions:

How long did it take him to discover the needed adjustment?

Why could he not make it during the season?

It makes it sound simple enough. His focus will be swinging at the pitches he handles best. Maybe he needs the off-season to find those, as he tends to swing at everything.

He also said that he doesn’t care about walks, which probably isn’t good, or strikeouts, which isn’t unusual these days. Yet, he says he will gladly take walks if pitchers aren’t going to throw him strikes.

(Is it just me, or do they usually not throw him strikes?)

The sense here is there’s a lot going through his 23-year-old mind. He needs time to clear his head and to forget about his lucrative, long-term contract. As much as he says it hasn’t had an effect on him, he might be the only one who thinks that.

For those down on Odor, the key thing to remember is that he’s only 23. He was in the majors at 20. He should improve with experience and some maturing.

But it is a wait-and-see proposition. Everyone will have to wait until April.

Banister: Gonzalez pitches well, but offense to blame for Rangers' loss

Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister liked what he saw Thursday from Miguel Gonzalez and the young hitters, but the offense has a whole didn't do enough in a loss to the Oakland A's (video by Jeff Wilson).

Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com

3. As the Rangers plan for the off-season, they will look at everyone they believe they can acquire. That means Shohei Ohtani all the way down to a pitcher on a minor-league deal who might come to spring training and win a bullpen spot or even a rotation spot.

Then, there are players like Gonzalez. He had shown well in the second half, well enough for the Rangers to want him for a September push and well enough in his final three starts for them to make them think about him.

Seriously.

With the Rangers committing to Perez’s $6 million option, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers have two of their five starters locked up. Hamels is the other.

At this rate, Nick Martinez looks to be the No. 5 starter, leaving Jon Daniels with two rotation spots to fill. The Rangers will pursue Ohtani. There’s no question. If they don’t get him, they might be in scramble mode.

Cashner might be on his way to better things after a nice 2017 following an injury-plagued season. He’s a free agent the Rangers could pursue, though it might take a contract of three or four years to re-sign him.

Gonzalez won’t cost nearly that much. He could probably be had on a one-year deal. That’s affordable enough for the Rangers to consider signing him to be the fifth starter instead of Martinez.

There’s not a lot of wow there, but there usually isn’t with a fifth starter.

At the very least, the Rangers are going to look at Gonzalez this off-season. They look at everybody.

Oakland

000

012

001

4

9

1

Texas

000

010

000

1

4

1

Oakland AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Semien ss

5

0

0

0

0

1

.251

Joyce rf

4

0

1

0

0

1

.242

Lowrie 2b

4

1

1

0

0

0

.278

Davis dh

4

2

2

0

0

2

.242

Healy 1b

4

0

2

2

0

0

.273

Chapman 3b

3

1

2

2

1

0

.234

Maxwell c

3

0

1

0

0

1

.242

Canha lf

4

0

0

0

0

0

.211

Smolinski cf

3

0

0

0

0

1

.222

Totals 34

4

9

4

1

6

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

DeShields cf

4

0

0

0

1

1

.271

Andrus ss

3

0

0

0

1

0

.298

Mazara rf

4

0

1

0

0

1

.251

Rua lf

3

0

1

0

0

0

.216

Odor ph

1

0

0

0

0

0

.203

Hoying lf

0

0

0

0

0

0

.206

Gallo 1b

3

0

0

0

0

3

.205

Middlebrooks 3b

2

0

0

0

1

0

.216

Choo ph

0

0

0

0

1

0

.260

Calhoun dh

3

1

1

0

0

1

.182

Jimenez c

2

0

0

0

0

1

.100

Nicholas ph

1

0

0

0

0

0

.275

Robinson 2b

4

0

1

1

0

2

.214

Totals 30

1

4

1

4

9

E—Semien (9), Middlebrooks (2). LOB—Oakland 6, Texas 9. 2B—Davis (27). HR—Chapman (14), off Gonzalez. RBIs—Healy 2 (78), Chapman 2 (38), Robinson (13). S—Maxwell, Jimenez. Runners left in scoring position—Oakland 3 (Semien 2, Lowrie); Texas 5 (DeShields, Andrus 2, Middlebrooks 2). RISP—Oakland 2 for 6; Texas 1 for 8. Runners moved up—Joyce. GIDP—Canha, Mazara. DP—Oakland 1 (Semien, Healy); Texas 1 (Andrus, Robinson, Gallo).

Oakland

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Manaea, W 12-10

6 2/3

3

1

0

3

6

90

4.37

Hendriks, H 16

 1/3

0

0

0

0

0

5

4.22

Hatcher, H 11

1

0

0

0

0

2

14

3.99

Treinen, S 15-20

1

1

0

0

1

1

19

3.98

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Gonzalez, L 8-13

6

5

3

3

1

5

98

4.62

Gardewine

1

1

0

0

0

0

13

5.87

Bush

1

3

1

1

0

1

22

3.68

Claudio

1

0

0

0

0

0

11

2.53

Bush pitched to 3 batters in the 9th. Inherited runners-scored—Hendriks 3-0, Claudio 2-0. HBP—Manaea 2 (Gallo,Calhoun), Claudio (Smolinski). Umpires—Home, Gerry Davis; First, Rob Drake; Second, Tony Randazzo; Third, Mike Estabrook. T—2:50. A—41,664 (48,114).

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