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Tag:Rangers
Posted on: February 3, 2012 2:12 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 6:23 pm
 

Josh Hamilton comes clean in press conference



By Matt Snyder


The news that broke Thursday night -- which was that Josh Hamilton had relapsed and drank alcohol -- was a bit vague. Friday afternoon in a press conference, Hamilton was very forthcoming about what took place Monday night and cleared things up.

He spoke completely from the heart with no prepared statement.

According to Hamilton, this is what happened:

1. He went out to dinner and ordered a drink. He ended up having "three or four" drinks.

2. He called teammate Ian Kinsler to come hang out with him. Hamilton noted he didn't tell Kinsler he was drinking nor did he drink when Kinsler was with him. Hamilton said that he can be "deceptive" when he drinks.

3. Hamilton and Kinsler left the restaurant and went to an "other place" for about "25, 30 minutes" and then Kinsler went to drive Hamilton to where he was staying.

4. Hamilton said Kinsler asked him if he was going to stay in the rest of the night. Hamilton assured Kinsler he would stay in, but he lied. He went back out. By Hamilton's account, he "had some more drinks." He noted that no one around him really saw him with drinks in his hand, and again reiterated that he can be deceptive and find ways to drink without others realizing it.

He also talked about how when he drinks there's a point where a "switch flips, and you never know when that point is gonna be reached -- whether it's the first three or four, or, you know, the 15th. And that's what is so dangerous about it."

Hamilton took full ownership and accountability of the situation.

"It was just wrong, is what it comes down to," the apologetic Hamilton said. "I needed to be in a different place. I needed to be responsible in that moment -- in that day, period -- and I was not responsible."

He also said that no drugs whatsoever were used and he's had two drug tests since that night.

Hamilton also said he will fly, at some point, to New York to meet with Major League Baseball and their doctors. He said he wants to look back and see where he went wrong, while letting everyone help him.

At several times throughout the press conference, Hamilton said he has "beat himself up," feels "terrible," and wants to get back to the point where everyone can trust him again.

Later Friday afternoon, general manager Jon Daniels had a conference call with reporters. He said that the Rangers were told about the relapse on Tuesday, and that he met with Hamilton Thursday.

They are going to wait until after the MLB evaluation before taking any further steps, and they are looking over everything to see if there are better ways to supervise him, or keep this from happening again. In terms of not having an accountability coach in place at present, Daniels said it likely wouldn't have mattered anyway, being the offseason.

Daniels was asked about Hamilton's contract status -- he's set to be a free agent after 2012 -- and Daniels said there are more important things to worry about right now. He also noted that when he first found out, his immediate thoughts were for Hamilton's family, not baseball.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: February 2, 2012 9:33 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 2:35 pm
 

Reports: Josh Hamilton relapsed, drank alcohol

By Matt Snyder

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton has a past that isn't a secret to any baseball fan. He battled drug and alcohol addiction for years and then came back from them to become one of baseball's most recognizable stars.

Unfortunately, according to the Dallas Morning News, Hamilton relapsed and drank alcohol this week in the Dallas area. If the initial report wasn't enough, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is also reporting the relapse.

Also, the Rangers have released this statement: "We are aware of a situation, but we don't have further comment at this time."

Hamilton is without an "accountability coach" at present. This isn't the first time he's relapsed, either. Back in 2009, he drank in excess and some photos of him surfaced on Deadspin.com. Hamilton would say, at the time:

"It just crossed my mind that night, 'Can I have a drink?' Obviously I can't and this reinforces that. Since that night, I have not had another thought like that. I know it's something I shouldn't do because it leads to other things." (Dallasnews.com)

Hamilton is a free agent after the 2012 season.

UPDATE: Katie Hamilton, Josh's wife, has posted the following message on Twitter:

“Truly appreciate all the encouraging & supportive tweets we've been getting. God is Faithful and forgives- so thankful that you all are showing us such love and encouragement during this time.”

UPDATE II: Hamilton spoke for a bit over 10 minutes in a press conference and came clean.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:51 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 5:07 pm
 

Rangers give Washington 2-year extension



By Matt Snyder


The Rangers have agreed to a two-year contract extension with manager Ron Washington. Washington was signed through the upcoming 2012 season, so he's now locked up through 2014.

Rangers offseason
Washington's track record in his five seasons as a manager is very impressive. The Rangers have improved every single season under him. Washington started with a 75-87 record in 2007, then won 79 games in 2008 and 87 in 2009. In 2010, they won 90 in the regular season, winning the AL West championship. They then took down the Rays in the ALDS for the first postseason series victory in club history. But they weren't done, as they also won the ALCS over the Yankees, advancing to the World Series for the first time in club history.

Then, in 2011, Washington continued his improvement. The Rangers won a club-record 96 games and came within one strike of winning the World Series.

Washington, 59, is now 427-383 at the helm, good for a .527 winning percentage. In terms of full-time managers, only Billy Hunter (.575 in just two seasons) was better for the Rangers. Washington also ranks third in total wins for Rangers managers, trailing Bobby Valentine (581) and Johnny Oates (506). With three more seasons under contract, Washington should cruise to the franchise record, as he's only 154 wins away from Valentine.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 10:03 pm
 

Report: Uehara blocks potential trade to Toronto

By Matt Snyder

Evidently relief pitcher Koji Uehara isn't a fan of Toronto. The Rangers had agreed to trade the right-hander to the Blue Jays, but Uehara invoked his no-trade clause and rejected the deal, according to ESPN Dallas. This wasn't a full no-trade clause, either. Uehara reportedly has a list of just six teams with which he could reject a trade, and the Blue Jays happened to be one of those six.

This means, at least for now, Uehara will remain in the Rangers' bullpen. For what it's worth, a report from Japan said that Uehara didn't want to move his family from Baltimore to Toronto. Of course, he plays in Arlington, Texas, now, so that doesn't seem to make a ton of sense. But it's certainly his right to reject the trade.

Uehara, 36, was having a great season in Baltimore before being traded to Texas last season. He had a 1.72 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 47 innings for the Orioles. For the Rangers, though, he had a 4.00 ERA and ended up pitching his way off the World Series roster. Much of his decline could be traced to him stranding an absurd 97.6 percent of baserunners with the Orioles, so it was only natural more of those runners would start crossing the plate. Still, he did pitch worse for the Rangers.

Uehara remains in a crowded bullpen. The Rangers have Joe Nathan as closer and Mike Adams as the setup man. Alexi Ogando and Scott Feldman also figure to have more prominent roles than Uehara.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:08 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 7:50 pm
 

'Mystery Team' goes from joke to major player

Mystery Team

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Once again, the Mystery Team got its man, as Prince Fielder is headed to Detroit -- not Washington or Texas.

Last November, the idea of a "Mystery Team" was a joke -- a meme making fun of writers who dared to suggest there were things they didn't know, a team that could get by the new world order of Twitter and the 86,400 second news cycle. One blogger even called the chance of Cliff Lee signing with anyone other than the Yankees or Rangers "the invention of an agent" who was using a writer who dared to buck the status quo. That blogger even highlighted his jabs at the writer with a picture of the Mystery Machine, the vehicle of choice for Scooby Doo and pals. And it wasn't just snarky bloggers who have more jokes than information, mainstream writers got in on the meme as well.

Prince to Tigers
And then, well… Cliff Lee signed with the Mystery Team.

And so did Adrian Beltre.

But that didn't stop the barbs. After Albert Pujols went to Anaheim and now Prince Fielder to Tigers, the Mystery Team is no joke.

It's almost to the point where for the biggest of the big free agents, the Mystery Team is a favorite. And if we're not there, we're probably to the point where the Mystery Team should never be counted out of the running, and certainly to the point where it shouldn't be mocked.

The biggest reason there's more Mystery Team chatter is because there's more chatter, the people making the biggest decisions are doing so with respect to Twitter and the proliferation of outlets reporting on baseball and sports, in general. We're at the point where fans see an interviewing Theo Epstein in a Chicago Starbucks and it makes national news. The teams aren't laughing about "bloggers in their mother's basements" anymore -- it's serious stuff. If rivals learn of a team's plan, it can cost them on the field and off the field in terms of money.

In response, teams are being much more careful about where they are seen and who they are seen with. At the winter meetings, teams will use service elevators and back hallways, places unavailable to the public -- and the press -- to get around.

Also, when it comes to the highest levels of free agents, the type that could cost $100 or $200 million, you're not talking about a general manager having the final say, it's the owners who have to pull the trigger. That leads to an agent, such as Scott Boras, dealing with the money people, not the baseball people who have less of an incentive to keep quiet. The more people who know that a team is considering signing a player, the more chance it can leak out. At some point, the GM can say, "yeah, I'd love to have Albert Pujols." And that's a no-brainer. It's all up to the owner to decide if he wants to spend the money, so he meets with the agent, and maybe the player.

There are still cases like Jose Reyes, where pretty much everyone assumed he'd end up in Miami, but we're also at the point where you should never, ever count out the Mystery Team.

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Posted on: January 21, 2012 11:02 am
Edited on: January 21, 2012 1:46 pm
 

Ryan: Rangers unsure of Fielder's demands

Prince Fielder

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Prince Fielder is still a free agent, but it may be because Fielder and agent Scott Boras haven't told anyone exactly what they're looking to get in a new contract.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

Rangers president Nolan Ryan said he doesn't know what it would take to sign Fielder, despite having meetings with the slugger and the superagent. Speaking to ESPN Dallas 103.3 (via the Washington Times), Ryan said he didn't know what it'd take to sign Fielder.

"Hard to say," Ryan said. "Because they've never made a firm proposal to us. They talk in generalities and numbers and other people's contracts, and so you can speculate what it is. One time they're talking eight years, one time they're talking 10 years, one time they're talking about a contract bigger than Ryan Howard's in Philadelphia."

Howard signed a five-year, $135 million extension in 2010 that begins in the 2012 season. Howard's contract will pay him $20 million in the next two seasons and $25 million in the last three with a $23 million club option  for 2017 with a $10 million buyout. Fielder, though, is five years younger than Howard.

There's also Albert Pujols' megadeal out there as well for comparison. Pujols signed a 10-year deal worth $240 million.

Another member of the Rangers' brass, co-chairman of the board Bob Simpson, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the Rangers aren't necessarily out of the bidding for Fielder, but would need Fielder's price to come down and accept a backloaded deal.

"If they come around to something we can do, we'll take a look at it," Simpson told the newspaper.

However, Simpson told reporters (via the Star-Telegram) that the team would rather re-sign Josh Hamilton than Fielder. Hamilton is a free agent after the season. Simpson said it's unlikely the team could afford both.

"My personal preference, at this moment, would be to re-sign him instead of having Fielder. But we could all debate that," Simpson said. "The organization has its feelings. Everybody dreams about having both. Sometimes you can’t have both at some level. If they came around to something we’d do, we’d look at him. But we don’t think it’s likely."

The Nationals and Rangers are the teams most often linked to Fielder, but don't be surprised if a "mystery team" gets involved -- and remember the "mystery team" has a pretty good track record the last two seasons, signing both Cliff Lee and Pujols.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:19 pm
 

Photos: Yu Darvish introduced in Texas



By C. Trent Rosecrans

It wasn't quite Beatlemania, but Yumania hit the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on Friday, as newest Rangers Yu Darvish was introduced to the Rangers' media and fans at Rangers Ballpark on Friday.

The press conference was telecast live in Darvish's native Japan

Darvish said he had "no worries" and was made to feel at home with the Rangers when he visited Nolan Ryan earlier this month. He also said he read a book on Ryan and will try to adjust to the Texas heat. He also said he wants to learn English, though he will use an interpreter. Darvish said he would return to Japan and be back in the United States by the Feb. 22 reporting date.

As Kevin Kaduk at Big League Stew noted, that was not a marijuana leaf on Darvish's shirt as he left the airport, instead it was a Japanese maple leaf, which looks similar to a pot leaf.

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:05 am
 

Failed imports may replace Darvish in Japan

Kei Igawa Kenshin Kawakami

By C. Trent Rosecrans


If you're a Japanese team and you lose your best player to the big leagues, what do you do to replace him? Well, besides cashing a check for more than $51.7 million, you turn to former big-league pitchers.

The Nippon Ham Fighters (and once again, let me stress that it's the Nippon Ham… Fighters, not the Ham Fighters) are looking at former Japanese big leaguers Kei Igawa and Kenshin Kawakami, according to Daily Sports in Japan (via YakyuBaka.com). The Rangers hope it's not an even trade, as neither Igawa nor Kawakami lived up to expectations in the United States.

Igawa, 32, was posted after the 2006 season and the Yankees paid a posting fee of more than $26 million before signing to a five-year, $20 million contract with New York. For all that money, the Yankees got 13 starts and three relief appearances out of the left-hander, and he hasn't appeared in a big-league game since 2008. In MLB, he went 2-4 with a 6.66 ERA. Last year he was 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA at Double-A and Triple-A. With the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Central League, he led the league in strikeouts three times and won the 2003 Eiji Sawamura Award, Japan's Cy Young equivalent.

Kawakami, 36, signed with the Braves as an international free agent in 2009, meaning the Braves didn't have to pay a posting fee. He won the Sawamura Award and Central League MVP in 2004. With the Braves, Kawakami was 8-22 with a 4.32 ERA in 41 starts and nine relief appearances in 2009 and 2010 before being outrighted to Double-A after the 2010 season. He struggled in Double-A in 2011, going 2-4 with an 8.41 ERA in 16 appearances (six starts) for Double-A Mississippi.

As Matt Snyder already pointed out, the fact that other Japanese pitchers have failed, doesn't mean Darvish will. Of course, that didn't stop our Taiwanese friends to make the comparison in one of their infamous videos, where Walker "Tex-xas" Ranger is handing over the checks to Darvish to face off Albert Pujols.



The Rangers will have a press conference with Darvish to make the signing official Friday night at 7 p.m. Texas time at Rangers Ballpark.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com