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Tag:Omar VIzquel
Posted on: March 10, 2009 4:41 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2009 12:46 am
 

Going old school with the Texas Rangers

 SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Cool spring sight on Wednesday: The Texas Rangers took the field for their Cactus League game against San Francisco wearing actual, real stirrup socks.

"We're bringing back old school," said one of the instigators, reliever Eddie Guardado.

Stirrups, that old baseball staple, have gone the way of flannel uniforms over the past decade or so. Guardado recalls wearing them when he broke into the majors with Minnesota in the mid-1990s but, not long after, they went away.

Players started wearing regular socks, some with a stripe on the side modeled to look like a stirrup and others simply one color, so eventually clubs stopped ordering the stirrups.

"I guess they were like clothes that go out of style, you know?" Guardado said. "They look good, huh?"

No question. The Rangers' stirrups are blue with the good-looking "T" logo just above the ankle. Second baseman Ian Kinsler obtained a pair first, and that's what caught Guardado's attention.

Together, Kinsler and Guardado started the movement in the clubhouse. You even could say there now is a movement afoot, I suppose.

"You go around and the kids are like, 'What are you doing?'" said Guardado, who, at 38, is here as a nonroster invitee looking to extend his career into a 15th major-league season.

Here's wishing Kinsler and Guardado well in their efforts to keep the Rangers in stirrups for '09. And here's hoping the old-school custom catches on throughout the game.

Likes: Love hearing the legends of young future ace pitchers Tommy Hanson (Atlanta), Rick Porcello (Detroit) and Daniel Bard (Boston) build. There is a lot of buzz around all three of these young guys, and it seems inevitable that we'll see each in the majors at some point this summer. ... It sure would be entertaining if the Netherlands eliminated the Dominican Republic from the World Baseball Classic when they play on Tuesday. ... Hope Omar Vizquel sticks around for awhile in Texas. ... The sesame seed Ahi with blueberry salsa at Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico the other night. ... Dairy Queen. ... The chicken parmesan and the sautéed spinach at the Italian Grotto in Scottsdale.

Dislikes: I know Arizona is a state that never changes its time. I know when Daylight Savings Time hits, Arizona's clocks don't move. I know this. So what happens Saturday evening? I click out the light in my hotel room and then think, "spring forward." So like a dope, during this moment of temporary insanity around midnight, I move the bedside alarm clock forward. What's worse, is I arise Sunday morning with the sound of that alarm clock, shower, start to get dressed ... and that's when it hits me. Wait just a minute. No time change. It's only 6:30 a.m., not 7:30. Unbelievable.

Sunblock day? Yep. After a couple of cool days, it's back up in the mid-70s with a nice, warm sun here in the desert today.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day

"Everyone I know, everywhere I go
"People need some reason to believe
"I don't know about anyone but me
"If it takes all night, that'll be all right
"If I can get you to smile before I leave"

-- Jackson Browne, Running On Empty

 

 

 

Posted on: August 29, 2008 11:08 pm
 

Angels inquire about Vizquel, McDonald, others

Bitten by multiple injuries and still shuddering at the memory of losing a handful of key players last October, the Los Angeles Angels continue casting about for a proven, veteran shortstop before Sunday's midnight EDT trade deadline.

Among the possibilities that the Angels seem most interested in, according to sources: San Francisco's Omar Vizquel and Toronto's John McDonald.

Also on the list, but not believed to be in the top tier with Vizquel and McDonald, are Toronto's David Eckstein and Marco Scutaro and Baltimore's Juan Castro.

The need has arisen in the wake of shortstop Maicer Izturis' season-ending thumb injury, shortstop Erick Aybar's tight left hamstring and second baseman Howie Kendrick's strained left hamstring.

The urgency has arrived because players acquired after Sunday evening's deadline are not eligible for postseason rosters.

"I don't know if I'd term it 'urgent'," general manager Tony Reagins said Friday, declining to address specific names. "I'd term it 'actively pursuing.'

"With Aybar and Kendrick, we don't think it will be any longer than two weeks."

The Angels placed Kendrick on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, though he says that his hurting left hamstring isn't as severe as when he injured it in mid-April in Seattle. Then, he missed 42 games.

The Angels, who led the AL West by 16 games entering Friday's contest with Texas, are hopeful that Kendrick, batting .308 with a .334 on-base percentage, will return by mid-to-late September and be a threat during the playoffs. They also believe that Aybar will be ready to play sooner rather than later.

But they also believe adding depth is important at this point based in part on how easily Boston bounced them out of the playoffs last October.

Then, outfielder Gary Matthews missed all three games of the Red Sox's sweep with a bad knee, outfielder Garret Anderson struggled miserably while battling conjunctivitis, first baseman Casey Kotchman missed Game 3 when he had to be hospitalized with severe flu-like symptoms and pitcher Bartolo Colon's shoulder injury precluded the Angels from including him on their playoff roster.

"Right now, middle infield depth for our organization, there certainly is room to establish more depth," manager Mike Scioscia said.

Friday night, the Angels started rookie Brandon Wood (.118) at shortstop and rookie Sean Rodriguez (.154) at second base.

Maybe both men will begin to swing the bat better if they consistently stay in the lineup for the next two or three weeks while Aybar and Kendrick are sidelined.

But there's no way of predicting that, and it seems awfully long odds to play for a team that made a bold statement by acquiring slugger Mark Teixeira from Atlanta at the July 31 trade deadline.

It's clear that the Angels think they have a team that can win a World Series this year. And no matter how much they like, say, Wood -- he was rated as the organization's top prospect for 2008 by Baseball America -- they're not in position, this late in the season, to send guys out for a test drive.

The attraction to Vizquel, 41, is that he can still field very well (though his range has diminished with age) and he has significant playoff experience.

McDonald might be as good a shortstop as there is defensively, though he isn't a threat with the bat (.218). Scutaro was a valuable utilityman in Oakland before being traded to Toronto and can play all four infield positions. Two scouts this week said Eckstein is showing signs of age.

Castro also is a versatile middle infielder with a weak bat (.194 for Baltimore so far this season).

"Different things have been thrown about," Reagins said. "But for me, it has to make sense to us."

 

 
 
 
 
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