But as I wait for the folks at CBR to open the gates to let us in the stadium, 30 min later than other cactus league facilities btw, here are my thoughts of what I saw yesterday, also make sure to check out our Rangers site Nolan Writin’ as they actually fielded a potential Major League Squad yesterday so I was able to provide them with some real feedback.
There I sat waiting for our Los Angeles Dodgers to take the field against the reigning American League Champions. With the exception of possibly Taylor Teagarden, the Rangers fielded their opening day starting lineup including former Dodger Adrian Beltre for the first time this spring.
The Dodgers fielded a bi-city team consisting of Chattanooga and Albuquerque. Of that Dodger lineup, possibly Xavier Paul along with Marcus Thames and Jamey Carroll will make the Dodger team. Marcus Thames will play for the Dodgers this year, and has looked ok so far. Xavier Paul should be the fourth outfielder but he won’t, unless Jay Gibbons continues to experience PSS (Post Steroid Symptoms) and Jamey Carroll is the absolute consummate professional because no matter where you put him or what you ask him to do, he gets the job done.
Dodger pitching was a bit shaky in the beginning as John Ely and Kenley Jansen both had rough innings and lacked command of their pitches, one of which resulted in a Josh Hamilton 3 run HR. The good news is when you consider how inexperienced the Dodger lineup was, and that they scored four runs, 2 of which came on a Trayvon Robinson single in the 9th, his reward for his good play was being sent later in the day to minor league camp, and only lost by one to the reigning American League Champions, it really wasn’t that bad of a day.
The other Dodger pitching held their own, Scott Elbert having a typical roller coaster outing, but a scoreless one none the less. Unfortunately, four Dodgers, Trayvon Robinson, Jamie Hoffman, Dee Gordon, and John Lindsey were sent to their minor league teams after the game, 4 more sent down today including John Link, Russ Mitchell, JD Closser and Ramon Colon.
Regardless, it was still a great day. The beer was cold, the hotdogs were filling and the Dodger fans were great, significantly more classy than the Giant fans who were in the same park yesterday, according to the Ranger fans. The star of the day, however was #89 for the Dodgers (who I have searched and searched and still cannot find out who he is) who managed to score after the game. Here’s a guy, in uniform, looking through the backstop and says to a girl, “Hey, you’re cute!” and then he proceeded to roll out his best minor league line which should be used in all baseball movies hereafter, “you want my phone number?” He just made me proud. Seizing the moment, he turned a loss into a victory, and in true Hollywood fashion, later that evening, they rode off into the sunset, or something like that!