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Texas Rangers sign Manny Ramirez to minor league deal

Manny RamirezCould Manny Ramirez end up back in the bigs?

The Texas Rangers announced on Wednesday that they have signed the former MVP to a minor league deal. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News first reported news of the signing and says Ramirez will report to the club’s Triple-A Round Rock affiliate.

Manny will work out with the Round Rock Express for a few days before being activated. He reportedly will cut his hair to comply with the club’s minor league rules.

Ramirez recently played in Taiwan but left before the second half of the season. He hit .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs in 49 games with the EDA Rhinos, but left because he wanted another shot at the majors. It looks like the Rangers are giving him that shot.

Ramirez’s last two stints with MLB teams did not go well. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays for the 2011 season and walked away from the club after being busted for elevated levels of testosterone. He was 1-for-17 at the time he left the team, choosing to retire instead of serve a 100-game suspension. The Oakland A’s signed him for the 2012 season and he served a 50-game suspension while playing in the minors. He was released mid-season after failing to impress in the minors.

Dog stuck it out until the end to watch Rangers lose to White Sox (Picture)

Dog-watches-Rangers-game

The Texas Rangers held their annual “Bark in the Park” event at the Ballpark in Arlington on Thursday night, where fans can dress their dogs in Rangers gear and show them off during pregame warmups. The owners of the five dogs that are deemed to be the best dressed win a prize. Regardless of who won the competition, there was no debating who the most committed pooch was.

As you can see from the photo above that Jimmy Traina shared with us, at least one dog stuck it out until the bitter end on a cold night in Texas. The game-time temperature was 44 degrees with a wind of 12 mph, so it couldn’t have been fun to sit in the stands for nine innings. That didn’t matter to this boss, who simply wrapped himself in a blanket and watched the Rangers come up short in the ninth and lose 3-1 to the White Sox.

Would I have stayed until the end? I honestly can’t say for sure, but it’s obvious I’m never going to be as much of a committed fan as this dude. That’s something most of us will have to learn to live with.

Nolan Ryan could reportedly soon leave the Rangers

Nolan-Ryan-RangersNolan Ryan has become a symbol of the success that the Texas Rangers have enjoyed over the past several seasons. The former Cy Young Award winner is a celebrity in Arlington, and he has received much of the credit for the Rangers’ three straight playoff appearances and two division titles in the past three seasons. Now, there are rumors that Ryan’s days with the team may be numbered.

According to Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, a power shift within the Rangers’ front office could run Ryan out of town before the regular season begins. The team’s owners recently announced that Jon Daniels has been promoted to president of baseball operations and general manager and Rick George has been promoted to president of business operations. Ryan’s title is still CEO, but sources reportedly told Galloway that Daniels has final say over baseball decisions and the same for George with the business end.

Rangers co-owner Bob Simpson insists that Ryan’s job remains the same and said it would be a “tragedy” if he left the team.

“My definition of CEO is it’s the person in charge,” Simpson said. “Nolan Ryan will still make the anything-of-significance decisions and bring those to the owners for approval. I say significant decisions because we wanted to remove some of the day-to-day stuff from Nolan.

“Nolan is a treasure for us. His wisdom and his counsel are invaluable. And if anyone in his camp has taken these latest moves the wrong way, then that needs to be addressed.”

Galloway’s sources “adamantly” claim that despite what Simpson says, Daniels is now in total control of baseball decisions. Galloway also said that it is a “fact” that Ryan has lost much of his power. The Rangers know they have to be careful with what they say, because losing Ryan on bad terms would be a public relations nightmare. Ryan’s incredible career combine with gestures like this have made him one of the most beloved athletes in Texas history. He has three years remaining on his contract with the Rangers. The last thing the team needs is a messy divorce.

H/T Eye on Baseball

Josh Hamilton: Dallas is not a true baseball town, Rangers fans ‘a little spoiled’

Josh Hamilton has had his fair share of ups and downs both in life and his baseball career. He has been worshipped and booed by Texas Rangers fans in the same season, but something tells me he’ll be hearing more of the latter when the Los Angeles Angels visit Texas on April 5.

For starters, fans tend to frown upon players leaving their team for more money — despite the fact that many of them would likely do the same. Hamilton, who signed a $125 million contract with the Angels this offseason, was already going to hear it because of that. Now, he has given the fans more fire power.

“They’re supportive but they also got a little spoiled at the same time pretty quickly,” Hamilton said of Rangers fans during an interview with DFW CBS on Sunday (via ESPNDallas.com). “You think about three to four years ago. It’s like, come on man, are you happier there again?”

Hamilton is referring to the back-to-back World Series appearances he helped lead the Rangers to in 2010 and 2011. He also mentioned how the Dallas area has “always been a football town.”

“There are true baseball fans in Texas, but it’s not a true baseball town,” Hamilton said.

While the slugger made some valid points, I doubt Rangers fans are going to see it that way. Throwing the world “spoiled” around is never a good idea, let alone from a player who is no longer with the team. Texas manager Ron Washington stopped short of getting into detail but made it known that he disagrees with Hamilton about Dallas not being a baseball town.

“I’m not answering anything that Josh said,” Washington said. “That’s Josh. Josh is an Angel. That’s Josh’s opinion. My opinion is there were 3.5 million fans that came through the turnstiles. That answers it right there.”

Hamilton likely lost some respect for the fans in Texas when they booed him during his massive slump last year, which is understandable. However, that is simply how star players are treated. Now that the Angels are paying him $25 million a year, Hamilton can expect similar treatment in LA if he struggles for an extended period of time.

Texas Rangers 2013 calendar features several non-Rangers players (Video)



Mike-Napoli-CalendarIn case Texas Rangers fans forget how different their lineup is going to look when the 2013 season begins, the team’s 2013 calendar is here to serve as a reminder. As you know, Texas has parted ways with several stars this offseason including Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young. However, the calendar you see above was already printed before any of those transactions went down.

As the one gentleman in the above video said, the calendar can now be viewed as a collector’s item. Hamilton has signed a massive deal with the Angels, Napoli is heading to Boston — if they can ever work out the wording in his contract — and Young has been traded to the Phillies. Despite that, the trio still makes up Mr. May, Mr. August and Mr. September.

If there are any Rangers fans out there who are unwilling to fully let go of last year’s studs and want to see their faces during the 2013 season, you now have the perfect gift idea.

Jon Daniels upset Josh Hamilton didn’t give Rangers chance to match offer

For the second offseason in a row, the Angels pulled off a stunner by signing the biggest free agent bat on the market, all without so much as a whisper indicating they were in on the negotiations. The team agreed to a five-year, $125 million deal with outfielder Josh Hamilton, who spent the last five seasons with the Texas Rangers.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels spoke to the media on Thursday and said he was disappointed Hamilton and his agent didn’t give Texas a chance to match the Angels’ offer.

“Our full expectation was that the phone call was going to be before he signed, certainly not after and giving us an idea,” Daniels said Thursday, via MLB.com. “Josh had indicated recently, last week, he told us he felt it might be time to move on, but that we were still talking. I’m not going to get in to the reason, technically, why. I thought we had additional conversations this week that had moved it along in a positive direction. Apparently not.

“It’s business, and everybody has to make their own calls and he has a family to look out for,” Daniels said. “I get it. Josh has done a lot for the organization, the organization has done a lot for Josh — a lot of things that aren’t public and things of that nature. I’m a little disappointed in how it was handled, but he had a decision to make and he made it.”

Daniels made it clear that he was not bothered that Hamilton accepted a five-year offer from a good club that was offering a lot of money. He understands that. He just wishes Hamilton had given them a last chance to negotiate.

“My disappointment stems more from the fact that there was a relationship over time. I thought we understood that we had a chance to at least have a conversation. This isn’t restricted free agency in the NFL where you get an offer sheet and a chance to match it. We never expected that. But we thought with the relationship that we’d have one more conversation before the fact and that didn’t happen. I wish him well. I wish him and his family well.”

If you piece together the information, it becomes obvious that Hamilton did not want to return to Texas.

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Josh Hamilton error gives A’s two runs, possibly the division (Video)

Josh Hamilton was considered an MVP candidate this season, but the only team he was helping on Wednesday was the Athletics.

Hamilton completely missed a Yoenis Cespedes fly ball with two outs in the fourth inning, allowing the A’s to score two runs to go up 7-5. Had Hamilton made the routine play, the game would have continued tied 5-5. Instead, Oakland added five extra runs as the game went on and won 12-5.

Not only did Hamilton commit a costly two-run error, but he also went just 1-for-5 with three strikeouts at the plate.

Texas was swept by the A’s in the three-game series and improbably blew a 13-game AL West lead over Oakland as of June 30. According to Elias Sports Bureau via ESPN, the Rangers set a record for spending the most days (178) in first place without winning the division.

If the Rangers lose the one-game playoff to the Orioles, a few less hearts will be broken if/when the Rangers decide to let Hamilton walk in free agency.

How could he miss that?