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Rangers trying to set Guiness World Record for largest number of people spelling a team name with glow sticks

With the baseball season so close you can already smell the sausages, a plan to attempt one of the lamest Guinness World Records in history has been announced. According to the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers are hoping to have thousands of fans gather next week and spell out the team’s name using glow sticks. Why? Just because.

The Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau and the city of Arlington are looking for 4,200 Rangers fans to show up at parking lot B at 6 p.m. next Friday to hold a blue glow stick. The fans will be arranged so that a giant “Rangers” is spelled out and the results will be filmed from a helicopter and shown on the Ballpark at Arlington video board at the Rangers’ April 6 home opener. Is that the most exciting thing you’ve ever heard?

In addition to being the coolest display of commitment in sports history, the Rangers also have their sights set on a Guinness World Record. If all goes to plan, the hope is that they can set the mark for “largest number of people gathered to spell out a team name with glow sticks.” As the Dallas Morning News pointed out, it doesn’t appear that the record has ever been attempted before, which is shocking since it’s such an awesome idea. I can’t wait to hear the results.

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

God Told Josh Hamilton He Would Hit a Home Run, but Not that Texas Would Win

For a few minutes during Game 6, Josh Hamilton looked like he was going to be the hero. Hamilton, who is playing through a groin injury that would have him on the disabled list if it were the regular season, homered for the first time the entire series. His two-run blast in the 10th inning put Texas up 9-7 before Lance Berkman tied it in the bottom of the inning.

The incredible aspect of Hamilton’s home run is he said God told him it would happen.

“He said, you haven’t hit one in a while and this is the time you’re going to,” Hamilton said. “But there was a period at the end of that. He didn’t say, you’re going to hit it and you’re going to win.’”

The question is what God will tell Hamilton about the Game 7 outcome. Hopefully it will be something positive.

Hamilton says the Rangers players have a good feeling about Game 7 and that they’re not deflated. I hope so, because they’re in a tough spot after being a pitch away from winning the World Series — TWICE — and then blowing it.

Maybe God will speak to Hamilton the way he speaks to Tim Tebow, and they can all celebrate together at the gates of heaven.

C.J. Wilson: Playoffs Are a Familiar Feeling for Rangers

While three of the four division round playoff series went the maximum five games, the Texas Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in four games. Their offense put up eight runs in Game 2, and their pitching shut it down the next two. If they seemed comfortable, it’s because they were. They’ve advanced to the ALCS for the second straight season, and they’ve beaten the Rays both times.

Pitcher C.J. Wilson, who will start Game 1 against Justin Verlander, confirmed that’s how the team feels.

“Even though we went through Tampa Bay again, it’s not that it’s old hat, but there’s familiarity,” Wilson told SI’s Jimmy Traina. “Especially since it was just last year that we were in the playoffs. It we had like a year off, maybe it would feel new, but we have virtually the same team, so people are confident and positive about where we are.”

Yeah, they have mostly the same team, plus Mike Napoli. That guy has been a beast for them, and he should be good for the LCS despite swallowing his tobacco wad on a collision at home plate. Getting back to Wilson’s comments, feeling comfortable is important for Texas.

Wilson has a daunting task; he has to face the likely AL Cy Young winner in Game 1. If he feels like he has to do too much, and make too many great pitches in order to keep up with Verlander, he’ll likely end up in trouble. But if he maintains a calm feeling — because he’s been there before — he’ll have his best chance of competing. Of course, as an Angels fan, I’m wishing the worst for Texas.

Ron Washington Believes He Would Have Made A’s Winners [Unlikely]

I know, I know. Upon reading the headline, I’m sure your first inclination was to throw in a cocaine joke. Ours too. But we here at LBS are tasteful, and don’t have to resort to such low-hanging fruit when it comes to humor. So we won’t.

Getting to the story, in light of all the Moneyball talk lately, Ron Washington raised some mustaches by telling the San Francisco Chronicle that if he had been named manager of the A’s in 2006, they’d be winning just like the Rangers have.

“If I took this team over when I went to Texas, I believe the same thing we did in Texas, we’d be doing here,” said Washington, referring to Oakland. “Billy (Beane) had that chance. I’m not saying he didn’t want me, but he went in another direction, and another team wanted me.”

Washington was hired to manage the Rangers in early November 2006, while the A’s went with Bob Geren a week or so later. The A’s haven’t had a winning season since, and they have finished third or worst in the AL West in four of the five seasons. Texas, meanwhile, has enjoyed three winning seasons in a row, and even reached the World Series last year. But few people, outside of Ron Washington and Ron Washington’s mother, will argue that Ron Washington is the reason the Rangers have been successful while the A’s have not.

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Texas Rangers Discourage Fans from Doing the Wave with Humorous Message

The Texas Rangers have become one of the most fan-friendly organizations since new owners took over last year. They’ve broken a Guinness World Record for fans wearing sunglasses at night, and Nolan Ryan has reimbursed fans for some of their expenses. They’re now trying to cater to the fans by discouraging the wave. No joke. Check out this message that made the scoreboard at the ballpark and Rangers telecast according to Stop the Wave:

Even though the message is clearly in jest, it was done as a response to fans who were complaining. Chuck Morgan, the Rangers’ senior vice president for ballpark entertainment, explained the message. “I was getting lots of emails and Tweets from fans during the game asking me to do something to stop the wave. So I said, ‘Let’s see if we can have fun with it.”

Well played Morgan, well played. Now if we could just get him to address all the beach balls at Dodger Stadium and fans running onto the field, then I’ll be satisfied.

Forearm bash to Eye on Baseball

Can 16-Year-Old Dominican Prospect Nomar Mazara be Worth $5 Million Bonus?

The Texas Rangers have made a splash in the international free agency market, spending a reported $9 million to lock up three Dominican prospects. The most notable agreement they appear to have reached is one with 16-year-old outfielder Nomar Mazara, who will be receiving a $5 million bonus according to Enrique Rojas. That’s record money for an international prospect, beating the $4.25 million the A’s gave pitcher Michael Ynoa in 2008. Before we discuss whether or not he was worth the money, let’s share what we know about him.

According to a scouting report on Baseball America, via MLBTR, Mazara is a 6’5″ left-handed hitter. They say he has the best power of any Latin American hitter, but that he also has a propensity for strikeouts. MLBTR says Rojas said Mazara has the best power of a Latin American hitter since Wily Mo Pena and Miguel Cabrera (though we can’t track that quote down).

So now that you know what scouts are saying about Mazara, I ask you the question: is a 16-year-old prospect worth a $5 million bonus?

Spending $5 million on a 16-year-old from the Dominican is not something teams want to do, but it’s something they have to do to win a bidding war, and obviously the Rangers felt Mazara was worth it. If Mazara has the potential to be a Miguel Cabrera-type hitter, then spending $5 million to have him in their system is worth it.

Here’s the issue: can you even tell how good a player will be when he’s 16?

Players don’t develop at 16 in baseball. It’s even difficult to tell how good prospects are when they’re 18. However, for the elite talents — the guys like Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, or Bryce Harper — you can tell they’re that good at 16. If Mazara is in that class, then he’s worth the money. If he’s not, it really isn’t a huge risk for Texas when you think about it.

Rangers Set Sunglasses at Night Record

We told you on Tuesday that the Texas Rangers were aiming to set a Guinness World Record for most people wearing sunglasses in the dark to celebrate the first day of summer. As you can see, EVERYBODY got in on the act. Though they only needed 424 to beat the previous record, most of the 33,533 fans in attendance reportedly wore their sunglasses. Yup, that includes President George W. Bush, and Nolan Ryan. Frankly, Bush couldn’t have been more cool with the shades on than he was in the second Harold and Kumar. As for Ryan, he earned his cool points with his impressive first pitch thrown last year in the playoffs.