Results tagged ‘ express ’
Congrats to (the now former) Express manager Bobby Jones who will join the Rangers major league staff for 2014 as an assistant hitting coach. Bobby had an overall record of 229-203 (.570) in his three seasons as Express manager (2011-13). Round Rock made one playoff appearance with him at the helm in 2011. He spent a total of 11 seasons as skipper of the Rangers Triple-A affiliate, eight of those with Oklahoma City.
RANGERS HIRE BENGIE MOLINA AS FIRST BASE COACH AND CATCHING INSTRUCTOR;
PROMOTE BOBBY JONES TO ASSISTANT HITTING COACH TO FINALIZE
2014 MAJOR LEAGUE COACHING STAFF
Jamie Reed named Senior Director of Medical Operations; Kevin Harmon promoted to Head Trainer
Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers announced today the hiring of former catcher Bengie Molina as first base coach and catching instructor. The team also promoted Triple-A Round Rock Manager Bobby Jones to assistant hitting coach to complete the 2014 coaching staff.
Additionally, longtime trainer Jamie Reed has been named senior director of medical operations and Kevin Harmon has been promoted to head trainer.
Molina, 39, spent the 2013 season as the assistant hitting coach for the National League-champion St. Louis Cardinals, his first coaching job since completing a 13-year major league career with the Rangers in 2010. Acquired by Texas in a July 1, 2010 trade with the San Francisco Giants, Molina had a postseason average of .293 (12-41) with 2 home runs and 8 RBI in the Rangers’ run to a first-ever World Series appearance that year. His last major league game came as the Rangers’ catcher in Game 5 of the 2010 World Series. Molina hit for the cycle with Texas on July 16, 2010 at Boston’s Fenway Park, when he became just the eighth player since 1900 to hit a grand slam as part of a cycle.
A career .274 hitter for the Angels (1998-2005), Blue Jays (2006), Giants (2007-10), and Rangers (2010), the two-time Gold Glove Award winner was the starting catcher for Anaheim’s 2002 World Series champion club. He is the older brother of Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Rays catcher Jose Molina.
Jones, 64, will be in his third stint on the major league staff, as he served on Johnny Oates’ staff in 2000 and 2001 (third base coach, first base coach) and again under Buck Showalter for the 2006 campaign (first base coach, outfield instructor). The 2014 campaign will be the 27th season as a coach or manager in the Texas organization for Jones, who is one of the longest-tenured members of club’s baseball operations. In 24 years as a minor league manager, he has compiled a 1656-1621 record and led his teams to 12 postseason berths, amassing the most games and victories of any manager in the history of the Texas organization. Originally selected by the Washington/Texas franchise in the 1967 June draft, Jones made his major league debut with the Rangers in 1974.
Reed, who will be in his 12th season with the Rangers, will oversee all medical aspects of the organization on the major and minor league levels. He will travel on both the major and minor league sides of the Rangers’ system. Reed previously worked in both the Tampa Bay (1997-2002) and Baltimore (1982-96) organizations and had a stint as President of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.
Harmon will be in his 10th season with the Rangers and his first as head trainer. In addition to his work as a trainer, Harmon has also served as a strength and conditioning coach in a career that began in 1986 spanning stints in the Atlanta, Baltimore, and Tampa Bay organizations.
It’s the best time in baseball when the postseason really gets underway. The Wild Card games were fun and all, but now it’s time to start the real chase for the World Series ring. With the NL division series starting in mere moments, I wanted to take a quick look at where some former Express players landed in the postseason.
Boston Red Sox (vs. Tampa Bay Rays):
Boston has two former Express players in catcher Mike Napoli (2011) and pitcher Koji Uehara (2012). Napoli had a brief four-game rehab stint in Round Rock in 2011 while Uehara threw 3.0 innings over three appearances in 2012.
Atlanta Braves (vs. Los Angeles Dodgers):
Infielder Chris Johnson played for the Express in 2008-10. He spent 30 games with the Express in 2008, batting .218 with one home run and nine RBI. He spent most of the 2009 season in Round Rock, batting .281 with 38 extra-base hits and 42 RBI in 104 games. In 2010, he appeared in 38 games, batting .329 (49-149).
Pittsburgh Pirates (vs. St. Louis Cardinals):
Pitcher Mark Melancon was in the Express bullpen for three games in 2010, going 1-0 with one save over 4.1 innings.
Tampa Bay Rays (vs. Boston Red Sox):
LHP Wesley Wright went 4-1 with a 4.65 ERA (69.2ip/39er) in 15 games (14 starts) for the E-Train in 2010. In 2009, he went 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA (19.0ip/7er) in 13 appearances (1 start).
Which former Express players are you rooting for this postseason?
One of the big questions going into the World Baseball Classic was a classic itself: “would he or wouldn’t he?” The he in question is baseball’s top prospect Jurickson Profar.
The Rangers infield prospect and Curacao native was invited to play on the roster of his national team, the Kingdom of the Netherlands. With Rangers current shortstop Elvis Andrus committed to playing for Venezuela, it opened up a window of opportunity in the Rangers spring training camp for Profar to get some exposure in the middle infield and make a strong case for making the big league club’s Opening Day roster. If he left for the WBC, that window closed a little and so, it seemed, would his chances of making the Rangers 25-man roster with limited playing time. Profar decided against playing in the Classic and stayed in Rangers camp instead.
The Netherlands team caught fire and advanced to the semi-finals in San Francisco. Andrus’ Venezuela squad didn’t fare as well and was eliminated in the first round, sending the Rangers everyday SS back to camp and back in the lineup. Profar was offered an opportunity to join the Netherland’s squad Wednesday, replacing the injured Yurendell de Caster, an opportunity he jumped at. He’ll mainly see time at 2B since that roster already has the Braves’ Andrelton Simmons at SS. The timing on this couldn’t have been better for Profar. Not only does he get to play on a world-wide stage with “his friends,” but he’ll get expanded playing time in the Classic, time that he would most likely miss in Rangers camp with Andrus’ return.
The Rangers are still undecided on where Profar will end up to start the 2013 season, but I’m pulling to see him in an Express uniform on Opening Day. I have no doubt though that he’ll get another second chance this year, this time with the big league club.
Ortiz Keeps Rolling
One of the good surprises this spring has been Joe Ortiz. Ortiz, who ended the season with us here in Round Rock, has allowed just three hits in 7.0 innings. He’s held batters to a measly .143 average and only allowed one walk to six strikeouts. I got to see him pitch in a “B” game against the Royals during our recent trip out to Arizona and the kid has some good stuff. In that game, he threw a perfect inning, throwing six of his eight pitches for strikes. Today, he threw another scoreless inning against the Giants. In 2012, Ortiz was 1-1 with a 1.97 ERA (7er/32.0ip) in 24 games with the Express. The way he’s throwing, it’ll be hard to place him in Round Rock in April…
The Rangers have officially started spring training games, opening with a series against the Kansas City Royals over the weekend. As we inch closer to Opening Day (38 days), we continue to take a look behind-the-scenes at what it takes to get ready for that glorious day here at Dell Diamond.
This week we headed over to the Railyard Team Store to talk to Debbie Goodman and what she does to get ready for the season.
What are you working on now?
We’re in the middle of sign ups for our Spring Break Baseball Camp and just finished a push for Junior Sluggers. I’m processing all of those registration forms and making sure everything is in line with that. I just finished ordering the merchandise to start the season. Now I’m tying up any loose ends and waiting on the merchandise to be delivered so I can organize it all.
Do you have to order the on-field merchandise too?
I order the players’ on-field hats. Two of our great stadium operations guys, Brandon and Corey, just took them down to the clubhouse.
When do you start ordering merchandise for the next season?
The on-field hats were ordered back in August. Some of the apparel companies need orders placed as early as September. Usually, I’ll place most of my orders after the Baseball Winter Meetings. I’ll take a look at all of the vendors there, see what options they’re offering and get ideas for what I want to do in the store.
What’s one of your bigger projects of the off-season?
I run our Junior Sluggers program and baseball camp registrations which can be time-consuming. We decide what to include in the Junior Sluggers package and camps and take orders for them all off-season. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but there’s a lot of organizing and decisions to make about the program.
What’s your most important job of the off-season?
Ordering the merchandise, definitely. We have such a great variety of fans and I really try to please them all. I want to make sure we have something for everyone in the team store.
When do the merchandise orders or boxes start arriving?
They arrive in the beginning of February, but I still have to process and receive them before I can put out new merchandise. The bulk of the orders stop coming in around mid-March, but in reality, they never stop coming in. We make one major order before the season, but I continue to replenish as necessary during the season.
How many boxes would you say you get those 2 months?
Well, I just took 57 boxes down to the clubhouse — and that was just player hats! I’d say we receive thousands of boxes of merchandise. Over the last three weeks, we’ve gotten over 400 boxes. Now not every box is huge, some are smaller for accessories, etc., but it adds up to a lot of boxes!
What’s something the average fan might be surprised to hear you do in your job?
I’m in charge of updating the online retail store. I take photos of the merchandise, resize them and post them online. A lot of people think there’s a big warehouse somewhere that houses all of the merchandise they order online. The reality is it all comes from right here at Dell Diamond.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love the customer service side of it, working with people. To be honest, just to be in baseball is a dream for me. I played growing up; I met my husband playing on a co-ed softball team. If you told me a few years ago that I would be working in baseball for a living, I wouldn’t have believed you. It really is a great job and I’m so thankful for it.
Debbie does a great job keeping the Railyard Team Store up-to-date with great merchandise. Next time you’re at Dell Diamond or at RoundRockExpress.com, make sure to check it out! A special thanks to her for taking some time out of getting ready for the season to talk to us!
Happy baseball thoughts,
Pitchers and catchers have officially reported to Surprise, Arizona and every spring training site in Arizona and Florida. With just 39 days until H-E-B Big League Weekend and only 45 until Opening Day, let’s dive right into week 2 of “Pre-Season Preparations.” My to-do list isn’t getting any shorter…
This week I talked to Scott “Bones” Allen, our senior director of the United Heritage Center. Let’s see how his off-season is shaping up…
When do you start preparing for the 2013 season?
In all honesty, we’re already preparing for the 2014 season. We form wait lists for some of our party areas over a year in advance. Throughout the current season, I’m taking reservations for the next season. In October, I get out the wait list and start filling in dates for the upcoming season. Some people who didn’t make the list in 2013 have already been placed on the wait list for 2014. It’s a never-ending process and goes all season long.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m setting up for the Hutto Chamber of Commerce event we’re hosting tomorrow and a bridal expo we’re hosting this weekend. With so many companies booking events, conferences and expos, to name a few, at the United Heritage Center and Intel Club, there really is no off-season here. Looking forward to the baseball season, I’m working with Sodexo, our catering company, to finalize the menus for all of the party areas. As we start reserving different party areas for different groups, we have to also make sure they choose a menu that best suits their needs. I also have to make sure we have enough wristbands and parking passes ordered for the whole year.
What’s one of the biggest off-season projects you’ve been working on?
Working with stadium operations to check each party area and make sure it’s clean and safe is always a big task. We have so many different party and group areas here at Dell Diamond and it’s a lengthy process to go through each area. It’s such an important job though because we want to make sure each area is not only clean and receives necessary updates and upgrades, but is also safe for our fans.
What’s one of the tougher projects you have to work on?
Keeping the calendar of dates organized is always tough. I control the calendar for not only the United Heritage Center and Intel Club, but all of our party areas around the stadium. It can be tough sometimes coordinating with the sales staff, the client, Sodexo and everyone involved. I’m always looking months in advance, trying to juggle baseball and non-baseball events. I have to make sure events that the entire staff is booking fit into the calendar. That’s where the wait-list can come into play.
I’m sure that can get a little more than confusing! How do you make sure everyone gets the tickets they need?
I actually keep inventory for all of the tickets for all of the party areas so I have to coordinate that with the sales staff. Once an area has been booked for a night, I physically get the tickets to the sales rep who then gets them to the client.
What is something the average fan might not know that you do in your job to get ready for the season?
I physically set the room for events here in the United Heritage Center and Intel Club. I get the tables and chairs set up and coordinate everything for catering with Sodexo. I also do sales, so that’s something I’m working on right now. I’m not only renewing season tickets and groups from last year, but always trying to find ways to bring in new business.
What’s at the top of your to-do list right now?
Boring stuff, like order wristbands and file papers, just get caught up.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love dealing with people and all of our clients. It’s always something new and I really enjoy that. Just from a customer service stand point, it’s fun to interact with so many different people and have the opportunity to help them with a great event. I also like the variety of events we host here. It’s always a fun challenge executing all of the different events we host.
A big thanks to Mr. Allen for taking time out of his extremely busy day to give us a little insight into the United Heritage Center and the various party areas at Dell Diamond!
Happy baseball thoughts,
P.S.- Want to hit your next event, group outing or party out of the park? Host it right here at Dell Diamond! Give us a call at (512) 255-2255 to reserve your spot today! Click here for more information on the United Heritage Center and Intel Club!
Don’t blink because you’ll miss it — the off-season that is.
Seriously though, there are just over eight weeks left until the Express take the field at Dell Diamond to open up the 2013 season. It might seem like a lot of time, maybe even too much time, to the fans, but here in the front office of the Express, it’s going to be here before we know it.
There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes before the gates open, before the lineup is read, before that first pitch is thrown and time is running out. I wanted to take a little bit of that time that is left and pull back the curtain of the front office here in Round Rock and show you exactly what goes on in some of our departments. Over the next eight weeks, I’ll show you how people are preparing in community relations, the grounds crew, marketing, the party/group areas, promotions and entertainment, the Railyard Team Store, stadium operations, tickets and more! We’re all full-steam ahead with April 4th circled on our calendars.
Check back with us on Monday to see the first “Pre-season Preparation” and find out what goes on behind the scenes in stadium operations!
Until then, please don’t blink! We need all the time we can get…
Happy baseball thoughts,
TOP 12 GAMES OF 2012
Throughout the fall, we’ll take a look at the top 12 games of 2012. Before we get to that list, here is a brief look at nine games that were considered but didn’t make the list.
April 15 vs. Iowa: Round Rock edged Iowa 11-10 in 13 innings – the longest home game this season and tied for the third-longest Triple-A game in The Dell Diamond’s history. Matt Kata’s sacrifice fly was the game-winner.
May 8 at Salt Lake: Five homers gave the Express an 11-9 victory. Dusty Brown, Joey Butler, Mike Bianucci, Yangervis Solarte and Brad Nelson provided the homers, and Round Rock scored in seven different innings at hitter-friendly Spring Mobile Park.
June 1 at Memphis: Despite getting out-hit 9-3, the Express blanked Memphis 3-0. Greg Reynolds scattered six singles and four walks with four strikeouts over seven innings. Elio Sarmiento and Dusty Brown had consecutive RBI singles in the second, and Joey Butler tacked on a ninth-inning solo homer.
June 17 vs. Oklahoma City: What a pitching matchup – Oswalt vs. Clemens. OK, the Clemens was Paul Clemens. Roy Oswalt allowed two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings with five strikeouts in his final game before joining the Rangers; it was his lone win with the Express. Greg Miclat homered in the second, and his two-run double in the sixth erased a broke a 2-2 ties as the Express won 4-2.
July 17 at Nashville: Round Rock scored two runs in the ninth to send the game to extra innings, and Luis Hernandez delivered a two-out RBI single in the 11th for a 5-4 Express win. Round Rock’s bullpen (Joe Ortiz, Aaron Heilman and Neil Cotts) tossed five shutout innings.
Aug. 3 vs. Tucson: After squandering a 6-0 lead over the final three innings, the Express plated two runs in the bottom of the ninth for an 8-7 victory. Julio Borbon’s two-run single was the game-winner.
Aug. 21 vs. Oklahoma City: In his final win of the season, Zach Jackson limited the RedHawks to one run on seven hits and no walks over seven innings with seven strikeouts for a 4-1 Express victory. It was Jackson’s 20th win with the Express – a franchise record. Joey Butler’s sixth-inning solo homer snapped a 1-1 tie, and Leonys Martin added a two-run shot in the seventh.
Aug. 22 vs. Nashville: One night later, the Express overcame a 6-3 deficit entering the bottom of the eighth and eventually won 7-6 in 11 innings. This was the closest of the honorable mention games to make the top 12. Ryan Spilborghs clubbed a two-run homer in the eighth to pull the Express within a run. Matt Kata tied the game in the ninth with an RBI fielder’s choice. Manager Bobby Jones was ejected after a peculiar call on a double-play ball later in the ninth, a play in which Kata collided with Nashville second baseman Adrian Williams. Spilborghs came through in the 11th with a two-out RBI single.
And now on with the Top 12 list, starting today with No. 12:
Aug. 15: Express 14, at Reno 1
Scoring 14 runs on 19 hits in the 4,400-foot elevation of Reno was no big surprise. However, the ability of Martin Perez to hold the eventual PCL-champion Aces to one run on six hits and five walks over eight innings was quite impressive. The lone run came on Konrad Schmidt’s eighth-inning, two-out solo homer, ending Perez’s bid for his first career complete-game shutout.
All nine Express starters hit safely as the Express won their fifth straight game – the season’s longest streak at that date (they won a sixth straight the following night). Brad Snyder’s two-run double keyed a four-run second inning, and Round Rock never looked back, adding three in the third and two in the fourth. Brad Nelson’s two-run homer pushed the Express lead to 11-0 in the seventh, and Koyie Hill tacked on an RBI single later in the inning. Hill capped the scoring with a two-run homer in the ninth.
Perez posted his first road win with the Express since April 27 at Oklahoma City. It was the deepest into a game he carried a shutout in what was his 28th career Triple-A start. Perez escaped trouble in the fourth, inducing an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
It was Round Rock’s fifth straight game with at least 10 hits as the Express won for the 15th time in 21 games. Eight of nine batters had multiple-hit efforts; ironically, the lone exception was Luis Hernandez, who snapped a streak of nine consecutive multiple-hit outings. Leonys Martin ended a streak of four consecutive games with a homer but enjoyed a 4-for-6 effort nonetheless.
WHY FIRE SHOWALTER?
A couple weeks ago, we talked about the Baltimore Orioles’ success this year and how several members of the 2011 Express squad have played a part. We also asked when the Orioles will fire manager Buck Showalter. Here is the reason for the question:
Showalter managed three teams previously – the Yankees (1992-1995), Diamondbacks (1998-2000) and Rangers (2003-2006). In each case, his tenure ended with a firing. And, in each case, the succeeding manager led the team to a world series.
In 1994, Showalter guided the Yankees to a 70-43 record and was named American League Manager of the Year. New York owned baseball’s second-best record behind only Montreal (74-40). But the season was cut short due to the strike.
The following season, the Showalter-led Yankees were 79-65 and claimed the American League wild card – New York’s first playoff appearance since 1981. However, the Yankees lost to the Mariners 3-2 in the division series. Game 5 was one of the best playoff games in the wild-card era as Seattle edged New York 5-4. Randy Velarde’s one-out RBI single snapped a 4-4 tie in the top of the 11th, but Edgar Martinez won the game with a two-run double in the bottom of the inning that scored Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr. Coming off the bench for the Mariners in that game was rookie Alex Rodriguez; he replaced Tino Martinez, who would join the Yankees the following season.
Showalter was shown the door following the loss. Joe Torre took over, and the Yankees won four of the next five World Series.
A year later, Showalter was named inaugural manager of the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks – two years prior to the club’s first season. The D-backs were 65-97 in the first season (1998) but thundered to 100 wins and a division crown the following season thanks to off-season acquisitions of Randy Johnson, Armando Reynoso, Todd Stottlemyer and Steve Finley. Arizona lost to the New York Mets in the division series, and Showalter was fired after a lack-luster 85-77, third-place finish in 2000.
His replacement, Bob Brenly, followed Torre’s suit and guided the Diamondbacks to a World Series title in 2001, defeating none other than the Yankees in one of the best Game 7s in World Series history.
Showalter was unable to lead the Rangers to a playoff appearance in his four seasons at Arlington. However, he was named American League Manager in the Year in 2004, skippering the Rangers to an 89-73 record in his second season after a 71-91 mark in 2003. Texas finished third in the division, three games back of Anaheim and two games behind Oakland. It was the Rangers’ lone winning season with Showalter at the helm. He was fired following an 80-82 mark in 2006.
Showing Showalter the door in Arlington was then-29-year-old general manager John Daniels, who then hired Ron Washington. Four years later, the Rangers reached the World Series for the first time ever and returned the following season. Washington currently has Texas atop the division in pursuit of the Rangers first division three-peat.
So, surely the Orioles will fire Showalter after the Birds dip to a sub-.500 record next season. We’ll prognosticate former or soon-to-be-former players as potential replacements: Chipper Jones (retires after this season), Scott Rolen (has played for heralded managers Tony La Russa, Dusty Baker, Terry Francona and Larry Bowa), Derek Lee (clubhouse guy has played for Jack McKeon, Lou Pinella, Bobby Cox and Showalter) or Todd Helton (quietly one of this generation’s best hitters). However, the best bet among former players surely is Hall of Famer and former Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. – assuming he wants the job… and (of course) assuming it all comes to this.
3 September 2012 | Bricktown Ballpark | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Records: Express (69-75), RedHawks (78-65)
-RHP Johan Yan activated prior to game and tosses two shutout innings
- 2012 season finale
- Oklahoma City wins series 3-1
- Express suffer first series loss since July 20-23 (Omaha)
- Oklahoma City wins season series 10-6
2 September 2012 | Bricktown Ballpark | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Records: Express (69-74), RedHawks (77-65)
- Oklahoma City leads series 2-1
- Oklahoma City leads season series 9-6
- Series finale Monday at 11:05 a.m. CDT – season’s final game
- Monday’s scheduled starters: RR – LHP Chad Bell (5-4, 4.36 ERA); OKC – LHP Dallas Keuchel (6-4, 4.03 ERA)
1 September 2012 | Bricktown Ballpark | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Records: Express (69-73), RedHawks (76-65)
- Julio Borbon game-winning, two-run single keys Express five-run ninth inning
- Series tied 1-1
- Oklahoma City leads season series 8-6
- Game 3 of series Sunday at 6:05 p.m. CDT
- Sunday’s scheduled starters: RR – RHP Greg Reynolds (11-8, 4.98 ERA); OKC – RHP Jose Cisnero (3-1, 3.28 ERA)
ROUND ROCK won 10 of last 13 games, 16 of 22 … improved to PCL-best 26-12 since July 26 … fourth victory in 65 games when trailing after eight innings.
JULIO BORBON (1-for-4) established franchise single-season hits record (158) with ninth-inning single … record previously held by Mark Saccomanno (2008) … eight-game hitting streak (10-for-36) … hit safely in 17 of 18 games (28-for-77) … reached safely in 18 straight games.
LUIS HERNANDEZ (1-for-4) hit safely in 20 of 22 games with Express (40-for-96) … 6-for-14 since accepting assignment designation (three games).
JOEY BUTLER (1-for-5) hit safely in 18 of 19 games (26-for-75).
BRAD NELSON (0-for-4) slumped to 1-for-18 over last five games.
RYAN SPILBORGHS (2-for-4) hit safely in 15 of last 19 games (24-for-69).
YANGERVIS SOLARTE (3-for-4) seven-game hitting streak (12-for-27) … multiple hits in nine of last 20 games.