Into the West

“He might be the best catcher I’ve ever seen. He could retire right now and go into the Hall of Fame. Johnny Bench had more power, but Bench never had this guy’s quickness.” – Blue Jays manager Jim Fregosi, on Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez after the 1999 season “He was the complete catcher, incredibly durable and intimidating behind the plate but […]

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SDI Side Notes: April 26th-On Nolan, Dominance, and the Fastest-Ever Fastballs

April 26, 1990—27 years ago today—Nolan Ryan tied Bob Feller’s major league record of 12 one-hitters as the Rangers beat the Chicago White Sox 1-0. Ryan struck out 16 batters as he allowed only Ron Kittle’s check-swing single to right field in the second inning. The most impressive game about that April 26th start against the White Sox? Nolan threw a 1-hitter, struck out 16, […]

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SDI Side Notes – February 21

1969 – In his return to baseball, three years after being inducted into Cooperstown and nine after his historic last-at-bat home run, Ted Williams agrees to manage the Washington Senators. Some of the best stories from Ted Williams’ time as Rangers manager can be found in Mike Shropshire’s brilliant book Seasons in Hell, about those early Rangers teams. But my favorite was […]

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SDI Side Notes – February 10

SDI Side Notes – February 10 1920-The spitball, shineball, and emeryball are outlawed by the American and National League Joint Rules Committee. Seventeen pitchers, including Burleigh Grimes—the last player to legally throw a doctored pitch—can keep throwing pitches until they retire. Rick Vaughn: [Seeing Harris take off his shirt, revealing white stuff on his chest] “What’s that s**t on your […]

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Family man: What Prince Fielder can teach us about family

Forget the stats. This is not about six All-Star appearances, three Silver Sluggers, Comeback Player Awards or two Home Run Derby Championships. This is not about a lifetime .283/.382/.506 slash, 26.8 fWAR. It’s not about a total active playing time of about two years with Texas over three seasons, two seasons in Detroit or seven in Milwaukee. It is not […]

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Answering The Questions You Kinda Had: The SDI Search Term Mailbag

One of SDI’s mission statements is informing and educating the Ranger fan base. We do our best bringing you trade analysis, prospect write ups, history lessons, even analytical breakdowns of players. We try keeping it topical, but at the same time we tend to miss things. We’re not psychics and sometimes you, the fine SDI reader, has questions we haven’t […]

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A Moment of Majesty: The Michael Young Retirement Ceremony

Much to the dismay of many, baseball is changing. Gone are the days where anecdotes and plain vision are the story-telling tools of choice. They’re still employed, but they’re no longer the only thing in the toolbox. We now have ways to quantify almost everything. From Statcast removing the mystery of Roy Hobbsian home runs to a bevy of new stats giving us clearer […]

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Just in time: The history of retired numbers, and who should be next

In the history of Major League Baseball through June 29, 2016, 183 numbers have been retired by 28 franchises. All teams in baseball have retired #42, for Jackie Robinson. Three teams have retired one additional number (the Mariners #24 for Ken Griffey, Jr., the Blue Jays #12 for Roberto Alomar, and the Rockies #17 for Todd Helton). Toronto and Seattle have been around much […]

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On Colby Lewis, and His Place In Rangers History

“Colby Lewis, starting pitcher. A man barely baseball alive. Gentleman, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic baseball player. Colby Lewis will be that man. Better than he was before. Bigger, stronger, faster.” -Jon Daniels, 2013. Maybe. Probably. Hopefully.   Rangers folklore isn’t short for heroes. Nolan Ryan, Pudge […]

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Exit Velocity: on the Road to Greatness

There’s a long-held adage in baseball that spring training statistics hold little meaning. The reasons are myriad. Players are just getting loose, and for many years, truly did use spring tor training. They use the spring to experiment, try new things, make adjustments. They go at ¾ speed (many do, at least). And last, but certainly not least, they’re often […]

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Arlington’s All-Timers: The On-Deck and Current Crop of Texas Rangers Hall of Famers

Cooperstown is Olympus, and every sport needs an Olympus – shrouded yet spotlighted, more mystic, more exclusive than the heights of Everest or the depths of Challenger Deep. To earn a place there is to be undoubtedly great, unassailably legendary. As my last column here noted, it’s a place of growing complexity, but it’s still the most exclusive Hall of […]

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