Saturday, December 23, 2006

Newberg Bound Edition Release Party

This week, I will describe what happened at the Newberg Bound Edition release party on December 13th.

It was held at the Tin Star in downtown Dallas, and the 2007 Newberg Report Bound Edition was sold for the first time at the event. Eleanor Czajka was in charge of selling the books and was very friendly like always.

This year’s Bound Edition is great. The cover is the best one yet in my opinion and was done by Marty Yawnick. The inside was designed by Devin Pike and has the usual good stuff, including:
- The Newberg awards, where Jamey ranks the top players in the Rangers minor league system for 2006. Jamey does really nice write-ups on the background of each player.
- The Newberg reports from the past year.
- The stats for every player at every level of the Rangers organization.
- Write-ups on rules for major league rosters, like the Rule 5 Draft.
- Forewords by CJ Wilson, Nick Masset’s mom, and Michael Schlact’s dad.

The food at the event was great. I had the kids’ chicken nuggets and they were great. The fries were awesome. My dad had the bacon cheeseburger taco and really liked it. Tin Star is run by Barry Newberg, Jamey’s brother, and he runs the place well.

The players that were there were John Danks, Kameron Loe, Taylor Teagarden, CJ Wilson, and Ian Kinsler. The first thing they did was sign autographs. They signed for about two hours.

After that, they did a Q&A session. Some of the questions and answers are below.

Q: To Ian: Who is the toughest pitcher you’ve faced in the big leagues?
A: Johan Santana, Mike Mussina, and Jose Contreras.

Q: To all: What are the best and worst minor league parks you’ve played in?
A: Best – Round Rock and Frisco
Worst – Savannah, Little Rock, and Clinton

Q: To John: How do you feel about the change in the Rule 5 Draft rules.
A: He said he didn’t like it because it will push back his being added to the 40-man roster.

Q: To Kameron, Ian and CJ: What is the most surprising thing about life as a ballplayer?
A: CJ said how much you’re focused when you’re out there. Ian said how much you’re catered to. Kameron said how aware you are that you’re in the major leagues.

Q: To all: What was the chemistry like last year on the Rangers?
A: There wasn’t much chemistry on the team last year and the main part of the chemistry that was there was Mark DeRosa.

After the Q&A session, players stood around talking with the fans.

It was a really great event. In addition to the players, a bunch of people from the Rangers and local media were there, including Jeff Cogen, Jeff Evans, Evan Grant, Kat O’Brien, and Danny Fine. You can see pictures at Eleanor's website at http://www.dickiethon.com/eczajka/be_2007_party.htm.

Come back next week for a probable interview with Rangers broadcaster, former GM, and former player Tom Grieve.

4 comments:

Ken Pittman said...

Grant - great blog as always. Sounds like you had a great time at a great event. Hopefully I can make it one day.

Your questions to the players were great. There are a couple of the questions/answers I liked very much - I really liked Ian and Kameron's answers to the question about life as a ballplayer. They definitely don't take anything for granted and realize what a great opportunity they have.

The chemistry question you asked really made me think. Normally I would expect a generic "it was good" type answer, but the answer they gave saying that there wasn't much explains a whole lot. Washington has a big challenge there as not many pieces of the puzzle change. I hope that between him, Young, Tex, Blalock, Lofton, Millwood, Padilla, and maybe Zito/Mulder the Rangers leadership can develop better chemistry. I think that would make as many as a 10-win difference by itself.

Also - I'm curious as to your thoughts on Sosa if he were to be major-league ready again?

GO RANGERS!
Ken

Miles said...

Is that Sosa question a serious question?

Giving money to Sosa is like throwing money into a abandoned well that hasn't been used in 30 years...

I don't even know where to start. First off he won't perform any better than a Wilky/Cruz/Catt. There is no room for him...

What we need is a solid proven bat, but thats hard to get in the first place... I don't want to give up our whole farm to get a Helton.

We also need another solid piece in the rotation. You cannot get a Mulder and expect him to come in the second half and perform into the playoffs. We need a guy like a Padilla last year, someone you don't have to give up anyone for. Someone that the organization gives up on and is fed up with. Still young and potential but hasn't played up to that potential...

Peace

Find me at lonestarball.com

grantlovesbaseball said...

Hi Ken - I agree with runescape that we don't need Sosa. He probably took steroids and I don't think many fans would like him. Plus he went downhill very fast and he probably is too old to play better than either Lofton, Catalanotto, or Cruz. What they could do is sign him to a minor league contract with an invite to big league camp and see how he performs in spring training but I doubt that will happen. Runescape, I've gone to your website before and I think it's good. Thanks for your comments.

Ken Pittman said...

Just for the record - I agree with both of you too. The most I would give Sosa for the Rangers is a minor league contract with a big league invite. Depending on how interested he is, he might be a decent draw if nothing else for the minors. If he's really ready he would get more than that somewhere else and I agree the Rangers can't afford to commit any more to him. If I were a small market team, though, I'd consider giving him a big league contract. Like him or not - he attracts attention and especially in a small market lacking playoff potential that would be worth a small major league contract (if he's near ready).

As for him being to old, he's actually a year and a half younger than Lofton. It's amazing how steroids can tear your body up. I'm not convinced Lofton is going to live up to expectations because he is pretty old too, but his (likely) not taking steroids has allowed him to effectively play longer than Sosa/McGwire/etc.