Friday night I went to a Rangers game with my friends for my birthday party. I got seven autographs, including Sammy Sosa, Kenny Lofton and Mike Piazza. Mike signed for about 5 minutes with this huge line, and then I decided to go over and try, even though I thought the line was too long for me to have a chance. About 10 minutes later, I was within 10 people and he started leaving. As he walked away, he saw how disappointed I was and told me and another kid who was right in front of me to come up and get his autograph. Nick Swisher also signed for about 10-15 minutes and I was the last one to get an autograph, again, but not the same way. Sosa and Lofton both signed for 10-20 minutes, so yesterday there were a lot of autographs. C.J. Wilson signed for my friends and Scott Feldman came over to wish me a happy birthday. The game was terrible (16-4 A’s) but we had a great time. We saw Eleanor from the Newberg report. She has a good new blog at http://emc.mlblogs.com/my_weblog/.
This week, the Rangers traded Daniel Haigwood, who had been DFA’d, to Boston for pitcher Scott Shoemaker. Haigwood was the pitcher we got last year for Fabio Castro and had been DFA’d to make roster room for Jamey Wright last week.
Daniel Haigwood LHP:
Daniel’s career numbers are:
Daniel started his pro career in 2002, when he was an all-star for the Arizona League White Sox. Haigwood has spent 3 of his 4 seasons with the White Sox (making it to AA in 2005), becoming teammates with Chris Young (the Diamondbacks one) and Fabio Castro (who we eventually traded to get Haigwood).
Scott Shoemaker RHP:
Scott’s career numbers are:
Scott signed during his 5th year of college in 2004 and has been in the minors since. He has a very good slider, a good curveball and a decent fastball. He doesn’t throw many balls and gets ahead in the counts.
Trade Evaluation:I think this was a good trade after Haigwood didn’t work out for us so that we’d get something if he was taken in waivers. Shoemaker could be a good middle reliever or long reliever someday, but would need another pitch to be a starter.
Grade: A- for this trade, but it’s still very disappointing that we ever got Haigwood in the first place instead of holding on to Castro, who is a much better prospect than these two pitchers put together.
This week I will tell my personal experiences with each of the Rangers pitchers.
I’ve only met Benoit once and it was a couple years ago when he gave me an autograph when I asked before a game. He didn’t talk much, but he probably doesn’t speak good English.
I’ve only seen Bruce twice and it was at Spring Training. One time I asked him for an autograph and the other time I asked him for an opinion poll and both times he was very willing and nice.
Scott is a great guy and is always willing to sign for kids. He’s always very friendly and talks to them. I met Scott when he was in Frisco and talked to him a lot there, and he always remembers me when he sees me in Arlington. Scott was nice enough to let me interview him. CJ, Kam, Otsuka and Scott are probably the nicest pitchers on the team.
I’ve talked to Eric twice, once at the Winter Awards Banquet when he was very nice and signed, and the other time it was at a Frisco game when he was the exact opposite. You can read about that on my April 7th post.
Kameron is one of the nicest guys on the team and has always been great to me. Whenever he saw me at Spring Training workouts this year, he made sure to come over and say hi when he finished his work. He also does a lot of autograph appearances for the team. He signs autographs before games a lot.
Ron is also very friendly. Whenever I talk to him, he’s always very nice and doesn’t ignore you, like some players do. He usually will sign autographs before games. I’ve gotten his autograph a few times.
I’ve only met Brandon once and it was at the Winter Awards Banquet. He was very nice and gave me an autograph.
I haven’t met Kevin much, but when I have, he’s pretty friendly but doesn’t talk much. I got his autograph twice during 2006 Spring Training and again at TicketStock this year.
Akinori will sign pretty much no matter what. He’s always very friendly and will talk to you. At Spring Training this year, he talked to me for about 5 minutes before a workout. I’ve seen him climb into the stands to get to a kid who wanted his autograph. I’ve gotten his autograph 3 or 4 times before games since he’s been here.
I have only met Vicente once, when he signed an autograph for me. It was at Spring Training in 2006. He was working out and I asked him to sign for me when he was done. When he was done, he remembered and looked around for me and called me over.
I have only met Robinson once and he signed an autograph for me at the Winter Awards Banquet. Last year, I didn’t get his autograph after he was called up the first time, so I sent a letter to the Redhawks asking him to sign a picture for me. He sent it back to me with his autograph, which I thought was really nice.
CJ is a great guy, one of the three nicest guys on the team. He always shows up for autograph events, talks to me, and signs for people. He was even nice enough to let me interview him.
Results of last week’s poll:
Question: Who do you think is the best hitter on the Rangers other than Young and Teixeira?
Blalock – 6%
Catalanotto – 3%
Cruz – 0%
Hairston – 0%
Kata – 0%
Kinsler – 81%
Laird – 0%
Lofton – 6%
Sosa – 3%
Stewart – 3%
Wilkerson – 0%
Come back next week for my experiences with the Rangers hitters.