Josh Lewin was so good and so popular as the Rangers’ play-by-play announcer that replacing him was a very tall task, but John Rhadigan probably thought he had at least a little job security.
Less than two months after stepping into Lewin’s big shoes Rhadigan has been fired, according to Richie Witt of the Dallas Observer.
In talking to some Rangers fans the consensus seems to be that Rhadigan was pretty shaky early on in what was his first play-by-play gig and has been criticized a lot by fans and media members.
However, when asked to evaluate Rhadigan’s performance as recently as two weeks ago Rangers president Nolan Ryan said:
I feel as if he is improving his play-by-play. We are asking him to do something he hasn’t done and need to give him time.
Apparently “need to give him time” meant “we’ll fire him in 15 days.”
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Dave Barnett will move from the radio side to replace Rhadigan.
Can anyone recall another announcer being let go in the middle of a season for performance-related reasons rather than health problems or personal issues?
The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.
Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball. Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”
Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.
Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.
Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:
”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”
After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).