Let's take a peek inside the Rangers finances

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Just like the divorce case in Los Angeles, the bankruptcy case in Texas has given us the rare opportunity to take a look inside the usually secretive world of team finances.  A pretty full financial disclosure was released by the Rangers yesterday. Maury has the documents here.

The sad news: no V-energy peddling gurus, diamond cars with platinum wheels, panda steaks or six-week stays in gilded palaces like we saw in the McCourt divorce documents.  Mostly it’s just the pedestrian business of a baseball team that, sale drama notwithstanding, rarely sticks out in the crazy department.

Owner Tom Hicks pays himself $183K a year. He may or may not be worth that, but I’m willing to wager that he’s on the low end of owners who pay themselves. Nolan Ryan makes $1.5 million, and given all of the goodwill and ass-kickings he provides, I think he’s probably worth it. I love that there is a line item for Rusty Greer. I love that the Rangers not only paid an entity called “Team Beans, L.L.C.,” but that something called “Team Beans” feels it needs to limit its liability (what, exactly are they doing?!).  The Rangers have paid out oodles in legal fees as a result of the sale and bankruptcy in recent months, which just goes to show you that buying things “prepackaged” is rarely a bargain. Go organic, dudes.

The most interesting item relates to a blog, actually. Seems that Jamey Newberg of the notable Rangers blog “The Newberg Report” has taken over $27K from the team this year, plus had his and his family’s trip to spring training paid for by the Rangers, according to the Dallas Morning News.

I’m not an expert on the Rangers’ blogosphere — the only thing I really know for sure is that commenters therein like to add obscenities to the end of “Calca-” when talking about my Rangers posts — but my understanding was that Newberg portrayed himself as an independent blog with no official connection to the team. He tells the Morning News that “the payments
likely were for books he sold to the club.”  Seems he’d know that for sure. Also seems like he should at least disclose to his readers that he does business with the Rangers.

In other news, all you team-specific bloggers who aren’t selling tens of thousands of dollars of books and getting free trips from the teams you cover are suckers.

UPDATE: Newberg responds.

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

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With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.