Rangers fire play-by-play announcer John Rhadigan after two months on the job

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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?

Marcus Stroman: José Bautista could ‘easily’ pitch in MLB bullpen

José Bautista and Marcus Stroman
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José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.

Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”

In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”

Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”

Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:

Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”

I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.