Welcome back, fake-baseball fans! We are on a mission to determine, with absolute(ly no) certainty, once and for all, who was the best Rangers team of all time. We’ve had a little feedback on the various social media channels insisting that this is a pointless exercise, because the 2011 team is far and away the only team worth putting money on in this tournament.
To that, we say: well… duh.
…but they were also far and away the best team in the 2011 World Series.
Soooo yeah, unless you want a rundown on how Former-Ranger-Spring-Training-Invitee Eddie Gamboa is doing in the Mexican Winter League, SIM baseball is what we get on January 30th. And hey – every tournament has a favorite, right? They also—as we saw yesterday—have and a few underdogs. So while we’re waiting for a free agent signing, a trade, or just the first day of Spring Training, it’s fun to use your imagination. We’ll get more in-depth with the game outcomes as the tournament gets closer to a conclusion, but for now, we’re plowing through round one.
For yesterday’s results, you can click here, OR here’s a quick rundown…
#48 1972 – 13
#17 1993 – 2
#47 1973 – 3
#18 1974 – 2
#46 1985 – 8
#19 1991 – 4
#45 1982 – 0
#20 1995 – 6
#44 1971 WAS – 4
#21 1979 TEX – 5
#43 2014 – 4
#22 1989 – 3
#42 1970 WAS – 4
#23 1990 TEX – 3
GAME EIGHT: 3-2
#41 1988 – 2
#24 2006 – 3
Alright! On to day two. Please ignore the dates at the bottom of the scoreboard. I– okay, the game is tattling on me. I spent all day Saturday and late into the morning Sunday doing round one. Whatever, there’s fake baseball to get to, let’s go.
GAME NINE: #40 2003 (71-91) vs. #25 2005 (79-83)
WP: John Thomson (7.1ip, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 5K)
LP: Chris Young (6.2ip, 10H, 7R, 7ER, 1BB, 5K)
S: Aaron Fultz (1)
HR: 03Alex Rodiguez (1), 03Rafael Palmeiro (1), 03Carl Everett (1), 05Kevin Mench (1)
Whoa, this simulation machine is good. This is precisely what I would expect to happen in a game between the 2003 and 2005 Texas Rangers. Each team allows three runs in the first inning, and it ends up a somehow-compelling-despite-being-bad-baseball 7-6 contest. ’05 Alfonso Soriano blooped a single in the ninth to score ’05 Michael Young and pull to within a run, but with two and two out, Kevin Mench flied out to deep right-center field to end the game. ’03 Michael Young went 3-for-4 for the underdogs in the winning effort.
GAME TEN: #39 2000 (71-91) vs. #26 2008 (79-83)
WP: Vincente Padilla (5ip, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 7K)
LP: Rick Helling (8ip, 9H, 5R, 1ER, 3BB, 9K)
S: C.J. Wilson (1)
HR: Royce Clayton (1)
The 2000 team jumped out to a big lead, sending 8 men to the plate against Vincente Padilla. But the resilient 08ers roared back for four of their own in the third, when a Luis Alicea throwing error set up a two-run double by Josh Hamilton, who later scored on a Marlon Byrd double.
GAME ELEVEN: #38 2002 (72-90) vs. #27 2017 (78-84)
WP: Cole Hamels (7ip, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 6K)
LP: Kenny Rogers (3ip, 8H, 7R, 7ER, 1BB, 4K)
HR: Nomar Mazara (1), Carlos Gomez (1)
Guys, guys. Look at this pitching line.
This is a good sim program. It knows all about 2017 Tyson Ross.
Adrian Beltre went 4-for-5.
GAME TWELVE: #37 2001 (73-89) vs #28 1983 (77-85)
WP: Charlie Hough (8.2ip, 12H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 7K)
LP: Doug Davis (4.2ip, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K)
S: Odell Jones (1)
HR:Larry Parrish (1), Gabe Kapler (1) Frank Catalanotto (1)
The ’01 team tried to make a comeback at the end; Gabe Kapler’s 2-run home run preceded walks by A-Rod and Rafael Palmeiro, but Pudge Rodriguez grounded out to Buddy Bell at third base to end the game. Michael Young went 4-for-5 in the leadoff spot for the losing side, and Larry Parrish, Pete O’Brien, and Wayne Tolleson each had a couple of RBI for the 1983 squad.
GAME THIRTEEN: #36 1994 (52-62) vs. #29 1997 (77-85)
WP: Kenny Rogers (9ip, 7H 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 8K)
LP: Darren Oliver (8ip, 12H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 4K)
The 1994 team finally gets a chance to finish a season here, or at least a tournament. They started in fine fashion, overturning their future selves by a 5-2 mark. David Hulse went 4-for-5 from the leadoff spot, driving in two. Will Clark drove in the other three with a 2-for-4 day. SIM glitch: Will Clark attempted a stolen base. SIM glitch self-correction: he was thrown out.
GAME FOURTEEN: #35 1984 (74-87) vs. #30 1992 (77-85)
WP: Kenny Rogers (0.1ip)
LP: Frank Tanana (8ip, 8H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 5K)
S: Jeff Russell (1)
HR: Juan Gonzalez (1), Rafael Palmeiro (1)
It was an absolute pitcher’s duel between Frank Tanana and Kevin Brown, but the game was ultimately decided in the eighth inning; the ’84 squad tied it up in the top half on a Larry Parrish single, but Kenny Rogers came on in relief, needing just three pitches to retire Pete O’Brien for the third out. A few pitches later, Rafael Palmeiro’s oppo home run hit the left field foul pole to put the ’92ers ahead for good.
GAME FIFTEEN: #34 2007 (75-87) vs. #31 1980 (76-85)
WP: Jon Matlack (6.2ip, 11H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 2K)
LP: Kevin Millwood (3ip, 8H 6R, 6ER, 1BB, 0K)
HR: Richie Zisk (1), Mickey Rivers (1)
The 1980 Rangers had a pretty good rotation. It was difficult for me to choose between Jon Matlack, Fergie Jenkins, Doc Medich, and Gaylord Perry for a one-game play-in. In the end, I went with Matlack because he had the most innings, and it proved to be the right call, as he wriggled out of trouble all night. Meanwhile, his compadres scored 9 runs to hold off the ’07 team, which was by far the most difficult lineup assembly so far. If I may—as moderator of this whole exercise—I’m happy to see them eliminated.
GAME SIXTEEN: #33 1987 (75-87) vs. #32 1976 (76-86)
WP: Bert Blyleven (8ip, 11H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 6K)
LP: Charlie Hough (8ip, 9H, 5R, 4ER, 0BB, 4K)
S: Jeff Terpko (1)
HR: Jerry Browne (1), Larry Parrish (1)
I’m starting to get a feel for what life must have been like for Charlie Hough in his time with the Rangers. Go eight strong, lose to Bert Blyleven. Tom Grieve played a big role in this one, going 2-for-4 with a couple of runs scored. Jim Sundberg and Toby Harrah each had a couple of RBI. Jeff Terpko (he pitched three years in the big leagues! Two with Texas and one with Montreal) worked around an Oddibe McDowell walk for the save.
That’s it for day two! Now that all the first-round games have been played, let’s plug in our 16 Bye Teams and take a look at our bracket for Round Two (Please note that #19 1991 is mistakenly typed as 1992 here, which is a typo but I caught it too late to change it)
We’ll see you in a few days with round two of fake baseball, as we await the arrival of real baseball on February 14th when pitchers and catchers report.