Texas Rangers: Radio

George W. Bush, Nolan Ryan praise Nadel

December, 11, 2013
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Among those congratulating Texas Rangers radio voice Eric Nadel on the highest award the sport can offer for a broadcaster, are former president George W. Bush and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. Nadel will be honored Saturday, July 26, 2014 as part of the Hall of Fame weekend.

"I congratulate my friend Eric Nadel on winning the 2014 Ford C. Frick Award. For more than 30 years, Eric has brought the Texas Rangers and the great game of baseball to fans all over the Southwest," Bush said in a statement. "His passion for the sport is evident in every broadcast. Any announcer can call a game, but Eric brings his listeners into the stadium. He is a wonderful ambassador for our national pastime."

Nadel called Ryan's 5,000th strikeout in 1989 as it happened during his innings to call play-by-play as he teamed up with the late Mark Holtz on the radio broadcasts during that time.

"I am so pleased for Eric Nadel on his selection as the 2014 Ford C. Frick Award recipient," Ryan said. "Eric’s description and analysis of thousands of Texas Rangers games over the last 35 years have been a joy for the fans. He has always made the games entertaining and informative. He is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word and is very deserving of the honor."

Club announces broadcast team for 2013

November, 1, 2012
The Texas Rangers announced today that they are keeping the prime television and radio crews that ended the 2012 season for the 2013 campaign. That includes Steve Busby and Tom Grieve on television, Eric Nadel and Matt Hicks on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Eleno Ornelas as the lead voice for the Spanish radio broadcasts on 1540 AM ESPN Deportes. Busby and Hicks agreed to new multi-year deals, according to the club.

Here's part of the club's release:

“We were very pleased with the performance of Steve and Matt in their respective broadcasting roles over the second half of this season,” commented Rangers Executive Vice President for Communications John Blake. “We received great response to our television and radio broadcasts and feel this is the best way for us to go forward. With the expiration of Dave Barnett’s contract, we thank Dave for his contributions on radio and television over the last few years and wish him the best for the future.”

Busby moved to television in June 2012 after working with Nadel on the majority of the radio broadcasts since May 2011. The former major league pitcher has been a part of Rangers radio and television coverage for more than 25 years. Prior to entering the radio booth full-time, he had served as a lead analyst on Fox Sports Southwest’s pre and post game Rangers programming while working a limited schedule of television and radio games over the previous several years.

2013 will be Hicks’ first full season with the Rangers after he joined the radio broadcasts in June 2012. He has 24 years of baseball play-by-play experience with Frederick of the Carolina League (1989-94) and El Paso (1995-2004) and Corpus Christi (2005-12) in the Texas League. Most recently, he was the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations at Corpus Christi. In addition, Hicks has extensive experience broadcasting college basketball and professional hockey.

Grieve returns for his 19th season as the analyst in the Rangers’ television booth. For Nadel, a finalist for the 2013 National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award, next season will be his 35th broadcasting Rangers baseball, the longest tenure of any announcer in the history of the franchise. 2013 will mark his 19th year as the lead voice on Rangers radio broadcasts. Ornelas will be back for his 14th year on Rangers Spanish radio broadcasts, his 11th as the lead play-by-play announcer.

Eric Nadel a finalist for Ford C. Frick Award

October, 9, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers play-by-play radio voice Eric Nadel was named one of 10 finalists for the 2013 Ford C. Frick Award, given annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The winner will be announced Dec. 4 at the Baseball Winter Meetings and honored during Hall of Fame weekend (July 26-29, 2013).

Nadel is one of five active broadcasters among the finalists. He just completed his 34th year with the club and his 18th as the lead voice. Nadel was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in August. This is the third straight year he's been a finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award.

Jurickson Profar: I acted scared to see same pitch

September, 9, 2012
How's this for confidence?

Jurickson Profar tells ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM that he feigned being scared at an inside pitch so he could see it again and deliver a go-ahead RBI in the Rangers' win.

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Recent Rangers call-up Jurickson Profar, all of 19 years old, said he feigned being scared at a knock-down pitch from Rays reliever Kyle Farnsworth in the 10th inning so he could see the pitch again.

Sure enough, Profar took the next offering in the same area down the right-field line for an RBI double that put the Rangers ahead in the 4-2 win in Tampa.

"I was acting like I was scared so he could throw the same pitch," Profar told ESPN Dallas 103.3's Eric Nadel and Matt Hicks after the win. "He did, and I got a good swing on it."

The double scored pinch runner Leonys Martin, who filled in on the bases after Rangers catcher Geovany Soto hit a two-out double himself off the wall in right-center.

Having already grounded into a hard-hit double play in the fifth on a great stop at second base by Ryan Roberts, Profar approached the at-bat against Farnsworth with confidence.

"As soon as Geo hit that double, I was thinking, we got him," he said.

Profar, who made his first start at shortstop Saturday, has cooled off a tad since becoming the youngest player in AL history to homer in his first at-bat last Sunday against Cleveland. He has three hits in nine at-bats (.333) with two doubles and two RBIs. He struck out as a pinch hitter in Friday's extra-innings loss to the Rays and added another strikeout Saturday.

Eric Nadel enters club's Hall of Fame

August, 11, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers broadcaster Eric Nadel was officially inducted into the club's Hall of Fame before Saturday's game with the Detroit Tigers.

John Blake, the Rangers' VP of communications, introduced Nadel, noting that the broadcaster has been part of the team's fabric for 34 years and that besides descriptive calls and memorable moments, Nadel's preparation "is the standard of the industry."

A video of some of Nadel's more famous calls played on the videoboard, ending with Neftali Feliz's strikeout of Alex Rodriguez and Nadel's excited tones: "The Rangers are going to the World Series!"

Nadel thanked all of his partners in the booth, including Bryan Dolgin, Steve Busby and Matt Hicks from this season, and talked about how much his family and the late (and great) Mark Holtz, meant to him. The veteran broadcaster also spoke about how grateful he is to do what he's always dreamed of and to be supported by Rangers fans.

"Thanks to all of you," Nadel said. "As always, thanks for listening."

Nadel's plaque will go alongside many of the greats in Rangers history. He's the 15th member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

A personal note on Eric Nadel, Hall of Famer

August, 11, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- I didn't grow up in Texas listening to Eric Nadel call baseball games. But I think I know a little bit about what that was like for so many of you.

Rangers play-by-play voice Eric Nadel talks about being inducted into the team's Hall of Fame, the weekend series against the Tigers and more.

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My youth was spent watching or listening to Skip Caray or Pete Van Wieren call Atlanta Braves games. They were around for a long time and you welcomed them into your home as part of your family. I've heard from many of you via Twitter and email about how Eric does that for you. He, like Rangers fans, has lived through some incredible moments and some heartbreaking games. Through it all, he's done his job with professionalism and passion. He works hard to have a full understanding of not only what's going on as he describes the action, but he takes listeners behind the scenes and into the clubhouse. He talks to players, gets to know them, and that shows up on the air.

But while I didn't get a chance to live my baseball youth through Eric's voice, I've had a chance to get to know him. I went to school at TCU a few years before the Rangers won their first AL West title. And for a guy interested in broadcasting and journalism and wanting to do something in the major leagues someday, I knew all the big names in the industry. Eric and Mark Holtz were two of those. As I was completing my college career, I asked Eric to listen to a few of my tapes of TCU baseball games. He was kind enough to do so and offered some excellent advice. I ended up calling baseball games in Amarillo and Idaho Falls and even hockey games in Fort Worth, trying my best to pay attention to detail and to make it seem fluid, though I could never quite do that like Eric can.

Once I got into the newspaper industry and took a winding path that led me to Rangers coverage, Eric was there again to offer help. I asked for advice on stories and he was quick to come to me if he read something I wrote and didn't feel it was clear enough or if he felt there was a better way to put it. I took notes -- and still do -- and have tried to apply those to my daily work on the Rangers beat.

So congratulations, Eric. I'm thankful that you've crossed my path and I look forward to hearing you call many more seasons of Rangers games.

Eric Nadel's top 5 moments in the booth

August, 10, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- There was no question what moment was No. 1 for Eric Nadel so far in his 34-year broadcasting career with the Texas Rangers: Neftali Feliz's strikeout of Alex Rodriguez to send the club to its first World Series.

Rangers play-by-play voice Eric Nadel talks about being inducted into the team's Hall of Fame, the weekend series against the Tigers and more.

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“It was the first pennant and all of the emotion that was felt and released by Rangers fans, myself included, when it happened was amazing,” said Nadel, who will be inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame on Saturday. “I’ve never experienced that sort of emotion at an athletic event the way the stadium just erupted. I was almost overcome by emotion. After I said, ‘The Rangers are going to World Series,’ I don’t think I spoke for 30 or 40 seconds. All you could hear were the fans cheering.”

As for the rest of his top 5, Nadel talked about them in no particular order:

* Nolan Ryan's 5,000th strikeout on April 22, 1989. Nadel was not the lead voice then, so he didn't get a chance to call many dramatic moments late in games. But Ryan's strikeout came in the middle of the game, while Nadel was calling play-by-play. "That was my first big call," Nadel said. "Since it happened in the fifth inning, I was lucky."

* The Rangers' win in Game 6 of the 2011 ALCS over the Detroit Tigers, again at home, makes the list as well. The Rangers won going away, 15-5, over the Tigers in front of 51,508.

* Josh Hamilton's four-homer game on May 8, 2012, in Baltimore. "That fourth homer has to be in there somewhere," Nadel said. Perhaps Hamilton's game is as close as a hitter can get to a perfect game, and he was only the 16th player to do it.

* Texas' 30-run outburst in Baltimore on Aug. 22, 2007, in the first game of a doubleheader. "The Vazquez homer to get to 30 runs was fun to call," Nadel said. Ramon Vazquez's three-run homer in the ninth pushed the Rangers to the 30-run total, the most runs scored in a game in the modern era (beginning in 1900). The 27-run margin of victory (30-3 final) was also the largest margin in the modern era.

Eric Nadel to enter Rangers Hall of Fame

August, 10, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas – After hours spent celebrating with family and friends following the Texas Rangers’ Game 6 victory in the 2010 American League Championship Series to advance to their first World Series, longtime broadcaster Eric Nadel took his AL championship T-shirt and put it on the chair by his bed.

Rangers play-by-play voice Eric Nadel talks about being inducted into the team's Hall of Fame, the weekend series against the Tigers and more.

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“That way when I woke up in the morning I would see it and know that it wasn’t a dream,” Nadel said.

It’s that kind of passion and loyalty to the Rangers that Nadel has managed to translate to baseball fans in North Texas for 34 years now. And because of what he’s done for the game within the Rangers community, Nadel will be inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame before Saturday’s game with the Detroit Tigers. Nadel goes in a “non-playing capacity,” joining Johnny Oates (2003), Tom Vandergriff (2004), Mark Holtz (2005) and Tom Grieve (2010), who were also honored for contributions off the field.

[+] EnlargeEric Nadel
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill Rangers radio voice Eric Nadel, who will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame on Saturday, threw out the first pitch before a playoff game last year.
Nadel has had many memorable events, but his biggest is Neftali Feliz's strikeout of Alex Rodriguez to end Game 6 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees and send the franchise to its first Fall Classic

“It was the first pennant and all of the emotion that was felt and released by Rangers fans, myself included, when it happened was amazing,” Nadel said. “I’ve never experienced that sort of emotion at an athletic event the way the stadium just erupted. I was almost overcome by emotion. After I said, ‘The Rangers are going to World Series,’ I don’t think I spoke for 30 or 40 seconds. All you could hear were the fans cheering.”

It’s a rarity that Nadel doesn’t have something to say. And he isn’t afraid to say it. Several former players in attendance for Friday’s Hall of Fame luncheon noted that Nadel describes the action as it unfolds and then puts it into context without, as Rafael Palmeiro said, “being a big homer.”

“I think it’s very meaningful to an organization to have an announcer that stays with an organization like he has for 34 years and have that consistency and for the fan base to relate to him and to experience a lot of things that happened with our organization over the years through him,” said Rangers CEO and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, whose 5,000th strikeout was called by Nadel in 1989. “The thing about a radio announcer is they come into people’s homes and they’re actually a part of those people and their following of the ballclub, and they develop a relationship with Eric as much as they do the ballclub. I think those are the things that are really important and the consistency.”

Nadel’s arrival in the Rangers' broadcast booth came about thanks to the ice. Once he graduated from Brown in 1972, Nadel got a job with the Muskegon Mohawks, a minor league hockey team in Michigan. Three years later, he was hired by the Oklahoma City Blazers of the Central Hockey League. When that team merged with the Dallas Blackhawks, he landed in North Texas for good in the summer in 1976. In the spring of 1978, Nadel was contacted by the Rangers about doing 30 games in 1979 on television and radio. It was a trial run and a chance to see not only if he could do the job, but if he wanted to do it.

“I wouldn’t want to hear any of those tapes now,” Nadel said. “They’d probably be pretty embarrassing. I wasn’t really good as a baseball announcer, but I guess I was adequate. I learned a lot. I practiced a lot in the games I wasn’t doing. I talked a lot to Jon Miller and Bill Merrill, who were my partners back then.”

Nadel became a full-time radio announcer in 1982, when the club brought in Holtz and went with a two-man booth. They were together for 13 seasons before Holtz moved to television, leaving Nadel as the lead radio voice.

“He was a sensational announcer,” Nadel said of Holtz, who died in 1997. “We bonded immediately as friends. We had tremendous chemistry together, both on and off the air. He had many, many years of experience doing minor league baseball, so I learned a lot from him about being a baseball announcer. He had a great, positive enthusiasm that came across on the air. He was very friendly and an outgoing personality and fans could see that. He was a lot of fun to be with, a lot of fun to listen to. The combination of the two of us just clicked.”

Nadel, 61, is enjoying the fact that he’s broadcasting a team that has become an annual contender, something that wasn’t the case when he was just starting. He did get a chance to call clinching games for AL West titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999. But all of those ended in disappointment for the Rangers, who won just one playoff game in that span and lost all three series to the Yankees.

Of course, Nadel has called some heartbreaking losses despite two straight trips to the World Series. Game 6 of the 2011 World Series heads that list.

“It was brutal,” Nadel said. “I couldn’t believe my eyes because when the ball came off David Freese’s bat, I thought, like the Rangers fans, that we had won the World Series. Then the ball carried farther than everyone thought it would carry and it didn’t get caught. Then, to go ahead again only to have the Cardinals tie it again and have our hearts broken twice … I didn’t sleep much that night.”

Nadel hopes for a better ending this season – or in future seasons. And at 61 years old, he has no plans on vacating the booth any time soon.

“I love it,” Nadel said. “It’s fun to do. I’m not ready to retire. I have no feel on when I might be ready to retire.”

Ron Washington checks in with Yu Darvish

August, 8, 2012
Texas Rangers starting right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish has given up 18 earned runs in his last three starts, and he has just one win in his last six. Before this afternoon’s game in Boston, Darvish visited manager Ron Washington’s office.

Ron Washington clears the air surrounding Roy Oswalt, touches on whether Yu Darvish is pitching with extra pressure and defends his lineup on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's "Ben and Skin Show."

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“I had Yu up in here just to check in. The last time I checked in we were in San Francisco,” Washington told Eric Nadel on Rangers Baseball Tonight preceding the game on the Texas Rangers ESPN Radio Network. “And, I just wanted to check in today and to have almost like a father-son talk and find out where his state of mind is, let him know where my state of mind is, and just move forward. I just want him to be comfortable.”

Darvish dropped to 11-8 on the season after Monday's start against the Red Sox, in which he gave up six earned runs on a season high 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Nadel asked Washington if it was reassuring to hear about Darvish’s state of mind.

“Yes, it really was," Washington said. "He’s finally relaxed and feeling like he can just go out there and be Yu Darvish and not worry about the results. I think we are about to see something special the rest of the way here. I don’t know when it’s going to click in, but it’s going to click in.”

The last Darvish-Washington meeting occurred after Darvish had lost three of four starts, but then he won his next three. The right-hander is scheduled to make his next start Sunday in the finale of a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Rangers 'in perfect place' to take draft risks

June, 7, 2012
What's the best way to determine if the Texas Rangers had a good draft? I think one way is to listen to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus talk about the three-day Major League Baseball event that resulted in the Rangers making 43 selections in 40 rounds.

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus joins Rangers Insider to discuss Texas' unique draft situation.

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"Right now, you can pontificate about a draft but to really grade a draft you do need, at times, five years and maybe even more sometimes," Goldstein said. "The Rangers are in a really unique situation when it comes to the draft. They have arguably the best team in baseball, and, arguably, if not one of the best systems in baseball when it comes to minor league talent. They are in a perfect place to just take risks. Just buy lottery ticket after lottery ticket, and they took a lot of high-ceiling kids early."

Goldstein was a guest on Rangers Insider, which preceded Wednesday night's network pregame show on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. He liked the Rangers' draft strategy and spoke about certain "lottery tickets" that could lead to some major power ball in the future.

If you are curious about the current Rangers, their home-grown draftees on the major league roster include second baseman Ian Kinsler (17th round in 2003), righty Scott Feldman (30th in 2003), outfielder Craig Gentry (10th in 2006), lefty Derek Holland (25th in 2006) and first baseman Mitch Moreland (17th in 2007). Home grown is defined as being drafted and developed by the Rangers. Colby Lewis could be considered to be a part of that category as he was the 38th overall selection in the 1999 draft, but he has played for other teams before returning to Texas.

Goldstein also discussed the the Rangers' first selection this year, Lewis Brinson -- "the most interesting" pick -- a local find, the Rangers' scouting effort and whether the revised draft rules make sense. We also shifted gears and talked about a couple of current minor leaguers at Double-A Frisco -- Mike Olt and Barrett Loux. Listen to the podcast.

Bryan Dolgin is the radio pregame and postgame show host on the Texas Rangers ESPN Radio Network. He is also the host of Rangers Insider and Rangers Magazine on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. Follow him on Twitter: @RangersRadioBD

Albert Pujols: A new time in my life

May, 11, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Game 3 of the 2011 World Series is a game that every Texas Rangers fan wants to forget.

It was a 16-7 Rangers loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. However, that game was weighing on my mind when I visited the Los Angeles Angels clubhouse Friday in search of Albert Pujols, who that day was 5-for-6 with two singles, three home runs, five runs scored and six RBI.

This season, Pujols is batting .198 with a home run and 11 RBI heading into this three-game series with the Rangers. Like many who follow the Rangers, I fear that a return to RBiA could get his season going.

"That was last year, this is a new season -- a new time in life," Pujols said. "You need to take it one day at a time and don't think about what you've done, but what you can do to help our ballclub to win tonight."

After he downplayed his past success in Arlington, I asked him about facing Yu Darvish for the first time tonight. His response was as calm and simple as when I asked Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees about facing Darvish.

"See the ball and hit it. That's pretty much it," Pujols said.

Fair enough. Pujols, though, has had a complex beginning to the season. He is batting .188 on the road. He is hitting better (but that's really not saying much) against righties than lefties (.239 to .105). Pujols perhaps still has one fear factor stat at this point: He is batting .400 (2-for-5) with runners in scoring position and two outs. That's also when he had three of his eight RBI.

It's still a fear factor, right? Wait, this is "a new time in life."

What about this series? The Angels are seven games back of the first-place Texas Rangers. How big is this series?

"Every series is big. So, it doesn't matter who you play against," he said. "Every series is big, and we still have a lot of baseball left."

Darvish vs. Pujols will be fun to watch.

Bryan Dolgin is the Texas Rangers radio pre and post game show host on the Texas Rangers ESPN Radio Network. Follow him on Twitter @RangersRadioBD.

Josh Hamilton and the morning after

May, 9, 2012

Josh Hamilton's historic four-homer game in the Rangers' 10-3 win in Baltimore on Tuesday continues to be a hot topic. Here's what ESPN's national morning shows had to say about the rare feat, pitching to a batter with three homers and Hamilton's future:

ESPN Dallas' own Richard Durrett helps Colin Cowherd span the globe and discusses whether there is trepidation on the Rangers part to sign Josh Hamilton.

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John Smoltz tells Mike & Mike about a pitcher's mindset facing who has already homered three times in a game.

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Former GM Jim Bowden forecasts Josh Hamilton's future in Texas on The Herd and weighs in on the slugger's past.

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Mike & Mike talk about baseball's rarest feats -- from 20-strikeout games to perfect games -- and the historic starts of Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp.

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It's John Kruk's turn on Mike & Mike. He breaks down Josh Hamilton's perfect swing and details why the Orioles kept pitching to him.

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Ron Washington tells Scott Van Pelt that there is nothing Josh Hamilton does that surprises him at this point.

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Buster Olney reflects on Josh Hamilton's historic night in Baltimore.

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C.J. Wilson on magic numbers, Moneyball

September, 20, 2011
Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson joins Ben & Skin to talk magic numbers and look ahead to the playoffs. Also, he says he has no interest in seeing Moneyball.

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Washington talks Wilson, submarines

July, 27, 2011
Ron Washington broached several interesting topics in his weekly chat with Ben & Skin on Wednesday. This morning, Ian Fitzsimmons filled in for Ben. Some of what was addressed:

Rangers skipper Ron Washington isn't happy with Tuesday's loss against the Twins or C.J. Wilson's postgame comments.

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* Washington was asked if he'd prefer that starter C.J. Wilson "own up" to a performance like that, rather than say it was "100 percent unlucky." Washington's response: "That would be the manly thing to do," Wilson said. "I’m not going to get into whatever comments they make. I believe in my guys being stand-up guys. CJ is a stand-up guy. I just think last night was more frustrated than he's been in a while. He’s only human and he’s allowed to have his feelings. It doesn’t bother me. He’ll get the ball the next time it's his turn."

* It's clear the manager wants some bullpen help at the trade deadline. When asked if fans should be worried about the bullpen, Washington said: "I think they should be worried about the bullpen situation that’s why we're trying to correct it."

* Washington said Feliz's location and secondary stuff hasn't been the same as last year, but said he's confident in his young closer. "I have confidence in him totally," Washington said. "I don’t give him the ball and sit here and cross my fingers and wish and hope. I give him the ball with the utmost confidence that he's goign to get my three outs."

* Washington's line of the day was that he won't jump off the Neftali Feliz ship because "the ship might sink, turn into a submarine a resurface." Classic.

* Leonys Martin was in town on Tuesday getting some instruction from outfield coach Gary Pettis and others. Washington said there were some things the club wants him to clean up before he gets to the majors.

Rangers BBTN: Nelson Cruz

July, 2, 2011
Nelson Cruz talks about his big 31st birthday with Rangers Baseball Tonight.

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Let’s look back at the 31st birthday for Nelson Cruz.

The Texas Rangers right fielder matched a career high with six RBIs. He drove in three with his 19th home run of the year, and the other three came home on his first triple of the season.

Cruz was the guest on the warm-up show which was heard on the Texas Rangers ESPN Radio Network preceding the second game of the Marlins-Rangers series. He talked about his night at the plate, hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, possible All-Star Home Run Derby participation, his defense and more.



Colby Lewis
10 5.18 133 170
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182