Texas Rangers: 2010 MLB All-Star Game

All-Star lineups: LF Josh Hamilton bats 3rd

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
12:49
PM CT


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- American League manager Ron Washington unveiled his lineup for the 2012 All-Star Game on Monday and has his Rangers scattered with Josh Hamilton batting third, Adrian Beltre batting sixth and Mike Napoli hitting eighth.

AL LINEUP

SS Derek Jeter
2B Robinson Cano
LF Josh Hamilton
RF Jose Bautista
1B Prince Fielder
3B Adrian Beltre
DH David Ortiz
C Mike Napoli
CF Curtis Granderson

RHP Justin Verlander

NL LINEUP

DH Carlos Gonzalez
CF Melky Cabrera
LF Ryan Braun
1B Joey Votto
RF Carlos Beltran
C Buster Posey
3B Pablo Sandoval
2B Dan Uggla
SS Rafael Furcal

RHP Matt Cain

Hamilton, who finished the first half batting .308 and leads the league with 75 RBIs and 27 homers (tied with Jose Bautista), is making his fifth straight All-Star Game start. Hamilton has batted all over the order in his previous four All-Star Game starts: fifth in 2011, cleanup in 2010, sixth in 2009 and third in 2008. He bats third in the Rangers' lineup.

Beltre completed the first half with the best batting average of any Ranger at .326, fourth best in the AL. He's making his second All-Star Game start, as he filled in for an injured Alex Rodriguez last year. This is the first time Beltre has been selected by the fans to start the game.

Napoli is making his first All-Star appearance as he tries to start the second half on an up note. Napoli struggled through the first half, hitting just .228 with 12 homers and 30 RBIs.

Hurdle is master motivator and texter

July, 14, 2010
7/14/10
11:20
PM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler's phone vibrates at least once a day with a text message from hitting coach Clint Hurdle.

Normally, it's a famous quote from someone -- a coach, athlete, philosopher -- to help get him going.

Clint Hurdle
Kyle Terada/US PresswireRangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle is "the loudest human being alive," according to Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.
"He hits every avenue there is to motivate," Kinsler said. "He shoots us a text every day. A Vince Lombardi quote or something. Some kind of motivational thing. Guys either read it or get it off their phone and maybe read it later or they never read it. But he’s going to take the opportunity to maybe hit a string with someone. That’s his goal. He’s constantly trying to say something that triggers someone to maybe get it going. If a guy is struggling, he'll help trigger something in his brain to help him get it right."

Hurdle has been known as a tireless worker throughout his career. The Rangers are seeing that first hand. He's in the cages all the time or looking at video or out on the field for some one-on-one or group instruction.

"He works with the rookies and the guys that aren’t superstars a lot more than he works with the superstars," Kinsler said. "He trusts the players that have done things in the game and have done well and have confidence in themselves. He trusts those guys. But he also trusts those guys to come to him when they’re not feeling right."

Outfielder Josh Hamilton said there's no chance Hurdle walks into a room without everyone knowing.

"He's the loudest human being alive," Hamilton said. "He’s a good encourager and a good teacher. He’s very positive. He’ll point out some negative, but in the end, he’s always positive. It’s a tear down, build back up process. He’s very approachable. That makes a good combination for a coach, someone who can give you constructive criticism and be positive and at the same time be approachable."

You can bet Hurdle's cell phone was draining some battery time sending out texts over the three-day break to keep his guys relaxed and ready for the second half. That starts tonight in Boston.

Kinsler: Ball not carrying at Ballpark

July, 14, 2010
7/14/10
3:00
PM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was asked about Rangers Ballpark in Arlington by some out-of-town media members during the press availability at the All-Star Game this week. They wondered if the idea that the park is a launching pad is fair recently.

"Well, it's hot," Kinsler said. "We’ve been getting a lot of rain and it’s been humid and the ball hasn't carried as well. I can look around the league and find a lot of ballparks where the ball carries a little bit better than it does in Arlington. We’ve got a couple of spots, like right-center, where it jumps out when the wind is blowing. It plays pretty true and we enjoy it there."

It has rained and I do wonder if that's impacted the ball's flight more than normal at the Ballpark. But it hasn't impacted the Rangers' ability to score runs. Part of that is an offense that has become multidimensional, scoring runs in a variety of different ways and not just with the long ball.

The Rangers lead the league in home scoring with 288 runs. They've done it on 62 homers in Arlington. That's actually third-most behind Toronto and Chicago. I do think, for whatever reason, that the wind hasn't created the jet stream as often as it has in previous seasons. I have no scientific proof of that, but it just seems like it. Anyway, I thought the comment was interesting and wanted to pass it along.

Byrd happy to see the Rangers' success

July, 14, 2010
7/14/10
12:30
PM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Marlon Byrd wore a Cubs uniform as a member of the National League All-Star team on Tuesday. But he a part of him is still a Ranger.

"I"m really happy for everybody over there," Byrd said. "I saw how the culture of that clubhouse changed in three years under Wash. I feel like I was a part of that. I know I was. They've got a great team and a great group of guys."

Byrd, who is hitting .319 with nine homers and 40 RBIs in Chicago this year, was a member of the Rangers from 2007-2009. He hit .283 or better each season. In his final season, Byrd had 20 homers and 89 RBIs, landing him the three-year deal from the Cubs.

"I still text those guys," said Byrd, who keeps in contact with Michael Young, David Murphy, Ian Kinsler, Julio Borbon, Ron Washington, Gary Pettis and others. "I want to see them do well."

Selig wants season over by November

July, 14, 2010
7/14/10
10:30
AM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- MLB commissioner Bud Selig talked about the 2011 schedule and the fact that early drafts show the season starting on a Friday, which is a few days before it did this year. The schedule would have the regular season end in September as opposed to October, which is when it ends this year.

The schedule includes, at least right now, the Rangers and Red Sox meeting in Arlington to start the 2011 season on a Friday (as ESPN.com reported last week). That is still pending approvals before its released.

"We’re exploring ways to cut the season down," Selig said. "We think that may be one of them, but we’ve got some work to do. We're still debating it. You guys all know how I feel about November. I live in fear of November. Anything we can do to take that 162 games in 181 or 182 days and make things a little shorter. But scheduling is a really difficult thing."

If the commissioner gets his way, it would allow the entire postseason to be played in October and not bleed over to November.

Do you care if the season goes that late or do you think, like Selig, that it should end in October?

Andrus relishes his first All-Star experience

July, 14, 2010
7/14/10
8:00
AM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Elvis Andrus laughed and smiled in the clubhouse after Tuesday's All-Star Game. Sure, he was disappointed his American League team fell, 3-1. But that was in no way going to tarnish what was a fun rookie experinece at the All-Star Game.

"Everything about it was great," Andrus said. "From the Home Run Derby and parade and the game itself. I want to work and make sure I can come back here and do it again."

Andrus was a little mad at himself for his baserunning blunder. He slid past the second base bag in the sixth and was tagged out (he had pinch run for Derek Jeter after Jeter singled).

"I was too far across the base and couldn't hold it," Andrus said. "I was too close to the base, but I was as fast as Opening Day. My legs felt so great. I just kept going and couldn't stick my spikes on the base."

Despite that, Andrus had a good time in Anaheim. He stayed for the entire Home Run Derby because he wanted to soak it all in.

"Some of the guys were like, 'Let's go,'" Andrus said. "But I told them this was my first time and I was going to do it all."

He was involved with the players in a red carpet parade that went through Disneyland a few hours prior to the game. And he got the chance to spend some time in the clubhouse with locker mates Derek Jeter and David Ortiz. He said he had some moments to talk to several different players.

"The last two days have been amazing for me," Andrus said. "I just can't wait to have a chance to do it again."

Andrus said he was excited about starting the second half of the season and seeing what the Rangers can do as they make a playoff push.

"We haven't been to the playoffs for so many years and it's our time," Andrus said. "We all believe that. We have a group of guys in the right time at the right moment and hopefully we'll keep playing good baseball."

All-Star Reax: Lee's short, sweet outing

July, 13, 2010
7/13/10
11:31
PM CT

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Newest Ranger Cliff Lee wasn't in Tuesday's All-Star Game very long. But it sure wasn't for lack of success in the National League's 3-1 victory at Angel Stadium.

Lee was the third American League pitcher in the game, relieving Andy Pettitte to start the fourth inning. He faced the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters in the National League lineup. He got Martin Prado to ground out to short, struck out Albert Pujols on three pitches and forced Ryan Howard into a harmless ground ball to second base.

Lee did all of it in just six pitches, five of them strikes. It was an extremely quick inning and, with so many pitchers to get in, his only frame of the game.

Lee has three innings pitched in his last two All-Star appearances (he started for the AL in 2008 at Yankee Stadium) and has allowed one hit with no walks and four strikeouts.

"It's how he pitches," Ian Kinsler said after the game. "He's not going to change for anyone or any game or anything. He's going out there having the confidence in his pitches and throwing strikes. That's what he does."

Lee left before the clubhouse opened to the media, but he had plenty of players impressed by his performance.

"He looked good," Josh Hamilton said. "He always looks good, whether it's striking someone out or anything else. He works quick, throws strikes and gets you back out there on offense. That's what he's going to do for us."

Other reaction:

* SS Elvis Andrus killed any chance of an AL rally in the sixth. He came in to pinch run for Derek Jeter, who hit a single with no outs. Andrus tried to steal second and was there in time. But he slid past the bag and was tagged out before he put his foot back on second. Hamilton ended up getting a one-out hit later in the inning. But with the game 1-0 at that point, it was a pivotal play.

"I was too far across the base and couldn't hold it," Andrus said. "I was too close to the base, but I was as fast as Opening Day. My legs felt so great. I just kept going and couldn't stick my spikes on the base."

* Hamilton was 1-for-3 for the third consecutive All-Star Game. But his hit was a memorable at-bat with Roy Halladay. Hamilton fouled off some pitches and ended up with a single to right on the 10th pitch he saw from Halladay.

"It was good," Hamilton said. "You're not nearly as prepared for this as we are during the season. We don't have a scouting report on what they've been doing or what pitches they're throwing. You ask around real quick. He threw me a lot of cutters and a split-change and sinker, and he can snap one off too. It was just a battle.

"As the at-bat went on, I could feel myself pushing a little bit. My hands and everything were going at the same time and I could feel myself on my back side. I made the adjustment of just taking my hands back so I could get to that pitch, the cutter inside."

* The biggest cheer of the night for any Ranger went to DH Vladimir Guerrero. It was neat to see the reception he got when he was introduced. The crowd stood and yelled, and Guerrero took off his cap and saluted his former home fans.

* Kinsler's at-bat in the seventh was a carbon copy of what he's done well this season: staying patient enough to work a walk. Kinsler has 38 walks this season, good enough for top 20 in the AL. Despite a runner in scoring position, Kinsler waited for his pitch. When he didn't see it, he took the walk. The AL, though, was not able to score.

* The Rangers' double-play tandem of Kinsler and Andrus got to play the final three innings in the field together (Kinsler played the final four innings). They didn't, however, get a chance to turn a double play.

"It was awesome," Kinsler said of playing with Andrus. "Last time I got to play was with Mike [Young], so it was pretty cool to be able to play with your teammate up the middle. It was cool having him next to me on the field."

* Kinsler made the final out of the game, a long fly ball to right-center field hauled in by center fielder Chris Young. Hamilton said he wondered if it wasn't set up for a Rangers player to once again be the hero. Kinsler got the pitch he wanted but said he hit it toward the end of the bat. A home run would have tied it.

"It would have been nice to have a chance to hit a walk-off," Kinsler said. "He made a great play in right.

* The AL loss may mean a little more to the Rangers this year, since they exit the All-Star break 4 1/2 games up on the Angels in the AL West. But Kinsler didn't seem too concerned that the NL earned home-field advantage for the World Series.

"I would have liked to win, but it didn't turn out that way," Kinsler said. "It's maybe one or two more games on the road. If we're in the World Series, I don't know if where we're playing one game will matter that much."

* RHP Neftali Feliz didn't get in the game, but he wasn't too disappointed.

"I'm just happy to be here," the rookie said through a translator. "Somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. I'm just happy I got to be here with everyone."

NL grabs lead on McCann double

July, 13, 2010
7/13/10
9:59
PM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Could the American League's All-Star Game streak be coming to an end?

Brian McCann hit a bases-clearing double to right field in the top of the 7th to give the NL a 3-1 lead.

The AL is 12-0-1 since 1997, including winning the last seven All-Star Games. But if this score holds, the National League will have homefield advantage in the World Series.

Still have some outs left, though. And Rangers Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus could get some chances at the plate to help the AL.

Andrus overslides the bag in the sixth

July, 13, 2010
7/13/10
9:35
PM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Ranger reserves Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler are now in the game. Andrus came in as a pinch runner for Derek Jeter in the sixth inning and appeared to have stolen second base.

But he slid past the bag and was tagged out before he could get his foot back on it. Kinsler came into the game in the bottom of the fifth defensively.

Andrus had talked Monday about staying aggressive on the bases, but getting smarter too. He got a good enough jump on that one, but didn't stay on the bag. All part of the learning process.

Lee his usually efficient self in 4th inning

July, 13, 2010
7/13/10
8:40
PM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Hopefully, you didn't get up to grab a drink from the kitchen while Cliff Lee was in the game. If you did, you probably missed it.

Lee needed only six pitches, five of them strikes, to get three outs in the fourth. And that included a three-pitch strikeout of Albert Pujols.

He could certainly could have come back out for another inning, but Justin Verlander came in.

Hamilton can't cash in on early chance

July, 13, 2010
7/13/10
8:04
PM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton came up with one out and runners on the corners in the bottom of the first, but hit a chopper back to the mound to start a double play.

Hamilton, who has had one hit in each of his last two All-Star starts, left Vladimir Guerrero standing on deck. He'll lead off the second.

Guerrero gets huge cheers from crowd

July, 13, 2010
7/13/10
7:22
PM CT
Vladimir Guerrero
Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesVladimir Guerrero was warmly greeted by the fans in Anaheim at the All-Star game.
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Not surprisingly, Vladimir Guerrero received a loud ovation from the crowd here at Angel Stadium as he was introduced as a starter for the All-Star Game.

Guerrero trotted out to the third base line with his teammates and took off his cap, spinning around to say hello to the fans. Some of the Angel fans helping to hold the huge American flag in the outfield waved at him.

Guerrero said before the game that he was excited to be in this year's All-Star Game.

"I’m really happy," said Guerrero in the clubhouse before the game. "They gave me my old place where I used to be and that’s pretty cool. It’s a good thing it’s in Anaheim. I’m glad to be back here. It feels good to be back in the All-Star Game."

Josh Hamilton received a nice cheer too, as he was introduced just before Guerrero.

Ranger All-Star reserves announced

July, 13, 2010
7/13/10
7:15
PM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The two teams are being introduced as we get closer to the start of tonight's 81st All-Star Game.

It starts, of course, with the reserves. The Rangers were introduced in this order: Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Neftali Feliz and Cliff Lee. They got a nice hand from the crowd.

No question the Angel players got the biggest cheers. Alex Rodriguez was actually pretty funny, stepping out as the cheer died down for Torii Hunter to pretend they were cheering for him (the crowd booed, of course, when A-Rod was announced).

Rangers react to Steinbrenner's death

July, 13, 2010
7/13/10
5:00
PM CT
ANAHIEM, Calif. -- The Ranger All-Stars didn't no George Steinbrenner personally, but they knew how important he was to the game. Here are some of their thoughts:

Rangers GM Jon Daniels: "I never had the chance to meet Mr. Steinbrenner, but growing up in NY, he was the Yankees. People had their opinions of him, but the bottom line is, he stepped up and delivered on what he talked about. You can’t say that about everyone. The franchise and the city is better for it."

OF Josh Hamilton: "He had a huge impact on the game. You hear mixed reports about George if you didn’t know him, but overall, everything I’ve heard as far as ownership-wise is that he’s a competitior, he want to wins. He was important to the game of baseall and hopefully his son will carry that on."

2B Ian Kinsler: "Anytime someone that did as much for an organization, the fan base and the game as he did, it’s always tough to lose someone like that. I think everybody in baseball feels that and recognizes that. I didn’t know the man. But it’s tough to lose someone close to baseball."

Hamilton didn't want to risk injury in Derby

July, 13, 2010
7/13/10
4:15
PM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton admits that he was tempted to grab a bat and take some big swings as he watched the Home Run Derby participants. But he said he made the smart call in not accepting a Derby invitation this year.

"Stranger things have happened, especially with me," Hamilton said in the clubhouse prior to the All-Star Game. "I've been injury prone in the past and I want to be here for the second half of the season. I don't want to pull a muscle in my back or anything like that. I had a lot of my teammates tell me they appreciate me not doing it. They complimented me on making a mature decision."

Hamilton, who watched part of last night's Derby with his kids, said it was different in 2008.

"It was my first All-Star Game, first time being asked and we weren't really in the race for anything," Hamilton said.

So will Hamilton's 2008 Yankee Stadium moment of 28 homers be the first and only time he does the Derby?

"I like, just as much as the next guy, to see how far I can hit a ball," Hamilton said. "I can't say I'll never do it again, just not any time soon."

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.323 18 75 77
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 18
RBIA. Beltre 75
RA. Beltre 77
OPSA. Beltre .876
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.34
SOY. Darvish 182