Texas Rangers: Opening Day

The Texas Rangers announced plans for Opening Day ceremonies March 31, which include Hall of Famer Greg Maddux throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Greg's brother, Mike Maddux, will catch the first pitch.

Some of the details of the pregame festivities (from the club's release):

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* National anthem: On April 11, 1994, the Texas Rangers hosted the Milwaukee Brewers in the first regular-season game ever at The Ballpark in Arlington. The pregame ceremonies featured an unforgettable performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by Fort Worth resident and award-winning classical pianist, the late Van Cliburn.

Nearly 20 years later, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, under music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, will return to play the national anthem. The FWSO will once again perform on the field, as it did in 1994.

“It’s a great honor to celebrate this anniversary with the Texas Rangers and re-create that historic moment in memory of our dear friend Van Cliburn,” said FWSO President and CEO Amy Adkins in a release.

* Flag: A large United States flag will be unfurled in center field by soldiers from the U.S. Army Dallas Recruiting Battalion and airmen, soldiers, and marines from the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. A large state of Texas flag will be unfurled on Greene’s Hill by members of the Dallas Recruiting Battalion. The colors will be presented by Company B of the Texas Rangers law enforcement division from Garland, Texas.

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Lineups: Craig Gentry to start in CF

April, 5, 2013
4/05/13
9:48
AM CT
PODCAST
Randy Galloway joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Josh Hamilton, Derek Holland, Nolan Ryan and more before the Rangers' home opener.

Listen Listen
ARLINGTON -- Welcome to the home opener at Rangers Ballpark. With a sellout crowd and the rival LA Angels in town, it should be a great day for baseball. And if you can't make it out to the game, you can tune in to ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM for the call. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. Here are the lineups:

RANGERS
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
DH Lance Berkman
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
LF David Murphy
C A.J. Pierzynski
CF Craig Gentry
1B Mitch Moreland
SP Derek Holland

ANGELS
LF Mike Trout
SS Erick Aybar
1B Albert Pujols
RF Josh Hamilton
DH Mark Trumbo
2B Howard Kendrick
3B Alberto Callaspo
C Chris Iannetta
CF Peter Bourjos
P Jason Vargas

Opening Day ticket registration details

January, 8, 2013
1/08/13
2:47
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers announced plans for registering for tickets to Opening Day, which is Friday, April 5, at 1:05 p.m. against the Los Angeles Angels.

Beginning Friday, Feb. 1 at 9 a.m. and going through Wednesday, Feb. 20 at noon, fans can go to texasrangers.com/presale and register for the chance to purchase up to two tickets for Opening Day.

After the registration is completed, fans will be randomly selected for the opportunity to purchase tickets and notified via email by Feb. 25. Those selected will have access to a online pre-sale based on the available inventory.

The inventory will include some reserved seats, obstructed view seating and standing room only tickets. It's free to register and it's the only chance for fans to purchase individual tickets for Opening Day.

As always, if you buy a 10-game pack, a free ticket to Opening Day is included.

Rangers' bullpen shines in opening win

April, 6, 2012
4/06/12
6:43
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- No one needs to remind Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington or his players about the importance of closing out games.

They got a firsthand dose of it in Game 6 of the World Series. And to their credit, after a month or more of stewing about it and pondering the "what ifs," they put it behind them and moved on.

But if they want to get back to the World Series and win it this time, it won't just be the versatile offense or deep starting pitching that gets them there. They'll need that bullpen to shut things down and hold slim leads.

Right away, a few hours into the 2012 season, that bullpen was put to the test. It passed, getting nine final outs Friday to preserve the Rangers' 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Read the rest of the story here.

Jackie Moore ready for 54th Opening Day

April, 6, 2012
4/06/12
11:43
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers bench coach Jackie Moore knows a thing or two about Opening Days. At age 73, he's seen a bunch of them in his career in professional baseball.

"This will be 54 for me," Moore said.

Manager Ron Washington's trusted aid is in his fourth season as the bench coach. He was a bench coach for the Houston Astros in the 2008 season and was the manager of Round Rock from 2000-07. The club was Double-A and Triple-A in that span. He was manager of the year in the Texas League in three of his five seasons there and reached the playoffs in five of his eight seasons.

He played 11 years starting in 1957 and had stints as an outfielder and catcher with the Detroit and Boston organizations. He spent the majority of the 1965 season in the big leagues with Detroit, his only time as a major league player (played in 21 games and had 53 at-bats).

"I still get nervous," Moore said. "I guess that's part of it. If you lose the butterflies and the anticipation of the season, I would think it's time for me to call it quits. But I'm excited now and realizing what we still need to accomplish. You're so close a couple of years in a row and now again a chance to start the season, take it one day at a time, work to get into the playoffs and see if we can't win it."

Friday sold out; Saturday nearly sold out

April, 4, 2012
4/04/12
7:21
PM CT
A quick ticket update for you in terms of the next four days, courtesy of some numbers the Rangers' crunched this afternoon.

* Friday, April 6 vs. Chicago (1:05 p.m.)—COMPLETE SELLOUT

* Saturday, April 7 vs. Chicago (7:05)—Less than 1,000 reserved seats remain. Standing room tickets, priced at $25.00 each will go on sale Thursday.

* Sunday, April 8 vs. Chicago (7:05)—approximately 5,500 tickets remain

* Monday, April 9 vs. Seattle (7:05)—approximately 11,000 tickets remain for Yu Darvish's first big league start

You can buy tickets in person at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington box office or by calling 972-RANGERS or going to the club's web site (texasrangers.com).

First pitch of Rangers' season a week away

March, 30, 2012
3/30/12
1:05
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As of 1:05 p.m. today, the first pitch of the 2012 season for the Texas Rangers is exactly a week away.

Colby Lewis will throw it as the Rangers take on the Chicago White Sox on April 6.

The game is sold out, but do you have tickets? What are your tailgating plans for that day? How many of you are taking the whole day off from work?

Reasons for Ranger fans to avoid panic

March, 31, 2011
3/31/11
8:00
AM CT
I sense a little panic going on within the Rangers' fan base. Emails keep popping up with doomsday scenarios. And I'm not saying that aren't unfounded. The Rangers' pitching staff didn't instill a bunch of confidence this spring.

The rotation has question marks on the back end with Matt Harrison and Derek Holland needing to show they can go out and pitch consistently every five days. The injury to Tommy Hunter (that darn groin) means that the primary eighth-inning setup man is now in the rotation, causing the club to try to figure out who will nail down the late innings to get the game to closer Neftali Feliz.

Meanwhile, everyone has read stories about how excited the A's are about their rotation and the fact that the Angels are motivated (and more healthy than last year) to return to their familiar perch on top of the AL West. With a World Series appearance come higher expectations and so the slightest signs of struggles can cause more angst than normal. But with Opening Day just a little more than 24 hours away, some reasons to hold off on a full-blown panic:

* C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis went about their business this spring and are ready. Don't worry about Wilson's left hamstring tightness. He's fine. He was working out at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Tuesday and said he felt fine and is ready to go. I believe him. Lewis quietly got his work in all spring and looked good in a final tuneup. Both pitched more than 200 innings for the first time in their careers. But both believe strongly in their offseason workouts and pitching coach Mike Maddux plans on getting them extra days thanks to off days and no plans to skip the fifth starter.

* Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are hitting the ball at just the right time. Cruz started the spring all over the place at the plate. He conceded he was behind because he didn't play winter ball, something he normally does. Hamilton was inconsistent too and admitted he wasn't going deep enough in counts at times. Both have figured it out. Cruz's averaged soared in the final few weeks of the spring and Hamilton's timing started to click. That had manager Ron Washington very pleased just before the team departed Arizona.

* Adrian Beltre put on a show when he got in the lineup in spring training. He hit well and showed why he's won two Gold Gloves at third. Beltre is important not only for his defensive skill (he and Elvis Andrus might be the best left side of the infield in baseball), but because he hits cleanup and must protect Josh Hamilton. Beltre looks to be ready to do all of that. His teammates like him and he's ready to show that he can have a nice encore to a solid 2010 season.

* Versatility. When it comes to the ability to move players around and the various ways in which this offense can score runs, the Rangers have plenty of versatility. That's an important trait of championship clubs. There's no better DH/super-utility guy in the majors than Michael Young. And we all know that infield won't stay healthy the whole year. So Young is ready to slip in where needed -- short- or long-term. Mitch Moreland could play the corner outfield if needed. Mike Napoli can play first base besides being the backup catcher. Besides the players, 2010 showed this offense wasn't just a bunch of mashers. The Rangers can move runners over, they can make productive outs to score runs and they can still hit the long ball.

* There's been much discussion about Julio Borbon and rightfully so. He has struggled this spring. But it's not as if the backup plan is a bad one. Let's see if Borbon can figure it out. If he can, the Rangers can protect Hamilton's body a little bit better in left field. But if Borbon doesn't get it done, the club can just revert back to Hamilton in center with David Murphy in left. (Nelson Cruz is staple in right field no matter what). Certainly the hope is Borbon seizes his chance, but the season doesn't hang on it.

* Just because Neftali Feliz isn't starting doesn't mean he's wasted. Like many of you, I wanted Feliz to start. The idea of seeing the guy go out there every day is intriguing. But I understand why the club wants to leave him in the bullpen. And so you've got a guy with 40 saves in 2010 in that same role in 2011. That's not a bad deal. If the Rangers have the lead in the ninth, they are confident Feliz can shut it down (yes, they still have that pesky problem of getting through the eighth...don't panic yet on that).

* Experience matters. The Rangers learned a lot about themselves during the stretch drive in 2010. They can draw on that experience in what will likely be an even closer race in 2011.

* AL West. Overall, this is still one of the weakest divisions in baseball. So the Rangers do have some time to figure the bullpen out and what combinations work. I'll remind you that they started last season with Scott Feldman and Rich Harden at the top of the rotation, Frank Francisco as the closer, Julio Borbon as the leadoff hitter, Jarrod Saltalamacchia the starting catcher and Chris Davis at first base.

Saltalamacchia played in the opener (had the walkoff single) and was never a factor again after a DL stay and an eventual trade. Francisco was moved to setup after blowing some early ninth-inning chances and an untested rookie, Feliz, was put in his place. Borbon was moved to ninth in the order by the end of the month and eventually lost some playing time to David Murphy. Davis was sent down the third week of April and replaced by Justin Smoak. And Feldman and Harden didn't find any consistency.

So remember this is still much of the same squad the went to the World Series last year. Salute them this weekend and then give them a chance before hitting the panic button.

Opening Day: Parking, traffic, stadium info

March, 29, 2011
3/29/11
2:18
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- I'll post this a few times between now and Opening Day, but since many of you emailed and hit me up on twitter about it, here is some information on traffic, parking and stadium info (this is straight from the Rangers' release):

Arrive Early: Rangers parking lots will open at 10:00 a.m., and fans are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy the festivities. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington gates will open at 12 noon with the Rangers batting practice beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Cash Parking: The majority of the cash parking lots are located on the north side of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Limited cash lots are available on the back ends of Season Lots A, B, and C on the south side on Rangers Ballpark. For Friday’s home opener, additional parking is available at Six Flags Over Texas and Cowboy Stadium Lots 12 and 13.

Arriving at Rangers Ballpark: The City of Arlington will have dynamic message signs located on the main routes to communicate the best routes for fans to enter the parking lots on opening day. Preferred routes are as follows:

From West bound I-30:

Fans wanting to park south of the Ballpark are encouraged to exit 161 and follow the signs to Division Street

Fans wanting to park north of the Ballpark are encouraged to exit Legends Way

From Eastbound I-30:

Fans are encouraged to use Nolan Ryan exit, Collins Street exit and Center Street exit to Road to Six Flags

From Southbound 360:

Fans are encouraged to use Lamar Blvd. exit or Green Oaks exit to Ballpark Way

From Northbound 360:

Fans are encouraged to use Abrams Street exit to Stadium Dr

For Six Flags Over Texas lots, East and Westbound 1-30 traffic is encouraged to exit Ballpark Way and enter lot off Six Flags Drive at Magic Mile.

For Cowboys Stadium Lots 12 and 13, Traffic coming from the south is encouraged to take Division St. westbound from 360 to Legends Way. Traffic coming from the Collins St. is encouraged to take Division St. eastbound to Legends Way.

Departing Rangers Ballpark: All fans parking in Rangers parking lots will receive exit maps upon entrance in order to assist with convenient departure. These maps can be used throughout the 2011 season.

A lane of traffic on I-30 eastbound will be diverted to expedite the on-ramp traffic from Nolan Ryan and Ballpark Way. The T-Ramp only. From Legends Way will be open eastbound from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Lexus Valet: Please note that Lexus Valet Parking, available on the north, east, and south sides of Rangers Ballpark, reaches capacity early on Opening Day.

Updated Information: Fans are encouraged to visit texasrangers.com/directions for current maps and specific routes by parking lot or call the Rangers Parking Hotline at 972-PARKING. Fans may also receive updated traffic and parking information at www.arlingtontx.gov or www.arlingtonpd.org.

Pricing: Cash Parking in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington lots is regularly priced at $10.00 per vehicle.

Ticket sales up 15 percent on first day

March, 5, 2011
3/05/11
6:09
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers sold more than 108,000 tickets on Saturday, the first day of individual game tickets. That's an increase of 15 percent over 2010 and includes sales via web, phone and the ballpark. The number represents singles and group ticket sales for all games except Opening Day.

The club reports that sales were very strong for the Saturday, April 2 game versus Boston and that game is expected to sell out before Opening Day.

Fans wanting to purchase individual game tickets in person can do so at the West Ticket Office at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

No more Opening Day tix for 10-game plans

February, 23, 2011
2/23/11
12:21
PM CT
The Texas Rangers announced Wednesday there are no more Opening Day tickets that will be allocated as the free extra game for the 10-game ticket plan. Instead, fans will able to select any of the remaining 80 regular-season home games.

Fans can still obtain Opening Day tickets by purchasing any of the Rangers' other season ticket plans -- two 20-game plans, a half season plan and a full season plan.

Darren's Diary: Good first pitch, bad handoff

April, 9, 2010
4/09/10
8:00
AM CT
Editor's note: In this week's diary, Darren O'Day talks about Opening Day, a good first pitch, a bad handoff and a bullpen celebration.

Darren O'Day
ARLINGTON -- Last week in my diary, I talked about Roger Staubach and throwing a strike. The truth is that was one of the more impressive first pitches I've ever seen. I think he's got a little something left in that right arm. He threw a nice heater right down the pipe. That's something we all struggled with Wednesday, so maybe we need to get him a uniform. It's not an easy thing to do. I tried to throw out the first pitch at a game at my college and it looked more like a pitchout, so it was impressive to see him groove one.

I thought our team did an awesome job on Opening Day. A good flyover is all about timing and they nailed it, roaring by just as the anthem wrapped up. I never fail to get goosebumps. Did anyone else notice the enormous Texas flag we had stretched across the hill in center field? I was wondering if there were any other teams in the big leagues that had their state flag at their Opening Day. I would be very surprised if they did. Texans love them some Texas. I’m starting to buy into it in my second year in the Metroplex.

For us to be no-hit for six innings is pretty incredible, especially by a guy who hadn't pitched in a year. We knew he was a good pitcher and had a plus changeup, but for him to do that to a team of such accomplished hitters was something. I remember thinking during the player announcements of Mike Young, Josh Hamilton and Vladdy about what an intimidating lineup we have. You have to be on your toes for one through nine. Shaun Marcum baffled us for a while, but we eventually got to him. Nelson's homer is the kind of homer that makes Arlington a hitter's park. He's a big, strong dude, but he put half a swing on it and almost smoked me in sitting in the bullpen. That's a good piece of hitting, knowing your ballpark and how use the jetstream.

That was a special Opening Day win for us. To get no hit for six innings and come back like that shows the persistence of our hitters. We have decided to do something about the fact that it takes us way too long to run from the bullpen out to the field on a game-winning hit. We were jumping around, celebrating by ourselves, but there was something missing. Doug Mathis decided that from now on, the bullpen will be having our own private dogpile down there. Once that is over, we’ll all hustle to the locker room for the traditional beer shower.

I was thankful for Salty getting the hit and beer shower going early in the season. My technique is a little rusty from the long offseason. I did too much shaking and didn't have my thumb placed correctly and had beer spraying all over me.

That wasn't the only thing that was shaky for me this week. My exchange when Wash pulled me from the game Wednesday was not good. He came out and put out his hand for the ball and the first thing that came to mind was to shake it. That's just a boneheaded move. Wow. He said nothing. He was professional about it. Once again, I blame the long offseason for that. Scott Feldman was ready for me when I came in and said, 'Was that a rough exchange there? What happened?' He had a good laugh at my expense.

It was an odd night for Arlington, but it felt good to see my first game action. It was windy and chilly, and I was a little overexcited for my first appearance. I was overthrowing and my ball wasn't sinking, but it got better as I went along. Luckily, I have at least 162 more games to improve.

Kinsler to DL as Opening Day roster set

April, 4, 2010
4/04/10
2:41
PM CT
The Rangers didn't do anything unexpected when they made their final moves Sunday to set the Opening Day roster.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler (ankle), as had been anticipated, was sent to the 15-day disabled list along with pitchers Tommy Hunter (oblique) and Warner Madrigal (forearm). The first day they are eligible to be activated is April 10.

With Willie Eyre among those assigned to minor league camp, Doug Mathis gets the final spot in the bullpen.

Here's the team that Ron Washington will send out against the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. Monday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington:

Pitchers (12)
Scott Feldman
Neftali Feliz
Frank Francisco
Rich Harden
Matt Harrison
Colby Lewis
Doug Mathis
Dustin Nippert
Darren O'Day
Darren Oliver
Chris Ray
C.J. Wilson
Catchers (2)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Taylor Teagarden
Infielders (6)
Elvis Andrus
Joaquin Arias
Andres Blanco
Chris Davis
Ryan Garko
Michael Young
Outfielders (5)
Julio Borbon
Nelson Cruz
Vladimir Guerrero
Josh Hamilton
David Murphy

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182