Texas Rangers: Rafael Palmeiro

Hall of Fame ballot has Ranger connections

November, 26, 2013
The Texas Rangers are well represented in the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot released today, headlined by one of the newest names on the list, Greg Maddux, who has consulted with the team the past two seasons. Maddux's brother, Mike, is the pitching coach for the Rangers. Greg is a four-time Cy Young Award winner.

Of course, there are plenty of former Ranger players on the ballot, too. That includes left-handed pitcher Kenny Rogers and power-hitters Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa, who are hurt by their connections to PEDs. Eric Gagne, who pitched for the club in 2007 and was traded to Boston in the deal that brought Engel Beltre and David Murphy (along with Kason Gabbard), is also on the ballot.

There are about 600 voters this year. To cast a ballot, you must have been a Baseball Writers' Association of America member for 10 consecutive years. Ballots must be in by the end of the year and the results will be announced Jan. 8.

Rafael Palmeiro: Clemens, Bonds should be in HOF

August, 10, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas – Former Texas Rangers slugger Rafael Palmeiro said Friday that Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds should be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Both Clemens and Bonds will be eligible for the first time starting in 2013.

“You’re talking about, in my opinion, probably the best pitcher of all-time and the greatest player of all-time,” Palmeiro said. “Keep them out and then the Hall of Fame has no credibility.”

Palmeiro, who was suspended 10 games by Major League Baseball in 2005 after testing positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, said he’s proud of his career and how he played, even if he’s denied a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Palmeiro was voted on just 11 percent of the ballots in his first attempt at the Hall of Fame in 2011. He received 12.6 percent in 2012, well short of the 75 percent needed from voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America to make it in. And he seems to understand it’s unlikely he’ll get enough votes to make it to Cooperstown.

“I put that behind me already,” said Palmeiro, who was in Arlington after being voted by the fans as one of the greatest Rangers of all-time as part of the club’s 40th anniversary celebration. “I know what kind of career I had. I’m good with it. I can look at myself in the mirror and feel good and proud of what I accomplished. The Hall of Fame would be icing on the cake, but if it doesn’t happen, I’m fine with it. I will accept that and move on and live with it.”

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Rangers ride fifth, A's mistakes to win

June, 30, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers took advantage of mistakes and rode a five-run fifth inning to a 7-2 victory against the Oakland A's, their third straight win in this four-game series with their AL West rivals.

The Rangers have made a habit of engineering big innings en route to wins this month. They have had at least a four-run inning in five straight games.

Their latest offensive explosion began with the Rangers trailing 2-1. Nelson Cruz reached first base on an error, the first of two that would put runners on base in the fifth inning. Mike Napoli then hit a single and Yorvit Torrealba reached first on a fielder's choice.

In one of the key plays of the inning, Cruz was caught in a rundown between third and home during Torrealba's fielder's choice. But Cruz made sure to make his rundown last long enough to move Napoli to third and Torrealba to second.

Craig Gentry would have been the one to bring the two runners home, were it not for an impressive leaping grab by Brandon Hicks of Oakland. That brought Ian Kinsler to the plate with two outs.

Kinsler had struck out in his two previous at bats but came through in the fifth with a two-RBI single to put the Rangers up and extend the inning.

"We expect to score and we expect to put pressure on a team consistently throughout the game," Kinsler said. "Getting a two-out RBI and putting us up in that game was big."

Kinsler said that his previous struggles at the plate had no bearing on his performance in the fifth.

"You don’t carry one at bat into the next at bat," He said. "I wasn’t up there thinking I need to get this done because I struck out twice. I was thinking I need to get this done because we’re down by one."

Rangers manager Ron Washington said he was pleased that Kinsler could come up with a hit in that situation.

"Two-out base hits are tough to come by, but we're getting them right now and we're not going to complain about it," Washington said.

Kinsler was moved over to second when Elvis Andrus reached base on an error in the next at bat. That set up Josh Hamilton for a three-run bomb, his 25th of the season and fourth of the month, to put the Rangers up, 6-2.

"We've always had at least one big inning, that's kind of been our deal," Hamilton said. "We got key hits with guys in scoring position. We've had guys in scoring postiion all year, but we've had trouble getting them in."

Hamilton became the faster player in Rangers history to reach 25 homers in a season (79 games) and is just fifth player in club history to have 25 home runs in four or more seasons. He joins Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, Hank Blalock and Mark Teixeira in that category.

"I'm excited about it,"It's one of those things. I haven't tried to hit home runs. The biggest thing is to try to hit the ball hard, not far. It works."

The inning ended in the next at bat, but at that point the Rangers had already built a lead that the A's could not catch. The five-run fifth also assured that Martin Perez would get credit for the win in his first career major league start. Washington said that the Rangers resourcefulness was key for their success.

"Tonight, they made a couple of errors and we made them pay for it," Washington said. "We're trying to continue to play good baseball and we are. It takes everybody to continue it. We're playing hard, making things happen and take advantage of it."

Perhaps Kinsler put it best when he sat down in front of his locker and was greeted by a throng of reporters.

"We're just good man," He said. "We're really good at baseball."

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 7, A's 2

June, 30, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- After trading solo home runs in the second inning, the Texas Rangers put together a scoring streak in the fifth to beat the Oakland A's, 7-2, and take the series. Martin Perez made his debut as a major league starter and got the win. A sellout crowd of 46,711 was in attendance, the 24th for sellout of the season to extend the record. Some thoughts on the Rangers' 50th win of the season:

What it means: The Rangers took the series with the A's, winning the first three in the four-game series with a chance to sweep Sunday. The Rangers improved their lead to 6.5-game over the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West, tying their biggest edge of the season. Texas also retains the best record in the majors, at 50-29, and is the first team to reach 50 wins this season.

Perez's first start: Perez looked good in his debut as a major league starter. He threw 103 pitches in 5 1/3 innings and showed good command of his breaking ball. He allowed six hits, including a home run, two earned runs, and one walk. He struck out five.

Riding the stream: The Jet Stream was in full effect Saturday night. Each team hit a solo shot to right field in the second inning. Chris Carter struck first for the A's and then Adrian Beltre followed for the Rangers. Nelson Cruz also gave a ball a ride to right field in the second, but it fell short just before the wall for a fly out.

Five in the fifth: The Rangers engineered another one-inning offensive explosion to go ahead against the A's in the fifth. Down 2-1, the Rangers put two men on base to start the inning. Yorvit Torrealba reached on a fielder's choice when Cruz was caught in a rundown between third and home. But Cruz made sure to make the rundown last long enough to get Mike Napoli to third and Torrealba to second. With runners in scoring position, Brandon Hicks made an impressive leaping grab to keep red-hot Craig Gentry from tying in the runners. It looked like the Rangers might leave the runners on base when Ian Kinsler stepped up to the plate with two outs. Kinsler, who had back-to-back strikeouts to start the game, came through with a two-RBI single. After Elvis Andrus reached base on an error, Josh Hamilton blasted a three-run homer to center field. Hamilton's fourth home run of the month capped off a five-run fifth that put the Rangers up 6-2.

Home run Hamilton: Hamilton's home run in the fifth inning was his 25th homer of the season, which matches his total from last season. He is the fastest player in Rangers history to reach 25 home runs in a season, hitting the mark in 79 games. He is just the fifth player in club history to hit 25 home runs in four or more seasons, joining the likes of Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, Hank Blalock and Mark Teixeira. Hamilton finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs.

Error message: The Rangers took full advantage of three key errors made by the A's, two of which came during the fifth-inning run. Both Andrus and Cruz reached base on errors which sustained the inning and gave the Rangers the chance to score as many runs as they did. Michael Young also reached second base on an error in the sixth inning, although he was not driven home.

Napoli's strikeout streak: Napoli struck out swinging in the sixth inning to extend his streak to 11 games with at least one strikeout. He had struck out 25 times in his previous 10 games, including three strikeouts against the A's on Friday night, two of which ended innings with runners in scoring position. Napoli finished 1-for-4.

Eighth-inning scare: With Michael Kirkman on the mound, the A's put two men on base with an error and a walk to lead off the eighth inning. Kirkman escaped with no runs thanks to two flyouts to center and a pop-up to second base. Kirkman and Yoshinori Tateyama saved the bullpen after Perez's exit, combining for the remaining 3 2/3 innings and allowing no runs.

Up next: The Rangers have a chance to complete the sweep when they close out their four-game home series with the A's on Sunday. RHP Yu Darvish will take the mound against LHP Travis Blackley at 6:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW. Some 2,500 reserved seats remain for Sunday's game.

Tue. at CWS: RHP Roy Oswalt (2-0, 4.26) vs. LHP Chris Sale (9-2, 2.27), 7:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW.

Wed. at CWS: RHP Scott Feldman (2-6, 6.13) vs. RHP Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.50), 6:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW/ESPN.

Thu. at CWS: LHP Matt Harrison (11-3, 3.16) vs. LHP Jose Quintana (3-1, 2.19), 1:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW.

Juan Gonzalez drops off Hall of Fame ballot

January, 9, 2012

Two-time Rangers MVP Juan Gonzalez did not receive the required five percent of the vote and will no longer appear on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

On a day when Barry Larkin was the only player voted for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America (with 86 percent of the vote), Gonzalez received 23 votes out of the 573 ballots cast. That's four percent of the vote. It was his second year of eligibility.

Last year, Gonzalez got 30 votes out of 581 ballots. That was barely enough for the five percent needed to stay on the ballot.

Gonzalez won the AL MVP in 1996 and in 1998. The Rangers won the AL West both of those seasons. He remains the all-time club leader in homers (372), RBIs (1,180), and extra-base hits (713), in addition to slugging percentage and others, will not make the Hall of Fame.

Questions about whether or not he used performance-enhancing substances (Gonzalez denied ever using steroids in an interview with ESPN Deportes in 2010) and the fact that he was injury-plagued likely didn't help his candidacy. After his 1998 MVP season, Gonzalez only played in more than 115 games twice. He played 152 games combined in his last two seasons in Texas -- 2002 and 2003.

Gonzalez wasn't the only Ranger who appeared on the ballot this year. Rafael Palmeiro received 12.6 percent of the vote, so he'll be back on the ballot next year. But Ruben Sierra, Phil Nevin and Brian Jordan, who all wore a Rangers uniform at some point, did not receive a vote and won't be on the ballot again.

Palmeiro disappointed about HOF showing

January, 5, 2011
Former Ranger Rafael Palmeiro was disappointed he didn't receive more votes in the Hall of Fame voting. The slugger got 11 percent of the vote. Had he received less than five percent of the vote, he would have been taken off the ballot. As it stands, he'll be on there again next year.

"I am disappointed, obviously I am disappointed; I thought I would get more support," Palmeiro told our Tim Kurkjian. "But I am grateful that I get to stay on the ballot for at least another year. Maybe I'll go up, maybe I'll go down. I thought I was worthy of a better showing than what I got, but I had a black mark against me my last year in baseball. That is hard to overcome. I know there were some voters that said, 'He's a Hall of Famer, but he tested positive. I can't vote for him.' That's the reality of it. And it is something I have to live with."

It's very interesting stuff. Read more here.

Steroids overpower Rafael Palmeiro's HOF candidacy

December, 28, 2010
Rafael Palmeiro's numbers should make him a definite Hall of Famer, but his chances to enter Cooperstown's doors are obviously a long shot, writes ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian.

An excerpt from the column:
The case for Palmeiro for the Hall of Fame is compelling, but to many voters, the case against him is just as strong. As clear as his numbers are worthy of Cooperstown, this is equally clear: There is no way he is making it into the Hall of Fame in his first year eligible, and likely he will have a difficult time making it in the maximum 15 years on the ballot. Mark McGwire was the first test case of a player who had connections to performance-enhancing drugs, and he has not received 24 percent of the vote (75 percent is needed for induction) in any of his four years on the ballot. Palmeiro has better numbers than McGwire in some categories, but, chances are, he will get a similar vote total to that of McGwire.

For more, click here.

What's your opinion on Palmeiro? His statistics are phenomenal, but would you vote him into the Hall of Fame on his first appearance on the ballot?



Adrian Beltre
.324 19 77 79
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182