Yeah, I know, they say things are bigger in Texas.
But that doesn't include the baseball parks.
If there was ever any doubt that the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was a fantasy baseball launching pad, Wednesday night's 19-6 slugfest proved you can never sleep on any Texas hitter.
(And you may want to Rip Van Winkle on each and every Texas hurler).
Exhibit A: Ian Kinsler (above)
All Kinsler did was hit for the cycle, on a 6-for-6 night with a HR, 4 RBI, 5 runs scored and a SB. Kinsler is batting .474 with 2 HR and 13 RBI.
Exhibit B: Nelson Cruz
Cruz went 2-for-5 with a grand slam, 6 RBI on the night, and now has 12 RBI for the season, one off Kinsler's team-leading mark.
Exhibit C: Marlon Byrd
Byrd was more than just the word. How's 5-for-6 with 3 RBI sound for a platoon outfielder? Byrd's hitting .417, which may give David Murphy and his owners more splinters and headaches than they had planned on.
Exhibit D: Andruw Jones
The former Braves/Dodgers flameout only had 1 hit, but walked twice and scored 4 runs, proving his worth in all AL-only leagues, even on the wrong side of a platoon.
I won't even go into the Rangers best two pure hitters (Michael Young and Josh Hamilton). Both were relatively quiet, although each stole a base early on when it was still a game.
Probably the most intriguing thing about Arlington on Wednesday was the wind was blowing in 14 MPH.
This place has long been a crackerjack box, where pitchers go to die. And now, with the emergence of Kinsler and Hamilton, the upcoming stars, including Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Elvis Andrus and steady cornerstones like Michael Young and Hank Blalock, the 2009 Rangers could easily lead the league in runs scored. As the summers heat up, the ball keeps flying further and further off the bats.
Hopefully your buddy isn't reading this. Not that it's top secret info, but the Rangers haven't had this promising a lineup in quite some time. Sure, there's no guarantee all their prospects will produce as advertised, but even at 70 percent, you might be looking a Texas team that plates 1,000 runs.
Get a piece of this pie while it's still affordable.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Posted by Charlotte Observer at 11:27 PM