Tag: Bengie Molina

The Free Agent Team: A Team Assembled by Who’s Left on the Free Agent Market

There are still plenty of players left on the free agent market that could improve a major league club. What if it was decided there would be a new expansion team? The team would have to assemble itself by whoever is left, and this is what I believe this team would look like. A team filled with former all-stars, and overlooked players.

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MLB Rumors: Vladimir Guerrero, 10 Free Agents Pricing Themselves Out of Market

We are officially well into the winter doldrums. The luster of the World Series has long since faded, and the free agent market’s most prized possessions have all signed with new teams. But while the media will marvel in the news surrounding the likes of Washington’s big spending, reeling in Jayson Werth, or the Phillies under-market signing of Cliff Lee. However, many free agents are still looking for new homes.

Who’s to blame?

Today’s free agent market is summarized by the old euphemism, “Dream big, or go home.” Players who had great seasons wait the market out until the last possible moment, sometimes landing that big deal from a desperate team, a la Rafael Soriano signing with the New York Yankees, but more often than not, those players are forced to take deals they aren’t so happy with.

Is it a result of greed? Is there simply no market for a player, or are they valuing themselves much more greatly than what the rest of the league considers a fair price? The following free agents remain without homes, but we wonder why. Though there has been considerable interest in their services, they’ve yet to latch on with a new team. Have the following players actually priced themselves out of the market?

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Risk, Rewards, Predictions: Examining Cliff Lee and The Leftover Free Agents


It has been a busy off-season thus far that has seen almost all of the coveted free agents sign with different teams.

We have seen Jayson Werth sign a massive contract with the Nationals, Carl Crawford signed a bigger contract with the Red Sox, and the Sox also acquired Adrian Gonzalez.

There are numerous free agents left on the market and only half of them are really good players.  Meaning that the asking price for certain players like Derrek Lee and Adam LaRoche will go up because they are the best left at their position.

So, now is the perfect time to analyze the risks, rewards, and my predictions for all the free agents that are left like Beltre and Lee.

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2010 World Series Begins a New Era in Major League Baseball

The World Series begins tonight and it is going to be quite an adventure. The National League Champion San Francisco Giants will host the American League Champion Texas Rangers at 8 PM Eastern on FOX. Both teams won their respective divisions. It was the Rangers first division title and the Giants seventh.

The Rangers have won 2 career postseason series and have never won a World Series.

The Giants enter this series with their second NL pennant and third division title this decade.  In 2002, they lost to the Angles 4-3 in a terrible game six collapse, after being up 5-0. The original “G-Men” have been to the World Series three times, in 1962, 1989 and 2002, since coming to the Golden State.

Personally, I believe the past demise for these two young and talented teams has been inexperience which is no longer an issue.

The Rangers have four active players that have experienced October baseball. Catcher Bengie Molina beat the Giants in ’02 for a World Series title. Staff ace Cliff Lee has World Series experience, dominating the Yankees in ’09. DH/OF Vladimir Guerrero and OF Jeff Francoeur also have prior playoff experience.

The Giants also have four active players that have witnessed playoff fever. Starting with infielder Edgar Renteria, who in 1997, hit the game winning RBI to give the Florida Marlins their first World Series title over the Cleveland Indians. Then there is infielder Juan Uribe, who also has a ring with the Chicago White Sox, as well as outfielders Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand.

These experienced players helped their teams advance with positive energy and focus through the season. Their past successes helped lead their newer, younger teammates to glory.


Here are the key players to watch in this World Series:

Texas Rangers

Cliff Lee:

This guy is a monster in his short post season career. He is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA. He has three complete games, an average of eight innings per start, and a 10/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. If he leads the Rangers to their first World Series, he will be the greatest post season pitcher EVER.

Vladimir Guerrero:

Texas Manager Ron Washington has said that Vlad will play the field on occasion during games in San Francisco. Furthermore, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy, will most likely look to  intentionally walk All-Star Josh Hamilton.  This will leave Vlad and Cruz to do the dirty work. Having him DH most of the season clearly has helped the Rangers — 1st in RBI’s 115, 3rd in BA .300, 2nd in HR 29, 3rd in hits 178 — as he was among the league leaders in multiple offensive categories. Not to mention his arm could still shock us a few times this series. Mark my words.

Elvis Andrus:

This kid is legit at the leadoff spot and shows great promise in the field. He led the rangers in steals (32), was third in runs (88), fourth in hits (156) and first in BB (64). He will need to be successful on base and in the field for the Rangers to be successful this series. 

Neftali Feliz:

The young stud (22 years old) surprised many of us this season, as he was handed the job as closer within the first two weeks of the season. He went on to have a monster rookie year with 40 saves, 71 strikeouts and 18 walks. This kid will have to keep his cool to help the Rangers finish games this series.


San Francisco Giants

Tim Lincecum:

In his first postseason, “Timmy the Freak” is 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA. He is currently averaging seven innings a game this postseason and will need to continue to give their bullpen rest in order to win this series.

Buster Posey:

The first round pick has worked out well so far at catcher in the second half of the season. He was first on the team in BA (.305), third in RBI’s (67), and struck out only 55 times, second best out of the primary starters. Also, he had an OPS of .862, which is unheard of for a rookie. This kid may shock the world with the calm, cool and collected approach he brings to the plate.

Aubrey Huff:

The veteran led the team in RBI’s (86), hits (165), runs (100), home runs (26), BB (83), plate appearances (668), OPS (.891) and was third in batting average (.290). He also was second in fielding percentage for position players at .997, behind only catcher Bengie Molina, who had .998. He clearly carries this team offensively and has struggled a little this postseason. Huff needs to step his game up offensively for the Giants.


Unlike the Rangers bullpen, which has three pitchers with at least 60 innings pitched, the Giants have only have two. Closer Brian Wilson (74.2) and reliever Sergio Romo (62). Both starting pitchers, Jonathan Sanchez (averaged 5 IP per game) and Madison Bumgarner (averaged 3.1 IP per game), have struggled this postseason going late into games. Most would say experience wins, but I think the Giants pen has been successful this post season due to the low amount of innings split this season. Their bullpen helped beat the Phillies in six games throwing 19.1 innings, 22 strike outs, 15 hits, eight walks and only six runs. This bullpen will be key for the Giants to win games.


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The World Series Of Politics

It is quite ironic that two of the biggest topics in the news this week are the World Series and the upcoming election, which will determine our 106th winner of the Fall Classic and our 112th United States Congress.

There isn’t a whole lot that links the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers, who are making their first appearance in the World Series.

The two teams have played just 22 times with the Giants winning 15, including 11 in a row in San Franciscodating back to the days of Candlestick Park. The Giants have also won seven in a row overall, even though they have not faced each other this season.

The Giants did trade catcher Benjie Molina in midseason to the Rangers to make room for rising star Buster Posey.  

So, it will be a World Series in which two clubs have about as much in common as the areas they represent, which makes this World Series one that could divide the national fan base between the two teams on political lines.

            The Giants represent San Francisco, perhaps the most liberal major city in the nation. It is home to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein. It is an area that Democrats have a firm grip on.

The Rangers represent Texas, one of the more conservative states in the union. Sen. John McCain defeated President Barack Obama by a 56 to 44 percent margin two years ago and Texas has gone Republican in every presidential election since 1980.

The Rangers were also once owned by President George W. Bush and their current president, baseball strikeout king Nolan Ryan, is a staunch Republican who has appeared in ads supporting the National Rifle Association.

One kind of gets the feeling that if the Giants win, the Obama administration would open their doors right away for San Francisco to make their visit to the White House. And if the Rangers win, one might wonder if the team would rather meet with President Bush on his ranch in Texas than go to the White House, as is traditional for the champion of all major sports teams in the country.

While some believe this World Series may not be the most interesting, it looks like a world championship title fight on political grounds.

In a week’s time we’ll know the results of both.


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World Series 2010: Bengie Molina Can Spill the Beans on the Giants’ Rotation

When the Texas Rangers acquired catcher Bengie Molina from the San Francisco Giants on July 1st, no one knew these two teams would be meeting in the World Series.

If they did, maybe Molina wouldn’t be wearing Rangers red, white and blue.

When the World Series begins Wednesday night in San Francisco, the Rangers need to take full advantage of their inside man. Molina played for the Giants for four seasons and knows all about the pitches Texas is going to see from Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain.

How much of a factor this will be remains to be seen, but maybe the Giants’ decision to award Molina with a World Series ring and a full playoff bonus if they win is more of a payoff than a fair shake.

Offensively, Molina didn’t have a great regular season, hitting only .249 with five home runs for the Giants and Rangers. The postseason has been a different story for Molina. In 30 postseason at-bats so far, Molina is batting .333 with two home runs and seven RBI.

If the Rangers give Molina the lion’s share of the starts at catcher in the World Series, it could be because of his numbers, or it could be because of his knowledge of the opposing pitchers. Do you really think Molina isn’t already in his teammates’ ears about what they can expect? “Lincecum likes to do this…” or “When Cain has you in an 0-2 count, look for…”

The Giants are pitching rich. It’s how they got past the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies to capture the National League pennant and reach the World Series, not because of their offense. Yes, the Rangers don’t have a bad rotation themselves, but you have to give the edge to the Giants.

When Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum meet on Wednesday night in what will be one of the best pitching matchups in recent memory, Bengie Molina should be behind the plate for the Rangers.

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Texas Rangers: Bengie Molina’s World Series Dream

This season we will have one of the most unpredictable World Series ever. The Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants.

No matter what could happen the only prediction that can be made at this moment is that Bengie Molina no matter what will get a World Series championship ring.

Molina started the season as the Giants catcher until July 1 when he was traded to Texas for reliever Chris Ray and minor league pitcher Michael Main.

However, the 36-year-old veteran really wants to win it as a Ranger, most of all because, very possibly, this will be his last major league season.

Bengie, the oldest of the Molina major league catchers, said during the Divisional Series against the Tampa Bay Rays this could be his last season. He repeated a similar comment last week to the Spanish language media during the Championship Series against the New York Yankees.

Molina in both occasions had said he will ponder his future after the Fall Classic.

Molina made his debut back in September 21, 1998 with the then-Anaheim Angels.

By the way, he got his only World Series ring up to this moment in his career back in 2002 as the Angels starter against (guess whom) the San Francisco Giants.

Back in 2002 the Angels defeated the Giants in seven games and Molina was one of their “monkey rally stars” hitting .286 with two doubles and two RBI.

Overall Molina in 38 postseason career games is hitting .281 with five doubles, five home runs and 19 RBI.

Molina jokingly said to the Spanish media when he retires he would like to see who of his brothers will have more World Series rings.

Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Molina has two World Series rings as a career backup, one with the 2002 Angels and the other with the 2009 Yankees.

St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina has only one won back in the 2006 World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

Only time will tell us if his World Series dream will come true as a Ranger. If not, anyway he will get his second ring as a Giant.

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Rescue Rangers: 5 Unsung Texas Rangers Heroes in the ALCS

As the Texas Rangers embark upon their inaugural trip to the World Series, many have become familiar with household names like Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Vladimir Guerrero, Michael Young, and who can forget Cliff Lee. It was truly a team effort, and while the aforementioned “stars” of the team played a pivotal role in slaying the mighty Yankees, one needs to look deeper to understand how the Rangers pulled off what many have termed an upset.

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Bronx Bombed: Texas Rangers Take Control of ALCS, Lead Series 3-1

Do I really need to say anything or can I just SMILE!

I’ll touch on a couple things:

Yankee “Home Runs”

In the second inning—easy one first—Berkman’s was not a home run, no doubt about that. Not sure what the umpire was watching there, but whatever. It was a foul, and instant replay clearly showed it. However, two batters before, Robby Cano hit a deep fly ball that Yankee “bleacher creatures” assisted out for the home run. 

Here’s my problemand I can quote the MLB Official Rulebook, if necessarythat play should have been reviewed. Not a doubt in my mind on that. And had the umpires reviewed it and still decided to call it a home run, I would not have been happy, but I would have been “cool with it.” 

My opinion is that the fans obviously interfered with it, but I have watched it too many times. From my vantage point, if you completely remove the fans, the ball might have just been out of Cruz’s reach. However, we will never know, and if that’s what New York needs to keep “home-field advantage,” so be it…because I know for a fact had that been Arlington and a Rangers home run, it would have been reviewed. 


Unsung Hero of the Game

Derek Holland!!! Hello, 3.2 innings pitched in relief of Hunter. He allowed one hit, three Ks, zero runs and only the one inherited runner scored. Very impressive with the young man, even with the TBS announcers telling us he had a “nervous smile,” obviously y’all were wrong…again! 

So happy that Dutch was in the game for all the run-pounding and able to maintain long enough to be the winning pitcher. Before the game there was talk of starting Holland over Hunter in Game 4. If Texas moves on to the World Series, we may very well see that now.


Texas Offense

Apparently the Yankees are slow learners. In Game 3 on Monday they intentionally walked David Murphy to face Bengie Molina—righty vs. righty. Bengie thanked them for that with an RBI single amidst the six-run ninth inning. Last night, they did the same thing in the sixth with two outs. And almost as though on cue coming back from the TBS highlights of his HRs in Games 1, 2 and 3 in the 2005 ALDS against the Yankees, BENGIE goes yard. 

To wrap up another offensive explosion we got to witness DOUBLE BOOMSTICK (not Double Rainbow) from the soon-to-be 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton and then a shot from NC-17, none of which were fan-assisted.

In the end the bullpen pulled their weight in a game that we all knew they would have to be strong in for Texas to have a chance. In his 3.1 innings Hunter allowed three runs, in the remaining 5.2 innings the bullpen threw zero after zero after zero. Though the eighth inning got a little nerve-racking, no runs came across. The Rangers slammed the door for good by adding three runs in the ninth behind home runs from Hamilton and Cruz.


Media Bias

I will say that I am getting quite annoyed with the constant attempts by the TBS announcers to justify the pitching performances by Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett. I have heard quite enough comments about Pettitte and that he was one pitch away (Hamilton two-run home run) from matching Cliff Lee’s performance. 


Look, Pettitte pitched a very good game and more times than not his performance would have been good enough to get a win. But his final line was seven IP, five hits, two runs (both earned), zero walks and five Ks on 110 pitches—again solid numbers. 


Cliff Lee: eight IP, two hits, zero runs, one walk and 13 Ks on 122 pitches. Sorry, that is not one pitch away from matching performances. 

And then in Game 4 the announcers tried to justify that Burnett pitched a good game except for one mistake. Through five innings he did pitch well and kept the Ranger bats at bay, but this is a nine-inning game, not five. And in the sixth he didn’t make the pitch he had to make and Bengie blasted a three-run homer.

New Yorkers and a bulk of the East Coast media may not want to admit it, but face facts: the Rangers are one game away from moving on, and the Rangers have outscored the Yankees 30-11 (30-6 if you take out the eighth inning of Game 1). If it weren’t for that eighth inning, this series would now be over in a four-game sweep. Right now the Rangers are flat-out pummeling the Yanks in every aspect of the game, no ifs, ands or buts about that. 


Enjoy it, love it and now store it in your memory because the party ain’t over and the excitement we feel right now is all for not if the Rangers don’t finish the job. Yes, we are up three games to one, we have C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and then Cliff Lee all going on regular or extra rest. But the Yankees are still the defending champs and until we polish them completely off, I will not allow myself to celebrate even the slightest. Finish the job!

The mindset is right so far, and the players are still saying the right things, so we need to go into today’s game expecting to close it out. We need to act like the series is tied. And we need to continue to play like this Yankees team can come back. Because if the eighth inning of Game 1 taught us anything, it’s that if you give this Yanks team the opportunity, they will come back.

I’ll leave you now, not too far away from Game 5, with the quotes that have been constantly on my mind throughout this entire postseason run:

“It’s amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares about who gets credit.”Blanton Collier

“When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality.”Joe Paterno

“Even when I went to the playground, I never picked the best players.  I picked the guys with less talent, but who were willing to work hard, who had the desire to be great.”Earvin “Magic” Johnson

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New York Yankees: Pin This Loss on Joe Girardi, Not A.J. Burnett

Surprisingly, a lot of Yankees fans last night had hope. There seemed to be some hope that despite his struggles all season long, A.J. Burnett was going to give his team a winning effort and help his team even up the series with the Texas Rangers.

That hope seemed to be a reality, until manager Joe Girardi messed with it.

The key moment was in the top of the sixth inning. The Yankees had a 3-2 lead with two outs and a runner on second base. Instead of letting Burnett take his chances against David Murphy, Girardi had his righty intentionally walk the batter to get to Bengie Molina.

Now, sure, Murphy had hit a home run off Burnett earlier this season. So what?! Murphy is a platoon outfielder. Molina is a starting catcher that also has some pop in his bat. Molina has his share of dramatic home runs against the Yankees in his career. So, why walk Murphy with two outs? It does not make sense.

Continue full article at Double G Sports.

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