tepid participation

I mostly write about minor league basball and I take very little of it seriously. Booorring!

Month: November, 2012

Marvin Miller has passed away

Marvin Miller has passed away. I’m not one to normally link to a Wikipedia page, but in this instance, it seems rather unflawed.


I, like many Texans, have an uneasy relationship with the idea of unions. One of my favorite uncles is a longtime (37 years) member of a General Motors employee union and now through my marriage, I have a close family member with a 33 year membership in an American Airlines employee union. Both of my family members, now in their early 60s are looking at less-than-they-were-promised retirements due to a wide range of factors that includes the general immovability of their respective unions. But I’m not against the intrinsic idea of unions. Quite in favor of the premise, actually. Sometimes the scales are tipped so far in one direction, a few rich bullies are reaping all the benefits despite little of their own efforts. When the realities are wildly disproportionate, something should be done. That was the case when Marvin Miller helped the initial push of the Major League Baseball Players Association.  It really wasn’t fair, and hadn’t been for a long time. Marvin helped end that.

I was first introduced to Marvin’s impact while watching Nolan Ryan’s Hall of Fame induction speech. I’ve clipped his Miller related quotes below, as well as that of another Ranger favorite of mine, Toby Harrah.

Marvin Miller had a tremendous impact on the game and he should be in the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, now it would be a posthumous honor. The silver lining of a death of import is the renewed attention it places on the work of a lifetime. I can only hope that someone is explaining Mr. Miller’s impact to Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli and Scott Feldman and R.A. Dickey (actually, I’m confident he already knows of Mr. Miller).  If it’s all a pendulum of power swinging back and forth, it was Mr. Miller who started it in motion in the first place.

The game I love is very strong right now, in part because of the efforts of Marvin Miller, and that, deserves some recognition.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy baseball. Love Ya!

“Also, I would like to thank somebody that definitely has had an impact on myself and my family and many ballplayers sitting in this audience today and that was Marvin Miller. I came into the game when I broke into the major leagues, and the minimum salary was $7,000, and I had to go home in the winter time and get a job. And the first year that I was in the big leagues, the job I had was at a service station pumping gas from 3:00 to 9:00pm and closing the service station so Ruth and I could live through the winter until baseball season started. She worked in a bookstore at the college. And because of Marvin’s efforts and the people in baseball, we brought that level up to where the players weren’t put in that situation. Marvin, I appreciate the job that you have done and the impact that it’s had on my family. Thank you. ”

   — Nolan Ryan, Hall of Fame induction speech, 1999

“I played ball for the Senators, Rangers, Indians, and Yankees in the ’70’s and ’80’s. Marvin Miller was a hero in our household during that time. The players today may not even know who he is but they have much to be grateful for to this fine man. It took me ten years to make what many players make in a couple days now. He will definitely have my vote and my wife’s as well.”

— Toby Harrah
’69-’86: Senators, Rangers, Indians, Yankees


About the 40-man additions and the “trade”

I wrote a little piece for Lone Star Ball about the Rangers adding Leury Garcia and Joe Ortiz to the 40-man roster and the strange trade that sent Barret Loux to the Cubs in exchange for his 2012 (former-former) teammate Jake Brigham.


Jiminy Cricket’s on the 40-man, y’all!
Love Ya!

A Holiday Conversation

I wrote a sappy piece for Lone Star Ball. Maybe the sappiest piece that’s ever run over there. It’s about finding common ground through some 19 year old kid…or something. Anyway, I hope that everyone has a nice Thanksgiving.  If you take me up on the idea to gleam onto a prospect for 2013, feel free to ask as many questions as you want about his progress or outlook. I’ll always tell you everything I know or have seen, unless a scout or someone has asked me not to, in which case I will redirect by just talking about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for 20 minutes. Regardless of whom you pick or with whom you are tracking said prospect, I hope this gives you and someone you love something to talk about throughout 2013.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Your Friend,




Past, Present, Future: Engel Beltre

I wrote a bunch of words, with a clunky ending, about Engel Beltre for Lone Star Ball. It’s hard for me to be objective about Engel because I’ve seen him do the things that would have earmarked him as a top-10 prospect in almost any system, and I’ve also seen him do the things that have kept him from being in the top-10 prospects in Texas’ system. His approach isn’t great. Not just in the box, but often, to the game as a whole. He’s just one of those guys. Oh, well. I guess every team has some, and the road to big league stardom (or even regular, everyday appearances) is littered with kids whose talent didn’t match up to their “want”.

Enjoy baseball! Love Ya!


Past, Present, Future: Chris McGuiness

Here’s the first of a series I’m planning to roll out on Lone Star Ball.


Enjoy baseball! Love Ya!

Lone Star Ball piece

Last week, I wrote a piece about some Rangers pitching prospects moving through the upper levels: Here you go:


Love Ya!