Evan Grant touches on R.A. Dickey's debut, saying that Showalter was impressed by some of Dickey's knucklers but concerned about his command problems. As I've said before, Dickey needs to spend the season in AAA working on the knuckleball...he shouldn't be in the majors this year...
Tim Cowlishaw has a column on Kevin Millwood, calling him possibly the most important free agent signing of the century for the Rangers. Millwood does acknowledge the issue of the difficulty of pitching in TBIA, although he says:
There's really only one place I have to stay away from, and that's right center when the wind is blowing out. That gives me four more spots in the outfield to pitch to, and I'll take that."
I think Millwood is understating the situation a bit, but then, given that he just signed a five year deal to pitch at TBIA, he's probably got to put as positive a spin as possible on it.
Despite having seven guys vying for the one 5th starter spot right now, the Rangers apparently had scouts watching Bronson Arroyo pitch yesterday.
Murray Chass's baseball column today in the New York Times features the Rangers' pitching in its lead segment, looking at their addition of Millwood, Padilla and Eaton. Quote from Daniels on Eaton:
"He's got the pedigree, the physical ability," Daniels added. "Candidly, it's a bit of a gamble that he will capitalize on that."
Randy Galloway has a column on that same topic, focusing on the efforts Jon Daniels made to upgrade the rotation this offseason. Again on Eaton:
In theory, Daniels upgraded the rotation even though he had to trade Young to do it. And the howls of a Rangers fandom are still being heard on that deal, which involved Eaton.
Plus, Eaton's arrival was not greeted warmly because of some initial comments in San Diego about the Rangers having a ballpark that he'd be attempting to survive for one season, and only one season.
Since then, Eaton has backed off that statement, saying he loves what the organization is doing. But there are two things to remember:
(1) He hasn't yet survived a season in Arlington, where the ballpark has been known to blow the mind of pitchers.
(2) He's still a free agent and free to flee after the '06 season.
Another positive article from Galloway on the 2006 Rangers, though...people for the past couple of years have insisted Galloway writes only bad things about the Rangers because that sells papers, but once again, it seems like getting a quality g.m. in place and having a solid offseason is enough to turn the criticism into praise.
The AP's Stephen Hawkins has a profile on Michael Young. Nothing you haven't read before, but still worth taking a glance at...
And finally, a special note for Ben...a bunch of Rangers attended a Nickelback concert on Friday night. That's Ben's favorite band, so I'm sure he wishes he could have been there...