To like Angel Stadium has become increasingly difficult for media over the years.
Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno took away arguably the best press box in baseball a few years and put one in right field. The beleaguered Angels PR staff has turned an extra radio booth into a box for BBWAA members, but it’s a very makeshift operation.
But it’s hard to not like the rest of the place. It’s old, like 51 years old, but the playing conditions are almost always immaculate. The people working at the stadium are overly friendly. The fake rocks in center field somehow work.
They’re not nearly as good as the Angels’ center field, and not nearly as bad as the Rangers’ situation at closer.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 6-5 loss Tuesday night.
1. The clock was ticking on Sam Dyson’s future as closer last week, though he bought himself some time Sunday with a scoreless ninth inning to close out an 8-1 victory over Oakland.
Now, the clock has all but run out after he surrendered a three-run ninth-inning lead Tuesday before the Rangers lost in the 10th inning.
Dyson has allowed 11 runs in three innings this season. He didn’t take the loss Tuesday — Jeremy Jeffress did — but he is the reason the Rangers lost.
It would be shocking if his job isn’t lost, but removing him from the ninth inning might not solve the Rangers’ bullpen issues.
Matt Bush, unavailable after throwing 29 pitches Sunday, has had a rock first week, and Jeffress has been even less reliable. The Rangers’ best choice might be Tony Barnette, though he also allowed a run Tuesday in the eighth inning.
He has experience closing games in Japan. Jeffress was Milwaukee’s closer last season before being shipped out at the trade deadline. Bush is short on experience but is oozing upside.
Some on the Twitter were calling for Keone Kela’s return. He is serving as the closer at Triple A Round Rock while serving his sentence for bad behavior. He tossed a perfect inning Monday but struggled in his first two appearances.
Removing Dyson might be only a short-term solution. The long-term solution looks to be Dyson, who has been an electric reliever since being acquired at the 2015 trade deadline.
Maybe he’s not that good, but he’s not this bad.
Something, though, needs to happen quick in the ninth inning.
2. That wasn’t your everyday outing of seven innings and one run by Cole Hamels, but no one was lodging any serious complaints afterward.
What made it so unusual was how often he missed the strike zone. He threw 100 pitches, and 49 of them were balls. He walked four and hit one.
Asked what went wrong, he said, “You mean me throwing with my eyes closed.”
What went right was the Rangers defense making his life a bit easier. Jonathan Lucroy threw out Yunel Escobar trying to steal third base in the first inning, and 6-4-3 double plays to erased leadoff walks in the fifth and sixth.
Hamels helped himself, too, in a way. The term “wildly effective” comes to mind, and Hamels admitted that because the batters had no idea where the ball was going, maybe they couldn’t lock in on one pitch.
Whatever works, I guess.
While it looks like Hamels didn’t make things easy on himself, his average pitches per inning was efficient enough to allow him to become the first Rangers starter to finish seven innings this season.
It was unusual — even he admitted that — but it was effective. Wildly so.
The answer was foreboding.
“I’ve been better,” Beltre said.
Within a minute Beltre had explained that he had a new strain in his right calf, that he wouldn’t be coming off the 10-day disabled list Tuesday and that he wasn’t sure when he would be ready to play again.
He would wait until the MRI results came back, but he definitely gave off the vibe that this wasn’t going to be just a few days.
That, indeed, is the case.
Beltre is out indefinitely with a Grade 1 strain high in the calf than the one that put him on the DL. The Rangers said that they will take a conservative approach to the rehab, which means that early- to mid-May seems like a good target for Beltre to play for the first time in 2017.
His 3,000th hit now looks like it will come in July, maybe around the time of the Ivan Rodriguez induction ceremony to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Ugh.
The Rangers just want to see him get his first hit this season. Until he does next month, Joey Gallo will remain the third baseman, and manager Jeff Banister said that Gallo will play every day unless he needs a breather.
If the Rangers wanted to know what they have in Gallo, they could learn it the first month of the season. He won’t be a finished product, but he could be well on his way to making the majors a permanent stop.
Much was made Sunday of Gallo after his five-RBI game, and much was made during spring training about the strides he has taken in him approach to the game. There’s no need for another blow-by-blow, but it’s worth noting that the Rangers are so pleased that they aren’t giving a second thought to letting Jurickson Profar get at-bats at third base.
That might happen if Gallo becomes a liability. The Rangers, though, seem to think that isn’t going to happen.