Texas Rangers

Rangers spring break: For first time this spring, players, staff get a day off

Rangers manager Jeff Banister plans to go hiking with his daughter Alexandra during the team’s first day off of the spring on Wednesday.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister plans to go hiking with his daughter Alexandra during the team’s first day off of the spring on Wednesday. Star-Telegram

Most of them have been going for over a month nonstop without a true day off. That comes to a screeching halt Wednesday when the Texas Rangers shut it all down for a day.

Manager Jeff Banister plans to go hike one of the mountains surrounding the Phoenix area with his daughter Alexandra. His players, it seems, all plan on sleeping in and chilling out.

More than 10 Rangers players were asked what they planned to do Wednesday and every one of them had the same thing planned: extra sleep.

“You’ve got to take advantage of those,” said pitcher Yovani Gallardo, who plans to sleep in.

The only player questioned who didn’t respond immediately with a rest-related plan was shortstop Hanser Alberto. He’s going shopping, he said, to find some new shoes to wear on the team’s trip to San Antonio this weekend.

Simulation game

One of the benefits of playing a couple spring training games in San Antonio is the change in environment.

Banister hopes the Rangers can simulate a regular-season big-league game at the Alamodome when they play the Dodgers on Friday and Saturday in the H-E-B Big League Weekend.

“We’re going to try,” said Banister, who is not making the trip. Bench coach Steve Buechele will manage the club. “I don’t know if you can completely simulate that but it is a different environment.”

It’s not just playing a big stadium that will be good for some of the younger players, but the travel, as well.

“It’s getting on the plane, it’s packing a suitcase, it’s going to a hotel, it’s being in a different city. Different set of fans,” he said. “For some young guys to be able to experience that, to check that off their list, get that heart rate up and that heart pounding.”

Key stat

9 Games out of 15 the Rangers have out-hit their opponents this spring.

Quotable

“Use that burning desire to be a major leaguer to drive him every day. Delay is not denial. We don’t feel that at all. Right now where we’re at it’s an opportunity for him to get more work in.” — Banister on his message to outfielder Michael Choice, who was assigned to Triple A Round Rock on Tuesday morning.

Stefan Stevenson

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Twitter: @StevensonFWST

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