Players across the major leagues broke out their pink equipment Sunday to commemorate Mother’s Day and the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s campaign to stop breast cancer.
Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays players wore a variety of pink items, including arm sleeves, wrist bands, cleats, catching equipment and bats.
“It’s going to look good on Mother’s Day,” catcher Carlos Corporan said. “It’s a special day, and it requires special gear.”
The day took on new meaning for Adam Rosales and Shawn Tolleson, who are first-time fathers and grateful for what their wives do while they travel the country playing baseball.
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“It’s been pretty special, ever since our daughter was born, to see my wife, Callie, become a mother,” Rosales said. “It’s just neat to see how she takes care of Juliet and the time and patience that she puts in, especially when I’m gone.”
The bottom line: The wives of players, coaches, support staff and media make enormous sacrifices and take on a far heavier workload during a baseball season each year.
“There’s a ton of sacrifice that goes into it,” Rosales said. “There’s a lot they have to take on themselves.”
Kela still going
Right-hander Keone Kela exited the series opener Thursday at Tropciana Field tied for the major-league lead in appearances at 15.
That’s a heavy workload for a veteran, let alone a rookie who debuted this season.
Not only that, Kela has been used in high-leverage, high-stress situations and rates as one of the few Rangers relievers who has been most reliable.
But instead of feeling fatigue, Kela is trending the other way. He overcame his typical dead-arm phase about two or three weeks ago and has seen his already impressive velocity tick up and his pitches become sharper.
“I’ve been given the opportunity to go out there and do my best,” he said. “I look at it as every time the phone rings to be prepared and keep my guard up and go out there and perform to the best of my ability.”
Kela made his team-high 16th appearance Sunday, which temporarily moved him back into a tie for the league’s top spot.
Manager Jeff Banister said that Kela is being asked to develop at the big-league level and is still developing.
Kela said that he is learning each day, but the biggest thing he has been taught is the need for a short memory.
“Forget the day before and show up and be ready to be better the next day,” said Kela. “Evaluate yourself with a grain of salt. Give yourself a pat on the back for the things that are good rather than focusing on the things that are the bad. Go about it as if it is your last day to play the game.”
Kela was the winning pitcher in the Rangers’ 2-1 victory on Sunday. He pitched one inning, gave up no hits, walked one and struck out two. He is 3-1, leads the team in wins and has a 1.80 ERA.
History shows that it takes the need for cervical fusion surgery to get Prince Fielder out of the lineup, so general soreness from a hard slide Tuesday at Houston isn’t going to keep him down.
But it did keep him at designated hitter for the 16th straight game. Banister has plans to play Fielder at first base, where he will need to play during road interleague series, but Fielder also knows that Mitch Moreland is a better defender.
“You take the ego out of it,” Fielder said. “I’m not afraid of that.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760