Texas Rangers

What had Rangers pitcher Jesse Chavez offering his glasses to the plate ump Friday night?

Chavez: ‘It’s been going on way too long’

Texas Rangers right-hander Jesse Chavez was not happy Friday night with the strike zone of umpire Rob Drake and was nearly ejected.
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Texas Rangers right-hander Jesse Chavez was not happy Friday night with the strike zone of umpire Rob Drake and was nearly ejected.

Jesse Chavez has been around MLB for more than a decade and his reputation as a terrific teammate and sharp pitching mind preceded him on his way to the Texas Rangers last season and again this season.

He knows his stuff, and he knows his stuff.

And that’s why he was steaming Friday night, especially in the second inning of the Rangers’ 9-8 victory over the Houston Astros.

Chavez was long gone by the time the Rangers won on a ninth-inning walk-off single by Danny Santana, but it took all his will to not get ejected as he disagreed with the strike zone of umpire Rob Drake.

Lip readers might have blushed in the second after Yuli Gurriel connected for a two-run homer. Chavez was miffed from a walk to the previous batter, Yordan Alvarez.

Ask which pitch Drake missed, Chavez couldn’t pick just one.

“Both sinkers in,” Chavez said. “The one down, the one up. I mean, what do you want? Up or down? And you give a four-seam in twice? One at the beginning, one at the end? I mean, where are we hung up here? One’s coming back, one’s got movement. The other ones are straight. Something’s got to be said. It’s been going on way too long.

“I felt one was close, and if I feel it’s close, with the control and the command that I have on both sides of the plate, I feel like I can warrant a question. And then if you do it a couple times, I mean, then we’re gonna have a problem a little bit.”

Drake didn’t help matters when he came to the mound after the Gurriel homer during a mound visit between Chavez and catcher Tim Federowicz, who was trying to cool off Chavez.

“I mean, when you’ve got things you say to the catcher, when he comes out and calms me down, you can’t say that and then think that’s OK for you to think you’re going to dictate the game,” Chavez said. “It’s either us or their offense that’s going to dictate the game. So you just see and call the pitches that you do or you don’t, but you’ve got to be on them in situations like that.”

When the inning was over, Chavez walked off the mound, took off his glasses and extend them toward Drake, who might have had his back to Chavez.

“I thought he needed them,” Chavez said. “I don’t think it was his prescription, though. He needed to be a little bit better.”

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After 11 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.
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