Notes: Snow makes appearance
New England-like weather arrives in Lone Star State
ARLINGTON -- A rare sight was seen as the Rangers went through pregame stretching three hours before Saturday's game with the Boston Red Sox.Snow. No, not in the amounts that have hit Cleveland the past two days and kept the Mariners and Indians off the field. These were just a few flakes, but still a rare sight for a baseball game in Texas. The temperature hovered at 41 degrees as the Rangers wore red ski caps for batting practice. The Rangers have seen it worse on the road, but not here. "I've never gone to batting practice in a beanie," shortstop Michael Young said. "It's cold. But you just go play baseball. It's not something you deal with. When you go up to bat or play defense, those things leave your mind. You just go play." The good thing is there wasn't much wind on the field before the game. "It's all right as long as it's not windy," third baseman Hank Blalock said. "That's when it's bad. You can't hide from the wind." Brad Wilkerson said the worst he saw was at Shea Stadium in New York in April. "We were playing in the snow," he said. "It was freezing ... in the '20's. I've got a baseball card of me in a ski mask and all you can see are my eyes. This is all right. It feels good throwing the ball. If you don't get jammed or hit one off the end of the bat, you're all right." Game time temperature was 38 degrees, the coldest for the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The previous coldest was 51 degrees on April 15, 2003 against Oakland.
Bad snow day: Manager Ron Washington has reason to hate snow. He was hitting .344 after 31 games at Triple-A Albuquerque in 1978, when he blew out a ligament in his left knee running in the snow."It was in Salt Lake City," Washington said. "I was just running from home to first base. We shouldn't have even been on the field." Washington tried to rehab the knee and that didn't work. They finally decided to operate on it, but he had to wait three months before Dodgers physician Frank Jobe could fit in him into his schedule. "That messed up 1 1/2 years of my career," Washington said. "It was '81 before I was back to normal." Kinsler sits: A case of stomach flu put Ian Kinsler on the bench and Jerry Hairston got his first start at second base on Saturday. The Rangers expect Kinsler to return to the lineup for Sunday's game. "It's a passing thing," Washington said. Washington also said that Chris Stewart will likely get his first start on Monday against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Stewart, going into Saturday's game, is the only Ranger who hasn't appeared in a game yet. Washington is pairing Stewart with Brandon McCarthy. Both were acquired from the White Sox in separate trades in the offseason. "I'm ready to get him in a game," Washington said. "He handled McCarthy well in Spring Training and I don't want him to sit too long. McCarthy was the best opportunity." He said it: "The first couple of weeks, everybody is excited and they're trying to get two hits in one-at-bats; be a hero. Come see me in six months. I'll get it together. There's no panic." -- Rangers outfielder Sammy Sosa Friday's Minor Stars: The top three starts from Friday's Minor League games:
Gold: Eric Hurley, pitching in relief because of Eric Gagne, threw five scoreless innings in Frisco's 8-0 victory over Arkansas, allowing four hits and no walks and striking out three.Silver: Frisco first baseman Emerson Frostad was 2-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBIs. Bronze: Frank Francisco struck out all three batters he faced in Oklahoma's game with Memphis. Briefly: The Phillies have signed Rick Bauer to a Minor League contract. ... Gagne pitched an inning for Double-A Frisco on Saturday. It's the first time he has pitched in back-to-back games since May 26-27, when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... The six hits between the Rangers and the Red Sox in the home opener were the fewest by two teams at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington since Kenny Rogers threw his perfect game against the Angels on July 28, 1994. ... It was also the first game at the Ballpark in which neither team had more than three hits. Up next: Right-hander Vicente Padilla pitches against Curt Schilling and the Boston Red Sox at 7:05 p.m. CT at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Sunday. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.