ARLINGTON -- Rangers first baseman Justin Smoak received a day off Saturday in favor of Joaquin Arias.Smoak is hitless in a career-high 19 at-bats and didn't have a ball leave the infield Friday night in a 5-3 loss to the White Sox. "He just needed it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We've got two lefties coming up here and we've had a chance to use Joaquin in some pinch-hit situations here lately." In the past 10 games, Smoak has hit .111 (4-for-36) with two RBIs to drop his average 20 points down to .208. With the Rangers facing left-hander John Danks on Saturday, Washington felt it was the opportune time to sit Smoak, who's hitting just .143 against left-handers this season. "I think Danks is an attacker," Washington said. "I just thought this was a good time for me to give Smoakie a break. We'll have him back in there tomorrow." For the season, he's hitting .208 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs. Arias, meanwhile, carries a .270 average with three RBIs into Saturday's game.
Hamilton doesn't get shorted on record blast
ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton's June 27 home run against the Astros is now the longest homer hit in the history of Rangers Ballpark.Originally estimated at a distance of 468 feet, the Rangers contacted University of Texas at Arlington professor Andrew Brandt to determine the correct distance. Brandt, a particle physics professor, determined that the actual distance was 490 feet, making it the longest homer ever hit, ahead of Jose Canseco's 1994 blast of 480 feet. "This is cool, man. I'm glad the Rangers did this," Hamilton said. "I'm excited to hold the longest home run in the park now." Brandt combined various data with a measurement of the time of flight of the homer (about five seconds) with the wind and weather to determine the actual trajectory. He determined that the full flight of the ball all the way to the ground level is how he determined the more accurate distance. "A lot of the other distances of home runs they consider where you hit it to where it reaches the ground," Brandt said. "When you add on that extra distance from the upper deck down to the ground, that gives you an extra 25 or so feet. That's putting you in record kind of territory." But Hamilton insisted it wasn't the farthest homer he'd ever hit. "There was one ball that I know for a fact what it was. In the Minor Leagues, it ended up at 549 feet," he said. "That's just because there was a mud canal behind the field and we found a ball stuck out there. We went out and measured it. There might have been a little error, though, but that was probably the farthest." As the video board displayed the top three home runs in the history of the ballpark, Hamilton coincidentally came in third place with a 460 foot home run. Naturally, he thought Brandt should look into it. "You might need to check some other ones," Hamilton said, laughing. "That 460 one looked a little better don't you think? Maybe make it 475."
Washington pushes for Rangers All-Stars
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said he'll be surprised if a few of his players aren't selected to the 2010 All-Star Game held in Anaheim on July 13.Most notably is third baseman Michael Young, who was third among American League third baseman behind Evan Longoria and Alex Rodriguez. Young has a .314 batting average this season with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs and recently became the Rangers' all-time hits leader.
With his two-run triple Friday night against the White Sox, Vladimir Guerrero took the Major League lead with 70 RBIs. ... Despite giving up two runs in the seventh -- both of which were credited to starter Colby Lewis -- Rangers reliever Alexi Ogando has begun his career with 10 consecutive scoreless innings. ... The Rangers debuted their Stars & Stripes caps Friday night. The cap features a red bill with the Texas logo in red, white and blue colors. ... Michael Young has hit safely in 10 straight games, the second time this year he's accomplished the feat.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.