Post By Mad Dad: A 2012 Guide to Professional Texas Baseball

More exciting than baseball.

Crib Keeper’s Note: With today being the start of the 2012 Baseball Season, I thought I’d grant Mad Dad’s wish to write a sports post. Luckily, he’s made even professional sports interesting. Enjoy!

Your Pal,

The Crib Keeper

You're up to bat, Mad Dad!

Post By Mad Dad: A 2012 Guide to Professional Texas Baseball

I’m here to bring a little well-rounded culture to this blog outside of Disney characters taking dumps and the perpetual love affair of Justin Timberlake.

Even looks good playing baseball.

Here is a quick reference guide to professional baseball in the great state of Texas, written under the assumption that you know absolutely nothing.

Texas Rangers

The Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas

Why Are They Interesting That Has Nothing To Do With Baseball

Recently, the Rangers announced they were introducing a new item of fare at the Ballpark: A two-foot-long, $26 giant hot dog. It’s the size of a baseball bat. It comes with chili, onions, nacho cheese and they’d probably throw in a utility infielder, if you asked.

For the Size Queens.

Why Are They Interesting That Has Something To Do With Baseball

They are the two-time defending American League champs. They signed the sexiest half Japanese, half-Iranian pitcher ever. The Rangers are also coming off the biggest heartbreak possible in professional sports: One out away from a world championship.

Houston Astros

Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

Why Are They Interesting That Has Nothing To Do With Baseball

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Houston organization. To commemorate, they’re donning their throwback duds on Friday nights including the exemplary yellow-orange look from late-1970s and the Colt .45 threads, with gun (!). So deliciously politically incorrect.

Memories.

Why Are They Interesting That Has Something To Do With Baseball

The ‘Stros are terrible. So, let’s go with Jose Altuve. He’s a 21-year-old Venezuelan, who made his Major-League debut last season. He’s listed at 5-7 and 170 pounds. He’s probably more 5-5 and 155 pounds (soaking wet). Never considered a highly rated prospect, Altuve, nonetheless, continued to overachieve hitting 42 extra-base hits with a .389 average last season in High A Lancaster and Double A Corpus Christi. Everyone should love Altuve.

Round Rock Express

The Dell Diamond, Round Rock, Texas

Why Are They Interesting That Has Nothing To Do With Baseball

The Express love bits. Dell Diamond played host to Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie when they had “The Simple Life” going for them. It also was a setting for the film The Rookie starring the exquisite Dennis Quaid.

More importantly, the Express announced a few years back that they signed touted Billy Ray “Rojo” Johnson, an East Texan that had grown up in Venezuela. Well, it was genius.

Will Ferrell doesn't Have a Mustache.

Why Are They Interesting That Has Something To Do With Baseball

The Express are the Triple A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, which has one of the best farm systems in the game. Take in a game and you are bound to see some highly touted prospects like Tanner Scheppers, Neil Ramirez, Martin Perez and Cuban hotshot Leonys Martin.

Frisco RoughRiders

Dr Pepper Ballpark, Frisco, Texas

Why Are They Interesting That Has Nothing To Do With Baseball

The food options are pretty good: A barbecue buffet and a dessert bar. Fans can also enter into the Smashburger SMASH INNING. The RoughRiders also feature mascots, Deuce and Daisy. They are bears. Get it? Teddy Roosevelt was a RoughRider during the Spanish-American War … Teddy … bear?

Why Are They Interesting That Has Something To Do With Baseball

The Double A affiliate in professional minor league baseball is typically a pretty good place to find premium talent as the ascend the ladder and just before they break into the Majors. Tons of fine prospects will start or wind up in Frisco including Miguel De Los Santos, Johan Yan, Engel Beltre and, if we’re lucky, Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar.

Corpus Christi Hooks

Whataburger Field, Corpus Christi, Texas

Why Are They Interesting That Has Nothing To Do With Baseball

They play at Whataburger Field !!!

Whataburger Forever.

They are also owned by a group headed by Nolan Ryan, a baseball legend, who once beat the poop out of Robin Ventura. Plus, their mascot is an ornery-looking fishing hook.

Why Are They Interesting That Has Something To Do With Baseball

The Hooks are an affiliate of the Astros, who are terrible. Last season, they dumped some of their proven veterans to other teams for a massive bounty of young prospects. Several should start or end up in Corpus Christi including League City-native Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and Jonathan Villar.

San Antonio Missions

Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium, San Antonio, Texas

Why Are They Interesting That Has Nothing To Do With Baseball

The Missions are actually one of the (if not the) oldest pro baseball franchise in Texas. It was a charter member of the Texas League in 1888. The history is rich and you feel it when you catch nine innings at Wolff Stadium, the oldest stadium in the Texas League. Granted, it’s just 17 years old, but it remains run-down enough that you get the feeling that it’s 100.

Furthermore, where would we be without Henry the Puffy Taco. Every seventh inning, he races kids around the bases. He’s won once (by accident), and the mob of children wind up tackling Henry on the field. Good times.

Crib Keepers Clip: Here’s Footage of Henry running the bases and ending with a dance off against Ballapeno. The song? ICE ICE BABY!

Why Are They Interesting That Has Something To Do With Baseball

The Missions are the Double A affiliate of the San Diego Padres and regularly play the Hooks and Rough Riders. They have good talent and it showed when the Missions won 94 games in 2011, the most in the minors. The Missions could return top prospects Casey Kelly, Joe Wieland, Rob Erlin and Jedd Gyorko.

And there you have it, now you can use your newly acquired Texas Baseball Knowledge to impress absolutely no one, and annoy co-workers. You’re Welcome.

-Mad Dad


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