20 Years at The Ballpark

20 years ago today, the first regular season game was played at The Ballpark in Arlington. The Brewers (still in the American League at the time) beat the Rangers 4-3. The Rangers’ bid for a comeback died when Juan Gonzalez grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. Good ol’ David Hulse got the first hit in the pristine park, but Brewer Dave Nilsson hit the first home run. A lady who was posing for a picture fell from the Home Run Porch and broke two vertebrae, two ribs and six teeth. Not the best opening day, but a fitting one. Just like the team’s history since that day 20 years ago, there have been things to remember, but also things better forgotten.

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Strained Hammy Podcast: Episode 51

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In this week’s edition of the Strained Hammy Podcast, we talk about game one of 162 and the eight games the Mavericks have remaining. Then, in the third segment, Travis and Mark debate the merits of Aaron Eckhart’s Two-Face in The Dark Knight versus Tommy Lee Jone’s Two-Face in Batman Forever. Travis is so wrong.

Full Podcast:

Opening Day Segment:

Mavericks Final Stretch Segment:

Strained Hammy Podcast: Episode 49

SH_ Stacked BLACKIn the 49th edition of the Strained Hammy Podcast, we discuss SMU’s perceived snub, the Cowboys moves thus far in the offseason, our predictions for the rest of the Mavs’ season, and talk about our guilty pleasures. Also expertly woven into the show are Travis reading athletes’ tweets, and an important debate on whether or not pie is superior to cake.

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Sacked: DeMarcus Ware Released


The Dallas Cowboys have released their franchise’s sack leader DeMarcus Ware after he refused to take a pay cut to remain with the team.

This move has been coming since the day after the Cowboys’ loss to Philadelphia when Ware retracted post game statements that he would consider a pay cut to stay in Dallas. Ware, it seemed, had been advised by his agent that the market for him would be strong enough that a deep cut in pay wouldn’t be necessary to maintain his security.  Ware and his agent stuck to their guns despite three days of negotiations with Jerry Jones trying to talk DeMarcus into staying at a reduced rate.

Only the market will show us who properly valued Ware’s services.

I find it hard to knock the decision of Dallas’ front office, as a 32 year old player coming off the least productive season of his career surely doesn’t merit over 12 percent of your cap, but I can understand the feelings of some fans wondering why Jerry Jones would choose to take a stand with Ware.

Ware has been arguably the Cowboys’ best player in all but one of his nine seasons with the team, while amassing 117 career sacks including 7 seasons of double-digit sacks. He is a 7 time pro bowler and 4 time All-Pro selection. Ware is also a team leader and an all-around good guy.

DeMarcus simply was world class in his time with Dallas and is a sure bet for the Ring of Honor and safe bet for the Hall of Fame. The problem lies in the fact that Ware’s contract was ballooned in the last for seasons and Dallas could not afford to pay a declining player for past services rendered. Especially as he isn’t a good fit in their new 4-3 defensive scheme.

I have very little doubt that DeMarcus will return with another team in a 3-4 scheme and possibly return to form with another couple seasons of double-digit sacks. It is important to remember as Cowboys fans that he would most likely not have been able to achieve those feats in this defense however, and that he will likely be at half the cost for his new team.

The Cowboys made the right call with DeMarcus Ware. Cutting DeMarcus saves Dallas 7.4 million against this years cap and rids the Cowboys of 3 more years of a bloated salary. No matter how great – and Ware was truly great – NFL teams can’t over pay over-the-hill players. One does wonder where this cap conscious philosophy was last off-season when they extended their quarterback though.

In the end, all we can do is tip our hats and wave goodbye as one of our greatest Cowboys finds a new home.

Strained Hammy Podcast Episode 48

On this weeks show we discuss the Mavs big weekend, go In The Crease with Mitchell Droz, do some local quick hits and talk about the acquisition of Speak Easy Studios. Download the whole podcast or look below to download any one segment of the show. We have moved to Sound Cloud so you can either stream the show by hitting play, or download by clicking the icon on the top right of the embedded media player.

Episode 48 in full


Strained Hammy Podcast: Episode 47

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The Strained Hammy Podcast: Now in HD! At least that’s what it sounds like, now that we have great equipment. Does that new equipment make our sports talk more interesting? You be the judge of that! But yes, it does.

In this week’s edition, we ask what’s happened to the Mavs, talk about Ian Kinsler’s incendiary comments, and discuss Mike Modano’s retirement, and which franchises understand the “right” way to handle retirements.

Also, listen for a quick cameo by a DFW sports figure in between segments – we hope he wasn’t listening last week…

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Editorial: Kinsler’s Comments


“Daniels is a sleazeball.”

“I hope they go 0-162.”

Thousands of words have been written about the few above, but The Ticket’s Sean Bass might have said it best with seven words:

That’s who I’ve always suspected Ian Kinsler to be since he became the Rangers’ everyday second baseman. I’ve always thought he was a fierce, fiery competitor with a permanent chip on his shoulder that could never be fixed. Because of that chip, I was sure he would hold a grudge against the GM that sent him to Detroit in exchange for Prince Fielder. However, I never expected his feelings to be made public through anything other than back-channel chatter – Kinsler never seemed too fond of the media, besides a few local beat reporters.

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