THE NEWBERG REPORT — OCTOBER 23, 2007

I’m a bit under the weather today (whatever that expression is supposed to mean), but there are a few things I want to share with you.

First, the Rangers have created a special ticket-buying opportunity for the Newberg Report community. If you call Troy King at 817-436-5927 or email him at tking@texasrangers.com to order a “10-pack” for the 2008 season (vouchers good for any games next season other than Opening Day) and reference the Newberg Report, the Rangers will donate 5 percent of your purchase to the Hematology/Oncology Outpatient Clinic at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, which is the facility that C.J. Wilson has chosen to benefit this year through his Guitar Hero/Halo tournaments and other efforts.

If you order by November 30, 2007, you will get a special order form allowing you to redeem your vouchers before individual tickets go on sale to the public.

There are several different 10-pack packages available (ranging from $79 to $349). If you place a Corner Box or Club Box order, you will also get two free upper-level tickets to a Dallas Stars game (up to an $80 value).

Don Wakamatsu interviewed for the A’s bench coach vacancy on Friday, but there’s been no word of an offer.

An Evan Grant idea that I can get behind: If Rudy Jaramillo exercises his free agency at the end of the month and takes the hitting coach job with the Mets, and if the Rangers respond by moving Gary Pettis into the hitting coach spot here, why not give Rusty Greer the role that Pettis had in 2007, as first base coach and outfield instructor? Grant notes that Greer played for Ron Washington in the Arizona Fall League (in the league’s inaugural 1992 season, I think), and he’d undoubtedly have a tremendous impact in the clubhouse.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Yankees contacted Trey Hillman about their managerial job but he told New York (for whom he managed in the minor leagues for 12 seasons before the Rangers hired him to be their director of player development after the 2001 season) that he already had a deal in principle to become Kansas City’s manager.

I hate it that “The Office” is now a one-hour show. I’ve heard they might go back to 30 minutes soon, but I may not stick around to find out.

Budding politician Torii Hunter now says the Braves and Nationals are high on his list.

Here’s my interview last week with Joe Hamrahi of Baseball Digest Daily.

When Texas agreed to a one-year, $775,000 contract with righthander Frankie Francisco last week, it left righthanders Akinori Otsuka and Joaquin Benoit, catcher Gerald Laird, infielder Ramon Vazquez, and outfielder Marlon Byrd as the club’s remaining arbitration-eligibles.

The Rangers’ potential free agents are righthander Jamey Wright, outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Sammy Sosa, and utility man Jerry Hairston Jr.

Nobody has worse luck with vacuum cleaners than we do. I’m going to name them, retroactively and going forward: John “Stumpy” Pepys, Eric “Stumpy Joe” Childs, Peter “James” Bond, Mick Shrimpton, Joe “Mama” Besser, Gary Wallis, Jody Linscott, Richard “Ric” Shrimpton, Sammy “Stumpy” Bateman, Mick Fleetwood, and Scott “Skippy” Scuffleton.

German Duran has not only added third base to his repertoire in AFL play, he’s also working out at shortstop and in the outfield. Count on a non-roster invite in February.

Outfielders Jason Botts (.326/.431/.488) and Brandon Boggs (.357/.438/.381) are hitting well in the Mexican Pacific League but with not much power. Outfielder Chad Tracy is hitting .286/.342/.686 for the West Oahu CaneFires, leading the Hawaii Winter Baseball League in slugging and in home runs (four) even though he has a third fewer at-bats than most players in the league. CaneFires first baseman Ian Gac is hitting .300/.407/.540, with three homers.

Outfielder Victor Diaz could end up playing in Japan in 2008.

Rangers professional scout and senior advisor to the general manager Tom Giordano was named baseball’s East Coast Scout of the Year, after being nominated by scouting directors around the league and voted on by all scouts in the game.

I’d feel a lot worse today if not for the Ticket’s Jaron Neihart, who came through yesterday with the name of the song that Chuck Morgan used to play when the Rangers took the field in the first inning and that Mark Elfenbein once used as his Sunday morning show intro. It’s not The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” as many of you suggested when it was driving me crazy a few months ago. It’s the Alan Parsons Project instrumental “Sirius,” which was made famous (though not famous enough for my aging brain to remember) by the Chicago Bulls, who used it as their intro in the Jordan Dynasty years. Here you go.

Boston got lefthander Daniel Haigwood through waivers and outrighted his contract to AAA Pawtucket.

Don’t forget to call Troy King to get in on the 10-pack action for 2008 and help a really good cause.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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