Contest.

Texas is 21 games over .500, the most the club has been all season.

The division lead is 6.5 games, matching the biggest of the year.

The Angels are 8.0 back (nine in the loss column), most since April.  As Mike Hindman pointed out, they’re now closer to last place in the AL West than first.

Or as Peter Gammons puts it: “On July 31, Ranger lead was down to 3.  [Josh] Hamilton now 15 RBI in 11 games, and it’s Angels forced to look in mirror.”

After losing Friday’s opener against Detroit, the Rangers won the next two games to take the series.  They’ve lost only one of their last 10 home series (tying another), and going back to July 4, 2011, they’re 23-5-3 in series at Rangers Ballpark.

The team with the best record in the American League now travels to New York for four games, starting tonight, against the team with the league’s second-best mark.

In the meantime, three quick things:

I.  CONTEST

I’ve been tasked with giving away five DVD sets of A&E’s Essential Games of the Texas Rangers, a collection compiled by Major League Baseball Productions that includes complete broadcasts of the following four games:

  • Nolan Ryan’s seventh no-hitter (May 1, 1991 against Toronto)
  • 1996 ALDS Game One, Rangers 6, Yankees 2 (the franchise’s first-ever playoff game)
  • 2010 ALCS Game Six, Rangers 6, Yankees 1 (sending Texas to its first World Series)
  • 2011 ALCS Game Six, Rangers 15, Tigers 5 (clinching a second straight Rangers pennant)

The following five people will each receive one of the five DVD sets:

  • The person in possession of the oldest ticket from a Rangers game (email me a photo of the ticket with the date of the game visible – and in that photo [not a separate one] alongside the ticket please also show a newspaper, your cell phone, or a computer screen, etc., showing today’s date to prove it’s a current photo)
  • The person in possession of the second oldest ticket from a Rangers game
  • The person who comes closest to predicting Ryan Dempster’s pitching line tonight (include innings pitched, hits allowed, runs allowed, earned runs allowed, walks, strikeouts, and home runs allowed – and please add Dempster’s pitch count in case we need to break a tie)
  • The person who predicts the Rangers player who hits the club’s next home run (please give the distance to break any tie)
  • The person who comes up with the best tweet (140 characters or less – but email it to me instead of tweeting it) that uses at least one common Newberg Report hashtag

You can enter every category if you want, but we’ll have five separate winners.

Entries are due by the first pitch this evening (Monday, 6:05 p.m. Central).  Email them to me at GJSneaker@sbcglobal.net.  In the event that no Ranger homers tonight, that one category will carry over until the next time a Rangers hitter goes deep.

These DVD’s look really cool.  Good luck.

II.  TICKETS

Cindy and Jeff Kuster, founders of the Hello Win Column Fund, which supports local families impacted by cancer, have asked me to pass along this message:  “We are extremely grateful for all of your support over the years and we would like to help support the Newberg Report with a ticket offer.

They are selling four-ticket packages (two tickets in one case) to the following games, each with one season parking pass included:

Monday, August 20 vs. Baltimore: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

Tuesday, August 21 vs. Baltimore: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

Wednesday, August 22 vs. Baltimore: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

Thursday, August 23 vs. Minnesota: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

Sunday, August 26 vs. Minnesota: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

Sunday, August 26 vs. Minnesota: Section 124, Row 38, Seats 5-8

Sunday, August 26 vs. Minnesota: Section 116, Row 35, Seats 14-17

Monday, August 27 vs. Tampa Bay: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

Tuesday, August 28 vs. Tampa Bay: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

Wednesday, August 29 vs. Tampa Bay: Section 15, Row 32, Seats 6-9

Sunday, September 16 vs. Seattle: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

Sunday, September 16 vs. Seattle: Section 117, Row 35, Seats 13-16

Sunday, September 16 vs. Seattle: Section 123, Row 39, Seats 15-16

Monday, September 24 vs. Oakland: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

Tuesday, September 25 vs. Oakland: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

Wednesday, September 26 vs. Oakland: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

Thursday, September 27 vs. Oakland: Section 125, Row 34, Seats 2-5

The Kusters are selling the tickets for $60 each – which is a 10 percent discount off the gate price – so each package of four tickets comes to $240 (the pair of Section 123 seats on September 16 is $120), with parking thrown in at no added cost.  All the seats are under the shade of the second deck and out of the direct sun.

You can pay by PayPal, sending payment to the Kuster’s at the JLKuster@aol.com account (or you can email them at jeffkuster@aol.com if you need to contact them about making different pay arrangements).

First come, first served, so jump on these if you’re interested.

III.  THANK YOU

Thanks very much to those of you who have responded with “honor system” contributions to the Newberg Report the past few days.  If you’re still interested in participating, you can find details here.

But again, it’s completely voluntary.  Please don’t feel compelled to partake.

 

I’ll announce the winners of the DVD’s late Monday night.

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