Rangers Roundup: Catch the Blaze while you can

According to the Central Valley Business Times, 2009 will be the last season for Texas’ High-A affiliate in Bakersfield, Calif. With Bakersfield’s Sam Lynn Ballpark having been deemed inadequate, the Blaze will move from Bakersfield to an unannounced North Carolina city starting in 2010, when the club will start play in the Carolina League.

The 67-year-old Sam Lynn Ballpark opened with the creation of the California League, but by today’s standard is too small and in poor condition.

Big honor for Little

Frisco manager Scott Little, in his first season with the RoughRiders, was just named Texas League Manager of the Year. Heading into Thursday, Frisco is 83-52 overall and won its division the first half of the season to clinch a playoff spot.

This is the second year in a row Frisco’s manager has won TLMOY honors. Dave Anderson earned the honor last year after leading the RoughRiders to a club-best 85 victories. Only one other club in Texas League history has earned back-to-back Manager of the Year awards.

Arizona Fall League rosters released

Your Surprise Rafters are: John Bannister, Julio Borbon, Willie Eyre, Beau Jones, Andrew Laughter, Chad Tracy and John Whittleman. The fall schedule opens Oct. 7.

Postseason All-Stars

Elvis Andrus and Max Ramirez were named to the Texas League postseason All-Star team.

Speaking of Ramirez

Since returning from injury, Ramirez is .286 (6-for-21) with two home runs and six home runs in five games at Triple-A Oklahoma.

Smoak update

With nine professional games under his belt, first-round pick Justin Smoak is batting .235 with a double, two home runs, four RBI, and four walks to five strikeouts in 34 at-bats. His on-base percentage sits at .308 and he’s slugging .441. He has a hit in eight of his nine games, but has yet to post a multi-hit game.

—Shawn Shroyer

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