Monday, March 23, 2009

Newy Scruggs Q & A

I had a chance to do an interview with Newy Scruggs with NBC 5 as well as the host of "Newy and Sean" on 105.3 FM in Dallas, TX. We talked about the radio show, Rangers baseball and former Rangers Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez.

SwingingFriar: First of all, I know you have to have a lot of followers and fans since you and Sean Salisbury teamed up on 105.3 The Fan. Talk about working with Sean and how much fun do you guys have on the air?

Newy Scruggs: We (Salisbury and Scruggs) haven't been on the air for 60 days yet, so we have a long way to go. Our station hit the air in late December, so we are making inroads all the way around. Working with Sean is easy because we are long time friends. He's a great guy and we are loving the show.

SwingingFriar: Getting to the Rangers, the talk, over the past couple of weeks, has been about Andruw Jones. Earlier in the week, it sounded like he wasn't even going to make the 40-man roster, but now it sounds as if he's willing to take a lesser role to stay with the club. Do you have an update on those discussions and what happens with Frank Catalanatto?

Newy Scruggs: I spoke to Ron Washington and he told me, "Rudy's got him fixed". Wash wants Jones on the team and feels like he can help provide protection for Josh Hamilton. The Rangers did not re-sign Milton Bradley and for some reason it hasn't been talked about much by the media or Rangers fans.

Bradley made the All Star team and made pitchers pay. The Rangers have high hopes for Nelson Cruz, but to steal a favorite saying from Wash, "he ain't done it up here". Cruz has to show he can produce a full season at the big league level. We have not seen that yet. I am concerned because Cruz is the type of player who puts too much pressure on himself.

SwingingFriar: I know the Angels are the odds on favorite to win the AL West, what do the Rangers need to do to stay in the race or do you think they aren't quite at that point to be able to challenge the Angels or even the A's?

Newy Scruggs: Pitching. Pitching. Pitching. Did I say pitching? The Rangers starters burned up the bullpen last year. They need Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla to win 15 games apiece. Both guys are pitching for money. Padilla will be a free agent and Millwood has to go 180 innings to get a 5th year at over 10 million.

SwingingFriar: Listening to your show every day, when you talk about the Rangers it seems the fans have the same opinion. When it comes to pitching, this team just doesn't have it. Do you agree with that assessment?

Newy Scruggs: Until you see it happen fans should not buy in. The starters have been dreadful this decade. Only two pitchers have made the All Star team since 2000, Kenny Rogers and Coco Cordero. They have traded more guys who've made the All Star team: Edinson Volquez, Chris Young, Justin Duchscherer and Cordero.

SwingingFriar: I got a chance to watch Elvis Andrus when he was the shortstop with the Frisco RoughRiders. I know the Rangers see a lot in him, but do you think he's ready to make the jump to the big leagues?

Newy Scruggs: If the GM lets the manager do his thing. Washington brought up Eric Chavez, Bobby Crosby and Miguel Tejada in Oakland. They let those guys make mistakes. Too many times the Rangers have given up on young talents too early. Andrus will make some mistakes, but the organization has to be willing to let him work through it.

SwingingFriar: Last question for you, Padre fans continue to talk about the trade that brought Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez over from the Rangers a few years ago. Is that a trade that will go down as one of the worst ever made by the Rangers?

Newy Scruggs: George W. Bush traded away Sammy Sosa and Wilson Alvarez in a deal to the Chicago White Sox. I'd say that was the worst deal in Rangers history. The Young/Gonzalez deal is one of many bad trades that started off the Jon Daniels era.

Big thanks to Newy Scruggs for taking his time for the interview. If you're in the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex, you can catch him and former NFL quarterback Sean Salisbury on 105.3 FM from 12-3pm Monday through Friday. If you're not, log on to and you can listen online.

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