Notes: Oates fondly remembered

Notes: Oates fondly remembered

ARLINGTON -- Johnny Oates already has a place in the hearts of those who knew him and knew of him.

Now, his name and number have a permanent home high on Ameriquest Field's left-field wall, next to Nolan Ryan and Jackie Robinson.

On Saturday, the Rangers officially retired Oates' No. 26 in a pregame ceremony with his family and members of the 1996 American League West championship team. Ryan also participated in the ceremony.

"I think Johnny would say, 'What's my name doing up there with yours, Nolan?'," said Oates' wife, Gloria. "I have a feeling Johnny knows from heaven that this is happening, and he is sharing in the joy."

The Rangers have honored Oates' memory all season by wearing a black patch with "26" on their uniforms. There is a large red circular sign that reads "Oates" above "26" on the outfield wall near the left-field corner. The home manager's office is also dedicated to him.

"It's such an emotional and fitting tribute for a man who meant so much to a lot of people," Rangers pitcher Jeff Zimmerman said. "I'm glad I had my sunglasses on. I didn't want people to see what was going on. Johnny touched us all."

Oates managed the Rangers from 1995 to 2001 and guided the club to three American League West division championships. He ranks second among Rangers managers with 983 games and 506 victories. He won 797 games during 11 seasons as a big league manager in Texas and Baltimore.

He died in December after a long bout with cancer. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2001.

"It's an amazingly awesome; I don't have the words to describe it," Mrs. Oates said. "To see his name and number and know it will be there forever is very heartwarming."

Sele signed: The Rangers signed veteran pitcher Aaron Sele to a Minor League contract on Saturday. He will report to Triple-A Oklahoma and make his first start sometime next week.

"He is a veteran guy who wants to show he can still contribute," assistant general manager Jon Daniels said. "He will get a couple of starts in Oklahoma. He wants to do well. We hope he does well, and he puts himself in a position to become an option for us."

Sele went 6-12 with a 5.66 ERA in 21 games for Seattle this season before the Mariners released him on Monday. For his career, he is 137-104 with a 4.59 ERA in 342 games, 337 of them starts, for Boston, Texas, Seattle and the Angels.

Sele went 37-20 with a 4.50 ERA during his tenure with the Rangers in 1998 and 1999.

"[Sele's] a guy who pitched well in this ballpark. He pitched well for the Rangers," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "We'll see where he is at right now. I know he had other options."

Hidalgo, McDougall: The Rangers placed Richard Hidalgo on the disabled list with a left wrist injury on Saturday and called up Marshall McDougal from Triple-A Oklahoma.

Hidalgo injured the wrist sliding in a game against the Devil Rays on Wednesday night. He played on Thursday, but came out of the game, in part because he could not close his glove hand. He had an MRI on Saturday.

"There is a lot of pain," Hidalgo said.

Hidalgo is hitting .221 with 16 home runs and 43 RBIs in 88 games. During the last 18 games, he is hitting .270 with three home runs and eight RBIs.

"I knew when he told [trainer Jamie Reed] about it, there was a problem," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "This guy is tough as nails."

McDougall has two hits in his five Major League at-bats for the Rangers this season. He had been hitting. .397 for the RedHawks since July.

Around the horn: The Rangers released outfielder Chad Allen from Triple-A Oklahoma on Saturday. "It was a disciplinary action for an event that transpired," Daniels said. "We decided it would be better for the organization and better for Chad if we ended the relationship." ... Pitcher John Hudgins has been placed on the disabled list at Triple-A Oklahoma with right forearm soreness. ... The Rangers are considering promoting Juan Dominguez from Oklahoma in the near future. The plan was to keep the right-hander from making his next scheduled start on Saturday night for the RedHawks in the event he is needed on the big league level. ... Minor League pitcher Wilfredo Rodriguez continues to have health issues and might not be an option for the Rangers this season. ... Mark Teixeira's 30th home run on Saturday made him the fifth batter in club history with multiple 30-home run seasons. Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez and Dean Palmer also accomplished the feat.

Coming up: Sunday's starter Chris Young (8-7, 4.94 ERA) has not won a game since before the All-Star break and has struggled with the command of his breaking ball and fastball. The tall Texan is having trouble putting away hitters when he gets two strikes.

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.