Nov 012012
 
Josh Hamilton 10

According to Dayn Perry (CBSSportsline), the odds-makers over at Bovada.lv have put out odds on where Josh Hamilton will sign this offseason.


Who will sign Josh Hamilton next?

San Francisco Giants: 3-1
Atlanta Braves: 5-1
Texas Rangers: 5-1
Philadelphia Phillies: 7-1
New York Yankees: 9-1
Chicago Cubs: 9-1
Boston Red Sox: 9-1
Pittsburgh Pirates: 10-1
Toronto Blue Jays: 10-1
Los Angeles Dodgers: 15-1


Let me be the first to say that there are a few teams on this list that I think have no shot or no interest in Hamilton

Phillies – No interest and no shot.  Unless they can find a way to unload some of the veteran contracts that they currently have in place, I just don’t see GM Ruben Amaro adding another large contract to the mix, especially a player north of 30 years old.  Here is a quick look at some of their top salaries for 2013:

  • Roy Halladay – $20M

    <b>Thursday Sound Off:</b> Hambones New Home...<br><b>Prediction:</b> Staying in Texas

    Hamels with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro

  • Cole Hamels – $19.5M
  • Ryan Howard – $20M
  • Cliff Lee – $25M
  • Jon Papelbon – $13M
  • Jimmy Rollins – $11M
  • Chase Utley – $15M
That’s $123.5M for 7 players, most of which are getting a little long in the tooth.  This is NOT a team that is going to give a 4-6 year contract to Josh Hamilton.  In addition, the fan base in Philly is quick to turn on poor performance and lack of effort – can you imagine the treatment Josh would have gotten from the fans down the stretch in 2012 if he had been playing for Philly?

Cubs – No interest.  Theo Epstein is in the process of rebuilding and while the Cubs will soon be at a point where they are ready to supplement a strong base of talent in free agency, they aren’t their yet.  Hamilton’s age and the potential for injury and fatigue due to his past and playing style just don’t fit in Theo’s plan.  Cubs fan’s would love Josh…but it’s not happening.

Pirates – Are you kidding me?  No shot.

Official Prediction

Don’t see any odds on the field (everyone else), but would assume they would be somewhere around 30-1, if not larger.  I’d bet on the field at 30-1 (heck, even 25-1) before I’d consider the Phillies, Cubs or Pirates.

In fact, the team that I think will sign Josh Hamilton is not even mentioned above.

My official prediction as to who will sign Josh Hamilton….as of right now….always subject to change….

The Houston Astros

<b>Thursday Sound Off:</b> Hambones New Home...<br><b>Prediction:</b> Staying in TexasIs this crazy?  Here is my thinking:

  • Money: They have to have money!  They don’t have anyone on their current roster that is deserving of a big contract, so they must have the money to make it happen, even considering they’ll have to overpay.
  • Ownership: Jim Crane is a crazy ass, looking for attention and desperately seeking any opportunity to make a big splash.  So much so, he was considering bringing the Roger Clemens circus to town late in the 2012 season.  Signing Josh Hamilton and being the “mystery team” would be a BIG splash.
  • Location: Josh and his family are clearly comfortable in the DFW area and while it’s still five hours away…it’s as close as he’s gonna get to staying here.
  • AL West: The Astros will be joining the Rangers in the AL West starting in 2013.  Josh is familiar with the lay of the land in the AL West, which benefits the Astros and provides a certain level of comfort for Josh.
  • Houston Fans: Low expectations…if any.  The excitement generated over the signing would follow Josh into the regular season and mask any lack of effort or disinterest – if those issues are still there – which I don’t think they will be.

Nevermind the fact that the Astros are horrible.  I think Josh will value the situation and the contract more than any team’s current level of play or postseason hopes.

Prediction #2 - Josh will play like a man possessed in 2013 and win the AL MVP despite:

  • Houston’s weak lineup which provides him no protection
  • The fact that the Astros will be out of the playoff race by mid-April
This sucks given his poor exit from the Rangers…but you know you agree.

So, what do you think?  Have I sold you on Josh in a Astros uniform in 2013?  Or do you trust the odds provided by Bovada?

Vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments section.

What uniform will Josh be wearing in 2013?
Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Texas (Rangers)
Atlanta Braves
San Francisco Giants
L.A. Dodgers
Houston Astros
Other (leave comments)
View Result
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Jun 292012
 
feldman

Feldman Good Enough as Rangers Bats Stay Hot in 7 6 Win Over OaklandSeriously, how often does a starting pitcher’s ERA begin at 6.00, actually increase by 0.13 over the course of the game, and he earns the win? Probably not too often.

Scott Feldman, much like Roy Oswalt two nights ago, lived dangerously but still escaped with the victory as the Rangers held off the A’s 7-6.

Feldman’s main issue was the long ball—as he surrendered three over his five innings of work. Oswalt basically threw BP against Detroit, coughing up 13 hits over his six innings the night before last.

But hey, both Scooter and the Whiz have now won their last two starts. Hey, for Roy Oswalt this is still spring training. For Feldman, it’s always spring training.

Regardless, it’s good to be on the right side of Texas’ potent offense—especially when you don’t have your best stuff. Just make it through five or six, and let the sticks get your back.

Cliff Lee might be 10-0 right now—rather than winless—had he decided to stay in Arlington. I’m sure he’ll cry himself to sleep on a pillow stuffed with money.

Notes from last night:

• Adrian Beltre remains en fuego. You’re know you’re going well when you go 0-for-3, but still manage to drive in two runs.

• David Murphy continues to tear it up. Murphy went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI last night, and combined with his 4-for-5, 5 RBI night prior, he’s now raised his batting average 20 points. Murphy is not one of the flashiest players on the team, but he has a real knack for turning up his game at the most opportune times.

• Just when the criticism surrounding the Rangers’ leadoff hitter seems to reach a crescendo, Ian Kinsler catches fire. The Rangers’ second baseman is now batting .571 with 6 runs scored over his last three games. Kinsler leads the major leagues in runs scored, and his double last night pushes him into the American League lead, with 25.

• Texas Rangers super-utility man, Michael Young, may have turned the corner on a disappointing start to the season. After going 2-for-4 last night, Young is batting .370 during his current six-game hitting streak.

• Josh Hamilton went 2-for-3 last night with 2 RBI. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Hamilton’s showing last night was his ability to grind-out two walks.

Prior to last night, he’d walked just three times in ten games. Seems he’s seeing the ball better now, and if that’s the case, the Oakland Athletics—as well as the American League as a whole—might be in trouble.

Up Next:

Lefty Matt Harrison (10-3, 3.24) will oppose Oakland’s right-hander A.J. Griffin (0-0, 3.00 ERA). The first pitch scheduled for 7:05 (CT).

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Jun 182012
 
Mike Adams, Texas Rangers

Matt Harrison vs. Jason Marquis, a Rangers/Padres Game 1 PreviewThe Texas Rangers head out to the West Coast after a dominant home stand where they won 5-of-6, highlighted by a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros as their parting gift.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until the Houston Astros are members of the A.L. West next season…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. A win tonight would push the Rangers record to a high-water mark of 14 games above .500. Here’s a quick preview of game one of the Rangers’three-game jaunt of lovely San Diego, home of the N.L. West’s last place Padres.

Tonight, it’s Rangers’ LH Matt Harrison (8-3, 3.54 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) paired up against well-traveled RH Jason Marquis (3-5, 6.60 ERA, 1.86 WHIP).

Tonight’s starting lineups:

San Diego Padres (24-43)

RF Chris Denorfia
CF Cameron Maybin
3B Chase Headley
LF Carlos Quentin (.166, 1 HR vs. Harrison)
1B Jesus Guzman
SS Everth Cabrera
C Nick Hundley
2B Alexi Amarista
P Jason Marquis

Harrison

Harrison was outstanding in his last start, a 1-0 Texas Rangers win where he was dealt a no-decision. Harrison has a 16 1/3 innings scoreless streak going and will look to keep the streak alive in the pitching-friendly confines of Petco Park.

Texas Rangers (40-27)

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
1B Michael Young (.400 BA against Marquis)
3B Adrian Beltre (.444, 4 RBI)
RF Nelson Cruz
LF Davis Murphy
C Mike Napoli
CF Leonys Martin
P Matt Harrison

Marquis

In his last start, Marquis—who started the season with the Minnesota Twins before being granted free agency on May 29th—earned his first win as a member of the San Diego Padres. He went 6 1/3 innings with four walks, four strikeouts while scattering six hits against the Seattle Mariners.

The Texas Rangers are hitting .400 against Jason Marquis. Josh Hamilton has yet to get a hit off of him, but it has been announced that he will not start in tonight’s game.

Prediction time

I look for Harrison to continue his dominance of N.L. West teams, while Marquis gets knocked out early. Leonys Martin will get his first big league hit of 2012, and the Rangers will roll, 7-1.

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Jun 162012
 
For Grimm, the future is anything but.

Grimm Reaps Win in Debut as Boomstick Helps Rangers Bag Silver Boot

For Grimm, the future is anything but.

Rookie right-hander Justin Grimm did something during his major league debut that one particular Texas pitcher hasn’t pulled off since 2011.

He earned a win.

Before yet another sellout crowd at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Grimm (1-0, 4.50 ERA) was cool, calm and collected…even after surrendering a first inning solo shot to Houston’s shortstop, Jed Lawrie.

Grimm would be touched up for two more Houston runs in the top of the fifth inning thanks to a Justin Maxwell RBI double and a Jordan Schafer single.

In between the one-run first and two-run fifth, Maxwell struck out five-straight Astros, and finished his day with six innings pitched, seven strikeouts, zero walks and three earned runs.

Not bad for a 22-year-old that had never pitched above Double-A.

And to think that when Grimm threw his final pitch in the sixth inning, he was in line to take the loss, as the Texas Rangers were down 3-0.

The three-run deficit wouldn’t last long.

Moments after Grimm used his 88th and final pitch to record the final out of a 1-2-3 sixth, the Texas Rangers offense suddenly sprang to life.

Better late than never.

After being blanked in their first five frames the Rangers finally solved the Lucas Harrell puzzle. Harrell had surrendered just two hits heading into the sixth. Before he could register the sixth inning’s second out, the Rangers had exploded for five hits and just as many runs, highlighted by a one-out, three-run homer by Nelson Cruz.

¡Gracias, Señor Boomstick!

I’m willing to bet Justin Grimm enjoyed the backing of the most potent offense in Major League Baseball. Here’s hoping the powers that be will grant the kid another big league start in the near future.

Numbers of Note and Notes on Numbers:

33%

• Percentage of the Houston Astros’ total hits that Jordan Schafer recorded from the leadoff spot yesterday. Schafer, Houston’s center fielder, went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base.

Lucas Harrell

• 2 and 0…number of hits and runs Harrell allowed through his first five innings of work.
• 5 and 5…number of hits and runs Harrell allowed in the sixth inning; he recorded just one out before being replaced by Fernando Rodriguez.

The Five-run Inning

• A five-run fifth inning on Friday fueled the Rangers’ to victory in game 1.
• Likewise, it was a five-run outburst—this time in the sixth inning—that was Houston’s downfall yesterday.

June 3rd

• The last time Cruz had hit a home run before yesterday’s go-ahead, three-run shot in the bottom of the sixth inning.
• Nelson’s big blast was just his second in the month of June.

Silver Boot

• Yesterday’s 8-3 win guaranteed that the Silver Boot is the property of the Texas Rangers forever…this is the last Lone Star Series as the Astros will move into the AL West in 2013.

16

• Run differential between the Rangers and Astros through their first five games. Texas has outscored Houston 29-13.

13

• Number of consecutive at-bats Ian Kinsler had gone without a hit until he singled in the bottom of the sixth inning yesterday.

71.4%

• Justin Grimm’s winning percentage over his minor league career—spanning 38 starts…Grimm’s won 100% of his major league starts.

3rd Straight

• The Texas Rangers secured their third consecutive series win, and will go for their first sweep since late last month tomorrow in the Lone Star Series finale.

Up Next:

Anyone know a good real estate agent? Because the Silver Boot will be looking to buy some land in the DFW Metroplex—it won’t be heading back to Houston.

The Texas Rangers (39-27) will close out their three-game series with the Houston Astros (27-38) today, with the first pitch scheduled for 2:05 PM (CT).

RHP Colby Lewis (5-5, 3.13 ERA) will look for his second-straight win against the Houston Astro’s rookie LHP Dallas Keuchel (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who will be making his big league debut.

Make sure to check back here for the Baseball Do series finale preview!

Grimm Reaps Win in Debut as Boomstick Helps Rangers Bag Silver Boot

Happy Father's Day Dad! You've still got a full head of thick...lettuce. You're the best! Love, Tim (Howell)

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Jun 072012
 
NS_22Sheppers3.jpg
Derek Holland to the 15 Day DL, Ogando to Rotation, Scheppers called up

Go get 'em, kid.

As if being shutout by Bartolo Colon 2-0—the team’s first shutout of the year—isn’t bad enough, the Texas Rangers have placed their second starting pitcher of the year on the disabled list.

Derek Holland, whose fastball lost considerable velocity in the fifth and sixth innings of his last start on Tuesday, has been placed on the 15-day DL with what is being described as left shoulder fatigue.

The “diagnosis” of a shoulder issue was unexpected, as it was initially thought that a stomach virus might be what would cause a possible DL stint. Holland has lost 15 pounds over the last two weeks due to the malady.

Derek Holland’s injury creates a broad-range ripple effect throughout the organization.

Alexi Ogando is back in the rotation

I’m a big Alexi Ogando fan, especially as a starter. I was disappointed when he wasn’t given another chance in the rotation out of spring training.

However, he is a damn fine reliever, and I’m all for the Rangers strengthening what aspects of their game they deem necessary—in that case, it was the bullpen that needed some help.

Ogando’s move to the rotation creates a few questions:

• Is he properly “stretched-out” enough? Can he go more than four-innings a start?

•How will his departure impact the bullpen?

Tanner Scheppers is called up from Triple-A

Scheppers was the Texas Rangers’ 44th overall draft pick out of Fresno State in 2009. He has long been on the team’s 40-man roster, but this will be his first time up in “The Show.”

• Scheppers has been healthy this year but has had a history of injuries in the past.
• Anytime a rookie is brought up, you never really know what you’re going to get in terms of success…they don’t always work out as superbly as Robbie Ross.

Koji Uehara’s heightened roll

Right-handed reliever Koji Uehara has been outstanding for the Texas Rangers in 2012. So good has Uehara been that he is no longer my favorite whipping boy for easy laughs.

Hell, it’s not easy to make fun of a 0.54 WHIP. How will Uehara react now that his importance has been increased greatly?

• Can Koji continue to produce at the same level in high-leverage situations?
• Will he be able to work as a “bridge” in Ogando’s absence?
• Can he go multiple innings if the situation dictates?

Scott Feldman remains the team’s number five starter

Feldman has been a hot topic of debate recently. He has yet to earn a win in his spot starts, and has seemingly pitched worse each time he’s run out there.

Most people—especially after his 8-run shellacking on Monday—wanted Feldman’s head on a platter. They wanted him to be left out of the rotation and kicked off the team….if you were one of those fans then the Holland injury is your worst nightmare.

• Feldman will remain the team’s number five starter—and he might even continue in that role when Roy Oswalt makes his debut in a few weeks.

• Believe it or not, Feldman will be missed in the Rangers bullpen. His continued absence could be an additional blow—coupled with Ogando’s loss—that weakens one of the Rangers’ strengths.

Final Analysis

You never want any of your starters to go down with an injury. One of the keys to the 2011 Texas Rangers was their ability to stay on the field (rotation-wise). This year’s squad—now with just two DL stints—hasn’t by any means been “injury prone” but anytime you lose a starting pitcher, much less two, there are negative ramifications.

Honestly, I feel that this might have occurred at the best possible time for the Texas Rangers. Not only is it early in the season, but many felt that a change might be necessitated by their recent struggles against inferior teams.

Well, here’s that change you’ve been hoping for. Ogando’s back in the rotation, and we finally get to see what the fire-balling right-hander Tanner Scheppers can do.

Relax.

Everything is going to be just fine. Yes, I realize that tomorrow we take off to play the San Francisco Giants in a stadium that we have never won a game in. Hey, all this means is that we’re due.

The Texas Rangers are in first place in the AL West by 4 1/2 games. There’s no need placing your finger anywhere remotely near the panic button as long as we are atop our division.

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Jun 052012
 
Scott Feldman 4
Rangers Offense Bottoms out in Oaktown while Feldman Gets Rocked

Yeah. Scooter was lit-up last night.

The hackneyed premise for the recent movie,The Changeup,centers around two dudes that switch bodies after taking a piss in a magical pond.

It makes you wonder at what point the Mariners and the Rangers whizzed in Hurricane Harbor’s Lazy River.
We may never know. But should the secret surface, I’ll give you a shout main.

It’s definitely no secret as to who crapped the cradle for Texas last night: Scott Feldman.

Here are some of my thoughts—the ones that can be printed—after last night’s 12-1 Oakland A’s ass stomping.

Roy Oswalt’s appeal is at an all-time high

• Just like an ugly chick on dollar beer night, Roy Oswalt is looking better by the minute.

• And yes, Roy Oswalt would be one ugly chick—at least for the first nine beers…

Those Crazy 8s

• The Texas Rangers have surrendered eight runs in one inning for the third time in six days.

• The Seattle Mariners did it last week in consecutive innings. They’re batting .236 as a team

• The Oakland Athletics entered last night’s game batting .204…it jumped up to .213, which is still the worst in all of MLB if not the world.

Closed door meeting

• Seemed to work for the defense…not so much for the offense. How about an open-door testicle-tazing? Might just put a charge into them.

Rangers Offense Bottoms out in Oaktown while Feldman Gets Rocked

Okay. Whose balls are first?

Forgot to pack the bat

• Beltre is 0-for-12 with 8 strikeouts over his last three games.

Scooter’s pooter

• In eerie fashion to Derek Holland a week ago, Feldman retired the first three A’s he faced while striking out 2-of-3…only to get rocked for 8 eight runs in the second inning.

Rangers Offense Bottoms out in Oaktown while Feldman Gets Rocked

This is how Feldman's pitches appeared from the batter's box during his fatal second inning.

Jarrod Parker is good, but they’re still the A’s

• Parker had a no-hitter going through seven innings; had he finished it off there would have been 10,000 in attendance to have witnessed it—but only 5,000 would have admitted to being there.

If it were up to me

• I’d option Scott Feldman to the minor leagues; or place him on the 15-day disabled list.

• Then I’d call up a lefty for the bullpen (Michael Kirkman) and I’d let Robbie Ross pitch in the five-hole until Roy Oswalt is ready.

• I would also hold Feldman contractually obligated to buy Papa John’s pizza for any Rangers’ fan that freely admits to having watched his second inning.

• The pizzas would be hand-delivered to us in bikinis by the Fox Sports Chicks.

• Maybe it would be a better idea for the Fox Sports Chicks to be in the bikinis rather than us…
Rangers Offense Bottoms out in Oaktown while Feldman Gets Rocked
2012 MLB Draft Picks

• The Rangers drafted Lewis Brinson with their 29th pick tonight. Joey Gallo was their next pick at 39th, and Colin Wyles was their final first-round selection, and was taken 53rd overall.

• None of the three are available for tomorrow night’s game. I already asked.

Tonight’s Head Scratcher

• Why go with center fielder Craig Gentry to pitch the eighth rather than Mitch Moreland?

Moreland was a closer at Mississippi State, his fastball sat in the low to mid 90s. Craig Gentry had TJ surgery in college (Arkansas).

Silver Lining in a sea of crap

• The Angels lost 8-6 last night.

• Thus the Rangers’ lead is still 4 1/2 games in the American League West; and being in first place is ALWAYS a good thing—so long as you’re not first in being last, whatever the hell that means.

Up Next:

Derek Holland toes the rubber for the first time since the Mariners provided him with an auxiliary a-hole last Wednesday…make sure to check back here for tomorrow’s BaseballDo pregame preview as well as a Rangers Draft review…

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Jun 022012
 

Out with the Old and in with the Yu: Darvish and C.J. Wilson set to Battle for AL West SupremacyIt is often said that the truly great baseball players have an ability to “slow the game down.” They don’t get too far ahead of themselves, they take things pitch-by-pitch and inning-by-inning.

I feel that the same can be said of great baseball teams.

And for the Texas Rangers (31-21), currently mired in a three-game skid, perhaps this day-by-day philosophy is exactly what they need. Carpe Diem, Texas Rangers.

Even after last night’s gut-wrenching loss to the Los Angeles Angels (27-26), the Rangers are still sitting pretty atop the AL West, 4 1/2 games up.

That being said, tonight’s game can easily be viewed as the most important game of the season thus far. It’s fitting that the Rangers will turn to their team leader in wins, electric young right-hander Yu Darvish.

Tonight’s Matchup:

RH Yu Darvish (7-2, 3.45 ERA, WHIP: 1.46 K/9: 9.7 ) vs. LH C.J. Wilson (6-4, 2.77 ERA, WHIP: 1.11 K/9: 8.2 )

Darvish

Despite a touch of the stomach flu, Darvish pitched well enough to earn his seventh victory of the season in his last start. He held the Blue Jays to three runs on seven hits during his five innings of work. Darvish struck out three and walked three.

Against the Angels, Darvish has a 5.06 ERA despite allowing just a .158 batting average. Much of the damage in his initial meeting with the Angels in Arlington last month was due to the two home runs (Trout and Hunter) he surrendered.

Tonight’s game in Anaheim will be Darvish’s first time to pitch in the “Big A.”

Loves to face: Mark Trumbo (.000, 2 Ks), Maicer Izturis, Albert Pujols, Erik Aybar and Howie Kendrick are a combined 1-for-10 (.100 BA) against Darvish.

He has yet to face Peter Bourjos, Alberto Callaspo, John Hester, or Kendrys Morales.

Hates to face: Mike Trout. Don’t we all? Against Darvish, Trout is batting .500 with 1 HR and 2 RBI.

Torii Hunter has only managed one hit against Darvish, but it was of the long ball variety.

Wilson

C.J.’s most recent start came against the Seattle Mariners. He was able to earn his sixth win of the season despite battling a blister on his throwing hand. He surrendered just two hits over his six innings of work—complemented by five strikeouts. Wilson walked two.

Against the Texas Rangers last month, Wilson had the dubious distinction of starting two consecutive games.

Thanks to inclement weather coupled with an inability to get more than one out, Wilson lasted just 1/3 of an inning and surrendered four runs, all of which were earned. The loss dropped him to 4-3.

The very next night he pitched better, going 5 2/3 innings, striking out four while walking three.

The Texas Rangers are batting .333 against Wilson. He has a 5-5 career mark with a 3.57 ERA while pitching in Anaheim.

Loves to face: Mike Napoli (.211, 5 Ks), Ian Kinsler (.000, 2 Ks).

Hates to face: Adrain Beltre (.391, 1 HR, 4 RBI). Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Craig Gentry, and Brandon Snyder are a combined 6-for-11 (.545) against “Ceej.”

He has never faced David Murphy or Mitch Moreland. Due to their ineffectiveness against left-handers, Wilson will probably not see them tonight either.

Keys to victory for the Rangers:

Although the Angels and Rangers are very different in terms of personnel, they are quite close in regards to talent. Tonight’s game will be largely dictated by the effectiveness of each starter.

Both teams have the ability to shorten the game due to a strong bullpen. The Angels’ newest closer, Frieri, has yet to surrender a hit over 13 innings of work this season.

The Rangers’ Joe Nathan has been nearly invincible since some early-season hiccups.

Of key importance for the Rangers will be for Yu Darvish to establish command by getting ahead in the count. This will be dictated by his fastball command. Also, the defense needs to tighten up. At times over the last few weeks it seems as though the team has lost focus—particularly in the field.

Prediction time:

It almost seems that when Darvish doesn’t have his best stuff he is more effective. Regardless, he needs to establish command early. If he can stay ahead in the count then the rest will take care of itself.

I look for the Rangers to roll tonight, stop their skid, and boost their lead back up to 5 1/2 games over the Angels in the AL West.

Rangers win 6-3.

Go Rangers!

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May 162012
 

Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers—a Showdown for AL West Supremacy

Nelson vs. Yoenis Cespedes: The battle for AL West eyebrow supremacy has commenced!


The Kansas Royals series? Never happened. I’ve erased all memories of that highly forgettable series
Total Recall
-style.

And I needed no help from Kuato. Just the aid of 12-15 ice-cold beers. There’s no way in hell I’d grab that circus freak’s grubby carnie hands anyways…but if Sharon Stone—circa 1990—cares to come along for the ride, that’s cool by me.

So, the aspirin has kicked-in, the hangover meal’s fully munched and all Royals feats have been forgotten. It’s now time to create some new and improved memories, and we have the Oakland Athletics (19-18) with which to start…

Here’s a look at some points of interest as the first-place Rangers play host to the second-place Athletics (yeah, it’s weird.)

The Oakland Athletics are in 2nd place

Yeah, I had to say it twice just to make it seem more real. It’s the truth, the A’s are four games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West as of today. Sure, it’s early, and yeah this two-gamer doesn’t really matter that much, but it sure would be nice to get a quick sweep and push our lead to six.

Conversely, if the A’s stay hot and the Rangers remain tepid, we could be looking at a mere two game lead in the West. And that’s messed up.

Yoenis Cespedes

Remember him from the offseason? Yeah he was that other foreign-born badass free agent not named Yu Darvish.

Cespedes isn’t exactly on a Hamiltonian tear, but he’s not crapping the bed a la Pujols, either. His slash line sits at: .245/.319/.434.

He has managed five home runs, and leads the A’s in RBI with 21. I’m curious to see how the Cuban slugger fares in the offensive friendly confines of the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Yu Darvish

Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers—a Showdown for AL West Supremacy

Jeez, lucky guy scored both of his cards in the same pack!

Anytime Darvish’s name is penciled in to start, the game becomes must-see TV. Through the first 37 games, Darvish has been the Rangers’ most consistent starter.

I look forward to all of Darvish’s starts, but in this one it will be fun to watch him battle Cespedes as well as the entire A’s team. Hard to believe, but it could be Oakland and not the lowly Angels that are knocking on the Texas Rangers’ first place door in the upcoming months.

Josh Reddick

When I see his name two things pop into my mind. The first has little to with baseball, and is simply just an overwhelming temptation to place a hyphen between the two d’s in “Reddick.”

Secondly, I think of a young outfielder that is finally starting to fulfill his power potential. He’s the A’s team leader in home runs, with 9 and is just one click away from Cespedes in the RBI department with 20.

Reddick hasn’t fared well in Arlington over his career, as is indicated by his .118 BA with one double and nothing else of note offensively. Add in the fact that he’s never seen The Yu before, and those numbers might drop further.

Also, if inflicted with a Red-dick, don’t expect any sympathy from me; it’s your own damn fault—you’re supposed to test the hot tub’s temp with your finger dude! C’mon!

Tom Milone, Bartolo Colon, and a possible attack from the “B-Mac”

Tom Milone and Bartolo Colon rhyme, and journalistically that makes me happy. Tom Milone is off to a strong start this season. He’s 5-2 with a 3.92 ERA overall. At home he’s been near unhittable, going 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA while surrendering no home runs.

That would be irksome if not for the fact that Arlington is most certainly not his home.

On the road, Milone has pitched to the tune of a 2-2 record, with a 7.84 ERA while allowing five dingers…if he leaves his pitches up in the zone tonight, his home run total could double.

Bartolo Colon pitched in last night’s series ender against the Angels, so we probably won’t see the paunchy pitcher with the solid numbers.

We are in line to see Oakland’s “ace” Brand McCarthy for tomorrow afternoon’s series finale.

Remember him? Yeah, he cost us John Danks in a trade with the White Sox back in 2006. We lost our first “d” in the whole D-V-D acronym on that one-sided deal. Truth be told, I was pleased when the news came down. B-mac projected as a front-of-the-rotation starter that was more major league-ready than Danks at the time.

He did become our number one starter; too bad it was while on the disabled list. Hey the DL needs pitching too…Anyways, his fractured potential is becoming a reality as he has pitched well since Oakland acquired him via free agency in 2010.

So far this year, he’s 3-3 with a team-leading 2.56 ERA. At the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, he’s surrendered more home runs (17) than anywhere else over his career.

So kick back, relax, and tell Kuato to stop salivating on your sofa, it’s time to enjoy a potential Oakland Athletics beat-down!

Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers—a Showdown for AL West Supremacy

Grab your hand? Hell no!!!

Go Rangers!

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