I read online earlier today that Tex was due back from the DL any time now. I didn’t realize he was going to be playing tonight though. But why was he wearing a Brad Wilkerson mask?
Okay, that’s not fair, Wilkerson had a career night and should get all credit that is due to him. After all, he’s only been here a year and a half, and in just one night he’s doubled his home run and RBI totals with the Rangers. No, stop, I’m just being mean now. Maybe it’s because he’s never really fit in here, having big shoes to fill after being the centerpiece of the Soriano trade. He just seems like he’s either always injured or hitting badly. And looking him up, last year he was an 83 OPS+, and this year he’s 98, yep, he’s climbed all the way up to be almost an average major leaguer. That’s the kind of guy you like to trade for. Now, I never loved Soriano, especially in the dog days when he was, well, a dog, but I think I’d rather have the draft picks we would have gotten than to have what we did get. The other two players in the deal have done nothing since then either, so it was clearly a win for the Nationals. If we’d never acquired Wilkerson, maybe there’d be an extra outfield slot available for Jason Botts to prove himself, instead of winning a AAA MVP for about the twentieth year in a row.
So why was manager-in-waiting Art Howe ejected? I didn’t quite get that. Was he arguing that it was a foul ball and the runner should have gone back to third, instead of a wild pitch with the runner scoring? How do you get ejected for that? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, by and large the umpires are decent but some of them are just prima donnas who should be dumped out of the league for the stupid things they do.
I get a little annoyed with Gameday now and then, and today was one of the nows. If you’re not aware, there’s basically two versions of it, regular and enhanced. Regular is what most ballparks have, just standard info about the game, who’s batting, who’s pitching, what the plays are. Enhanced, in about eight ballparks including Arlington, gives a whole lot of extra statistical data, the stuff I’ve used to analyze the Rangers rotation, the release point, the speed of the pitch, where it goes in the strike zone, etc. The problem is that it is inconsistent. Today, for example, the Rangers game started out Enhanced, and all of a sudden, in the bottom of the third, the Enhanced stuff died and it switched back to regular. I’m assuming the computer or cameras watching the pitches just died somehow, causing it to stop working. Don’t get me wrong, I love any data they give us, especially since it’s free (at least for the moment, who knows what their future plans are). But when Marlon Byrd struck out and looked incredulous, and I thought it was at least six inches outside and a foot high, I jumped up to look at Enhanced Gameday and it had already stopped giving that info. That would have been a good pitch to actually see what the computer thought, but no, it wasn’t to be. Hopefully it will be working again tomorrow.
Today was apparently stupid quote day for the Rangers:
Ron Washington: “He may not do a lot of things that you like but he does enough that you like. He’s a baseball player.” Really? I thought he was a tennis player. And what does that first sentence mean? That he sucks, but only a little?
Michael Young: “I could care less about what anybody says about him, we’re very confident about him.” A little back-handed compliment, acknowledging that everyone else thinks he sucks.
TR Sullivan: “Little slack is cut for playing last year with a bad shoulder that eventually required surgery.” You’re right. We don’t cut someone slack for showing up injured, unless they’re Rusty Greer who’s proven himself as a gamer to the fans, not some bum coming in and sitting on his butt all year.
Gagne on Dallas: “The city took me by surprise, I was expecting it to be more like Oklahoma City.” Way to make friends with the locals!
Wash on Gagne trade rumours: “I know there will be people knocking on our doors, but they haven’t put an ‘X’ by our name yet.” No, it’s not by your name, it’s all over your face, every night. Have you seen Ron Washington manage? I swear, every time I see him on tv he’s wearing the “here we go again” face as the Rangers pitchers begin their meltdowns or someone boots another ball.
MLB.com reporter: “The Rangers promote players not just based on performance, but also on their ability to make adjustments.” Well they certainly don’t promote based on performance. For example, this final quote:
“Triple-A Oklahoma outfielder Jason Botts stretched his hitting streak to 15 games, after going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two doubles in the RedHawks loss to Omaha, 3-2. Botts leads the Pacific Coast League with 32 doubles this season.”
Enjoy your Fourth of July. We’re going to grill hamburgers and watch the ballgame, if it ever stops raining.