There are times when you’re reading online and your jaw just drops. You know, like when you read the latest scandal involving some no-talent celebrity and wonder why they’re famous, when a politician admits he slept with the wrong person but doesn’t know what is is, or when a president commutes his buddy’s sentence because two years in jail is too much, even though that president left a hundred people on death row when he was governor of Texas. But tonight I saw the topper of them all, and I had to look around and make sure the world wasn’t ending. For tonight an umpire admitted he made a mistake.
Home plate umpire Brian Knight called an Oriole out at the plate, and later said “”I’ve seen the replay and I see that I missed the call”. Did it cost the Orioles the game? Possibly, but not necessarily. After all, after they later tied the game against Gagne, the Rangers still went on to win. It’s possible that momentum could have given them something more, but it’s also possible that the Rangers could have dug down and stayed in the lead. If the theory about every decision creating a new universe with all the possibilities playing out is true, then any ballgame gives life to hundreds of new universes. Ultimately, in the universe we’re in, things ended up going the Rangers’ way today. And an umpire added another reason to support instant replay in baseball. I’ve talked about it before, I believe in it, and the umpires should be able to admit when they are wrong, and should be able to check and make sure they were right if they need to.
Tex talked to the Baltimore media before today’s game, and said “I don’t think about [playing for Baltimore] too much because I’m a Texas Ranger. In a year and a half, we’ll have some fun conversations.” Basically how his family is there, and he’s an Orioles fan, blah blah blah. I read this as the death knell to any possibility the Rangers will re-sign him. If he becomes a free agent, I’m almost certain he will sign with the Orioles. The choice therefore is to immediately try and get a contract extension if we can, or trade him as soon as possible to get the most return for him. Do the Orioles have any decent pitching, and would they trade for him now, knowing they’ll get him for free (or for draft picks, which is virtually free) next year? If they’re smart, they wait for him, but of course we know they’re not smart, and a trade for Tex would probably help their public relations, given how their front office has been melting down. Of course, there are other teams that would want him too, once he can prove he is healthy again.
That’s been an issue for a while now, how any Ranger who gets talked about for trading ends up hurting. Tex, Gagne, Lofton’s knee, Aki’s arm, etc etc. JD mentioned it on the radio today, and there was an article on ESPN about it (not just for the Rangers) yesterday. JD wouldn’t go into specifics, but he did say there are times when certain players are held out of games because they are about to be traded, and they don’t want to risk injury blowing the deal. Speaking of JD, he spoke to the Jamey Newberg group for an hour today, it’ll be interesting to read Jamey’s report tomorrow. Once again I decided not to go, but probably should have. My question to JD would have been something along the lines of “John Hart screwed up by trading Travis Hafner for nothing. Is Chris Young your version of that screwup?” Or maybe “Whither Tex?” Or even “Where’s the pitching?”
Tomorrow is McCarthy against Erik Bedard. Bedard is one of those players who was talked about in trade rumours for a while, but since he’s now pitching very well, he’s probably secured his spot in Baltimore for a while. I wouldn’t mind him coming back in any Tex trade though, so while you’re watching tomorrow night, try picturing him in a Rangers uniform and see what you think. Try this for a stat: 36 walks and 134 strikeouts, in 112 innings. That’s pretty darn good. Brandon’s had his ups and downs this year, and he’s standing at 28 walks, 32 strikeouts in 54 innings. No fair comparing, huh?