After Club Signs Nathan, Moves Neffy to Rotation, Rangers Offer Wilson Arbitration

Categories: Texas Rangers
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My bad. Been meaning to get back in here and post something, anything, of note, and there's been plenty in recent days. And as Josh's Broken Groin notes, it's been way too long. So then, to today's Breaking, or Broken, Rangers News: The club has offered salary arbitration for next season to C.J. Wilson, already considered long-gone after the signing of closer Joe Nathan earlier this week, which heralds Neftali Feliz's move into the starting rotation. John Blake's full note follows, but keep in mind what this means:
With today's offer, the Rangers would be rewarded with the compensation of two additional draft picks in the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft if Wilson were to decline the offer and sign with another major league club.
Who didn't get arbitration? Well, for that you'll have to jump.More »

From Penn State to the Dallas Stars, the Good, Bad and Godawful News in This Day in Sports

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Courtesy G+
Don't think for a second this small attempt to resurrect a sports blog is an afterthought. We'll get there ... sooner than later. But on a day like today: Where to begin? Penn State, no doubt, far from home for most but not for all, and certain top of mind on this day as news comes of riots breaking out over Joe Paterno's firing. "The media is responsible for JoePa going down," says a freshman. Right -- not, say, Jerry Sandusky.

But there is brighter news: The Dallas Stars sale has been moved up to a week from tomorrow, as Tom Gaglardi is the lone bidder for the bankrupt, best-in-the-NHL franchise. Reports Brandon Worley, all things go according to plan, Your Dallas Stars will be in new hands some time in December. Happy Christmas.

By that time, though, Mike Maddux may be the new Chicago Cubs manager. Hate to see the Rangers' pitching coach go; he was, after all, no Tom House. As he tells ESPN, there's much to consider before he packs his bags again:
"We have a lot of things to think about and a lot of things to weigh," Maddux said. "Family is very important. I played for a long time and when I finished playing my kids were 10 years old and 8 years old. I said what happened? So I got into coaching right away, and we moved the family to Wisconsin. At least we were together.

"Then I went to Texas. For the first two years my wife and youngest daughter stayed in Wisconsin. My oldest daughter was with me in college in Texas. As of June my family resides together. That had not happened in three years, and that's pretty special. There does come a time when you have to stop and smell the roses. There are a lot of tough decisions that would have to be made."
Then, finally, this just arrived in the inbox: an infographic showing the real loses resulting from the NBA lockout -- everyone from small-market teams to shoe manufacturers to cities losing millions in sales tax revenue from drinks and meals not sold.

Rangers 7, A's 2: My Top 10 Observer-ations

Categories: Texas Rangers

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10. Only thing funnier than Oakland trusting Rich Harden is Comedy Central's Tosh.0.

9. Michael Young countdown to 3,000 hits is at 953 ... 952 ... 951. 25 3-hit games most ever by a Ranger in a single season and the guy most of us thought wouldn't be a Ranger this year now has a career-high 104 RBI.

8. Nelson Cruz, the most dangerous No. 8 hitter in the history of baseball batting orders, scored from 3rd on a wild pitch. He and his gigantic-yet-dainty leg muscles make me nervous any time he runs faster than a jog.

7. Despite another 14 hits, pretty sure the "Sitting Duck" hand gesture isn't going to catch on like the "Claw" or "Antlers." It's just that, well, last year was for cutesy stuff. This Fall it's about a championship ring.

6. The A's have a 9-year-old boy on the public address for a couple of innings. Lame. Give me Chuck Morgan. Still, that ol' joint will always have a special place in our Rangers' hearts in the wake of clinching the 2010 AL West title a year ago this upcoming weekend.

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The Real Rangers' Race is in Detroit, Not Anaheim

Categories: Texas Rangers

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Nothing like a good baseball pennant race. Too bad this year there ain't one.

No divisional "race" is closer than 5 games in the season's last week and even the Wild Card is producing nothing more dramatic than a two-game edge.

With another Angels' loss Monday the Rangers inched closer to a second consecutive AL West title that most of us have said was a done deal since mid-August. Magic number down to 5. Lead at 5 with only nine games remaining. To lose the West outright at this point Texas would have to go 3-6 against the A's, Mariners and Angels and Anaheim would have to go 9-0. Going 4-5 with the Angels running the table would force a one-game playoff for the title.

No, because of the crappy quality of the A's and Mariners, stranger things have not happened.

Good news: I see the Rangers clinching this thing at home this weekend against the Mariners, rendering the three-game finale in Anaheim next week null and void.

Unless, of course, you care about the real race we should be fixated upon ...

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Josh Hamilton Floored by His $500,000 Homer

Categories: Texas Rangers

 

Rangers pound out another 12 hits. Rangers score another nine runs. Rangers win again. Lead in the AL West remains three games. Magic number shrinks to 11.

Rangers are 21 games over .500 for the first time since 1999.

Not that good great baseball is boring, but the West is all but won. Need a little drama down the stretch. Screw the Sonic Slam Inning, I'm talking major money. Like ...

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Rangers Closer to Raising AL West Pennant, Funds for Shannon Stone

Categories: Texas Rangers

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​Yep, the Angels somehow lost to this laughable outfit again last night -- Anaheim has given up the division by going 5-9 against the A's -- shoving the Rangers' lead in the AL West up to 3 with 15 remaining and trimming their magic number to 13.

Nelson Cruz should be off the DL and back in the lineup tonight against the Cleveland Indians.

And, more good news, tonight at Rangers Ballpark Fox Sports Southwest will host a special benefit to raise funds for the Shannon Stone Memorial Fund. You know my thoughts on Stone and his family.

Kudos to FSSW for trying to help a good family make the best of a horrible situation.

"We want to respectfully honor the memory of Shannon Stone," said FOX Sports Southwest Senior Vice President/General Manager Jon Heidtke. "The outpouring of support for the Stone family from the community and our partners has been overwhelming. Everyone wants to comfort the family, but most people don't know how they can help. We hope that through this benefit we'll be able to provide a vehicle for fans and the community to participate."

During tonight's game FSSW will host a live, online auction here. John Rhadigan will host the event, featuring items available for bidding like ...

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Moneyball My Ass. The Oakland A's are Flat-Out Embarrassing.

Categories: Texas Rangers

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The much-anticipated movie Moneyball opens in theaters next week. Perhaps the Oakland A's should insert Brad Pitt into their give-a-shit lineup, because he can't be any worse than what they're currently trotting out there.

Didn't see a lot of Texas 8, Oakland 1 Sunday because I was fixated on Jets 27, Cowboys 24. Looks like C.J. Wilson was again an ace, getting his 16th win. Adrian Beltre hit his 300th homer. Nelson Cruz will be back Tuesday and the Rangers' lead in the AL West is 2.5 with 15 remaining. Magic number down to 14.

All good.

Would be even better if the Rangers had more games against the A's. Seriously, has Texas ever faced a more harmless lineup?

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Time For Y'all to Admit It: C.J. Wilson is a Bona Fide Ace

Categories: Texas Rangers

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No doubt Kenny Rogers is the Rangers' best all-time left-handed pitcher. But is C.J. Wilson already No. 2?

He further helped his cause Tuesday night in Tampa, somehow resisting his stupid, "instinctive" urge to bare-hand comebackers long enough to shut out the Rays in a complete-game, 8-0 victory. Combined with Felix Hernandez' snuffing of the Angels, the Rangers' lead in the AL West grows to 3.5 games and their magic numbers plummets to 17.

I was saying a year ago that C.J. deserved to start Game 1 of the playoffs, yes even over Cliff Lee. I won't say he's having the kind of year that Lee is having in Philly -- 200 strikeouts and 6 shutouts, hasn't been done since '82 -- but certainly we now trust Wilson as a bona fide ace that will lead the Rangers into the playoffs and who must be signed in the off-season.

Right?

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Rangers-Angels Take Baseball's Center Stage. Or at Least They Should.

Categories: Texas Rangers

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There are only two division races in baseball.

And only one with playoff implications.

As we play the regular season's final month the Tigers, Phillies, Brewers and Braves each have leads of at least 7 games with only 20 remaining. In the AL East the Yankees lead the Red Sox by 2.5, but both will make the playoffs as division champ or wild card.

That leaves us -- an all of America's past time -- with Rangers vs. Angels. And thanks to another stifling performance by Tampa's James Shields in a 5-1 Labor Day win and another give-up loss by the Mariners in Anaheim, it's getting more interesting.

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The Curious Case of Alexi Ogando

Categories: Texas Rangers

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I know it's dangerous to knee-jerk in baseball, but suddenly Rangers' pitcher Alexi Ogando is disappearing faster than Benjamin Button. And from what we've seen the last two night I'd lean more toward giving the ball to Scott Feldman than the team's early-season ace.

Thanks to the lowly Mariners' late rally to beat the Angels, the Rangers' lead remains at 3.5 and their magic numbers had shrunk to 23. No thanks to Ogando, who dug his team an early  hole for the second consecutive start.

While James Shields dominated the 4-1 Rays' win by getting the Rangers to consistently swing at nasty stuff in the dirt, Ogando looked early on to have re-discovered "it." Notsamuch. After striking out three of the first four batter and retiring Johnny Damon on a harmless tapper, it got real ugly real fast.

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