Covering All The Bases

As I pondered what to write about tonight and I scrolled through headlines on ESPN.com, as well as, rummaging through ideas in my mind, I couldn't think of just one particular thing. There are in fact so many things going on in the world of sports, so I'm just going to cover all the bases in the the first addition of...yes, covering all the bases. With the title being oh so appropriate, I might as well dedicate the whole story to baseball, and what better to talk about than the AL West Division Leaders with no ownership, the Texas Rangers.

A team that had a blistering June, followed by a good July, the Texas Rangers lead the Angels by 8 games. (I'm going to refrain from calling them California or Anaheim, or Los Angeles, because frankly I don't think anyone knows what it really is anymore) After dropping the last 2 of 3 games to the Angels, it seems almost as if the Texas Rangers may be coming back to earth a little as the month of August begins. Especially seeing that the Rangers' two most sure pitchers, Tommy Hunter and Cliff Lee, are the ones that were on the mound for the losses. Of course, that's the negative way to look at things. Another perspective is that, first off,Scot Feldman managed to screw up the game Tommy Hunter pitched. With Scott Feldman pitching horribly, the Rangers had to re-arrange the rotation, making Tommy Hunter pitch on 4 days rest, instead of his normal 5. Obviously something was wrong with Tommy who had been just about spotless in his previous starts, which by the way all came with 5 days rest or more. Now, on to Cliff Lee's loss, which is more more easy to explain. The Rangers have are so awe struck by the appearance of Cliff Lee that they all forget to bring their bats to the ball park, and are always so eager to see Cliff get back on the mound. So therefore the Rangers' ace gets little to no run support in his outings. In a post game interview Cliff Lee should have said to reporters, "If we don't score, we can't win" Ah, but yes more positives. First off the game we won was pitched magnificently by Rich Harden. Rich Harden? He's been in Oklahoma City this summer more than Kevin Durant. But who do we have to thank for this win? Yes, Scott Feldman. If it weren't for his dreadful pitching, Harden may not have gotten the call up to start for the Rangers, so for that, we thank you Scott. Another thing on the recent series is that CF Josh Hamilton has been out due to a knee injury. Manager Ron Washington seems to be airing more on the cautious side with his slugger seeing that he was still able to pinch hit in a losing effort. Also, 2B Ian Kinsler is on the DL for a groin injury. (no one likes those) When Kinsler went down, basically all hell broke loose for whoever is making the executive decisions for the Rangers. Ian Kinsler gets injures at the same point when Chris Davis gets sent back down to the minors where I really hope he can find that sweet swing of his, because that is the only part of his game that he is missing. So anyway, because of this we bring up 1B Mitch Moreland who has a great major league debut. That same day the Rangers agree in principle to acquire Jorge Cantu for half of AA Frisco Roughrider's pitching staff, then days later, acquire 2B Cristian Guzman from the Nationals for the rest of AA Frisco Roughrider's pitching staff. So, just a recap, when Cliff Lee was pitching the other night, tell me if part of the lineup sounds familiar. Bengie Molina, Cliff Lee, Jorge Cantu, Cristian Guzman. None of which were Rangers at the beginning of the year.

Now, despite all the negatives the Rangers have had lately, tomorrow is the auction to finally decide who will own the team. Most Ranger fans hope the new owners to be the Greenberg-Ryan group. As opposed to Mark Cuban's group in Cuban's attempt to hold more positions of power than Jerry Jones. Which, sorry Mark, Jerry will always out do you. Now, Ranger fans can either get into a panic about the lack of hitting and the showing of mortality from Tommy Hunter, but we have to remember that this team does have some wriggle room in their 8 game lead over the Angles. That does not mean get too comfortable though, the Angels have shown that they are not going away. The scary part to this though, is that the Rangers have not been playing up to their potential lately. This may be startling to you, but the Rangers winning 20+ games in the month of June was no fluke, that was the Rangers living up to their true potential. July was so-so for the Rangers as they had to fight through some injuries and line-up changes. But, now that that is in the past, we may just start to see the same Ranger team as the season slowly, very slowly, begins to come to a close. So far this season the Rangers have been good at closing things out. Neftali Feliz is the American League saves leader. The Texas Rangers are definitely a feel good story throughout Major League Baseball this year, but they have to take the next step from becoming a feel good story to a major World Series contender. The new additions to the squad show promise, and as the new faces begin to gel with the old, this team will slowly start piling up wins. Once this team starts clicking watch out, it will be June all over again.

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