Buddy of mine took his 9-year-old to the Rangers game Monday night in Arlington. Kid, not surprisingly, wanted some ice cream. In one of those cool, plastic Rangers helmet cups.
One problem: "They didn't have any Rangers helmet cups," my buddy tells me. "They had run out. They told us they only had Dodgers and Astros. I asked if they were getting Texas cups in and it was like 'Uh, not until next season.' They just shrugged. It was like a going-out-of-business sale and all the good stuff was gone."
The Texas Rangers are broken. And, despite owner Tom Hicks' assertions otherwise, they are also broke. Hicks says no worries, but president Nolan Ryan tells the Star-Telegram's Jim Reeves a different, desperate tale.
Seriously, at this point I'm not going to be surprised if pitcher Kevin Millwood - only 4.1 innings from reaching the 180-inning threshold and guaranteeing a $12 million contract for 2010 - is not only shut down for the season, but also put on waivers.
This is sad, painful. The Rangers lost again last night. Face it, they are dead, if not yet buried.
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I made the diagnosis on Aug. 3 that this spunky, surprising team ultimately wasn't going to survive. Instead of pulling the plug, some of you valiantly decided to keep them on a respirator. But at this point, the vital organs are all shutting down.
Hitting (one run in 28 innings). Pitching (even Neftali Feliz is human). Defense (three more errors last night and 15 this month). It's just a matter of time.
Mathematically they're still gasping, but you get the feeling the Rangers are already looking toward next season and the April 5, 2010 opener against Toronto. Millwood hasn't been great since July. He's been clearly supplanted as this team's ace by Scott Feldman. But you're telling me that - without a major injury - he's being pushed back and won't pitch in this weekend's crucial series against the Anaheim Angels? That Derek Holland gives Texas a better chance to win?
Feels to me like Millwood won't pitch again this season. Or, perhaps, ever again in a Rangers' uniform.