4

Pudge Over Potential

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I realize Pudge Rodriguez was brought here with the understanding he'd be a backup. But less than a week into his second coming, scuh-roo that!

If starting Pudge throughout the three-game series against the Yankees that starts tonight in New York hurts Taylor Teagarden's wittle feewings or momentarily thrwarts the return and/or development of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, so be it. Pudge has hit, called good games, is the best catcher on the team and, therefore, he should be playing.

Why? Because, youth movement be damned, for the first time in a long time your Texas Rangers are in the midst of meaningful August baseball. Pennants take priority over politics.

If he didn't suck so majorly, I'd say the same thing about Hank Blalock over Chris Davis. But seeing that Blalock was 1 for 11 in Tampa and I watched three pick-off throws go bounding around the right-field corner, it's time for Davis' second chance and Blalock to start pondering life as a former Ranger.

(I wouldn't, by the way, start anybody over Michael Young these days. Wow.)

Davis, who was on pace to smash the Major League record for single-season strikeouts when he was sent down to AAA in July, apparently found "it" at Oklahoma. He hit .335 and his strikeout percentage dropped from 44 percent to a managable 23%. He says he's opened his stance and is keeping his head still, allowing him to better see - and therefore lay off - the outside pitch he routinely whiffed at earlier this season.

If so, fantastic.

But if so, remind me again why the hell Rudy Jaramillo didn't figure this out?

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