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And then, living at the other end of Funtown, are Your Texas Rangers. Nobody should be rooting harder for the Mavs than the boys who forgot how to hit a baseball. The longer they’re ignored, the better.

Remember way back in April, when a goofball columnist doubted Sammy Sosa’s production and exalted Texas’ offensive guru? A month into the season, that’s a big 0 for 2. Sosa has clubbed seven homers, but his teammates are missing in action.

The batting averages read like a Mario Mendoza wet dream: Gerald Laird's hitting .187.; Mark Teixeira, .223.; Michael Young -- yeah, that Michael Young, AL batting champ circa 2005 -- a whopping .207.; Hank Blalock, one homer.

While the Mavs last night diverted the attention of anyone with a shred of sports sense, the Rangers were pounded by the Yankees. Worse, they were almost no-hit for the second time in two weeks. They struck out six more times, raising their season total to 187, against only 200 hits. They recently struck out 19 times in a game at Cleveland. Brace yourself, it gets worse.

Closer Eric Gagne is on the disabled list, starter Brandon McCarthy’s ERA (9.90) sounds more like a really crappy local radio station, and only shoestring-budget franchises in Washington and Kansas City have fewer wins than Texas’ 10.

I’ve said all along that I love manager Ron Washington’s refreshing optimism. I just wasn’t sure if the change in culture would manifest improved results. Are we sure yet? --Richie Whitt

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