Don't look now--no, really, don't look, you might miss the Mavs in the NBA Finals--but your baseball team is somehow in first place into June. I say somehow because, considering the moves that have backfired, what the Texas Rangers are accomplishing would make David Blaine do a double-take. Consider:
General manager Jon Daniels released Kenny Rogers, and he's won seven games and led the Detroit Tigers to baseball's best record. Daniels traded away Highland Park's Chris Young, and he has five wins and has flirted with no-hitters in his last two starts for the San Diego Padres. Daniels traded away Alfonso Soriano, and he's on pace to threaten Barry Bonds' single-season homer mark for the Washington Nationals. Even Phil Nevin hit a homer in his first game as a Chicago Cub after the Rangers dumped him.
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Young, of course, is the most frustrating departure. While he's 5-3, with an ERA at 3.39, Adam Eaton has yet to throw his first strike as a Ranger because of a thumb injury. To be fair, Aki Otsuka, also part of the deal, has turned into Texas' closer. As good as the Rangers are, and they're pretty solid, you just can't help wonder how good they'd be with Rogers, Young and Soriano. We now return you to previously scheduled Mavs programming. --Richie Whitt