When Ian Kinsler snagged a pop-up for last night's final out, Texas Rangers’ TV voice Josh Lewin screamed “Got it! Got it! Got it! The Rangers beat the Yankees!”
This morning on The Ticket, co-host Craig Miller made a declaration that “I’m convinced. This team is special.”
And here I am, blowing more hot air about the Rangers into cyberspace.
So what’s up? They take over first in the American League West? Win the pennant? Or, did they merely improve their record on July 1 to 43-41. Yep, two games over .500. Where’s Laura Miller and her parade plans when we need her?
The Rangers aren’t the Rockies of last year or even the Rays of this year, but, relatively speaking, they are intriguing. Of course, when you’ve spent a decade watching wasted at-bats from Sammy Sosa and Brad Wilkerson and going-nowhere starts by Robinson Tejeda and Adam Eaton, it doesn’t take much.
Texas isn’t good enough to catch the Angels or even make the playoffs. But they are exciting enough to keep manager Ron Washington’s job and, even better, keep us interested until the Cowboys report for training camp three weeks from Friday.
The reason: Youth.
Watch a game – like last night’s 2-1 win in New York – and you can be assured the players producing aren’t stop-gaps to be used in a trade for potential in a month. General manager Jon Daniels gets the credit for stockpiling the talent, but don’t get carried away by the brilliance of some grand plan.
The only reason we’re being treated to Scott Feldman and Eric Hurley is because of injuries to Kason Gabbard and Brandon McCarthy. Same with Chris Davis, Max Ramirez and Ramon Vazquez, who got their chances only because of injuries to Hank Blalock and Gerald Laird and the flameout of Ben Broussard.
For the first time in a long time, the Rangers of the present might actually be the Rangers of the future. So, yeah, kinda worth getting excited about.
Right? -- Richie Whitt