Having returned from my 4th of July vacation, I'm back, sort of re-charged, and ready to see what the second half of the season brings...
Some thoughts on various and sundry items...
* Jim Reeves' piece today continues to suggest that there is some unhappiness within the Rangers' clubhouse over the release of Ryan Drese. One of the things that management might want to remember...when you purposely foster the whole "us against the world" mentality that the 2004 team had, when you cultivate the sort of closeness within the clubhouse that Buck & Co. supposedly want, it can end up backfiring on you when you make a move like waiving Ryan Drese. Particularly when he goes elsewhere and pitches lights out. Once again, Mike Young and Mark Teixeira, the two young players who seem to be pretty influential on this team, are rather vocal in their displeasure.
Also interesting in the Reeves' article is a quote from Buck Showalter, suggesting that he and Orel wanted to keep Drese, but that John Hart overruled them. Funny...the story up to now has been that Hershiser and Mark Conners wanted to keep Drese, but that Buck and Hart wanted him gone. Is Buck throwing Hart under the bus already?
* C.J. Wilson, by all accounts, is a good guy, a competitor who has battled back from Tommy John surgery to re-establish himself as a prospect. He's someone you have to root for.
Unfortunately, he's also not a major-league caliber pitcher right now. I couldn't understand why the Rangers brought him up in the first place, and it is looking pretty clear that it was the wrong move. Hopefully, they'll let him go back to AA, get back in the rotation, and give him time to development.
- Shea Hillenbrand over Travis Hafner for the All-Star team is an absolute joke.
- Ask BA today includes a question on the DVD trio, with Jim Callis saying that all three of the Frisco pitchers would slot in the 26-50 range if the top 100 prospects were ranked right now.
- Alfonso Soriano is now 3 for his last 20, and 11 for his last 65.
- Richard Hidalgo, on the other hand, makes Soriano look en fuego. Hidalgo is now 13 for his last 87, which is even worse than the 13 for 78 stretch he went through earlier this season. The time has come to cut bait with Hidalgo, and move on.
- I'm really surprised Kenny Rogers got 20 games. I expect it to be dropped to 15 on appeal. I can't see how you can justify giving Rogers more than Frankie Francisco got.