Remember how I joked a couple of weeks ago that the Rangers were now the bad guys in a plucky underdog movie? Well, hm, um... cough.
Let's cheer ourselves up with some links, shall we?
Aw, crap. It's all awful.
Jeff Wilson sets the table for today's matinee, in a recap of last night's disappointment that includes brave quotes from Harrison ("We know what it takes to win that one game, so I think we’ll be alright."), strangely ambivalent quotes from Hamilton ("We’re excited about that, but ultimately you want a division championship. We’ll come in tomorrow and get after it."), and a mechanical recitation of facts from Michael Young-bot 2000 ("We all know what's at stake."). That last one would have been more interesting if he had added, "except for Derek Holland, who has spent the last two nights drinking Mountain Dew Code Red and playing Freddi Fish and the Stolen Shell."
Wilson's pregame notes have an update on Mike Adams, who will fly to Oakland to be with the team for Wednesday's game but has no timetable to begin throwing again and seems an unlikely candidate to rely on, regardless, in either a game that determines the winner of the A.L. West or a one-game playoff.
Over at the Rangers' MLB.com site, A.J. Cassavell has a notes column that gleefully focuses on the narrative aspects of Wednesday's matchup, but also includes an item on Adrian Beltre winning Player of the Month for September, and Oakland A's reliever Pat Neshek being unavailable tomorrow due to the birth of his first child. That last is interesting, given that Oakland has ridden their core relievers hard over the last week. Neshek sports a gaudy ERA but crappy peripherals, so I guess it's not like they're losing an integral piece. In T.R. Sullivan's notes column, we learn that Josh Hamilton "may have to quit baseball" if Miguel Cabrera doesn't win the MVP award, Martin Perez left a favorable impression with Ron Washington, and the Rangers have become only the 11th team since 1969 to have at least 5 players play 155 games. Yay?
Over at the DMN, there is a post about the Mariners moving in the outfield fences for next season, and one on Martin Perez gaining valuable experience (now a level 2 pitcher/mage) in the pennant race, Proving that someone at the DMN subscribes to Dan Cahill's Twitter feed, Evan Grant has a post about Ian Kinsler's problems hitting or walking in road games. Amazingly, Ron Washington says that it is a problem the organization is aware of and has "been addressing it for six years," though why they haven't addressed it by dropping him from the leadoff spot on the road is not answered. Evan also has updated the Rangers' potential playoff scenarios.
Finally, here's Minute Physics on whether the Rangers will exist both as AL West Champions and Booby Prize play-in team unless and until you collapse reality into a single option by looking at Wednesday's box score.