Wednesday A.M. Links

September 04, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur (21) visually depicts Jeff Francoeur's 2012 season. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Well, the Rangers are 3-4 on the season against the Royals, and must win the next two games to win the season series against KC and take home the coveted Golden "Who Cares?"

According to Jeff Wilson at the FWST, Ron Washington responded to questions about Nelson Cruz getting beaned in Monday's game by saying "we don't play the game to embarrass anyone," though apparently Michael Young does because he went yard on the very next pitch for his fifth homer of the year. Wilson also updates us on Napoli's injured quad, noting that Napoli ran in cleats to first base and may even run clear to second if he feels up to it on Wednesday. For those wondering, GhostofMikeNapoli is an available userid on SBN. Wilson also has a more extended look at the Cruz HBP, with Cruz saying catcher Bryan Pena is a dirty liar and catcher Bryan Pena saying Nelson Cruz is a very big and very handsome and very intelligent man that a pitcher would have to be crazy to throw at intentionally.

T.R. Sullivan has a notes column. In it, we learn Darvish's thoughts on pitching for Japan in the World Baseball Classic ("I have no comment on that issue right now"), Mike Napoli's quadricep's thoughts about allowing Mike Napoli to continue to play baseball ("I have no comment on that issue right now"), and Ron Washington's thoughts on Ian Kinsler's effectiveness as a leadoff hitter ("I fully support Ranger Rowdy's approach to gauging a player's effectiveness through runs scored and RBI's"). Steve Miller also has a notes column, with Ned Yost saying that Everett Teaford and Vin Mazzaro "can't pitch around home runs" to the Rangers.

Over at the DMN, we learn that Kansas City broadcasters Rex Hudler and Ryan Lefebvre apparently think the sweet embrace of death is preferable to pitching for Kansas City, saying of Nelson Cruz's tête-à-tête with Louis Coleman, "If you want a piece of him, go get him." This despite the fact that a scant few days earlier, Nelson Cruz smote home plate with such fury that he was immediately ejected for fear that he would wake the Elder Gods. Evan Grant has a post about Kinsler's no good, horrible, very bad day. Kinsler says he didn't expect the third baseman to be playing so close to the bag with Josh Hamilton up when he was picked off, and Ron Washington has a nice answer about body positioning when taking a secondary lead that thankfully makes no mention of evaluating a player by runs scored. Oh, wait, here's Ron Washington evaluating a player by runs scored. Problem sovled. Grant also discusses the injustice of Joe Dirt stunt-double Josh Reddick being named AL Player of the Week instead of Adrian Beltre, who had such an awesome week he apparently loaned his excess awesome to David Murphy.

At ESPN Dallas, Robert Falkoff comes not to praise Josh Hamilton's offensive woes but to bury them. Ron Washington says "his chase rate has gone way down," though I'm not sure what to think about that. Someone who doesn't spend forty hours a week running pizzas across town can probably give us a more definitive answer, but Hamilton's K rate has gone from 23.1% in July to 24% in August while his BABIP has gone from .175 to .364. So maybe he's not chasing bad pitches and making weak contact, I guess, but his BB/K ratios for the two months are nearly identical, so Washington saying "he's taking walks now" doesn't seem particularly relevant. Whatever. Keith Law talked to Bryan Dolgin about how exactly Ron Washington will not use Jurickson Profar (Half time in the field, using him to spell Elvis Andrus? Keith, you silly goose, that's what Michael Young is for), and Falkoff had his rapid reactions to the game.

Finally, I'm obsessed with parasites that control the actions of their hosts. Here's a video of a cricket infected with a Gordian worm, which causes insects to jump in water to drown themselves, a necessary step in the worm's life cycle.

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