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A few links...

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A couple of things to check out on an off-day, as the Rangers sit in sole possession of first place...

Beyond the Boxscore has a piece on the Oakland A's recent rebound...they are still 9.5 games out, but are getting some production now from some of their young bats...

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a piece on Grady Fuson, and Dave Cameron wishes Fuson were running the Mariners. (I, of course, still wish he were running the Rangers...)

Ken Rosenthal says that the Nationals, searching for an outfield bat, have "targeted" Kevin Mench (among others). That's all well and good that he's been "targeted", but given that the Rangers are in a pennant race, I don't see why he'd be dealt to Washington (the other "targets" listed are all on clubs without playoff hopes), and more importantly, I don't see what the Nationals would give up that we'd want.

In the same piece, Rosenthal comments that the Nationals almost "stole" Juan Encarnacion from the Marlins for pitcher Zach Day. I'm a bit confused by that...Encarnacion is a bad player having a hot start, and Day is a pretty decent starting pitcher having a bad start. If the Nationals dealt Day to the Marlins for Encarnacion -- like Rosenthal suggests was going to happen -- I'd chalk it up as a victory for the Marlins.

Meanwhile, in a separate piece today, Rosenthal also says that the Rangers are out of the hunt for released Reds reliever Danny Graves, with Graves having narrowed his choices down to the Mets, the Braves, and the Marlins.

Finally, a draft tidbit worth noting...in his chat session at the BA website on Friday, Alan Simpson fielded a question on the possibility of Jordan Danks "playing possum" regarding his plans to go to UT, in the hopes that he'd slip in the draft and be taken by the Rangers, so he could play with his brother, John. Simpson says that teams believe Jordan when he claims he's dead set on going to UT, but also indicates that the Rangers are the team most like to take an early-round flyer on him.