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Thursday Rangers stuff

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Another morning, another day with the Rangers in first place in the A.L. West.

And we have a game and a half lead over Oakland right now, and a 4 game lead over Anaheim. The Rangers have the third best record in the American League at this point.

I have to say, I enjoy baseball a lot more when the Rangers are winning.

I normally link a few news items, but there's nothing that jumps out at me this morning as particularly newsworthy, other than the fact that Antonio Alfonseca is apparently okay.

But I do want to talk a little about the Ian Kinsler/Mark DeRosa situation, particularly in light of the recent comments, here and elsewhere, wondering whether Kinsler is going to get Lairded as a result of his injury and DeRosa's play.

Now, I'm the first person to whip Buck if I see the opportunity. I'm happy to jump on him about the "good face" stuff, and his predilection for going with intangibles over talent. And I'm not going to pretend I'm not a tad concerned about the possibility of Kinsler losing his job.

But at the end of the day, I think it is going to be a non-issue. Despite the similarities -- dislocated thumb knocks rookie out of the lineup early, and is replaced by gritty veteran/Buck fave -- I don't think we're going to see Ian Kinsler benched and then banished to the minors for a year while an inferior vet replacement gets his job.

Kinsler has been a Buck fave from early on. Unlike Laird, whose personality seems more along the lines of, say, a Kevin Mench, Kinsler has, by all accounts, the "good face." And while Kinsler was a Fuson draftee, he doesn't seem to be associated with Fuson in the same way that Laird (whom Fuson drafted in Oakland and traded for when he came to Texas) was considered a "Fuson guy." Plus, DeRosa doesn't have the history with Buck that Barajas does.

Regardless of my criticisms of Buck's DeRosa-love, the Dumpmaster is a decent utility infielder. He has a nice glove, and he can hit lefties pretty well. And right now, he's in a very good groove.

But before everyone gets too excited (or worried) about DeRosa's performance, let's keep in mind, it has been 4 days. The guy has 20 plate appearances all year. He's not going to keep posting a 1000+ OPS.

Hopefully, the DeRosa/Jimenez combination at second base can be serviceable until Kinsler is 100%. One of the things that, hopefully, the team learned with the Laird fiasco is that there's nothing to be gained by rushing a player back from a thumb injury before he's ready, when he's not able to swing the bat well. Hopefully, Kinsler will have ample opportunity to work his way back without rushing.

But once Kinsler is 100%, he should be -- and, I think, will be -- the starting second baseman. He's the future for the Rangers at the position. Mark DeRosa is a 31 year old journeyman, a guy whose highest and best use is as a bench player.

The notion that Kinsler and DeRosa should split time there once Kinsler is healthy and 100%, or that Kinsler is somehow expendable because of DeRosa's play, is ludicrous.