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August first Rangers items

That sucked last night.

The Rangers are now 4 games back, and in last place in the A.L. West.

9 games left on this road trip, 7 of which are against the Angles and the A's, so the Rangers can make up some ground here. Of course, they can also get buried, if they continue playing like they did last night.

What's particularly frustrating is the way this team seems to react to things...they get Carlos Lee, and immediately go out and lose 11-3 to the Royals. They get Kip Wells and Matt Stairs, and fall 15-2 to the Twins. And in both games, they just looked bad out there. You would think that a team in a playoff race would be energized by those sorts of additions, but the opposite seems to have occurred.

Along with that, we also have some signs of some tension in the clubhouse...Kevin Mench, after he was traded, said that guys were confused about where they stood in regards to their roles with the team and their playing time. We have the stories about the wives being worked up about possible trades, to the point where Hank Blalock apparently was called out of the dugout to talk to his wife last week during a game.

And Evan Grant has some quotes today from guys who seem to be, well, confused about what is going on...

First, Rod Barajas had some comments on sitting for the third straight game:

"I'm very surprised," he said of Monday's lineup. "If they are taking a different approach to the catching situation, I'd expect to hear something. I haven't heard anything."

Then we have the third base situation, with Hank Blalock had similar comments:

Mum's the word: Showalter said over the weekend that third baseman Hank Blalock's role would be "reduced somewhat" against left-handed pitching.

Blalock said Monday he was unaware of any changes. Blalock was not in the lineup Saturday against Kansas City lefty Jorge De La Rosa, but he did start Sunday against lefty Mark Redman.

"Nobody has said anything to me," Blalock said. "I saw the lineup; it didn't have my name in it. I do feel a little confused right now. I've come to the park every day preparing to play hard. Now, things look different."

First of all, obviously, the change in playing time for these guys is first and foremost a function of their performance. If they were playing better, this wouldn't be an issue.

And from what I understand, communicating with the players has never been Buck's strong suit. He seems to take the attitude that it is better to leave guys up in the air about their status, for whatever reason.

But these sorts of comments from the players don't seem to be a real good sign about how things are going in the clubhouse.

And when you combine these sorts of public statements, with the team's generally mental errors, the fact that they don't see to be quite right, the fact that they continually seem to come out flat...

Doesn't Teflon Buck, who seems to have gotten a pass from the media since he got here in 2003, have to be held accountable for some of that?

Continuing the update news for today, Vicente Padilla was apparently arrested almost a month ago for suspicion of DUI.

Kevin Sherrington says Daniels did what he could, but still didn't address the problem with the pitching. Sherrington implies that Daniels should have targeted the package that the Mets got -- Oliver Perez and Roberto Hernandez -- and improved the rotation and the bullpen simultaneously.

However, Hernandez isn't really any good -- I'd rather stick with the guys in place than add him to the bullpen -- and Perez is in full meltdown mode right now. The Mets can roll the dice on fixing Perez because they've already won the division, and can be patient with Perez. The Rangers needed someone who could come into the rotation right now.

John Wasdin was designated for assignment to make room for Matt Stairs. My guess is that John Rheinecker will be optioned today to make room for Kip Wells.