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Thursday a.m. items

Much drama last night. Quality win, a brawl, and all that. Of course, lost in all of that is the fact that the A's won, again, meaning the Rangers are still 6.5 games back out of first.

I'd probably be a little more fired up about the fire and spirit the Rangers showed last night if they'd shown a little more fire and spirit -- or just ability -- earlier in the season, and were still in the race, rather than playing out the string.

Tim Cowlishaw questions Buck's leadership, wondering why we are having another boiling-over event late in the season for the third year in a row, and says that this -- combined with the Rogers/photographer incident, and the Frankie Francisco chair throwing -- gives the team a black eye and a bad reputation.

Evan Grant reports the beanball saga, and questions whether it is really over, or whether the Angles are going to be throwing at someone the next time they face the Rangers (and Texas and Anaheim have 7 more games against each other left). Grant also has more thoughts at the DMN blog, questioning whether folks should be as fired up and enthused about it as they are...

Grant also reports that Showalter is not happy with Vicente Padilla, who precipitated this whole mess by throwing at the Angles when he couldn't get anyone out on Tuesday.

Jim Reeves rips Padilla for his actions, as does an anonymous Ranger official:

"Cowardly," is how one Rangers official characterized Padilla's incredibly callous loss of composure in Tuesday's 9-7 loss to the Angels.

That quotes leads Bob Sturm (rightfully, I think) to question why the front office keeps ripping Ranger players:

I just wanted to draw your attention to the bolded statement. Do you mean to tell me that these unnamed Rangers sources have not learned their lessons yet? They sold out Alex Rodriguez. They sold out Kenny Rogers. They even sold out Alfonso Soriano. And now, they are calling Padilla a "coward?". The issue is not whether he really is a coward or not. The issue is that this organization is going to continue to look bush league as long as they continue to have team officials leak unnamed quotes that rip their employees. Incidentally, the columnist that seems to get these quotes the most often is Revo. And since he has covered the team since it arrived in town, it is not easy to identify the mole, but I just think that is really bad business to continually slip torpedoes to the media about your players.

Whether the organization thinks it was "cowardly" or not -- and I agree with the sentiment -- I also agree with Sturm that it is bad business to go public with those sorts of comments, just like it was bad business for whoever it was to tell members of the press last year that Kenny Rogers was too chicken to pitch against Anaheim.

On non-fight-related items, Evan Grant has this on Brad Wilkerson, who will miss the rest of the season and will undergo shoulder surgery next week:

Wilkerson does not believe there is much structural damage to the shoulder, but Yocum said there is a possibility the biceps tendon could be partially detached from the bone. If that must be corrected, Wilkerson's rehab time would increase from about 12 to 16 weeks to 16 to 20 weeks.

"It's disappointing that I have to leave before the season is over, but it just wasn't getting any better," Wilkerson said. "I tried to take some time and not play, but to take extra at-bats in batting practice to get ready for one at-bat per game, it just was too sore."

The Rangers will face a difficult wintertime decision on Wilkerson, who is making $3.95 million this season. He is eligible for salary arbitration and would probably command $5 million or more if he is tendered a contract. The Rangers could also decide not to tender him a contract and try to re-sign him for less.

"I just hope I get another chance to play here," Wilkerson said.

I, too, hope Wilkerson is back next year, and I think he will be.

Grant also says that the Rangers are saying that John Danks will not be joining the rotation, despite the Wells injury and likely Padilla suspension. I hope that they stick by that decision...Tejeda or Rheinecker should get the call, if a starter is needed, not Danks.