You know, since I've been publicly vowing that I'm refusing to consider this team in a pennant race any more, that I'm going to enjoy watching them play out the string and just think about 2007, I shouldn't be bothered by games like last night. I shouldn't be bummed out this morning because we didn't cut the lead to 5.5 games, didn't get into a position where the Rangers could potentially get back into the race with a sweep this weekend.
Obviously, I am.
Particularly the way it happened, with rallies getting snuffed in the 8th and 9th, with Carlos Lee and Mark Teixeira whiffing with the tying and go-ahead run on base in the 8th, with Mark DeRosa (who had struck out his previous three ABs) popping up on a bad 3-0 pitch, with Hank Blalock and GMJ and Michael Young being unable to do anything against Seth McClung with a chance to put the Rangers ahead in the 9th.
My other thought from last night is that the two Vicente Padilla HBPs were a reminder of why I'd like to see the "if you don't try to get out of the way, you don't get to take first on a HBP" rule enforced. Dioner Navarro never moved the foot that Padilla hit with his curve ball, and Greg Norton actually moved his elbow into a pitch that wasn't that far inside...if he'd just stood there, he doesn't get hit.
I know that no one besides Don Drysdale, Dick Dietz, and Harry Wendlestedt have probably ever been involved in such a call, but still...last night was a bit ridiculous...
Jon Daniels says that preliminary discussions with pending free agents has started, but that it is not going to be something that will cause a "distraction" in the clubhouse. I read that to mean, if someone really wants to stay in Texas and will sign a cheap deal right now, great, we can do it. Otherwise, give us an idea of what you are looking for, and we'll start negotiating after the season.
This is the Carlos Lee excerpt:
"I like Texas, and we've got a good team," said Lee, who reportedly turned down a four-year, $48 million deal from Milwaukee last month. "This is one of the teams that I would look at going to."
Richard Justice says that by hiring Scott Boras, Lee, who was supposedly Tim Purpura's #1 offseason target, is now probably off the Astro radar.
Jan Hubbard reports that Brad Wilkerson's surgery went well, and the medical staff expects him to be ready to go by spring training.