Texas salvaged a win last night in Tampa, behind some really nice pitching from Robinson Tejeda. Two starts isn't enough to tell you a whole lot, but it is looking like Tejeda's stint in AAA may have gotten him straightened back out. It would be huge if he could be a solid contributor in the rotation in 2007, particularly given that Kevin Millwood is the only person who is a definite for next year.
Some interesting developments on the media front...Bob Sturm, on his blog yesterday, questioned whether Buck Showalter should be the manager of the Rangers in 2007, and a couple of diary posts indicated that Buck is being pretty heavily criticized on the Ticket the past few days. And now Kevin Sherrington openly wonders whether Buck is still the right manager for the Rangers, and includes this little tidbit:
Bottom line: The Rangers still don't have enough pitching to catch the A's.
This is not the manager's fault. Talent acquisition is not in Showalter's job description. The lot falls to Tom Hicks and Jon Daniels, who's still a work in progress as GM.
But here's the difference in player perception: They get the idea Daniels is trying to help, no matter what the results.
Finding someone to defend the manager is considerably more difficult.
Evan Grant's chat transcript from yesterday is up, and has some good stuff.
Jan Hubbard says that Buck likes Nelson Cruz, and thinks that Cruz can be a major league regular, but for now, is only going to start him against lefties. He also touches on Carlos Lee reversing field and deciding not to hire Scott Boras, which disappoints me...I wanted Boras representing Lee, to minimize the chances of Boras coming back to Texas.
Tracy Ringolsby says that the Rangers were looking at trading Lee when he announced he was hiring Boras. That would assume that Lee has, or did, clear waivers -- which seems unlikely -- and that the Rangers are really serious about signing him to an extension before season's end, which also seems unlikely.
Rod Barajas says he wants to come back, and Jon Daniels appears to leave the door open to the possibility. I don't want Barajas back, of course, but I'm also not going to worry too much about Daniels keeping the door open...at this point, it doesn't serve any purpose to say that the Rangers aren't interested in bringing any of their free agents back.