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Friday (early) morning things

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My wife has to go to a CLE today that started at 8 a.m. As a result, I am taking a vacation day from work so I can stay at home with our son while she's gone. He gets up at 7 in the morning. And as a result, I am up and blogging much earlier than usual...this may not be early for some of y'all, but it is early for me...or at least it was when I started this blog entry.

Anyway...some stuff out there this morning to talk about...

Evan Grant says Ron Washington was fired up about yesterday's game, and really wanted to win, although Vicente Padilla's erraticism caused some problems.

Dave Sessions' article talks about how well-respected Washington still is in the Oakland clubhouse, and mentions that Washington told Bay Area reporters yesterday that he thinks the Rangers can knock off the A's for the A.L. West title this year.

Washington will also be going to the All-Star Game, as a third base coach, after getting an invite from Jim Leyland to be part of his staff. A nice honor for Washington, and I think it provides an indication of how highly regarded he is.

Grant had some praise for Jason Botts, saying that despite a couple of bad throws, Botts had a solid game with a couple of hits and a nice running catch with the sun in his eyes.

Grant also reports that Sammy Sosa will be sitting today, when the Rangers go up against the Chicago Cubs. Not sure who will be pitching, though...Grant says Brandon McCarthy will be starting for the Rangers, while Sessions says it is Robinson Tejeda, followed by Josh Rupe, Rick Bauer, Scott Feldman, and Ron Mahay.

Sessions blogs on Joaquin Arias, and how his shoulder injury is reducing his chances of making the Opening Day roster. I have a hard time believing he was a legitimate option to start the season on the team anyway, given where he is developmentally, but being unable to get regular time in center this spring makes it even more likely he'll be starting the season in AAA...

Grant also projects the Opening Day bullpen, with Scott Feldman and Joaquin Benoit joining the 5 guys who are more-or-less locks. Frankie Francisco had been considered the favorite for the 6th spot, but he's been struggling with his command this spring, while Feldman has been sharp, so Grant thinks Francisco will get to go back to AAA for a little while to work on things. Benoit making the team, meanwhile, would force the Rangers to deal Rick Bauer.

Someone named Buddy comments, in response to Grant's projection, that he thinks Bruce Chen will make the bullpen to give the Rangers more options against lefties, rather than Benoit. I can't see this team keeping three lefthanders in the bullpen...I think if Benoit doesn't make it, it will be Bauer or someone like Mike Wood.

And T.R. Sullivan has his Friday blogginess, including a mention that those of you who have been referring to Robinson Tejada are not alone...Topps, apparently, misspelled Tejeda's name on his baseball card, as well...