Bah. Bad start to the homestand last night. I was just thinking yesterday about how the calls for Kam Loe to be pulled from the rotation and replaced with C.J. Wilson seemed to have disappeared, and then Loe has his second bad outing in a row.
Todd Wills notes that, on the plus side, Kam Loe settled down after the bad 4-run second inning, going three scoreless before allowing a couple of runs in the 6th (one of which is more on the defense rather than Loe).
Loe hurt himself with walks yesterday, but there was some shaky infield defense behind him -- particularly by Jerry Hairston, Jr., who didn't make a play on a Travis Hafner grounder in the second, and then blew a throw on a double play in the 6th. If Hairston makes those plays, Loe's outing looks a lot different.
Of course, the big news at this point continues to be the trade front. Although Jon Daniels says Akinori Otsuka going on the disabled list shouldn't impact his trade value, I'd be surprised if that is the case, if only because it seems unlikely he'll pitch more than once or twice in the majors before July 31.
Terry Pluto writes that the Indians should be willing to overpay to get Kenny Lofton, as he would fill their need for a lefty bat. Given that the Indians also need relief help, a Lofton/Joaquin Benoit package would seem to be attractive to the Indians.
Tim Cowlishaw has a column up, saying that the Rangers have to deal Mark Teixeira -- who, accordingly to Cowlishaw, has been making it clear for some time behind the scenes that he wants out of Texas -- and Kenny Lofton, but that they need to keep Akinori Otsuka and Eric Gagne. He also says Daniels "has to make up for last year's mistake" of trading away Francisco Cordero and Kevin Mench...
Cowlishaw also says that the Rangers should try to trade Sosa, even though he claims it is fun to see Sosa wind down his career with the Rangers. I don't find it particularly fun, of course...
The Bergen Record says that the Mets -- the one team that has been identified as possibly being interested in Sosa -- doesn't want him, while New York Newsday suggests Sosa could be a good fit for the Mets, and Omar Minaya might go ahead and bring him on board.
It is time, of course, to pull the plug on the Sosa experiment...the Rangers are out of the playoff race, no playoff contender is going to give anything of value for him, and he's now hitting .239/.296/.443. I kept hearing that Sosa was going to relax and hit better once he got #600, that he would get better as the season went on, but he's hitting .143/.213/.214 since July 1, with 1 RBI.
And of course, the Rangers have wasted a season of Jason Botts' prime, and even if they call him up at the beginning of August, they aren't going to have much of an opportunity to really evaluate him at the major league level.
So, with Botts out of options next year, they are going to have to decide whether to go into spring training committed to Botts as their everyday DH, despite the fact that he will fall in the "unproven" category, or if they'd rather go get another Brad Fullmer or Brian Jordan or Phil Nevin or Sammy Sosa to DH in 2008 and lose Botts on waivers.
Signing Sammy Sosa was presented as a no-risk move, because he wasn't costing the Rangers any money, and they could just release him if he didn't perform.
Well, he hasn't performed, but the Rangers apparently decided they could release him because of the p.r. implications, and they seemingly can't give him away, either...and as a result, they've had a lousy veteran DH in 2007, who they've played all season despite being out of the race, and their DH prospect in AAA isn't going to get a legitimate look this season, either.
Take all that into consideration, and I'm not sure how anyone can claim signing Sosa was a good move by Daniels.