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Monday a.m. things

Heading into the break on a nice roll, and just 12 games under .500. The "worst team in baseball" talk seems to have died down, which is nice...

And of course, just as it was the starting pitching that caused the problems earlier this year, it is the starting pitching that is winning games now...Richard Durrett notes that Kevin Millwood's outing yesterday was the team's 11th quality start in the last 22 outings, and that the rotation has a 4.33 ERA in its last 23 games.

Evan Grant says that Mark Teixeira will be back in the lineup on Friday, and that he will only make one rehab start for Frisco, an unusually short rehab stint:

Teixeira is, however, a historically slow starter for the season. And after his previous trip to the DL, which included that one-game rehab after 15 days off, he hit .200 over his first month back with a .395 slugging percentage.

Teixeira said, though, that facing more Double-A or Triple-A pitching is not going to help him recover his timing.

"Getting pitched around by a Double-A pitcher is not going to do anything for me," said Teixeira. "Hopefully, I'll face a guy who will want to challenge me, but it's not about the at-bats in that game, it's just about playing a full game."

While in D/FW the past few days, I heard some suggestions that Teixeira's refusal to make more than one rehab appearance before coming back did not go over real well with the team, but they can't make him do any rehab appearances if he doesn't want to, so their hands are pretty much tied...

Kevin Sherrington has a great column up today regarding Tom Hicks, and Hicks' comments on the Rangers and Stars...

Of particular note, Hicks says it was his decision to not bring back Kenny Rogers, and also talks about a controversial move and a controversial non-move:

Hicks says Daniels has admitted to him that trading Young was a mistake. But he also notes that he didn't overrule his young GM, something he's never done.

He's come close. Daniels went to Hicks last winter and asked if he'd be interested in Barry Bonds. Hicks said no.

Gil LeBreton has praise for the Rangers for showing heart in not quitting and playing strong the past month.

You know, it is interesting...the first six weeks of the season, it seemed like everyone was screaming about how the team had no heart, how they were a bunch of quitters that weren't trying...

And now, all that has stopped, and the Rangers are being praised for showing heart...

And I have to wonder...are they really trying any harder?

Or is it just that people believe that a team that is losing -- particularly when the team was expected to win -- must be a bunch of quitters, while a team that is on a winning streak must be a bunch of guys with heart who play hard?