So last night was one of the most eventful games in a while. I think that most of it was inspired by a rogue home plate ump calling one of the sillier strike zones I've seen. One of my major pet peeves is that people seem to accept that umpires have different and unique strike zones. There is one correct strike zone, and if you are unable to judge it, you shouldn't be umpiring in the major leagues. The notion that if an umpire just calls it the same way for both clubs means that the game will be fair is just wrong to me. It completely changes the nature of that particular game. Just think, if the strike zone is increased one inch in each direction, it drastically changes the total square area in which a pitcher has to work - drastically. And Bill Miller was by no means limited to one inch outside of the strikezone last night.
Evan Grant updates the status of negotiations with Blake Beavan, Julio Borbon and Neil Ramirez. The Rangers are still keeping a positive attitude at this point. Failing to sign any of them would result in at-pick compensation in the 2008 draft, so the Rangers have pretty stable leverage.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia provides Anthony Andro with some of his thoughts upon arriving to DFW for the first time.
And several Rangers are getting mention in Baseball America's late season rankings and awards. Among today's positional top ten rankings, Max Ramirez and Taylor Teagarden were ranked as the seventh and tenth best catching prospects in baseball, German Duran the ninth best 2B prospect, Chris Davis the tenth best 3B prospect (ahead of Johnny Whittleman), Elvis Andrus the sixth best SS, Eric Hurley the tenth best RHP, and Kasey Kiker the eighth best LHP.
Saltalamacchia would have been number one at catcher had he been still in the minors, so that's confirmation of the strength of that position within the organization. Some will be surprised that Ramirez would be ranked ahead of Teagarden, but I think that it's the matter of being an offensively oriented catcher versus defensively oriented.
In BA's league "tools" categories, Johnny Whittleman was regarded as having the best Strike-Zone Judgement in the MWL and Chris Davis was voted the best Power Prospect in the Cal League. Anthony Webster was voted Best Baserunner, German Duran Best Defensive 2B, and Daniel Herrera best Changeup in the TL. No current Rangers were among the top three in any category.