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Monday morning stuff

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Okay, what do we have out there today...

Josh Hamilton is impressing folks. And Hamilton is impressed by his teammates:

When discussing the benefits of feeling more relaxed, the relationship he has quickly forged with teammates also can't be overlooked. It started with Michael Young, Hank Blalock and Ian Kinsler attending a news conference in which Hamilton candidly discussed his battle with drug abuse a month ago.

A day or two later, after the Rangers worked out, Kinsler invited him to grab a salad at a local bakery. Nothing really big there, except that Hamilton says it's the first time any professional teammate ever invited him for a meal.

Evan Grant also says that the Rangers have released R.J. Anderson, a 9th round pick from 2005 who got an above-slot bonus to forego a college scholarship.

Tim Cowlishaw has a column up on the impact the loss of Mark Teixeira will have on the team.

Jeff Wilson says yesterday's performance didn't help Sidney Ponson's bid to make the rotation...I still think Luis Mendoza gets called up for the April 12 start, and then the Rangers re-evaluate from there.

On the injury front, Mark Connor was happy with Vicente Padilla's performance yesterday, but Milton Bradley is still sore, and it is looking less and less likely he'll be playing right field to start the season. Kevin Millwood is going to start again Thursday, and C.J. Wilson and Joaquin Benoit will pitch on Tuesday.

Jim Hendry says the Cubs still need a righty outfield bat:

So if the season started today, would general manager Jim Hendry be satisfied with his roster?

''No,'' Hendry told the Sun-Times on Sunday. ''We're going to have to add somebody before Opening Day. I can't say for sure because you are going to have to acquire somebody from somewhere else, but we are going to have to add at least another outfielder to be in the mix off the bench -- from the right side.''

* * *

''You try to hold off and try to get the best guy you can,'' Hendry said. ''And that's what we're still going to try to do. And the other things, you don't know whether they are going to happen.''

The ''other things'' likely center on the Cubs' hunt for Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, though sources from both sides indicate a deal probably wouldn't be struck until the final days of camp. The Cubs also have interest in Boston Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp, a switch hitter, and the Texas Rangers' Marlon Byrd, a righty-swinging outfielder who could play center.

The need for another outfielder has become so great, manager Lou Piniella will give right fielder Kosuke Fukudome some looks in center this week.

''One thing we don't have here is a backup center fielder,'' Piniella said. ''I said we weren't going to keep both young center fielders [Felix Pie and Sam Fuld] here. I'm going to have to play Fukudome in center a little bit this week.''

* * *

''I think Jim will be able to pick up a center fielder,'' Piniella said.

Hendry has been working overtime to swing a deal.

''You can even see from our spring training games where we're a little short out there,'' Hendry said. ''We never anticipate large trades are going to get made, so you don't count on having a lot different team than you have right now.''

So there you go...