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Tuesday a.m. stuff

So, yeah, Josh Hamilton is pretty good.

That was an impressive display last night.  But I found myself feeling a little less overwhelmed, it seems, that a lot of folks did.

Some of it probably owes to the fact that I don't really care about the home run derby.  I mean, it isn't that I don't respect Hamilton's ability...but basically, these things are a form of batting practice.  Hamilton can hit the ball a ton.  But we already knew that.  This isn't Nelson Cruz, who would be an MVP candidate if the majors was coach-pitch...this is a guy we already knew was damn good.

But a larger part of it, to me, seems to come from the fact that this is what being a Rangers fan has been over the years.  See several guys make the All Star team (deservingly), see a Ranger put up an awe-inspiring power display, and then go into the second half watching other teams vie for playoff spots, while we sit around and think about next year.

Don't get me wrong...having guys like Hamilton and Ian Kinsler and Michael Young and Milton Bradley is part of what will make this team a playoff success.  Great individual performances have a huge role in making a team successful.

I guess that, as a Ranger fan, I'm at a point where I'd trade having 4 guys in the all star game and an impressive power display in the HR derby for being a legit playoff contender. 

Eric Hurley and Hank Blalock were on rehab assignments at Frisco yesterday.  Hurley went 7 1/3 scoreless, and Blalock went 1 for 3 while playing first base.  Hurley is going to be activated at start on Saturday.

Jean-Jacques Taylor says, hey, Milton Bradley isn't that surly player you've heard about.  He's actually a good guy!

There's a piece in the Cleveland paper about Bradley's falling out with Indians manager Eric Wedge, which led to him being dealt to the Dodgers.

And over at Beyond the Box Score, there's an analysis up on Ian Kinsler's first half, complete with pitch f/x data and ball in play charts, that shows that Kinsler's significant improvement this year appears to be driven by his marked improvement in hitting breaking balls.