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Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles @ Texas Rangers - First Half Stoppage Time

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SLIP 'N SLIDE!
SLIP 'N SLIDE!

Honestly, I'm ready for the All Star break. Not because I'm looking forward to the Home Run Derby (which, by the way, I'm offended that no one has invited Elvis). Not because I'm excited about the Futures Game (Martin Perez isn't even going to be there so what's the point?). Not even because I'm looking forward to the Mid-Summer Classic (though, for the first time in years, I do actually care because ELVIS!!). No, much like a veteran secretly glad that he missed the All Star squad, I'm just happy to get a breather.

There's a part of me that's really enthused at the thought of having three days in which to bask in first half success without having to worry about a game that night. Eventually, after riding the Texas Giant all day, you want to take a moment to relax with a deep fried turkey leg and laugh at the picture of you looking silly on the roller coaster ride.

I say this, but of course, by Monday night, I'll be wishing I had a Rangers game to get overtly emotional about. I'll be wishing I could cut in line for the Giant one more time.

I hope the Rangers aren't ready for a break because they've got four more winnable games before Monday that they need to plow through. Then, rest up, because the roller coaster of the second half has soaring heights and cavernous dips. The goal is to make it off the ride with a smile on your face. Try not to vomit.

Thursday, July 8 7:05: RHP Jeremy Guthrie vs. RHP Tommy Hunter

Friday, July 9 7:05: LHP Brian Matusz vs. RHP Scott Feldman

Saturday, July 10 7:05: RHP Chris Tillman (?) vs. LHP Matt Harrison (Doug Mathis?)

Sunday, July 11 2:05: RHP Jake Arrieta (?) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson

The Orioles are the worst team in the American League. The Rangers should beat them. Winning three of four is the minimum of my expectations. However, let's say they don't meet this criteria. Let's say they lose three of four. They go into the All Star Game up 3 1/2. They come out of the break facing a schedule that is brutal. Suddenly, it's September 15th and a tough home loss to Detroit has cut the lead to only half of a game. Envision, if you will, Michael Young gets a tired body up from his locker, tells the clubhouse attendant and a couple of random cousins of teammates to leave. He trudges over to Ron Washington's office and asks that he join him but gather the coaches first. Michael Young closes the clubhouse door in the face of the media. Everyone is sullen and quiet. They've gathered without needing to be asked.

"I've been here for ten years now," Michael Young hoarsely says as he tries to wet his mouth, he clears his throat, "Ten years. I've played with great players here. Hall of Fame players. All-time greats. But never once have I felt like it meant a damn thing to be a Texas Ranger. Do you feel like it means something to be a Texas Ranger? It means something to be a New York Yankee, right? It means something to be an LA Dodger. They don't know us from the Frisco Roughriders out there. Why? Because we haven't done shit. We're expected to lose. We're expected to be an afterthought. But I've been here ten years and I know that can change. Being a Texas Ranger can mean something. Being a Texas Ranger can be something we're proud of. I don't care about the fans, I don't care about the media, and I don't care about the players in the other clubhouse. I care about being a Texas Ranger. We've got two weeks to make this mean something. We can either continue to be an afterthought, or for once, we can put aside the grind, step outside of what is expected of us, and we can win. Let's make being a Texas Ranger mean something, for once. I've been here for ten years and I'm ready for the Texas Rangers to matter. Who is ready to matter? Who is ready to mean something? Who is ready to be a Texas Ranger?"

Of course, baseball games aren't won by speeches, but I'd dare that team to not win the division.

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Baltimore Orioles (25-59, 5th place AL East)

Rangers' 2010 Record vs. Baltimore: 2-0 (At The Ballpark)

Baltimore's Recent Results: 0-3 Series sweep against the Detroit Tigers

SBN Orioles Blog: Camden Chat

     Match-up: (as of 7/7)

       Rangers

Orioles

Advantage

Batting

(RAR)

149.8

           (5th)

30.7

(28th)

Rangers!


Starters

(RAR)

56.4

(22nd)

28.1

(29th)

Rangers

Bullpen

(RAR)

29.7

(5th)

4.1

(24th)

Rangers!

Overall RAR

234.9

62.9

RANGERS

Defense Runs Saved

11

-15

Rangers


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions to Ponder:

  • Did you know Kevin Millwood's FIP is a robust 5.05? I don't really care that Rich Harden has been a bust so far or the return for Millwood is in San Francisco now, the Rangers traded Millwood at the right time.
  • Did you know the Orioles most valuable pitcher this season in terms of WAR, Brian Matusz, has a 4.14 FIP? Yikes.
  • Did you know a comparably valued Ranger pitcher is Scott Feldman? Extra yikes.
  • Over/Under: Do the Rangers win 3 games this series?
  • Why are the Orioles so boring?


Craig Tatum

#15 / Not Matt Wieters Catcher / Baltimore Orioles

6-1

225

R

R

Mar 18, 1983

Roll Model: Drew Butera