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Sunday morning Rangers stuff

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Sunday morning Rangers news and links

Eric Christian Smith

I was really, really sick yesterday, to the point that, after doing the morning links post, I went back to bed and didn't get out again.

Which means that, not only did I not get to go to Saturday night's game with Seth, but I missed getting to witness, in person, Elvis Andrus's first home run of the season.

Alas.

That notwithstanding, the Rangers are now a game up in the A.L. West, are basically tied with Tampa for the first Wild Card spot (although, if the season ended today, the Wild Card would be moot because Texas would have won the division), and 2.5 games up on Baltimore for the 2nd Wild Card spot.

This is pretty remarkable, given how things were looking about two weeks ago.

BP's playoff odds now give the Rangers an 88% chance of making the playoffs, and a 63.2% chance of winning the division.

T.R. Sullivan's game story talks about new addition (or New Edition -- "My friends keep telling me to cool it now...") Alex Rios keying the Rangers win last night, as well as Rios marveling with Geovany Soto about how upbeat and fun the Rangers players are.

Drew Davison's game story heralds the performances of Rios and Elvis.

Todd Wills has his Rapid Reaction at the ESPN Dallas blog.

Evan Grant is impressed with Alex Rios so far.

Davison talks to Nolan Ryan about his role with the Rangers going forward, and his thoughts on the team this year.

Gil Lebreton has a column where he suggests that this Ranger team is well-suited for succeeding in the playoffs.

Tim Cowlishaw is impressed with Jon Daniels adding Matt Garza and Alex Rios to the Rangers for the stretch run.

Davison's "Minors Insider" takes a look at submarining righthander Ben Rowen, who has put himself on the map with a strong 2013 season.

Sullivan's notes talk about Lance Berkman's big offensive night in his first rehab game, Joey Butler being optioned to make room for Rios, Rios being fired up about playing for a contender, and Neal Cotts recording his first save since Buck Showalter was managing the Rangers.

Davison's notes hit on Rios wanting to break his career-long playoff-less streak, the Rangers' outfield options, and the status on Berkman, Matt Harrison and Nick Tepesch.