The Rangers had the day off yesterday. Let's face it, the Rangers have basically had the entire 2014 season off. However, at least we're not the Oakland A's. Oh, sure, we'd trade places with 'em. Meaningful September baseball and all that. But we've seen this September before. After spending nearly all of the season as the odds on favorite to cruise to the World Series, the A's have mixed a little 2012 Rangers run differential watch with the '12-'13 perils of trading for Cubs starting pitching and find themselves in the midst of an insane collapse.
Losing 12 games in the division and 9 in the Wild Card race in just 27 games is hard to do. Somehow, some way, the A's have done just that.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) September 9, 2014
Tonight, the A's were one strike away from beating the White Sox -- and perhaps pulling out of their tailspin -- when Tyler Flowers hit a game-tying home run in the 9th. Later, in the 12th, in his next at-bat, Flowers did this:
And now, thanks to wins by the Tigers and Mariners last night, the A's are only a game and a half from missing the playoffs entirely. If they can't figure it out, they're either going to miss the postseason altogether or end up with some kind of dreaded Yu Darvish vs Joe Saunders scenario in a Wild Card play-in.
This all comes after Billy Beane gave up premium talent the likes of Yoenis Cespedes, Addison Russell, Billy McKinney, and others from the top of the A's farm to push his chips all in on 2014. If any of this seems familiar, just think about how this couldn't have happened to a better bunch of leprechauns who have finally had their pot of gold stolen. Or maybe Craig Gentry is cursed.
Onto less enjoying-the-misery-of-others news and more suffering the misery of the Rangers:
Calvin Watkins starts us off with a very offseason-y piece on five issues the Rangers must resolve in order to move forward in the post-Wash era.
Anthony Andro takes a look at the Rangers' 2015 schedule which was announced yesterday and has the Rangers opening the season in Oakland.
Jeff Wilson notices that things are weird and writes that the Rangers face a long road to normalcy in the aftermath of Ron Washington's resignation.
T.R. Sullivan notes that where Washington had The Gut, Tim Bogar trusts his stomach to help him make decisions based on what the numbers tell him. Maybe things won't be so weird after all.
David Brown of the Big League Stew writes about Guilder Rodriguez's heartwarming promotion and links to LSB's thoughts on the matter in the process.
Sullivan previews tonight's series opener between the visiting Angels and Rangers with Hector Santiago facing off against Colby Lewis.
Lastly, Mike Oz of the Big League Stew writes about Vladimir Guerrero's 15-year-old son dropping scout jaws in the Dominican Republic. From the YouTube description:
“Watching him bat at 15 looks a lot like Bryce Harper hitting bombs at Tropicana field at 15, except Guerrero is using a wooden bat.”
Vladdy Jr. will be eligible to sign in July when the Rangers could have the most money to spend on the international market. Praise the tank!