It’s always good to take the first one. The Texas Rangers have just accomplished that by winning the opening series against the Philadelphia Phillies two to one. Manager Ron Washington preaches a solid philosophy in how to approach the long 162. His mantras are a culmination of decades playing and managing the game of baseball.
“Do what the game ask you to do.”
“Win the series.”
And even the occasional, “That’s just the way baseball go.”
The Rangers finished their opening series two games to one in their favor, a series that could have seen them swept just as easily. But Wash was at the helm. The final two games of that series followed an unpredictable game one would have Rangers fans thinking that the apocalypse was upon them. That is until, on consecutive nights, the home team came up to bat in the ninth.
Let the rest of the American League’s Western Division be warned as the Texas Rangers will not go quietly into the night. They won’t roll over and die when the injury bug bites. If that wave hits their ship, they will find a way to stay afloat.
Adrian Beltre’s head is under attack. Shin-Soo Choo is perhaps the best leadoff hitter in club history. The two, respectively, walked it off in back to back nights.
Rios is making the executives seriously consider next season’s $13.5 million option – even with Choice primed to contribute.
Prince hasn’t homered yet, but its coming.
Jamey Newberg’s two favorite Martins (Leonys Martin and Martin Perez respectively) might just prove to folks that last year was no fluke.
The club as a whole is playing baseball the way it should be played. They are an extreme mix of talented baseball players who all seem to be in their prime years including the veterans, which time seems to have stalled in getting them to twilight.
Like Todd Kaufman mentioned in his latest Kauf Drops installment, it is going to be tough to replace Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross in a bullpen that, without the pair, lacks experience. That said, there is a very good chance one of them goes back once Yu Darvish, lefty Matt Harrison, and (fingers crossed) a healthy Colby Lewis come back from the disabled list. There’s always the chance both of them go back, but then maybe neither of them go back. As in regards to who goes first, the decision could come down to each player’s next couple starts.
Scheppers will be better. He could solidify his spot in the rotation and give the Rangers an extremely valuable top of the rotation type pitcher if he can stay healthy.
Ross slowed down near the end of last season and struggled due to the amount of pitches he threw adding up. He is a hard working Kentucky boy and says he’s done the conditioning necessary for him to make it through a season of 32 plus starts. He has earned the right to be to taken at his word due to his surpassing of expectations the previous couple of years.
What is fact is fact; and the fact is that the Rangers are hampered with injuries.
Baseball is a long season and it has many games. Every team is going to deal with injuries here and there, and that will certainly cost them some games. Unlike some of those teams though, the Rangers are getting their pieces back and some pretty soon. The saying goes that the best trades are the ones a team makes with itself.
Tomorrow, the Rangers will make one such trade, as they will acquire Yu Darvish for one of their bullpen arms. As to who that will be, well, that would be the club’s choice.