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Home » September 2008 Game CommentsSeptember 2008 » Offing


Game 141: September 6, 2008
Red Sox 8 L: Tim Wakefield (8-10) 83-58, 1 game losing streak
WinRangers 15 W: Matt Harrison (7-3) 70-73, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: Tired of getting beat down by the big bully Red Sox, the Rangers finally fixed the season-long wedgie afflicted upon them with an emphatic defeat. Wakefield began promisingly enough but buckled rather than knuckled in the second inning.

Avoiding the distasteful topic of the specifics of last night’s game, what I saw in the Rangers was a young, up-and-coming team that in a few years might be the Rays of today. Once they were freed from the burdens of Alex Rodriguez and Chan Ho Park’s massive contracts, the Texas ball club could focus on nurturing a youthful core of players.

Rather than hold on to Mark Teixeira they wisely moved him at the apex of his value to acquire a bevy of promising prospects: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Beau Jones, Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, and Matt Harrison. They traded the electric Edinson Volquez for Josh Hamilton, but both teams profited from that transaction.

Hamilton joined a team with the emerging Ian Kinsler and the debuting Chris Davis to create one of the most prodigious offenses in the league. Their weakness, much like the Devil Rays of yore, is in pitching.

Key pitching prospects Eric Hurley (great name for a pitcher, unlike, say, Homer Bailey or Rocky Cherry), Neftali Perez, and Michael Main are a few years away from big league innings, so they will have to hoodwink a team for a Scott Kazmir of their own.

Cornell graduate and Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has built a player development machine in the mold of Theo Epstein’s. Will Tony Reagins’s bankroll courtesy of Arte Moreno and Billy Beane’s reknown empirical techniques be able to keep up?

The American League West may have to contend with a Lone Star State powerhouse in the coming seasons. Last night was a sneak preview of what is in the offing.

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