Matt Garza is a Texas Ranger. He’s no Cliff Lee. He doesn’t automatically result in a division crown for the Rangers as the Lee trade did in 2010. Yes, he’s a solid number two or three guy behind Darvish and the Dutch Oven. Yes, he’s probably good for eight or nine wins and a dozen or more quality outings over the last ten weeks. But I don’t know if he’s enough. The return of Matt Harrison to anything near his pitching prowess of a year ago is iffy at best. We’re talking about a back injury here, as unpredictable for a pitcher as it is for a golfer. Who knows? As for Ogando, I guess we’ll know a little more tonight. Can we really count on him? And, I’m not certain we’re ever going to see Neftali Feliz again. Those national writers who are still picking Texas to eventually overcome the A’s to win the West are basing that on Ogando and Harrison and Feliz each making strong returns. Seems shaky to me…
The real problem with the Rangers this year, as awful as the pitching’s been the past three weeks, is the offense. To replace Hamilton and Young, the Rangers went with a couple of oft-injured old-timers and now they’re paying for it. Lance Berkman is gone and A.J.’s looking really tired. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Manny Ramirez get called up before the week’s over to take some hacks with the Rangers. I mean, at this point, they’ve got to try something. The fact that it’s going to be Manny tells you all you need to know about the level of desperation right now in Arlington.
If that’s not bad enough, yesterday’s plea deal between MLB and Ryan Braun means Nellie Cruz could be gone for the year within a matter of days. It all depends on how much evidence they have on him, whether Selig views Nellie as a first-time offender, and if they’ll wait until there are 50 games left in the season to announce a suspension. That would be in about two weeks. Manny being Manny is not enough for this struggling offense. Manny would have to be Manny and Cal and Babe Ruth.
It’s pretty bleak right now. I’m not feeling good about things. The past month has reminded me a lot of last September. They’re flat and lethargic, beat up and old, lackadaisical and just kinda going through the motions.
Beltre and Elvis are the only ones I can really get excited about right now. Maybe Texas will trade for Rios or another power hitter this week. Maybe the acquisition of Garza wakes the whole team up and they start playing like they’re capable. Right now, though, it’s Beltre and Elvis. Those two bulldogs play hard on every pitch, at the plate and in the field, and they’re a lot of fun to watch. Always have been. In honor of those two and in an effort to cheer myself up, I present this hilarious video of these two best friends.