Maybe it’s something that’s easily and subconsciously cooked up, as badly as this season has gone, but I can’t remember the last time that Rangers opponents have looked so confident against us. On the mound, at the plate, running the bases. The other guys seem to play with absolute, unflappable conviction against Texas, which as a fan who lives and dies with this team is really demoralizing.

Bittersweet admission, and memo to contending teams: Mark Teixeira is a difference-maker, the greatest this franchise has had since Juan Gonzalez wore red.

Single, double, and a walk today for Oklahoma corner left fielder Jason Botts, who is hitting .361/.443/.546 in May, and is up to .283/.373/.428 for the year – including .365/.400/.540 against left-handed pitching – after a slow start. He’s hitting .314/.402/.495 with runners on base, .385/.436/.646 with runners in scoring position.

Given where this thing stands in Arlington (we’re half a game out of owning the top pick in the 2008 draft), it will be inexcusable for Botts – who will be out of options at season’s end – not to be here for the entire second half. Frankly, I’d like to see him here on the next plane out of Iowa, but that’s probably not happening as long as Sammy Sosa is being showcased.

Since Texas is not going to be making any prospects-for-veteran trades this summer, it stands to reason that Botts isn’t a candidate to be dealt this season. So let’s find out what he can do against big league pitching, 20 trips a week. No sense at this point in trying to build on his trade value by having him destroy AAA pitching for a third straight year. Bring him up, and not to pad the bench. If he fails, he fails.

And I bet he doesn’t fail.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at


I could not agree more. Botts should be up and playing every day for the Rangers so they can see if he can make it in the bigs. Wilkerson needs to ride the pine. It starts at the top and rolls downhill. Poor Ranger management is rampant. A major shakeup is needed at the highest levels.

Now that the Rangers frustrate me every day, I have hit the road to see how other teams are faring. The complaints are very similar in New York. Follow my mini-ballpark tour this week at

This is the year I have been waiting for. There is no way to think we have a chance to make a difference with a few trades giving up prospects for temporary fixes to compete. First we need to sign JD up for he next few years and send the message out that he is the guy, if he is. No player is untouchable to include Young and Millwood. It is the time to build it and wait. As always it is about pitching. Load up with young prospects and just let it happen.

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