THE NEWBERG REPORT — MAY 27, 2007
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.