Labor Day Weekend
But there’s much work to be
Ready, set, ready
Just two more off-days, September 13 and 16, over these 31
days. The next one after that will be
Monday, October 4, eve of the playoffs.
The only intrigue left on the Rangers’ schedule is whether
the clincher comes in Los Angeles or Oakland on the back end of the September
17-26 trip, or against Seattle or Los Angeles at home over the final
seven. I’m not rooting for the Rangers’ division
lead to shrink over the next few weeks, but yeah, I am. I’d really like to see Texas come back from
that last West Coast trip with a seven-game lead, at most.
An interesting, surprising note in the agate type yesterday:
the Mets purchased catcher Mike Nickeas as part of the club’s September roster
expansion. The 27-year-old, traded by
Texas to New York in 2006 for outfielder Victor Diaz, considered retiring last
winter but gave the game one more shot this season, hitting .276 between AA and
AAA before getting Thursday’s call-up, his first.
Just as interesting has been Seattle’s decision to leave
Justin Smoak – and Josh Lueke – in AAA rather than bring both up, as that organization
should have nothing on the itinerary at this point other than evaluating players
for 2011. The Mariners say they don’t
want to disrupt AAA Tacoma’s season, and won’t bring any players up from that
club until its Pacific Coast League playoff run is completely over, which could
be as late as September 21. The Rainiers
are 1.5 games up in their division with four regular-season games to go.
Speaking of the Pacific Coast League, lefthander Michael Kirkman
was named yesterday as the 16-team circuit’s Pitcher of the Year, based on a
vote of league managers, GM’s, broadcasters, and media. Kirkman is just one of the subjects we
covered in the latest installment of Rangers Podcast in Arlington, which Ted
Price, Adam Morris, and I recorded last night.
You can find the iTunes upload here,
or go to www.dallassportsnetwork.tv
for the Web version.
Yes, you all are right. There is that other bit of intrigue left, the chase for home field, as the Twins were taken to 13 innings last night and lost, 10-9 to Detroit, bringing Texas to within a game and a half of Minnesota as the two teams get set to play three big ones, starting tonight. Texas sends Derek Holland to the mound, with the Twins summoning AAA righthander Matt Fox, a 27-year-old who will be making his big league debut – as scheduled starter Nick Blackburn was pressed into service in the 13th inning last night (taking the loss as he was taken deep by Gerald Laird).
But I still want to clinch at home. What say we sweep these next three from the Twins, go 14-8 through that September 17-26 trip while Oakland goes, say, 17-5 . . . and Minnesota has a losing record over that stretch?
That would work for me.
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(c) Jamey Newberg