Concern does not equal panic.
The team that lost
four at home to the team with the worst record in Major League Baseball in July
and yet bounced back after the All-Star Break to win five of seven in Boston
and Detroit is now 0-11 in Minnesota, New York, and Tampa Bay in 2010, with one
more shot at avoiding a winless season in those three teams’ ballparks tomorrow
(C.J. Wilson against Nick Blackburn) before they play again in one of those
buildings a month from now, when the stakes are higher.
Hope they’ve got
another, bigger bounceback in them. And I
don’t mean Sunday afternoon.
But as for tomorrow’s
effort to salvage something in this series, they’ll evidently go to battle without
Josh Hamilton, though precautionary postgame X-rays on his ribs have apparently
come back negative. And probably without
Elvis Andrus, who exited the game in the fourth inning with tightness in his
I understand that
Oklahoma City, which lost today to Omaha, 2-0, still needs to win tomorrow or
Monday to secure its playoff berth, and I understand the mindset between giving
the RedHawks a chance to see things through, but if it’s all the same, I’d like
to see runner Willy Taveras (who’s only been with OKC for three weeks anyway) waiting
for the big league team in Toronto before Monday’s four-game series gets
If the 40-man roster
is the issue, there’s really no need for both Alex Cora and Cristian Guzman to
be here now that Andres Blanco is back on the bench. One of them is fine. A player who does what Taveras can do stands a
far greater chance to help Texas win a game these final four weeks (and possibly
in October) than Cora or Guzman, and while I see the benefit of having one of
them around, having both around at the expense of a real pinch-runner doesn’t add
Injuries, if minor ones, to Hamilton and Andrus and Cliff
Lee and Frankie Francisco. Colby Lewis in
a bit of a rut these last couple starts.
Julio Borbon’s inexperience showing up in the outfield and on the
bases. All of these things can be easily
forgotten in a few weeks, but at the moment there’s a bunch of sputtering going
on, and while the division doesn’t seem to be at risk, the importance of finding
some momentum as a club seems to be a little further out of reach right now, as
I allow myself to knee-jerk just a bit.
Concern is not the same thing as panic.
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(c) Jamey Newberg