We'll find out today if Mark Cuban is in on the Rangers

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Barry Shlachter of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that we’ll know today whether Mark Cuban is in or out of the August 4th auction of the Texas Rangers.  The bidders are meeting today, Shlachter reports, and he has all the details in the increasingly technical and slightly boring sale of the Texas Rangers.

Not boring is Cuban, however, and today Maury Brown has a look at Mark Cuban: potential owner over at FanGraphs.  It’s well worth a read, though I think Maury is being way too hard on Cuban here, and far too credulous of Major League Baseball’s assertions regarding the desirability of the Chuck Greenberg Group as owners.

Maury talks about how Cuban would be a distraction as Bud Selig focuses “on growing MLB’s business instead of chasing maverick owners around,” but that ignores the fact that Selig and his gang have always put provincial and clubby loyalty concerns above business considerations when it comes to choosing ownership groups. It also ignores the fact that the biggest “maverick” of an owner baseball has ever seen — George Steinbrenner — is probably more responsible for “growing MLB’s business” than Bud Selig and the types of owners he has favored in recent years put together.

Not that Cuban is any sure-fire MLB savant.  I just think that his track record — which Maury accurately notes — entitled him to a little more deference than the “crazy Mark Cuban!” treatment he usually gets.

Dodgers activate Adrian Gonzalez

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The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.

Rays activate Kevin Kiermaier

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The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.

Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.