Willy Taveras inks minor league deal with Rangers

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According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers have inked outfielder Willy Taveras to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Taveras is highly unlikely to climb his way to the majors, especially in Texas’ loaded system, but it may be a nice audition for him heading into Spring Training 2011.  If he gets a non-roster invite out of it, then mission accomplished.

The 28-year-old Taveras is mostly known for his speed and swiped 25 bases in 102 games last season for the Reds.  But he wasn’t able to hang with the Nats this year and certainly has some work to do at the plate.  He hasn’t registered an OPS over .604 since back in 2007.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.