Josh Hamilton undergoes X-rays on sore rib cage

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The Rangers aren’t off to the best start here in September.  They’ve dropped two straight games to the Twins at Target Field and now center fielder Josh Hamilton is even more banged up, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Hamilton, already battling a semi-serious knee injury and back soreness, collided with the outfield wall on Saturday afternoon at Target Field and was removed in the fifth inning.  He was taken to a local hospital for X-rays on his ribs.  They turned up negative, but he’s likely to miss Sunday’s series finale.

“I
just pinned my elbow up against my ribs and hit the wall,” Hamilton
said. “We’re just calling it day-to-day right now. Right now, they’re
just saying bruised ribs. It was a weird play. I was going back to the
wall. I felt the track under my feet, so I jumped because I thought I
was closer to the well. When I came down I rolled my ankle and fell into
the wall.”

The Rangers have an eight-game lead in the American League West and would be wise to give Hamilton some time off down the stretch.  Playing him at DH could work as well.  Remember, the 29-year-old slugger played in only 89 games last season.

If the Tigers are sub-.500 at the end of June it’ll be fire sale time

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Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.

This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.

So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.

The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.