Chuck Greenberg's message to Rangers fans: "Believe"

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The owner of my team makes $87.5 million a year and I’m guessing he’s too busy eating panda steaks and lounging on unicorn skin couches to spend much time on the blogs.  Not so the Rangers new owner. Chuck Greenberg took to Lone Star Ball today to send a message to Rangers fans in advance of tomorrow’s Game 5:

BELIEVE….this isn’t supposed to be easy. Nothing this year has
been. Whether on the field or off, every time things looked about set,
unexpected problems arose. But in the end, the conclusion we sought was
EARNED, each and every time. This series is simply a microcosm of all
that has preceded it. This season has been filled with magic, and more
lies ahead. As for history? Forget it. History doesn’t throw a pitch or
swing a bat. History belongs to those who make it, and it takes place in
the present tense. Our history will be made on Tuesday. Be proud….and
BELIEVE.

Chuck

I think that “microcosm” stuff is a bit is strange. To the extent this series is a microcosm of anything — start strong, encounter trouble, get pushed to the brink, hopefully end strong — it is a microcosm of Greenberg’s struggle to buy the Rangers over the past year. I’m guessing most fans don’t give a toss about any of that. They just want Cliff Lee to shut down the Rays tomorrow.

But still, cool enough.  More than most owners would do.  I think I’m pulling for the Rangers in this one anyway.

Report: Phillies interested in Manny Machado; Orioles have done homework on Phillies’ minor league system

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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.

The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.

Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.

As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.