Nolan Ryan isn’t confident about the Rangers landing Cliff Lee

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Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal caught up with Rangers’ President Nolan Ryan down at the GM meetings and asked him about Cliff Lee.  Ryan’s response: he’s not giving up or anything, and he and the rest of the Rangers are going to try and sell Lee on the charms of Texas, but he’s really not all that confident and he expects the Yankees to outbid the Rangers for Lee’s services.

I know that may sound depressing Rangers fans, but hey, at least you have a straight-shooter running your team and not a b.s. artist.

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.