Interesting angle on the Rangers’ pursuit of Cliff Lee from Evan Grant today. He thinks Chuck Greenberg “made what could be a very dangerous spur-of-the-moment decision,” in getting involved in the Lee negotiations directly, effectively overruling and undercutting team President Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels who had made it clear as of Wednesday that they did not intend to get into a bidding war for Lee. Grant compares it all to Tom Hicks getting involved in the Alex Rodriguez negotiations ten years ago.
I can see that, but I tend to think this is a lesson that will be learned by the Rangers, and not a hard lesson. As in, I don’t think they’ll end up winning Lee and thus having to live with a big contract, for the reasons I said earlier today.
Also worth noting that this isn’t just my speculation. Other major league sources have told me — based on their own views of the matter, not on any inside-intelligence — that they don’t think the Rangers will win it. What’s more, they think that’s possibly by design, with all of this being a big show so they can tell fans back home that they tried their hardest. Maybe that’s a bit too cynical — I said as much this morning, but I’m not 100% convinced of it myself — but the fact remains that the people I spoke with would be shocked if the Rangers won.*
Me too. And thus, though I think Evan is right that Greenberg going over Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels’ head here is problematic, it probably won’t be giant problem.
At least until he does it again with the next big free agent fish.
*Probably worth noting that we were all shocked when the Angels didn’t Carl Crawford too.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.