New York Yankees v Texas Rangers

The Rangers’ Opening Day outfield could all soon be on the disabled list

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UPDATE: It’s official. Borbon was placed on the 15-day disabled list this afternoon with left hamstring inflammation. Endy Chavez has been called up from Triple-A Round Rock.

11:00 AM: Julio Borbon left last night’s game against the Angels in the top of the seventh inning with a strained left hamstring.

While Borbon downplayed the injury in his comments to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com following the game, we’ll know more about his status after he undergoes an MRI later today.

“As soon as I broke to the ball and took the first couple of steps, I felt a slight pull,” said Borbon, who added the hamstring was a little tight the past few days. “Even though it was something I knew wasn’t going to allow me to go full speed, I kept drifting and dragging my leg and I didn’t want to go where it would pop. I would say it was a slight pull right now.”

If Borbon does indeed require a stint on the disabled list, that means the entire Opening Day outfield would be on the DL at the same time. Josh Hamilton is currently working his way back from a fractured right humerus while Nelson Cruz is close to going on a rehab assignment after straining his right quad earlier this month.

The injury is ill-timed for Borbon, who has found himself back in the good graces of Rangers manager Ron Washington with a recent 10-game hitting streak. Endy Chavez was pulled from a game with Triple-A Round Rock last night and would likely replace Borbon on the roster if he needs to go on the disabled list. Chavez hasn’t played in the big leagues since undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee in July of 2009.

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before a start to deal with the yips

9 Apr 2000: Rick Ankiel #66 of the St. Louis Cardinals winds back to pitch the ball during the game against the Milwaukee Brweers at the Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals defeated the Brewers 11-2. Mandatory Credit: Elsa Hasch  /Allsport
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The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.

It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:

On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:

“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”

Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrating. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.

 

Justin Turner talks “Easy D”

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up prior to game six of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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A couple of weeks ago our president wrote one of his more . . . vexing tweets. He was talking about immigration when he whipped out the phrase . . . “Easy D”:

No one was quite sure what he meant by Easy D. Was it the older brother of N.W.A.’s founder? The third sequel to that Emma Stone movie from a few years back? So many questions!

Baseball Twitter had fun with it, though, with a lot of people wondering how they could work it in casually to their commentary:

It wasn’t a scout who did it, but twelve days after that, a player obliged Mr. McCullough:

I have no more idea what Turner was talking about with that than Trump was. We’ll have to wait for the full story in the L.A. Times. But I am going to assume Turner was doing McCullough a solid with that one rather than commenting on the president’s tweet. Either way, I’m glad he made the effort.

And before you ask: yes, it’s a slow news day.