Rangers ready to send Josh Hamilton to Triple-A

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After spending some time in Arizona at the Rangers’ extended spring training complex Josh Hamilton is ready to start playing at Triple-A.

Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star Telegram reports that Hamilton could join Triple-A Round Rock as soon as Sunday, beginning what figures to be a multi-week stint there.

Hamilton is on the disabled list following February shoulder surgery and the Angels traded him to the Rangers while eating the majority of his remaining contract after a setback with his sobriety.

Based on various quotes from Rangers officials Hamilton’s surgically repaired shoulder is basically healed, but he simply needs to get game reps after not playing since October.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?