Time to check in with the other member of the American League West. Hopefully this will be the last time for awhile we have to do this with the Angels not in first place.
Pssst… hey, Rangers. Don’t be alarmed but there is an Angels team right behind you. While the Angels were busy building a seven-game winning streak, the Rangers made the mistake of dropping four in a row (and counting) and now their division lead is a mere half game over the Angels and only 2.5 games over Seattle. Now TexAss is a team in turmoil. Twice last week the Rangers GM had to give out votes of confidence to players (Chris Davis and Derek Holland) who seem in danger of losing their job. If there is good news for the Rangers it is that closer Frank Francisco has returned from the disabled list and Josh Hamilton is progressing in his rehab from an abdominal injury. The Rangers will need all the help they need if they want to hold off the Angels who they will face six times in the next fifteen games. It also might help if the Rangers quit dedicating suites in their stadium to unpopular former presidents, but that is what they did on June 18th, which coincidentally is the day their losing streak started. Has anyone ever undedicated something before?
The only thing missing is a Mission Accomplished banner.
The Mariners have made up ground in the division but aren’t acting like a team just a hair away from first place. Maybe it is because they recently lost Erik Bedard to injury for a few weeks followed by a season-ending injury to Endy Chavez. They have managed to survive the bad luck streak by taking out their frustrations on the meager NL West, winning five of their last six games. Despite this recent surge, the Mariners continue to be dogged by trade rumors with the most popular being Jarrod Washburn (hey, I remember him) heading to the LA Dodgers. Of course the Mariners could always rethink matters if they do move into first place, which seems likely to happen if they continue to pitch as well as they have in June. Then again, Seattle management is probably smart enough to realize their staff cannot possibly sustain the 2.37 ERA they have posted thus far in June. Or maybe they are just scared that Yuniesky Betancourt will continue plowing into outfielders and injuring them for the season.
Next time aim for Ichiro, Yuniesky.
Oops, it looks like the A’s peaked too early. They started the month off with a seven-game winning streak but then proceeded to drop eight of their next twelve games and find themselves seven games back and in last place. Excuse me while I try and wipe the tears from my eyes. Now things are only getting worse now that they have learned that team leader Eric Chavez has undergone season-ending (and possibly career-ending) back surgery. But now the vultures are circling the Athletics’ corpse and hoping to pick away useful pieces of player flesh, which is hard to do with the current Oakland roster. Matt Holliday’s name is already popping up in the rumor mill with the Angels as a possible destination (not a likely one though). These are the kind of things that happen to teams that have Adam Kennedy as their OPS leader.
Do you really trust a team where this guy is your best hitter?