A night off in San Francisco. What to do?
A workout was in order after a sluggish day of travel Friday that included a big burrito and a dinner of French food, dip and fries.
The big decision is if I will sacrifice the cover fee to watch Floyd Mayweather fight Conor McGregor. I’m not a particularly huge Mayweather fan, though I far prefer boxing to mixed martial arts.
Most agree that McGregor has only a puncher’s chance, but since Mayweather rarely stands still long enough to get punched, it seems the Irishman has no chance.
So, basically, my decision is this: Do I want to root for boxing to beat the MMA badly enough to shell out money better served for my kids or my baseball-card collection?
Plus, one lopsided contest is all I can handle per day.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from n 8-3 loss to the Oakland A’s.
1. For those reading Rangers Reaction for the first time, this isn’t the first time the following has been said:
Cole Hamels, no matter how well or badly he pitches, is always at his locker to face the media. That’s what pros do, and he did it again after allowing six runs in 4 1/3 innings to an A’s team that entered tied for the worst average in the American League.
He’s accountable. When something is off, he admits it. More than something was off Saturday.
“Everything,” he said.
Oakland started early with a first-inning home run by the A’s second batter, Chad Pinder. he did it again in the third, and a funky fourth-inning run put the Rangers in a 3-2 hole.
Hamels allowed three more runs in the fourth while registering only one out before Jeff Banister had to go get him. Hamels allowed nine hits on six runs and three walks.
The rediscovery of his changeup was behind his surge. He needs to rediscover the timing in his delivery. The lack of it threw made for a long day.
His pitches didn’t go where he wanted them because his release point was off. He was mostly hit and miss, as were the A’s.
But don’t worry about Hamels, now 31-8 in 61 starts since joining the Rangers. If and when the Rangers are in a must-win situation, he’s going to get the ball and will give them a chance. That’s been his track record since 2015, when he took the league by storm after a July 31 trade.
That guy is still in there, maybe without the pile of strikeouts but still with the onions and know-how.
He might not have had that know-how Saturday, but he had the know-why afterward.
Don’t worry about Hamels.
2. Tanner Scheppers’ stay with the Texas Rangers could be coming to an end after the right-hander was designated for assignment following the trade of Milwaukee righty Paolo Espino to the Rangers for cash considerations.
There’s a chance Scheppers stays, if he clears waivers, but finding a new baseball home might best for him after injuries wrecked his past five seasons.
Really, moving to the starting rotation is what wrecked his past five seasons after a brilliant 2013 as the primary eighth-inning set-up man for Joe Nathan. Scheppers never had Tommy John surgery, but his elbow started barking only a handful of starts into the 2014 season, including on Opening Day, and he has been slowed by knee injuries in recent seasons.
He came on strong late last year and looked to have an inside track to a bullpen spot at the start of spring training. But another injury, this time abdominal soreness, hit him late in camp and he was outrighted off the 40-man roster while at Triple A Round Rock.
The Rangers promoted him once earlier in the season, but he has been in the minors for much of 2016. With only a few games left in the minor league season, his year likely ends with a 5.05 Triple A ERA in 30 games.
Is there a lesson to be learned here? Maybe. Was Scheppers injury-prone before the Rangers drafted him? There was history.
The problem is that it’s so hard for teams to develop starting pitching. Some are better than others, but it’s still one of the most difficult things to do in the baseball and one of the most important.
It didn’t work for Scheppers. Four years and five seasons later, he has been designated for assignment.
3. Expect to hear a more definitive word Sunday about the Rangers’ three-game series Tuesday-Thursday against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
The good news is that both teams are off Monday as they try to make their way to the Lone Star State from Oakland and Anaheim, where the Astros are playing this weekend. That’s pretty much the end of the good news. That’s actually the end of actual news, as the rest is just a bunch of projections.
Meteorologists are calling for Tropical Storm Harvey to do nothing but soak Southeast Texas for the next handful of days, causing flooding in areas that could receive more than 40 inches of rain.
That kind of flooding just doesn’t go away once the sun comes out, so the problem for the Rangers and Astros might not be getting to Houston but getting around Houston. The Astros might have trouble safely staffing Minute Maid Park, and fans might have trouble safely getting to the games.
But baseball doesn’t stop, and the games need to be played. The Rangers are contending for a wild-card spot, despite their showing so far in Oakland, and the Astros are trying to secure the home field through the playoffs.
One possibility is that the series shifts to Arlington, and the last Astros visit to Arlington (Sept. 25-27) gets pushed to Houston. That is pure conjecture, as neither the Rangers, Astros or Major League Baseball have said anytthing official.
The Astros had to play two games against the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park in Milwaukee in 2008 because of Hurricane Ike. Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail was a reliever on that Astros team, and he said that the flight to Milwaukee was the quietest he ever remembers.
Again, this is just good old-fashioned spit-balling at this point. Besides, the Brewers are at home. Atlanta and Miami are on the road. So is St. Louis.