1. This is a bit open-ended, but here goes: With Jon Daniels now under contract through the 2015 season, what is your best, educated guess as far as how this upcoming five-year window is going to play out for the Rangers given the personnel and talent currently in place?
2. Wrote ESPN.com's Keith Law of Tanner Scheppers on Friday: "Scheppers touched 92 [mph] once on Thursday, but was mostly 88-91, and most alarming was how incredibly slow his arm was. In relief last summer and the fall before, I saw him up to 98 with a hellacious breaking ball and a lightning-quick arm, but the guy I saw on Thursday was a virtual non-prospect, a "put the gun down" player if he wasn't a once-famous draft prospect. [...] Postgame reports emerged that Scheppers had stiffness in his lower back but elected to pitch anyway. It could be an explanation for the loss of velocity and arm speed, but it seems insufficient to me, and of course it could be an excuse for poor performance.
"If it's true and fully explains how bad Scheppers looked on Wednesday, however, it's a reminder of why nearly every MLB team took him off their draft boards in June 2009. He can't be counted on to handle any significant workload or stay healthy for any significant period of time, because his margin for error with his shoulder is so small. It's not reason to panic, but it's not a positive step."
In the meantime, Scheppers' MRI reportedly came up clean. In any event, do you consider this to be some manner of penalizing Scheppers too harshly despite apparently pitching with an injury, or are you with Law in terms of his back twinge perhaps not fully accounting for the velocity/arm speed issues?
3. So, this contraction talk seems to be a bunch of hot air, but going beyond that ... are you in any way amenable to the idea of geographic realignment of the divisions, such that it mitigates the existing schehduling inequities that some baseball people appear to be sick and tired of?
4. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan writes that Mark Lowe is "clearly the front-runner" to assume the ninth-inning reins in the event that Neftali Feliz locks down an Opening Day rotation spot. Based on what you currently know, are you fine with Lowe nabbing that spot over someone from the Oliver/Ogando/O'Day/Rhodes collective -- and if things do go down that way, and Lowe struggles early as a closer, will you be less patient than you would be with somebody you've seen more of (e.g. Ogando)?
5. Answer this one -- which I suppose is inspired by the latest ugly allegations levied against Milton Bradley, and another unsavory character or two playing in the AL West -- however you see fit: "My least favorite baseball player of all time is ________."