This seems like a good morning to introduce an underground hip-hop group that I've been bumping lately called Collective Efforts, which performs below on the track "Crazy Things" (the video itself is a nice change of pace, but you'll have to click through to watch it proper):
● Anthony Andro recaps the Rangers' very easy 8-3 win in the first leg of the Lone Star Series last night, which included a decent, but hardly spectacular effort from Derek Holland (7.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) and a mammoth home run by Mitch Moreland.
● Andro also updates the on-going rehab assignments of Brandon Webb, Scott Feldman, and Tommy Hunter, the first of whom was knocked out of his Sunday rehab start for Double-A Frisco after just two-thirds of an inning and the latter two of whom are closer to returning but aren't yet ready to be activated:
"I think Feldman has done the better job so far," [Ron] Washington said. "More than anything else, we want to make sure that Tommy's stretched out so if he's a starter, he can give us pitchers. If he has to go to the bullpen, he's OK. The key is whichever one gets here; it's not getting here and figuring it out. It's getting here and getting us outs."
One has to believe that everyone presently in the bullpen except for Neftali Feliz and Darren Oliver is at risk of being cut, though Dave Bush may be in the greatest danger of being axed -- since, after all, he becomes pretty superfluous with one or both of Feldman and Hunter in the bullpen -- unless the Rangers feel some sort of strange compulsion to reward him for his yeoman's work in the bullpen by keeping him around. Webb, meanwhile, can only be out on a rehab assignment for 30 days before he either has to be activated, shut down, or designated for assignment, and one has to think that with Webb probably not being ready to be one of the 12 best pitchers on the Rangers' staff before his 30 days are up, the end of this experiment may be drawing ever nearer.
● Jennifer Floyd Engel takes a moment to let us all know that interleague play is the root of all evil. I really don't know what to say.
● From the Did You Know? department: Vladimir Guerrero is hitting .288/.316/.400 for Baltimore this season with an incredibly bad 7-to-31 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 272 plate appearances. The power's drying up, the walks are virtually non-existent -- his 2.6 percent walk rate is the worst among qualifying players in the majors -- and the batting average is slipping, which renders him something of a zero-dimensional player, as reflected in his 0.2 wins above replacement amassed to this point. Bullet dodged.
● Mike Napoli (strained oblique) swung a bat with one hand on Monday. The Rangers are out to set a world record tonight. Darren O'Day threw one inning for Frisco on Monday, and could be ready to return to the Rangers' bullpen as early as next Tuesday. And regarding Major League Baseball's veto of the Los Angeles Dodgers television contract extension yesterday, Bud Selig said that the decision was justified by the fact that the deal would have imparted more benefit to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt's bank balance to the ballclub -- or, to put it more bluntly, that McCourt was out to screw the Dodgers again by negotiating a undervalued extension in exchange for ample money upfront to help his own financial situation.