The BBTiA content machine should be back on line tomorrow ... but until then, here's another batch of morning links (and today's obligatory Nujabes-produced track):
● T.R. Sullivan discusses the Rangers' triumphant Saturday afternoon in Oakland, and Josh Hamilton's role in helping nail down the win with a big seventh-inning sliding catch to preserve a then-one-run lead. Jeff Wilson notes that the Rangers' current 68-52 record is tied for their second-best record through 120 games in franchise history. A nameless entity at ESPN Dallas touches on the game highlights, and reviews the controversial out call on Yorvit Torrealba.
● I'm not sure how many people saw this, but Buster Olney led off one of his recent morning pieces with an interesting little bit on Nolan Ryan and Mike Adams:
On one of his first days with the Rangers, Mike Adams turned a corner and walked into the clubhouse manager's office, and there, sitting on the couch, was someone who filled a poster that was on Adams' wall as a kid -- Nolan Ryan.
"I was a little bit awestruck," Adams said Wednesday. "It kind of surprised me."
Ryan and Adams chatted a bit, about the conversation that Ryan had with Adams' father the night before, but Adams never got to the questions that he wants to ask Ryan. There will be time for that in the months ahead, now that Adams is entrenched in the Texas bullpen for the rest of this year, and probably through next year.
The Rangers were the team he followed as a kid, while growing up in Texas, and every summer he would travel to stay with his aunt, Nelda Chapa, and go watch Rangers games, and Ryan, particularly.
On the morning of July 31, Adams was in the trainers' room getting treatment when Padres pitching coach Darryl Akerfelds walked in and told him he needed to immediately stop what he was doing because manager Bud Black wanted to see him.
"You've been traded," Black told him, immediately, but he didn't want to go into the details right away, because general manager Jed Hoyer was on his way to the clubhouse.
"I was very curious to see where I had been traded," Adams recalled, but he had to wait -- and after Hoyer arrived and he was told his destination, Adams was "a little disappointed, because I expected to stay in San Diego and close there."
But for the next hour, Adams processed the whole thing and began to feel differently. He was going home, to pitch for the team he rooted for as a kid, a team that was competing for a division title and a chance to go back to the World Series. With the addition of Adams and Koji Uehara, Adams said, he hopes that the Rangers' bullpen will bring back the dominance, some swagger. "It took me a couple of days to make the little transitions," he said. "It's been fun. This is a good group of guys."
● T.R. Sullivan writes about Mark Lowe getting ahead early in the count more often than Neftali Feliz this season, Torrealba's hot streak, and Matt Harrison gunning for a franchise record. Ron Washington is raving about the Rangers' resilency, and hasn't yet decided when he'll start Craig Gentry in center field again. Drew Davison talks about Robbie Ross moving up in the organization. Seventh-round pick Max Pentecost apparently intends to sign with Texas rather than fulfill his commitment to Kansas State, but no deal has yet been announced.