I heard this track on Turntable.fm last night -- in a room for baseball writers with writers' block, no less -- and I'm not quite sure how to classify it, so maybe you can shed some light on that for me ... and I suspect you'll find it a worthwhile listen, either way:
● Lance Berkman told MLB.com's Matthew Leach yesterday afternoon that it was his understanding that the Cardinals had no interest in trading him, and, on top of that, said that he didn't want to be traded. Late last night, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Berkman was so put off by the idea of being turned into a "rental player" for a second consecutive season that he would not consider returning to the Cardinals as a free agent this off-season if they dealt him to the Rangers.
I think that means we can now safely move on from the Berkman-to-Texas storyline.
● FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi wrote last night that Padres right-handers Aaron Harang and Chad Qualls had cleared waivers, and mentioned the Rangers, Phillies, and Giants as teams still interested in acquiring relief help. The only potential bullpen weakness the Rangers have to cope with right now is finding a second left-hander to pair with Darren Oliver, so I wouldn't become too intent on Texas pulling in either of these names.
● Jon Daniels was on with Galloway and Company yesterday afternoon, and talked about how Nelson Cruz met up with a team-hired track coach this past off-season to work on running with the proper mechanics and technique in order to minimize the risk of injury, and responded thusly to a question about whether he's putting the full effort into trying to avoid injury:
I think the work ethic’s there, the commitment’s there. I think what we’ve got to look at is, is he doing exactly the right type of work? He’s been to different soft-tissue specialists, he’s worked with a nutritionist, he’s worked with all sorts of different types of programs for flexibility and things like yoga. But the bottom line is that he’s back on the DL. So my frustration is not with Nellie. This is not a lazy guy by any stretch of consideration. This is a guy that gets after it and does whatever he’s asked to.
So, we're obviously not looking at a lazy player -- but we may be looking at an inherently injury-prone player who seems to have a chronic hamstring problem that has proven very difficult to prevent. I'm not sure which one is worse, and I'm not sure how that impacts your thinking about signing Cruz to a long-term deal ... if, you know, you've been thinking about that at all.
● ESPN.com's Jayson Stark had a really interesting article yesterday about how technology is "changing the way baseball is played," and how the iPad is now becoming an indispensible part of major league clubhouses as players attempt to gain a competitive leg up on their upcoming opponents.
● Shortstop Jurickson Profar (.287/.395/.490 in 486 plate appearances at Low-A Hickory) was named the South Atlantic League's Most Valuable Player yesterday, after having played out the majority of the season as the league's youngest player at 18 years of age. His 141 wRC+ ranked 11th in the league, and his walk-to-strikeout ratio (1.05) ranked second in the league.
Texas will reportedly send along RHP Neil Ramirez, LHP Miguel De Los Santos, RHP Ryan Kelly, RHP Johan Yan, 3B Mike Olt, INF Leury Garcia, OF Ryan Strausborger and C Elio Sarmiento to the Arizona Fall League.
● Obligatory MLB.tv screengrab from last night's game (click to enlarge):
● Orioles general manager Andy MacPhail is said to be on his way out, and listed among the possibilities to replace MacPhail are Brian Cashman -- who will have a prime opportunity this coming off-season to bail from the organization that has been giving him fits for years, with two apparent GM vacancies in Baltimore and Chicago -- and John Hart, who is still due to be on the Rangers' payroll through the 2013 season.
● Want a chance to buy Rangers ALDS tickets online? Then click here ... or, uh, just sit at home and watch the games, I guess.
● Drew Davison has a cool read -- get it, get it? -- about C.J. Wilson undergoing cryotherapy sessions in an effort to rejuvenate his body. Since Dirk Nowitzki has also used cryotherapy, and since cryotherapy was said to be a key part of the Mavericks' run to the title, I can only assume that Wilson will now enter beast mode from this point forward. The Rangers may activate Adrian Beltre today, but I'm not sure how they'd wedge him into the 25-man roster without rolling without a utility infielder (Omar Quintanilla) tonight. Darren O'Day is bummed about landing on the disabled list. Eric Nadel and Mark Holtz are up for the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick award again. The Rangers' post-season odds are now up to 88.7 percent.