Did you know that there's a Canadian hip-hop artist who's better than Drake? Shocking, I know:
● The Rangers lost another one-run game last night, and Drew Davison, Richard Durrett, and T.R. Sullivan recap the horror. Ron Washington and Michael Young say that the Rangers need to tighten up their fundamentals. Evan Grant talks about the struggles of Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland at the plate of late.
● On a brighter note, the Angels were dropped late last night by an 11-4 margin after Joel Pineiro got rocked for seven earned runs in just 4.1 innings, so the Rangers maintain a one-game lead going into today's series-ending tilt at Detroit, and Vlade will be happy with that.
● FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi has a must-read column about the scouting roots that the Rangers have down in the ground in talent-rich Japan, about the potential for serious involvement by the Rangers when Yu Darvish is posted during the 2011-12 off-season, and about the Japanese subculture that's developing in the Rangers' clubhouse.
● One year ago today, Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg prevailed over Mark Cuban and Jim Crane in the auction to buy the Rangers. Here's Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 -- the last of which is the most memorable, particularly if you skip to the climactic moment at 12:40 a.m. CDT -- of the live chats that went on that day.
● MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan and Brittany Ghiroli report that Mark Connor, who unexpectedly resigned as the Orioles pitching coach back on June 14th, has agreed to return to his old post as the Rangers' player development special consultant. Connor served as the Rangers' bullpen coach from 2003-05, then as their pitching coach from 2006 through August 2008, when both he and then-bullpen coach Dom Chiti were fired shortly after the Rangers had pulled off a walk-off win. Connor signed on as Showalter's pitching coach at the outset of this season, but cited his feeling that he was no longer able to keep up with the grueling pace of the job as one of the reasons why he resigned.
● Anthony Castrovince says the Rangers are eager to prove that they're not a fluke. Craig Gentry (concussion) is slated to head out on a three-game rehab assignment shortly. Adrian Beltre (hamstring) took batting practice yesterday, and it sounds as though he may be ready to come off the disabled list within the next seven days or so. Tom Verducci has a great column about Billy Beane's difficulty in adjusting to a more information-attuned baseball industry with fewer exploitable inefficiencies in the market and fewer resources flowing to Beane because of the Athletics' pitiful stadium situation. Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.