Happy 37th birthday, Ms. Lauryn Hill:
● Drew Davison writes about the acquisition of hard-throwing lefty John Gaub on a waiver claim from the Rays yesterday, a move that would seem to be part depth addition, part reclamation. Gaub, 27, sports a career 5.8 BB/9 and 12.5 K/9 in the minors, and has seen his walk rate fare worse than that career-average baseline over the last few seasons; that won't play at the big league level even with monster strikeout rates, and so I'm led to believe that the Rangers think they can "fix" him, and possibly create a legitimate bullpen asset out of a live arm.
Interestingly, the first-place Orioles reportedly placed a waiver claim on Gaub as well, but lost out by virtue of having a better record (and thus worse waiver priority) than Texas.
● Randy Galloway leads his morning column with a nice all-out attack on the Rangers' lacking results of late, then proceeds to state that the Rangers need to go ahead and re-sign Josh Hamilton even if it requires going above and beyond $180 million, and says that a failure on the part of the Rangers to re-sign Hamilton could go down as one of the worst decisions in baseball history, on the level of the Milt Pappas for Frank Robinson trade back in 1965:
Now, however, he's slumping. That changes nothing. You don't let immense talent walk. Immense talent always stays. Even if you overpay, immense talent, the best talent in baseball, stays -- warts, demons and all.
That is a remarkably, almost impossibly narrow justification for throwing upwards of $150 million at somebody, let alone somebody who's turning 32 next May. It's certainly within the realm of possibility that the Rangers will overpay for Hamilton, but if that comes to pass, it's going to happen because the Rangers believe Hamilton can at least approach the kind of on-the-field production required to "get their money's worth," and because they believe that Hamilton will generate enough additional revenue to offset some of the financial issues created by a deal of that magnitude. And if they do end up believing those things, it'll be thanks to an intensive, thorough analysis of the Hamilton situation and all its component factors ... not because "you don't let immense talent walk."
It's not Galloway's job to deliver reasoned baseball analysis. His job is to stir up the masses and get them talking and grab eyeballs by whatever means necessary, and I'm at peace with that. Even by that lowered standard, though, flip-flopping from a maximum offer of one year and $20 million back in February to more than $180 million on the basis of seven great weeks is either disingenuous or insane.
● From the SportsDay On Air department, Kevin Sherrington balks at the idea of going to Alexi Ogando as an interim starter (fair enough), but seems to base that opinion in large part on Mike Adams "not being automatic as a setup guy" (huh?), and suggests that turning to Robbie Ross as the interim starter could "shatter his confidence." Barry Horn, meanwhile, seems to have adopted the 'sign Roy Oswalt at all costs' mindset, and says that Oswalt would give Texas insurance, because this "isn't a great pitching staff by any means." Well, alright then.
● T.R. Sullivan's latest mailbag/inbox/thing includes stuff on Ogando possibly going back to the rotation, Mike Adams changing up his repertoire, Josh Hamilton's bat-throwing, and Jennifer in Grand Prairie asking that ballplayers cease spitting on the field.
● Apropos of nothing: I watched Moneyball for the first time last night. Didn't hate it, didn't love it. I was entertained at times during the narrative; other times, not so much. I would tend to side more with Keith Law's negative view of the film than any of the number of glowing reviews it ultimately pulled down; for those who loved it, though, more power to them, and I'm still glad I watched it at least once.
● Jesse Sanchez has a good column on bonus babies Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman. Lefty Kevin Matthews, the Rangers' 2011 first-round pick, has been moved up to Low-A Hickory. Curt Schilling's video game company has gone belly up, despite having received a $75 million loan guarantee from the state of Rhode Island. They're having too much fun out in St. Louis.