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Monday, August 01, 2011

Sheinin, WaPo:  With trade deadline over, Texas Rangers may be team to beat in AL

It would be difficult to consider all that transpired over the weekend –- as well as one major development on Monday morning -– without reaching one obvious conclusion: The Texas Rangers struck it big at the trade deadline, and may have just zoomed past the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees as the league’s team to beat.

Does Texas have enough to do what Cleveland couldn’t in 2007—become the first team to beat both the Yanks and Bosox in the postseason?

TerpNats Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:05 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rangers, red sox, yankees

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#3890406)
I had completely forgotten the Yankees were even in contention.
   2. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:15 PM (#3890415)
Them too. The Mariners broke their 17-game losing streak against them, and then Baltimore beat 'em.
   3. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:20 PM (#3890417)
I might be tempted to agree with this if the Red Sox hadn't acquired Bedard, but with that pickup I think they still have to be considered the favorites.
   4. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#3890420)
It could be argued that the Rangers pretty much assured the Yankees a playoff spot due to their 13 remaining dates with the Angels, the only team that could realistically challenge for the Wild Card spot.

I said it in another thread - the Wild Card has rendered the final two months of the regular season completely meaningless for Yanks/Sox fans. Both teams - particularly the Red Sox - can commence setting up their playoff rotations now.
   5. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#3890434)
I think Tampa is the team most likely to come roaring back against BOS/NYY. Between head to head games and a terrific pitching staff I think they have the components play at a VERY high level for a two month stretch and make up ground. The Angels have the pitching but I think the lack of head to head against those teams makes it tough for them to make up the ground.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:43 PM (#3890437)
I think the 3 teams are close enough to be a toss-up in October. All three are very good, but not great teams, with question marks.
   7. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#3890466)
The Rays are 8.5 back of the Yanks with about fifty-eight games to go (and 9 against the Yanks). It would be a big, big mountain to climb. And this Yankees team would be known as having a "collapse" at this point.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: August 01, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#3890477)
I said it in another thread - the Wild Card has rendered the final two months of the regular season completely meaningless for Yanks/Sox fans. Both teams - particularly the Red Sox - can commence setting up their playoff rotations now.


The last two months aren't completely meaningless. Homefield advantage and potential opponents in the playoffs are at stake. I would much rather the Sox open the playoffs at home versus the Central champs than on the road against the Rangers.
   9. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2011 at 07:36 PM (#3890482)
Granted, Nate.


I think two months to determine playoff positioning and matchups are infinitely less interesting than two very good teams slugging at each other, knowing that one of them must go home.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: August 01, 2011 at 07:37 PM (#3890484)
I said it in another thread - the Wild Card has rendered the final two months of the regular season completely meaningless for Yanks/Sox fans. Both teams - particularly the Red Sox - can commence setting up their playoff rotations now.


It happens, there have been plenty of times where having a wildcard would have actually created a race instead of having another season in which all teams won the division going away. As it stands even without a wild card in the AL, you still have a wild card race in the NL, you have probably a four team race in the NL Central, you have a two team race in the NL West, you have 2 team race in the AL West, up to a four team race in the AL central. There are plenty of races out there, just because it's not featuring ESPN's favorite teams, doesn't mean there isn't plenty of action out there. I know people like to go back to the days where there were less than 2 races a year just to get the purity of winning a division or league, but nowadays having 10-15 teams in the hunt still is better than just wasting the last two months jockeying for home field advantage among 5-8 teams.
   11. The Good Face Posted: August 01, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#3890485)
I'm not at all convinced Texas will even beat out Anaheim for the division. Their starting pitching has been improbably good (and healthy) so far, and most of their best position players are injury prone.
   12. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2011 at 07:42 PM (#3890490)
There are plenty of races out there, just because it's not featuring ESPN's favorite teams, doesn't mean there isn't plenty of action out of there. I know people like to go back to the days where there were less than 2 races a year just to get the purity of winning a division or league.


I didn't say (or imply, in my opinion) that the non-Yanks/Sox teams are unimportant. I didn't say that the WC ruined all races this year; I specified for which fanbases.

And close does not equal good. An 87-win team beating out an 86-win team for a playoff spot is not similar (in my opinion, of course) to a 100-win team beating a 99-win team with all the marbles on the line.
   13. BDC Posted: August 01, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#3890495)
Well, I'm glad that everyone assumes the Rangers have clinched, but they are still only two games ahead of the Angels, who keep on their trail like those riders that Butch and Sundance keep looking back at. Who are those guys? :) As undistinguished as their lineup looks, the Angels still have two starters better than anyone the Rangers can throw at them, and the West looks to me up for grabs, no matter what late-inning relief help Texas has acquired.

Edit: Should have refreshed to see that The Good Face agrees :)
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: August 01, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3890499)
I didn't say (or imply, in my opinion) that the non-Yanks/Sox teams are unimportant. I didn't say that the WC ruined all races this year; I specified for which fanbases.

And close does not equal good. An 87-win team beating out an 86-win team for a playoff spot is not similar (in my opinion, of course) to a 100-win team beating a 99-win team with all the marbles on the line.


Gotcha, and I was just specifying that for several other fan bases it has helped out this year. Heck the wildcard isn't even really determined in the AL, the Angels are only 6.5 games back so it's not like the winner is already determined. If the Yankees and Red Sox kill each other to finish off the season the Angels or Rangers could sweep in(not likely mind you) and win the wildcard spot.

I just don't see the fascination with bringing up the concept of good pennant races, which historically have been a rarity anyway, while ignoring the tons of others decent pennant races that have been created. The people who complain about the wild card are people who like to get a $1000 bonus check every six months over getting a $200 bonus check every month.
   15. Srul Itza Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#3890505)
I keep reading and hearing that because the Rangers got two bullpen arms, they are the winners at the trade deadline and the team to beat.

Is that the consensus? I never could get that excited about bullpen construction.
   16. The Good Face Posted: August 01, 2011 at 09:48 PM (#3890595)
I keep reading and hearing that because the Rangers got two bullpen arms, they are the winners at the trade deadline and the team to beat.

Is that the consensus? I never could get that excited about bullpen construction.


Texas was a good team before the deadline and their biggest weakness was a shaky bullpen. By adding two excellent relievers, they should be even better. But a two game lead is still just a two game lead... it's WAY too early to count Anaheim out. Boston is still the team to beat IMO.
   17. robinred Posted: August 01, 2011 at 10:20 PM (#3890618)
Is that the consensus? I never could get that excited about bullpen construction.


I said yesterday that given what Texas is trying to do--hold off the Angels, and then win the pennant by going through, in all probability, New York and Boston, I can see why Daniels and Ryan thought it was worth it to get lights-out guys for the 7th and 8th.

But, I think Good Face is right. Over a seven-game series, I have to go with Boston. Also, while Texas does now have Uehara and Adams, they don't have Cliff Lee anymore, which I would think will make the Yankees happy if NYY plays TEX.
   18. Vance W Posted: August 02, 2011 at 12:05 AM (#3890676)
Texas has a deep staff of good, not great, starters and should now have a bullpen to match up with pretty much anybody. This gives them a good chance to maintain their lead over the Angels. But if Anaheim could get in, their two big starters would make them very dangerous in any playoff series.

At the beginning of the year I thought that the Rangers offense might be vulnerable to waves to really good pitching. (See World Series). Fortunately, Boston is winning mainly by bludgeoning people and the Yankee staff, apart from Sabathia, while being surprisingly good, doesn't really scream shut down. Over all I'd say the West champion has a decent chance to get through.

And let's not forget Detroit. Don't see why the Tigers wouldn't also have a reasonable chance.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2011 at 12:54 AM (#3890712)

And let's not forget Detroit. Don't see why the Tigers wouldn't also have a reasonable chance.


Its more likely than not he has absolutely zero impact on the pennant race, but it would be awfully fun if Jacob Turner suddenly became a sensation.
   20. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 02, 2011 at 01:24 AM (#3890744)
the Yankee staff, apart from Sabathia, while being surprisingly good, doesn't really scream shut down.


Just to give you the benefit of what I've seen, Colon has been fabulous at times. He is putting the ball exactly where he wants it, like late Mussina with velocity.

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