Greetings from The Ballpark in Arlington. Not one of my favorite places in Major League Baseball. I don't dig the whole enclosed, skyline-less look. But then again, the skyline is nothing about which to write home, either.
When driving here, meanwhile, you can see Cowboys Stadium. That looks, um, interesting from the outside.
OK, now that I've driven away all Rangers fans and Texas residents...The Rangers made some intriguing roster moves for the ALCS. They added lefty relievers Michael Kirkman and Clay Rapada and took off right-hander Dustan Nippert and infielder Esteban German. That gives the Rangers four lefty relievers, when you add Kirkman and Rapada to Darren Oliver and Derek Holland.
"The numbers say that the left-handers are pretty good against them," Rangers manager Ron Washington said, "and we have got some pretty good left-handers."
The lefties challenge Yankees lefty hitters Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner and turn around switch-hitters Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada - and, if it's a game that Lance Berkman starts at DH, they'll likely prompt Joe Girardi to pinch-hit with Marcus Thames or Austin Kearns.
All of that said, however, the Yankees tallied a .346 OBP and .437 SLG against righty pitchers during the regular season, and a .357 OBP and .433 SLG against lefties.
--I tweeted that Sandy Alderson's interview with the Mets went very well yesterday, and that Alderson remains the favorite to become the Mets' next general manager. I also mentioned that, if Alderson gets the job, I just can't see him hiring Wally Backman to manage. Alderson isn't going to want someone so volatile, people close to Alderson think.
There is a most easy compromise, in order to placate the Wilpons and their valuing of Backman: Put Backman on the coaching staff. He could very well be a good fit - a bad cop in the mold of Larry Bowa working with Joe Torre. He certainly knows what he's talking about when it comes to areas like infield defense, baserunning and bunting.
(At least, I think Backman certainly knows what he's talking about.)
--The Mets have requeseted permission from the Tigers to interview front office executive Al Avila, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press reports. The Mets' search had become awkward in light of the well-known rule that they're supposed to consider a minority candidate. Avila, a Latino, would fulfill that requirement. Would he have a real chance at the job? He'd be a long shot, if the Tigers grant permission.
--Rangers president Nolan Ryan took questions from the media a few minutes ago, and I asked him how important it was to retain GM Jon Daniels, who can opt out of his contract after this season and who didn't rule out interest in the Mets' job when I spoke with him yesterday.
"There's been speculation about him getting other opportunities, but I think we feel pretty comfortable that this is his organization, and these are his people, and that it's an exciting time to be with the Texas Rangers," Ryan said. "So I really would be shocked if he didn't stay with us."
I agree - the safe money is on Daniels staying in Texas with a new contract. But as of now, there have been no discussions regarding that new deal, so we have to see how that plays out to make sure.
--Jon Heyman first reported that the Mariners will hire Eric Wedge as their new manager. I've never fully understood the appeal that Wedge holds. To me, many of his Indians teams disappointed significantly. Alas, here he is with a second chance, with an organization that, its awful 2010 on the major-league side notwithstanding, appears to be headed in the right direction.
--Enjoy the game.