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What we learned against Tampa Bay


The Rangers series win against Tampa helps to prove an old adage in baseball; any given Sunday. Wait, that's football. But the point stands. There's a reason the MLB Playoffs are considered something of a crapshoot. Generally, the best teams will rise to the top because the season is so long. Wheat from chaff and all that. But when you boil it down game to game, even the worst team generally has at least a 30-35% chance of beating the best team.

The opposite side of that coin can mean the Rangers just caught the Rays on a down turn. Maybe they just had a couple of bad games. But regardless, some of the talk that the Rangers can't beat good teams should be quelled for now. They can, and they did. They beat the best team in baseball. And up until the last three innings Sunday, they were beating them pretty handily. It was impressive. You should be impressed.

It's not all back-patting and rainbows, however. The Rangers are still playing dumb baseball. I am completely ready to see a red light given to the majority of the team. The Rangers are now second in all of baseball in number of times caught stealing with 24. That's nearly an entire game's worth of outs given away trying to steal a base. That stat doesn't even take into consideration the number of outs given away on poor ball-in-play base running decisions. There is aggressiveness and stupidity. The Rangers claim the former but have been performing the latter.

More to the point, guys like Michael Young and especially Vladimir Guerrero, should not be running. Vladimir is listed at 35 years old, but his knees are at least 212. He's slow and he is fragile. He shouldn't be running, ever. And he needs to be told that trying to the extra base in his condition is a bad idea. I know he does it with a smile on his face. I know he has been hitting like a monster this season. And I know he is the healthiest he has been in years, but he doesn't have to act like he is the healthiest he has been in years on the bases.

So what did we learn? Mostly Elvis is still amazing:

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.