Cliff Lee pitched 8.1 innings tonight giving up only 5 hits and two runs improving his record to 9-4 and picking up his first win as a Ranger in three starts. The win no less game against A.L. West rival Angels and improved their lead to six games over them. The Angels sent Jered Weaver to the mound and he took the loss tonight dropping his record to 9-6.
The Rangers started early with Michael Young homering in the first inning for his 13 knock of the year on a fly ball to right field. The other two runs in the win came on small ball attempts with Josh Hamilton doubling in the bottom of the six to score Vladimir Guerrero. With Hamilton on second base Nelson Cruz singles and moves Hamilton to third base. Then during Bengie Molina’s at bat Cruz steals second base. Molina flies out to center fielder Torii Hunter and Hamilton tagged up and easily scored from third. It was not a high scoring game, but it was enough runs to outscore the Angels by one run thanks to Lee’s stellar outing and the Rangers picked up a game on the Angels in the division race.
In other Rangers news, as we all know the ownership situation has plagued the Rangers since before the start of spring training and it may finally come to a resolution on August 4th. Tom Hicks and MLB have approved a bid by a group led by Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg, but the creditors holding the debt acquired by Hicks have balked at the deal saying that there were higher bidders.
We all hoped the ownership group would be in place by the trade deadline so the they could make a move for a big name player like Cliff Lee, but I guess the Rangers counted their change in their sofa’s and were able to get Lee anyhow. So as of right now the pending ownership group will not affect any player moves and the Rangers roster has the tools it needs to push deep into October.
Several attorneys for the creditors have tried arguing that the Aug 4th auction is not enough time for the potential bidders to secure financing. Thankfully the bankruptcy judge overseeing the sale of the Rangers has the team and it’s players interest in mind. He has refused to push back the auction in order to get the Rangers ownership situation resolved. I am glad the judge has the team in mind and not the creditors.
One interesting thing that came out today was that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban who is a billionaire businessman has been approved by MLB to bid on the Rangers. He is a fiery owner who has been fined millions of dollars by the NBA for his actions. He attempted to bid on the Chicago Cubs but his bid eventually was not selected. In some aspects I feel Cuban would be good as the Rangers owner because he has a strong desire to win at all costs pretty much. I feel the Greenberg group is honestly the best to lead the Rangers with Nolan Ryan at the top. He knows how to win and knows what he can and cannot expect from his baseball team, where Cuban has no clue.