There were two main news stories around baseball yesterday that caught my eye, so let's delve on in.
First of all, screw the Rangers. I dislike them with a passion after the way they've eliminated the Rays from the playoffs each of the past few years, and it doesn't help that their star player, Josh Hamilton, has a bit of a history with TB. I've hated the Phillies every since 2008 as well, and it's been glorious to watch them fall to pieces this season and watch their fans slowly realize that their team is a mess -- but with the Rangers? They're far too good, and it's annoying.
Sadly, things only go worse yesterday. The Rangers signed Roy Oswalt to a one year, $5 million deal to play with them through the rest of the season, and he'll be filling in the rotation spot vacated by Neftali Feliz. Oswalt is far from the ace that he used to be -- and he'll need some time to get into game shape -- but still, he's about the exact last team I'd hoped would sign him. The Rangers are en route to cruise into the postseason, and they have a strong enough team that the World Series doesn't seem that far out of reach. Why couldn't it have been the Orioles or Dodgers that signed Oswalt? Sigh...
Second, it looks as though MLB isn't quite as clueless as they appear at times. Apparently, MLB is ready to roll out expanded replay in 2013 (albeit, only for a limited number of scenarios) and the replay decisions will be made by an umpire not on the field, but in a booth somewhere. It's unclear if the replay ump will be at the game itself or in "a central location" (which is what MLB is hinting at), but either way, they have the right idea. You don't want to drag the game on any longer than you need to, and if baseball instituted a replay rule like football, it'd be painful as heck. This sounds a lot more like what hockey uses, and I'm excited to see it in action. We'll have to be patient, as it's still going to be some time before MLB is using replay on every play, but this is a step in the right direction.
- Bradley Woodrum wrote up a bit at FanGraphs about the Return of Godzilla. And although the Rays lost, it was quite a jolt to see Hideki Matsui blast a home run last night in only his second at bat with the Rays.
- If you were mesmerized by Chris Sale on Monday and want to know exactly how he made domination look so easy, Michael Barr has the story for you (also over at FanGraphs). I knew I should have been frustrated watching that game, but I simply couldn't -- Sale was too much fun to watch, and I almost expected it with that lineup. Oy.
- Mike Trout is really good at baseball. Bryce Harper is really, really good at baseball. I'm honestly not sure which to be more impressed with these days.
- Shane Victorino playing defense makes for the best gifs, and there was a beautiful one added to the collection last night.