You know Buck Showalter is going to think it is a conspiracy from the baseball gods. His Orioles have to face the Texas Rangers for a three-game series starting Tuesday at Camden Yards just as the Rangers added three pieces that could propel them to the World Series.
The Rangers, after all, already had the best record in the American League, 62-44, before picking up catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress from Milwaukee and outfielder Carlos Beltran from the New York Yankees in separate deadline deals Monday afternoon.
But if the baseball gods were frowning at Showalter, they were smiling on me Monday night. Because I had the pleasure of talking to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan for our “Around The Beat” podcast just a couple hours after the Rangers’ trades were made.
Sullivan, who has covered the Rangers for a total of 28 years, has tremendous perspective on this club. And he quickly summed up why Texas traded a bevy of prospects – including three former first-rounders – Monday.
“The Texas Rangers decided they’re going to do everything they can to win the World Series,” Sullivan said. “They’re not interested in just winning the division title. They’re going for it all.”
Sullivan broke down the deals, and talked about how landing Lucroy – after he chose not to go to the Cleveland Indians – potentially altered the hierarchy of the teams in the AL.
He explains how this club has no obvious weaknesses now, especially if starters Colby Lewis and Derek Holland return from the disabled list at the end of the month.
And, therefore, how it would be a disappointment in the Dallas/Arlington/Fort Worth areas if these Rangers don’t end up back in the October Classic in an attempt to capture their first World Series title.
With my prodding, Sullivan even compares Texas’ current skipper, Jeff Banister, with one of the Rangers’ former ones, O’s manager Buck Showalter.
It’s definitely worth your time as the two playoff contenders get ready to face off tonight.