The Tigers try to make a series of it, taking out the Rangers on the backs of Doug Fister and Miguel Cabrera
Implicating Miguel Cabrera as the only reason the Tigers won Game Three 5-2 would be unfair—about as unfair as ignoring the hitting prowess he displayed a night after Albert Pujols and Nelson Cruz claimed headlines for similar feats.
Though the Tigers were able to chase the Rangers' Derek Holland early, it was the Rangers that went home happy.
They say good things come to those that wait, and that idiom was at least half-right on Monday night. With Game Two delayed by 20 hours due to the rain that never fell, the news cycle morphed into a discussion about which team would benefit the most from an impromptu rest day. The early returns varied, but the answer became clear by nightfall.
The Nationals have garnered headlines for their managerial situation lately, but the team deserves consideration as well.
Last week, we discussed the intriguing downfall of the Florida Marlins, but an equally intriguing upswing occurring this season is the rise of the Washington Nationals. Thanks to a stretch of 12 wins in 14 games and a 17-7 June record, they ascended from being declared playoff-dead a few weeks ago to a third-place standing in the National League East. The Nationals have not necessarily beaten the best competition during this time period; their recent hot streak has come at the expense of three of the worst teams in baseball in the San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, and Seattle Mariners. Still, the story of a team that has occupied the cellar of the NL East in all but one season since its relocation succeeding at reaching a standard of decency not seen from the franchise since 2005 has had some odd twists and turns along the way.
The Nationals have come a long way since, well, being the Natinals and an NL laughingstock. Just two seasons ago, the team was coming off a second consecutive 100-plus loss season, but things were on the rise in Washington. Two consecutive first overall draft picks yielded two of the most-heralded prospects in Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, and those two were supposed to join forces with Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, and the rest of the roster to form a strong contender in 2013 or 2014. However, the core the Nationals currently have assembled is doing a decent job of carrying the team right now. The club currently has four players with over 2.0 WARP on the season, a claim only nine other teams can make as of Saturday evening. When stacking those players against the rest of the NL East, the Nationals rank appropriately.
Ron Washington hopes the worst of the Rangers' injury problems are behind them.
Complacency was not Ron Washington's concern when the Rangers left spring training. The reigning American League Manager of the Year never once sensed that his team had lost its drive after winning the franchise's first pennant last season.
Going through the Swanson Showdown for baseball's three Ron's.
There is very little room for debate: Ron Swanson is one of the best characters on television right now and may well be one of the best characters of the past 10 or 15 years. If you aren't lucky enough to know who Ron Swanson is already, let me briefly explain. Swanson is a character on the series Parks and Recreation, a show created by Michael Schur, more popularly known as "Ken Tremendous" on the defunct blog "Fire Joe Morgan". Swanson is the mustachioed, meat-eating, meetings-hating, library-loathing, libertarian Director of the Pawnee, Indiana, Parks department. He's opinionated and gruff, but easily likable. His only cares in life are real, hearty American food (a turkey leg wrapped in bacon is called a "Swanson"), strong, successful women ("your Steffi Grafs and Sheryl Swoopses"), and dealing with as few fellow civil servants and members of the public as possible.
A two sentence description of Ron Swanson does not do him justice, though. For that, you need to either watch the show or, at the very least, read through some of his best quotes. Sufficed to say, Ron Swanson is the type of man every manager should strive to be.
In the Nationals' and Orioles' battle for the local fan base, the team that blinks first may stand to gain the most.
This past month, I moved back up I-95 from Washington to Philadelphia, where I’d spent all but the previous eighteen months of my life. There has been only one major-league franchise in the City of Brotherly Love since the Athletics forsook Philly in 1955, but as I discovered during my sojourn in the District, many baseball fans in the DC area have been torn between the Baltimore Orioles, for whom many of them grew up cheering, and the Washington Nationals, who emigrated from Montreal in 2005. Neither team has been good during their years of geographic coexistence, and the metropolitan area has not seen a playoff game since 1997, but both teams have slowly begun to develop the young talent necessary to compete. Although animosity stemming from Orioles owner Peter Angelos’ opposition to a Washington franchise has cost the O’s some fans, many in the DC area have yet to determine their allegiance.
The Rangers win the first-ever Fall Classic game in the Metroplex to claw (and antler) their way back into the series.
ARLINGTON—Giants manager Bruce Bochy said earlier in the postseason that his team reminded him of the "The Dirty Dozen," a band of castoffs and misfits. The media has run with that and Bochy's line has been repeated over and over for two weeks.