“Is this 9-1-1? Yes, this is Joe Girardi of the Yankees, I’d like to report a theft. The Texas
Rangers came into town and stole our dignity.”
Five wins in a row.
A sweep of the Yankees. In Yankee Stadium.
An east coast road trip where the Rangers are 5-1.
This team is on the best roll of the season. What could possibly go wrong?
Josh Hamilton makes his long-awaited return to the Rangers today in Cleveland. That has major implications.
Like, what to do with Delino DeShields and Leonys Martin?
If, as has been reported, Hamilton will play left, what does that leave in center?
Any sane, rational human being with functioning eyes and even one last throbbing brain cell would easily see the right call here. DeShields. It’s not even close.
DeShields is hitting .325 in the last two weeks, with an on base percentage of .460. That is not a typo. His OBP is .460. That’s Barry Bonds territory. He’s drawing walks (10), stealing bases (4), and even driving in runs (5) in that timespan.
Compare that to Martin: .238 AVG, .333 OBP, 2 BB, 1 SB, 1 RBI.
Martin is a one-tool player. He has an incredible arm. He can’t hit for average. He doesn’t hit for power. He doesn’t drive in runs. He doesn’t have speed. He can’t steal bases.
DeShields makes things happen. DeShields is a spark plug. DeShields is a table setter.
Leonys Martin is an Irish setter. A dog of a player who must have incriminating photos of someone in the Rangers front office.
Installing DeShields as the leadoff hitter has sparked the Rangers offense to incredible heights. Finally this team is clicking.
So why would anyone mess with that?
Banister has said Martin will start in center against right-handers, DeShields against left-handers.
Assuming he wasn’t drunk, assuming this wasn’t a case of management-speak, who bats first in three quarters of the games going forward? Martin? We have seen that scenario. It was called April.
Is it Choo at one then Andrus at two? Way to kill a rally.
Maybe, if Rangers fans are lucky, it would be Choo, Hamilton, Fielder. But eventually you get to Martin.
But why on Earth would anyone mess with the success they have had?
I hope this is a short-term solution until they realize, finally, once and for all, that Leonys Martin simply isn’t going to “find it.” Unless finding it is on the bench as a fifth outfielder or late-inning defensive replacement.
The Rangers face Shaun Marcum today in a 3:10 Memorial Day game in Cleveland. Marcum is a right-handed pitcher.
They face Danny Salazar on Tuesday. He is a right-handed pitcher.
They face Carlos Carrasco on Wednesday. He is a right-handed pitcher.
So, according the Banister, that means Martin starts the next three games, DeShields sits.
Have fun visiting the Rock N Roll Hall of fame, Delino. Go to the one-hit wonders exhibit. It will be just like going to the ballpark and seeing Leonys Martin this series. No telling when he is going to get his one hit.