A tale of two players. 55 comments


Was it goodbye?

Not sure whether this was going to be Beltre’s last ever home game as a Ranger, manager Don Wakamatsu decided to allow the crowd to give him a hero’s send off.

As the six inning started, Beltre took his customary position at third. Then, Wakamatsu sent Rougned Odor onto the playing field to take to  second, bumping Jurickson Profar to third. The crowd at the Ballpark was a bit confused.

So, too, it turns out, was Beltre.

After the game Beltre revlealed that he was told before the game that they were going to do this, and when. But he forgot. So when he saw Profar taking his position, he was a bit confused as well.

But then it started settling in what was happening. His teammates on the field gave him a hug. The Mariners stood up in the dugout and honored him. The fans gave him a long, warm ovation, which he acknowledged a few times.

Then, just like that, he was gone. Heroes don’t fade away. They just disappear.

After the game he said, “I think that mentally, I’m ready to accept the fact that maybe this is it. And if it’s not, I want to be ready, mentally, to go through another year of figuring out how to be productive and stay healthy. So whatever the situation or decision might be, I’ve got to be mentally ready for whatever it’s going to be.”

He insists this might not be it. The Rangers will look very different without him.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 126 times, shame on me.

The Rangers wanted to give Martin Perez a tryout for next season’s rotation. As if the first 126 tryouts left some questions unanswered.

In his career, he is 43-48 with a 4.73 ERA as a starter. There are no hidden patterns to unearth in those numbers. In seven seasons, he has had just one where his ERA wasn’t atrocious. It was 3.62 in 2013. Nothing lower than 4.38 otherwise.

This just proves that the Rangers are so desperate for starting pitching, they will literally consider anyone. Anyone. Send in your resume. You will be guaranteed at least one start next year.

Yesterday, as he has done from time to time, Perez pitched a decent game. He gave up just one earned run in four innings on Sunday. Having the ability to pitch this well was never an issue with Perez. It’s not being able to do it for long periods of time that’s been the problem.

Perez is always an enigma. Tantalizing. But ultimately disappointing. When your car starts, it’s wonderful. When it leaves you stranded in a parking lot with six screaming kids, it’s not. When it does that more often than not, it’s time to get a new car.

Chances are Perez gets one more start in one of the seven remaining games. It’s like scouring a crime scene over and over and over again desperately hoping some new sliver of evidence will show up.

Maybe the new manager will find that secret button to push. Maybe the new pitching coach will.

The Rangers are almost certainly going to make Perez an offer. It won’t be anywhere in the neighborhood of the $7.5 million they would have to pay him if they pick up their option. But they will offer him something. They are that desperate.

The front office has made this team irrelevant enough. It really won’t matter if Perez is in the rotation next year. It’s just a matter of how far in last place they want to finish.


Adrian Sampson (0-2, 4.09) vs. Felix Peña (2-6, 6.33)
Game time: 9:07

How the Rangers hit against Peña.
How the Angels hit against Sampson.