Much of the major leagues, including the Orioles, were off yesterday but there was still baseball news of interest here as the Rangers finally moved Severna Park's Mark Teixeira to the Braves. For a while, several factors -- their terrible record and the need for overhaul, reported problems between Teixeira and first-year Texas manager Ron Washington and the added pressure of Teixeira's soon-expiring contract -- have had the Rangers looking to deal their star switch-hitting first baseman.
Teixeira in Orioles orange and black seemed like a good wardrobe change to Baltimore fans and wouldn't it be nice to finally have a star player who actually would like to play in this area?
Alas, the Rangers wanted either lots of youthful potential or All-Star caliber veteran talent. They got the former from the Braves, most notably in catcher-first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has a chance to be a star for years to come, plus three other prospects, two of them reportedly pitchers.
From the Orioles, The Sun's beat writer Jeff Zrebiec reported today, Texas wanted Erik Bedard, the cornerstone of what has turned out to be a solid (potentially spectacular) starting pitching staff. If that was the case, as much as I would have liked to Teixeira here, then the price was too high.
* The Chicago Cubs, after a terrible start, actually had a chance to grab a share of first place in the tepid National League Central yesterday but stumbled against the Phillies, losing 4-1. The Phils are in their own dogfight, mixing it up in the NL East with the first-place Mets and now improved Braves. But Philadelphia has an injury jinx going on that may put them out contention through sheer attrition.
Last week, star second baseman Chase Utley was sidelined for perhaps a month by a broken hand when he was hit by a pitch. Yesterday at Wrigley, two Phillies outfielders came up lame -- leadoff hitter Shane Victorino (strained calf) and his replacement Michael Bourn, who sprained an ankle tripping over a bullpen mound while chasing a foul ball. Before the weekend, power-hitting outfielder Aaron Rowand gave the Phils a scare when he felt a twinge in his shoulder from playing tag with neighborhood kids. But he hit a three-run homer yesterday.