(Manager Buck, blissfully unaware that someone has drawn a chalk penis on the back of his jacket)
Texas completed a 1-12 road trip yesterday with their third straight defeat to Tampa Bay. The reinstated Kenny Rogers has been shelled in every outing since his return. How much do the Rangers suck? The Dallas Fort Worth Telegram’s T.R. Sullivan counts the ways :
The Rangers’ 13-game, four-city road trip started out with what was supposed to be good news.
Before the second game of the trip, way back in Boston, the Rangers found out that pitcher Kenny Rogers’ 20-game suspension was over and he would be available immediately.
From owner Tom Hicks on down, the Rangers rejoiced in the news. Turns out that not even Rogers could do much to help on the worst road trip in club history.
Instead, the trip finally came to an end with Rogers giving up six runs in six innings as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays completed a three-game sweep with a 6-3 victory at Tropicana Field on Sunday.
The Rangers finish the trip with a 1-12 mark. The only win came when Chris Young and Francisco Cordero combined on a shutout in Cleveland.
“I never expected this team, with the players we have, to have this bad of a road trip,” catcher Rod Barajas said. “It’s embarrassing, but for some reason, we’re not playing good baseball, and it’s very disheartening. We’ve got to find a way to get this turned around, because I’m extremely embarrassed by the way it’s gone on this trip.”
“Nobody cares about your struggles,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “Most are happy you’ve got them. It’s part of it. I don’t care if it’s the White Sox, Yankees, Red Sox; everybody goes through these periods. This is a tough period for us.
“We all know how hard success is at this level, and we’re not having it. We have to get back to doing what we’re capable of doing.”
Rogers made three starts after his suspension, and went 0-3 with a 7.00 ERA. He allowed 20 hits in 18 innings pitched.
“You want to take advantage of the games Kenny pitches, and we weren’t able to do that,” shortstop Michael Young said. “It’s been a miserable trip on several fronts. One, we won one game; two, we were away for the last two weeks. Three, it came at the worst possible time.”
Rogers is now 3-5 with a 5.29 ERA in his last 11 starts, and the Rangers are 3-8 in those games
Would be it fair to say after all these years to say that Kenny Rogers is a terrific performer as long as there isn’t very much at stake?
Former Ranger Lenny Randle, interviewed by the Dallas Morning News’ Dave Lance, thinks that Rogers has gotten a raw deal :
Even 28 years after the fact, Randle said he had no comment on his one-sided fight with manager Frank Lucchesi, which led to a 30-day suspension and a ticket out of Texas to the lowly New York Mets.
Angry over a perceived lack of playing time, Randle approached Lucchesi near the batting cage before a game in Orlando, Fla. The two talked briefly before Randle punched the unsuspecting Lucchesi several times.
It made Randle the most notorious Ranger. But after Kenny Rogers’ outburst in June directed at two TV cameras and their operators, Randle has company.
Randle said he sympathizes with Rogers, who ended up suspended by baseball for 13 days.
“He just overreacted to the situation,” Randle said. “I’ve seen guys at Jiffy Oil do that and don’t make news. Everything we do, Big Brother is watching.
“He got busted. If nobody films it, it’s no big deal.”
Past and present staffers at Randle’s youth baseball clinic include Vince Coleman, George Foster, Fergie Jenkins, Doc Ellis and inexplicably, actor Stoney Jackson (above). The next time anyone asks why I’m not having kids, I’ll explain it is because I don’t think I could cope with their looks of disappointment when I tell them they aren’t going to Lenny Randle Camp for the summer.