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Thursday newsletter time: Rangers take care of Royals like a good team should

(AP photo/Reed Hoffmann)

 

The Texas Rangers, the team that finished a combined 78 games below .500 the past two seasons, has won twice as many games this season as they have lost.

Granted, they’ve played only 18 games, but their 12-6 record looks like 32-6 compared to where they’ve been.

Could it all start to crumble Friday in their next game? Absolutely. But the Rangers are doing things that good teams do, like beating teams that shouldn’t beat them.

Such was the case the past three days at Kansas City, where the Rangers pulled off a three-game sweep by dominating the hapless Royals in every facet. The Rangers won Wednesday afternoon 12-3 behind solid starting pitching, terrific bullpen work and a lineup that produced from top to bottom.

“Great series,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We did it all here. Just a terrific series and road trip. It was fun watching these guys, and it was everybody, too.”

Leadoff man Marcus Semien collected three hits. So did No. 9 hitter Leody Taveras. The Rangers kept piling on, too, as catcher Jonah Heim launched a three-run home in the ninth.

The Rangers went 5-1 on their road trip, which included winning 2 of 3 at Houston, and have won four straight. Next up are the A’s, who are every bit as bad as the Royals.

The 12-6 record is tied for the fifth-best start to a season in club history and the best since the 2013 team also went 12-6.

“We’ve just got to keep going,” Taveras said.

Going to court

The Rangers are the fourth team to not receive a rights-fee payment from Diamond Sports, and also the fourth team to join MLB in a court motion compelling Diamond to pay up.

The Athletic reported the Rangers’ plight with the owners of Bally Sports Southwest, which continues to air Rangers game and sell those games to distributors. The Rangers argued in their filing that Diamond is in breach of its contract.

“That ‘there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’ is a well-recognized, simple, but axiomatic economic principle,” the Rangers wrote. “Everyone understands it — everyone, apparently, except the Debtors. Here, they are getting lunch — using the right to create content based on the Rangers’ baseball games, and in turn selling that content to distributors — but without paying for it.”

The judge overseeing Diamond’s bankruptcy scheduled a hearing for May 31, the Athletic reported, but the judge was also going to consider if Diamond should be making payments until then.

This is a mess that ultimately could see MLB take control of the broadcasts until the Rangers find a new rights partner.

ICYMI …

As was written Sunday at Rangers Today (link below), the Rangers are relevant again. They’ve played four times on national television, Mets fans are following Jacob deGrom’s every move, and the Rangers will be in first place in the American League West all by themselves for the sixth straight day today. Don’t miss anything. If you have, don’t worry. Our latest content is below, in case you missed it.

A good Wednesday on the mound

Rangers farm notes: How is Aaron Zavala?

Friday on the farm: Checking in on top pitching prospects

The Sunday Read: The week that was

Audio/video links to latest podcast episode

Doggy video!

Had to get that engine firing first. Enjoy.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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