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Wednesday newsletter time: Rangers instructional league tour headed to Globe Life Field

(Rangers Today/Jeff Wilson)



The Rangers’ instructional league team is headed this way.

First, though, the Rangers will play today and Thursday against Arkansas after making stops Monday and Tuesday at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The mini barnstorming tour ends at 6 p.m. Friday against TCU at Globe Life Field.

Get tickets here.

So far, the Rangers are 0-2, losing 8-1 to Oklahoma State and 8-3 to Oklahoma. This should not come as a surprise, by the way, as 14 of the 43 players are 17- or 18-year-olds and even more players either haven’t made their professional debuts or are from the Dominican Summer League.

Some recent college draftees are on the team, but Rangers’ top draft pick this year, right-hander Kumar Rocker (third overall), is not on the team. Rocker tossed two scoreless innings Monday in the Arizona Fall League.

Fourth-rounder Brock Porter, the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year, also is not playing. The top draft pick on the instructs team is fifth-rounder Chandler Pollard, a prep shortstop from Georgia. Sixth-rounder Tommy Specht, a prep outfielder from Iowa, is also on the club.

The top prospect is outfielder Anthony Gutierrez, the key signing from the 2022 international class.


Houston, no problem

Justin Verlander wasn’t very good, allowing six runs on 10 hits in four innings, and Houston was down five with six outs remaining in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against Seattle.

Astros 8, Mariners 7.

Yordan Alvarez rescued the AL West champs with a three-run walk-off homer off of Robby Ray, the 2021 AL Cy Young winner pitching in relief as Mariners manager Scott Servais went with a left-on-left matchup. Alvarez, who has terrorized Seattle all season, won.

Three of the four teams who received a bye to the divisional round won Tuesday, with Atlanta the exception. The defending world champs got a three-run homer in the ninth from their big lefty-hitting first baseman, Matt Olson, but it only brought the Braves within the final margin, 7-6.

The Yankees, whose bullpen right now is a dumpster fire, beat Cleveland and the Dodgers whipped up early on San Diego before holding on for a 5-3 win.

If the Mariners are looking for a silver lining, they have a day off today to shake off their hangover. Only the NL teams play today.

Another sad Skaggs chapter

Eric Kay, a former member of the Angels’ media-relations group, was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years in jail for drug distribution that resulted in the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Kay received two years more than the minimum sentence because of comments he made in jail that were recorded. They were pretty nasty.

The Orange County Register reported that Kay said of Skaggs “I hope people realize what a piece of s— he was. … Well he’s dead, so f— him.”

He also took a shot at the Skaggs family, which has sued the Angels.

“All they see are dollar signs,” Kay said. “They may get more money with him dead than if he was playing because he sucked.”

This whole unfortunate situation took place July 1, 2019, when Skaggs would found dead in a Southlake hotel room caused by an accidental overdose.

Kay had a history of drug abuse and gave drugs to several Angels players, it was revealed during a trial last winter in Fort Worth.

He doesn’t strike me as the type who’s going to do well in prison.

Doggy video!

Your wrestling career might be in trouble if you’re a jobber against a dog. He sold it, though. 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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