Not only were the wooden pickets making my seat uncomfortable, but the first week of the season forced me into a clear-cut decision:
Keep Gerald Laird.
I’ll admit that I was enticed, at one time, by the lifted skirt and perfumed inner thigh of the thought that the Rangers could have a catcher with the potential to hit .280 or higher with 25 or more homeruns. But sensibility prevailed – and this was before yesterday’s fireworks show by Laird. Really. Honest.
Yes, he was hitting a lowly .091 before the Sunday show. However, if you throw out his troubles with Kazuo Fukumori’s nasty movement in Seattle, his defense has the potential to be a game changer. Also, he has shown vast improvement in becoming a team leader. After all, he could have chosen (when given the chance by Ron Washington) to catch the cruising Kevin Millwood, but he opted instead to work with Vincent Padilla.
It may be true that he tries too much at times. The popup that he directed at the head of Ramon Vasquez comes to mind. (Do you think he would have even attempted that play if Blalock had been at thrid? I don’t.)
But did you realize that through the first six games of the season he is one of three Rangers (along with Catalanotto and Botts) who has yet to strike out?
So stow all those plans to ship Gerald away before the trade deadline. Not only do I think he is a keeper, but I also think that Jarrod Saltalamacchia will fetch more via trade. Chris Davis is on the fast track to first base and Taylor Teagarden (who most say is ready for the bigs defense-wise) has really stepped up what was once a questionable offensive game.
So remember all those pundits applauding Jon Daniels for snagging Salty from the Braves? I, too, join that crowd, but for totally different reasons.
Let the line for trade offers form to the left. Or, more accurately, behind the plate.
Just leave that Laird alone.