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Field of Links: Did the Rangers anger the baseball gods?

Oct 1, 2013, 9:04 AM PST

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The Texas Rangers have completed their most recent collapse. This time it came in the 163rd game of the season at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays. They will fall short of the playoffs after leading the American League West by as many as seven games in May, and entering the final month of the season with a two-game lead on the A’s.

There are two ways to look at this. One: The Rangers haven’t played a meaningless game in four years. Two: The Rangers have twice lost in the World Series, coughed up a division lead on the 162nd game to the A’s in 2012, and missed the playoffs in a play-in game in 2013.

Talk about a team that can’t finish the job. At least the impoverished children of African can expect an annual shipment of Rangers World Series and postseason shirts.

Did the baseball gods have something to do with it? Last season, the San Francisco Giants chose not to bring back suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera for the postseason. They ended up winning the World Series without him. The Rangers chose to go a different direction. On Monday, Nelson Cruz returned from his 50-game suspension just in time to receive a standing ovation before going 0 for 4.

Still don’t believe in the baseball gods? Check this out: Cruz grounded out to end the game. Time will tell how they feel about Bartolo Colon. Or, maybe there are no baseball gods and David Price was just too good on Monday.

— Speaking of Cruz, A’s prospect Jeremy Barfield wasn’t too impressed with his game, but he was left dazzled by another one of his features.

source:

Meh, looks like a solid six to us.

— Yoenis Cespedes and his eyebrows are resting up for Game One of the American League Division Series against the Tigers. He is dealing with tendonitis in his right shoulder and the A’s are lucky they can shut him down for four additional days. Without Cespedes, the A’s don’t look like a World Series contender.

[RELATED: Will A’s start playoffs without Cespedes?]

Cespedes hit six homers and drove in 19 runs for the A’s in September. Even when slumping, he’s one of the most impactful players on the team. A’s hitters have said on many occasions that when Cespedes is in the lineup, they don’t feel the burden to be “the man,” and they can relax and produce.

The extra rest could be considered a burden to the rest of the team. In a game of timing, too many days off can hinder performance.

“Sometimes that wild card team is the most dangerous team because they’re playing every day, scratching and clawing to get in,” A’s manager Bob Melvin told CSNBayArea.com A’s beat writer Joe Stiglich. “There’s a lot of intensity in the way they play, then they move right into it.”

If the Rays get past the Cleveland Indians in the A.L. Wild Card Game, look out. Too bad the Rangers won’t get that chance.

Time for some wild links.

Field of Links: 

Having a bad day? This seven tuba pileup will cheer you up.

— San Francisco is getting behind the A’s.

The Raiders running game is extremely dinged up.

Why the nation is waiting for 49ers and Raiders fans to screw up this Sunday.

— Colin Kaepernick posts a pic of his favorite treat.

After CBS sports anchor Dom Tiberi lost his 21-year-old daughter in a car accident, the Ohio State Buckeyes lined up to give him hugs. What an incredibly touching and emotional gesture.

— Joe Thornton and Logan Couture talk leadership in the CSN studios.

As if being the Jaguars mascot isn’t crappy enough.

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