Texas comes into town ranking 10th in the AL in ERA, and 6th in the AL for runs scored. They'll meet the Giants, who rank 6th in the NL in ERA, and 10th in the NL for runs scored. Something has to give, and it'll be a bloody battle to the death at:
The stat sheet for the Giants looks like some weird Strat-o-Matic experiment. Four of the five players leading the team in at-bats have an OPS within .09 of each other:
Randy Winn - .263/.338/.415 (.754)
Steve Finley - .257/.328/.428 (.756)
Ray Durham - .242/.329/.434 (.763)
The Rangers have five of their six players leading the team in at-bats within .30 OPS points:
Mark Teixeira - .282/.366/.452 (.818)
Hank Blalock - .294/.362/.454 (.816)
Kevin Mench - .279/.333/.475 (.808)
Brad Wilkerson - .242/.323/.470 (.794)
Balanced offenses, both, but that's not always a good thing. Considering that The Ballpark at Arlington usually plays as a relatively extreme hitters' park, the difference between the offenses really isn't a big one. As long as there isn't that big of a difference, the Giants should swing a deal for Mark Teixeria. Say, Pedro Feliz straight up? Okay, we'll throw in Kevin Correia.
If the Rangers weren't jockeying for first place in the AL West, they'd be a good trade partner in this respect. With a legitimate trade offer, that is. The Giants have a smattering of extra starting pitching, which the Rangers could certainly use. With both teams in contention, though, it's all idle speculation.
But what would a trade conversation between the two teams sound like? I mean, if I were to reenact one with gross mischaracterizations and caricatures? I'm not sure, but I think it might go a little something....like this:
Rangers GM: Hi, Brian. These cell phone minutes aren't cheap.
Sabean: We do have several youngish players to offer in return.
Rangers GM: Like who?
Sabean: Kevin Correia or Brad Hennessey, for two. Maybe Lance Niekro or Pedro Feliz?
Rangers GM: Thanks, but that's not going to get it done. And Jason Schmidt or Matt Cain would be too much for you to give up. It doesn't seem like a good fit. Have a good day.
Sabean: Hey, if the U.S. never cracked down on visas, we would still think Pedro Feliz is in his twenties. And do you know why they cracked down on visas? Because of terrorism. If you recognize Feliz's real age, the terrorists have won. Think about that.
Rangers GM: puts phone in front of television, and leaves to play golf.
Phone of Rangers GM: ...one cup of heavy cream, but add it in slowly to prevent burning....
Sabean: Oh, I get it. Code. Okay. Yeah, I'll see your "cup of heavy cream", and give you a "box of animal crackers".
Phone of Rangers GM: ....keep it on medium heat, until the sugar starts to caramelize...
Sabean: C'mon, man. Let's kick this thing up to "high heat". I don't care if we burn a little "sugar". Hell, that's what makes this sport great, am I right?