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July 17, 2008

The third-base decision

So, Hank Blalock isn't going to first base after all. What does that mean? It means Chris Davis is in position to be the Rangers' everyday first baseman for the next, oh, five years.

"We looked at our options with what's best in mind with what's best for the team in the second half and going forward," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We're better with both Hank and Chris in the lineup, and this is the best way to accomplish that."

Manager Ron Washington suggested that Blalock had difficulty with the decision to return to third after transitioning himself into a first baseman, but "did what's best for the team."

Said Blalock: "It's what the boss said is best for the team, and I'm the employee. That's what I'm going to do."

The decision squeezes Ramon Vazquez back into a utility role and all but certainly sends infielder German Duran back to Triple A. Vazquez, who is hitting a cool .310, becomes a good bat off the bench and also allows Washington the flexibility to give second baseman Ian Kinsler and shortstop Michael Young the occasional day of rest that they weren't getting with Blalock out.

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