The All-Star Game is a few hours away, and manager Ron Washington has his pitching blueprint in place for the first four innings: starter Jered Weaver, Boston righty Josh Beckett, Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson and Mariners rookie Michael Pineda. Washington said he doesn't have an inning planned for Alexi Ogando yet. Anything after the fourth inning will depend on the flow of the game, Washington said.
Washington said that Alex Rodriguez would have been the cleanup hitter tonight had he been able to play. Instead, Jose Bautista will hit fourth for the AL.
The Rangers will have a one-hour workout, mostly pitchers fielding practice, Thursday afternoon at Safeco Field to shake off the rust of the All-Star break. They did the same thing last year at Boston. In 2008 and 2009, they didn't play on Thursday but worked out before resuming the second half on Friday.
Tampa Bay right-hander James Shields doesn't like the rule that prevents pitchers who worked Sunday from pitching in the All-Star Game. While he said he isn't the person who is going to spark change, commissioner Bud Selig might. He said he will review that rule and consider moving the All-Star Game back one day to Wednesday.
Commissioner Bud Selig said that all 30 MLB teams are reviewing the safety of their ballparks afer the death of Shannon Stone, who fell over the railing in the left-field stands Thursday at Rangers Ballpark and died from his injuries.
"It was a horrible accident, heartbreaking, almost beyond comprehension," Selig said. "Each team determines its own ballpark safety features based on local laws. "Maybe there's some things they can or can’t do. Common sense should always take over in this situation."
-- Jeff Wilson