the Rangers would probably already have a wild card spot if they were better in one-run games this year.

Some players go the security route, and that’s just fine! Bryant, though, already won’t be a free agent until 2022, when he’ll be heading into his age-30 season. He probably has one real chance for a mega-contract, and signing an extension that might not even pay him as much year-to-year as arbitration could limit the chances of even having that one chance. That’s because the price for guaranteed money and security now tends to be free agent years, and Boras isn’t going to trade those in for someone who very well might sign one of the biggest deals he’s negotiated.

No one is in the wrong here, as both sides are looking out for themselves. Bryant will still get paid in the meantime, the Cubs will still get to enjoy his production for years to come, and at some point, they’ll either part ways or the Cubs will spend heavily to retain him. They owe each other nothing beyond that, and while that’s a bit cold for the player whose smile and eyes light up fans’ lives, that’s the business.

Cole Hamels, in his first start back from the disabled list, allowed one run each in three of the first four frames and then came completely unglued in the fifth, notching just one out in the inning while giving up four more runs. The Rangers’ pen then did even worse, with Tanner Scheppers and Preston Claiborne both allowing three runs, and Alex Claudio picking up a blown save thanks to the pair of runs he gave up to Cleveland.

The defending AL West champion Rangers are now 38-38, haven’t spent a day in first place all season and topped out at three games over .500, a figure they haven’t reached again for over a month. They sit 13.5 back of the Astros, but all hope is not lost: They’re just two games out of a wild card spot, as the 39-35 Twins are holding onto the second one in the AL.

Of course, the Rangers would probably already have a wild card spot if they were better in one-run games this year. Baseball is cruel like that.

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