OAKLAND -- With an off-day on Thursday, the Rangers normally would have taken both early batting practice and regular batting practice before Friday's game. Both were cancelled because workers were still getting the Oakland Coliseum back into baseball shape after the Raiders played an NFL exhibition here on Thursday night.Workers were still putting the backstop and outfield fences back in place three hours before game time. Rangers manager Ron Washington, who spoke with Oakland grounds crew before the game, said the biggest concern was center field, which took a beating because retractable football stands were dragged across the grass. Washington said the infield was fine, even though much of it is in play during the football game. "Center field may be tough, but that's about it," Washington said. Washington shrugged off comments made by pitcher C.J. Wilson on Wednesday that he hated pitching in Oakland because of the poor mound and lack of fan support for the Athletics. "I love it here," said Washington, who was on the Oakland coaching staff for 11 years before being named Rangers manager. "The only thing that concerns me is they know I love it here." Wilson's comments apparently riled some of the Athletics. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, pitcher Dallas Braden left a commemorative perfect game T-shirt in Wilson's locker with a pointed message to him. "There is an old saying that if you can talk the talk and walk the walk, then you can wear the bull's eye," Washington said. "That wouldn't have been my choice of words, but C.J.'s entitled to his opinion," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "As an organization, we've got nothing but respect for Oakland and their group. I'd prefer to let our performance and actions speak for us. My expectation is C.J. will do just that, as he usually does."
Hamilton getting it done sans homers
OAKLAND -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton hit a home run on Wednesday against the Mariners. He was thrilled."About time, isn't it?" Hamilton said before Friday's game with the Athletics. "It would be nice if they came in bunches. I'll take at least six or seven on this road trip." Hamilton's home run was his 14th of the season and first since July 19 against the Angels, a span of 20 games and 82 at-bats. During those 20 games, he was still hitting .321 with five doubles and 10 RBIs. But his slugging percentage was .432. "I told him I'll still take doubles," manager Ron Washington said. Hamilton's overall numbers are down because he missed six weeks with a fractured bone in his right arm and he doesn't have enough plate appearances to be listed among the league leaders in percentage categories. But two ratios show that Hamilton is still driving in runs. He has a one RBI for every 5.02 at-bats. That would rank fourth best in the league if he had enough plate appearances to qualify. However his ratio of one home run for every 22.92 at-bats would rank 21st. In the same categories last season, Hamilton ranked fourth with a home run every 16.19 at-bats and eighth with an RBI every 5.18 at-bats. "Honestly, I try not to think about it," Hamilton said. "If you think about it, sometimes you get out of your approach at the plate. You try to create something happening and you quickly spiral downward."
Beltre with Rangers, but doing little
OAKLAND -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre has joined the Rangers for this 10-game road trip but is doing very little in the way of physical activity. Beltre remains on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and had to start over from scratch when he reinjured himself running the bases on Sunday in Arlington.Beltre had been on the disabled list since July 23 and if he passed that running test, he would have been ready to go on a medical rehabilitation assignment in the Minor Leagues. "Before it happened, I felt no pain and was running 100 percent," Beltre said. "I did all the explosion tests, running to first, running to second, stop and go, no problems. Then, all of a sudden I hurt it again. It's really frustrating because I felt good enough to get into a game. It was the last thing I was doing, sprinting to second, when it happened. "Maybe I should have run a little less. Maybe I was trying to put too much effort into it trying to build up speed. I had been running for a while, maybe I should have dialed it down."
Washington wants to see 'Moneyball'
OAKLAND -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said he plans on seeing "Moneyball," the movie being made about Oakland general manager Billy Beane. The movie, starring Brad Pitt, is scheduled to premiere in late September.The movie is based on the best-selling book, and Washington was with the Athletics during the time it was written. Washington's character appears briefly in the movie, although he is not listed in the credits by name. "I'm certainly going to check it out," Washington said. Washington did not read the book. "I started it but never finished it," Washington said. "I'm going to finish it." How far did he get? "The first chapter," Washington said. "Then I got distracted ... by a lot of things."
Rangers outfielder Craig Gentry was ready to go on Friday after being activated from the disabled list on Thursday. He missed almost two weeks with a concussion and said, "I've got no issues whatsoever. I feel good, I'm happy to be back and ready to push to the end of the season." Saturday's game is on FOX and will be broadcast to 16 percent of the nation. Tom Grieve and Glenn Kuiper will do the game. It will be the Rangers' sixth Saturday appearance on FOX, and they will also be on Sept. 3 against the Red Sox. Ian Kinsler's 18 home runs from the leadoff spot lead the Majors, one more than Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.