ARLINGTON The freak injury that Rangers pitcher Derek Holland suffered last week in his home playing with his dog has created all kinds of speculation about what really happened.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said there's no reason not to believe his account.
'I think he's embarrassed about it. I know there has been some allusion to that it happened while he was playing hockey, and Derek is adamant that didn't happen, and that's good enough for me,' Daniels said.
The Rangers executive also said neither he nor anyone else in the franchise has any hard feelings about the accident.
'More the dog,' Daniels said. 'Listen: You know injuries are going to happen every year... it's just a matter to whom and when, and obviously you'd like it to be during the actual games during the season, but the flip side of that is, he should be ready to roll by mid-year and hopefully in the second half. He's the shot in the arm we need.'
The injury has created lots of off-season speculation as to how the Rangers plan to replace the 213 innings Holland pitched last year. He has averaged 156 innings per year over the last five.
Daniels said there is probably not a name player out there that the team will pursue, especially at the top of the market.
'We don't like to just cross guys off; we want to consider everybody, and who is going to make us best, who's the best fit for us now and best fit going forward,' Daniels said. 'At the same time, we have limits. This ownership group has been unbelievably supportive ... but we've got a budget; we've got limits; and you can't just buy off the top shelf every time there is an issue.'
Two seasons have now passed since the Rangers last advanced to the World Series. Those two trips set the bar awfully high, but there is one major step this team has not yet taken.
'When you say the bar has been set, I kind of view that a little differently in that we haven't accomplished our goal,' Daniels said. 'We've come close a couple of times, but we haven't gotten that last step, and that's our goal we want to win the last game of the season.'
And if that happens, Derek Holland will feel a lot better about his unfortunate accident.