Week ahead: Baltimore, Minnesota at home
* Baltimore comes to town currently in one of the AL Wild Card positions, a half-game ahead of Oakland and two up on Detroit. So the Orioles have plenty to play for here in late August.
* Ryan Dempster returns to the mound tonight after missing his start this weekend because of personal reasons. He's had an up-and-down start to his Ranger season after pitching so consistently with the Chicago Cubs. He'll look to pitch well tonight and get the homestand started on the right foot for Texas.
* Tonight is ESPN Dallas Rangers blog night at the park. It's a fancy name, but a relaxed event. Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine will conduct a quick Q&A with those of you coming to the game at 6 p.m. in the center field office building. Meet in the lobby around 5:50 p.m. and we'll go up to talk to Thad together. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
* Rangers fans will get to see Tommy Hunter, a former Ranger, when he starts on Wednesday against Derek Holland.
* The Twins come to town for four games starting Thursday. Minnesota is 20 games under .500 and last in the AL Central. It's a weak opponent sandwiched between two teams fighting for the playoffs (the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays come to town early next week).
* Michael Young returns home coming off one of his better offensive games of the season. He had a home run (he hadn't hit one since May) and a double in his first five-RBI game of the season. He ended up a triple shy of the cycle.
* Matt Harrison won't be on the mound against the Orioles after his solid performance on Sunday in Toronto. But he'll face the Twins and then should start the final game of the homestand against the Rays.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.