Myths: Big Foot, Elvis abducted by aliens and Rangers' pitching depth

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Dec. 22, 2007 - You can believe that Big Foot lives, aliens abducted Elvis and Brittany Spears is a fit parent. But, even a numerologist psychic that returned from the dead can't buy the theory that the Texas Rangers have pitching depth.

You can't believe in things that have never happened.

Yet, that's what Ranger GM Jon Daniels would have you believe, which is why he traded Edinson Volquez, the Rangers Minor League Pitcher of the Year, for a drug-addled, injury-prone outfielder on Friday.

For three or four years, the Rangers brass built up Volquez, Thomas Diamond and John Danks as the D-V-D boys, a trio of quality minor league pitchers that would rule the Rangers rotation for decades.

Now, they have traded Volquez and Danks, and Diamond hurt his arm last year, requiring major surgery.

Instead of those three pitchers, we will be told now that Josh Hamilton, the 26-year-old outfielder who the Rangers picked up from Cincinnati in a trade for Volquez, is a superstar outfielder in the making. Didn't we hear that about Brad Wilkerson? Nelson Cruz?

The fact is, Hamilton has been in drug rehab not once, twice or thrice. But, eight times. When he hasn't been in rehab, he's been hurt. Hamilton has never completed a full season without injury since he was the top pick in the 1998 draft.

Even last year, when he hit 19 home runs and drove in 47 runs, he did it in 298 at-bats because he missed half the season with three different ailments.

You don't trade a young, promising pitcher for a player who has had one half-season of good baseball in the last nine years.

Not when you're the Rangers. Not when you don't have pitching to spare. Not unless you have Big Foot and Elvis warming up in the bullpen.

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