When you hear about wacky insurance policies – a Hollywood actress insuring her legs, a company insuring their big event won’t get wiped out by a meteorite hitting the Earth – it’s pretty safe to say the insurance company was betting they’d never have to pay, thus pocketing the premiums for themselves. Wednesday night, the bet didn’t pay off.
A Dallas area carpet and countertop company began advertising in Texas Rangers games at the end of August, telling viewers if they bought their carpeting or countertops from them, it wouldn’t cost them a cent IF Josh Hamilton hit a grand slam in September. Hamilton delivered in Wednesday’s 9-1 win over the Cleveland Indians. It was his third career slam.
The owner of the company says customers are getting about a half million dollars worth of free merchandise from him thanks to the blast, presumably even the man who hit the home run, as the company apparently had been hired by the Hamiltons to do their home. Of course, the carpet store isn’t losing a half million dollars in all this, just the insurance company who took the bet that it wouldn’t happen. The carpet store just loses the premium they paid on the policy.
Still, it was fun to see something like that come through for people, much like the excitement one feels for the golfer who wins a car in a hole-in-one contest. More exciting was the win that inches the Rangers one small step closer to their second straight division title.
Derek Holland was right on the money again, allowing a single run in seven innings of work in securing his 14th win. Holland has the 2nd worst ERA among all the starters (even then it’s a pretty good 4.02), but he also has the best run support of any of the starters, And, as his four complete shutouts prove, he can at times be dominating.
The win was needed, as the Angels had won earlier in the day over the A’s. When Oakland took a 1-0 lead over Anaheim and Jered Weaver early, I had modest hopes for an Oakland win. That was tempered with the realization the A’s were countering with Rich Harden. Sure enough, Harden eventually returned to his 2010 Rangers form, giving up 3 runs in the 6th, ensuring Texas would have to win to keep pace.
At this point of the season, every day the Angels don’t gain ground makes it that much more difficult for them to catch the Rangers. Now we also know, when there’s free carpeting involved, Josh Hamilton can be lethal. Just two days ago, this space expressed concern over Hamilton’s rather pedestrian numbers (for him) over the past month plus. Since then, Hambone’s hit two out of the park. I’d love to take credit, but it probably has more to do with Josh’s 4th daughter being born and everyone being healthy. Now he can relax again.
Wednesday’s win put the Rangers 21 games over .500 for the first time since 1999. They still have a chance of topping that team’s club record of 95 wins.
Texas is now 8-1 vs. the Tribe in 2011. The final game of the season series and the Rangers’ next to last homestand is tonight, while the Angels have the day off. A Rangers win puts the lead at 3 1/2 with only 12 games to go.
Free carpeting and countertops can’t make that happen anymore. Maybe someone can offer free trips to Tahiti for a Hamilton slam…