08/13/10 8:30 PM ET
Saltalamacchia back with Sox, but not starting
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Saltalamacchia was called up on Wednesday after catcher Kevin Cash was put on the disabled list. Victor Martinez is still the Red Sox's No. 1 catcher, but manager Terry Francona said Saltalamacchia might catch Sunday.
"I didn't expect it this soon. But like I said, there's no bad blood there," Saltalamacchia said. "I spoke with [general manager Jon Daniels] and [assistant GM] Thad [Levine] ... today. I hope to see the guys and say hi to them. I think this is a great fit for me. It's a great opportunity for me. No hard feelings. I'm in a great place."
The Rangers acquired Saltalamacchia on July 31, 2007, as one of five players from the Braves for first baseman Mark Teixeira. But exactly three years later, they traded Saltalamacchia to the Red Sox for two Minor League players and a player to be named later. He was the Rangers' Opening Day catcher but got hurt and ended up spending almost the entire season in the Minors.
"The fans were great to me here," Saltalamacchia said. "I think it was just one of those things where I just didn't do it. Plain as day. I got some opportunities and I didn't run with it. It can go either way, but I'm looking to run with it here.
"Regardless of what job you do, its performance. If you don't perform, you're not going to be around. I think that obviously I didn't perform to what I know I can do. Not to say I did terrible. I think just a change of scenery is the best thing for me. Time will tell."
Heat no factor for Lee in free agency
ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee seemed irritated that there are suggestions that he would be reluctant to re-sign with the Rangers because of the prospect of pitching in extreme heat.
"That's an assumption," Lee said. "Somebody is assuming that. I haven't thought anything about that. I want to play on a good team. I could care less if it's 100 degrees or 50 degrees. Weather is something you can't control."
Rangers president Nolan Ryan and manager Ron Washington both said the heat in Texas should not be an issue for any player.
"I'm a believer in that you use it to your advantage," Ryan said.
"I never concern myself with the heat," Washington said. "Nolan put it succinctly: it's mind over matter. You've got to play in it. It's no big deal."
The Rangers are still playing this week in some of the highest temperatures of the summer. Lee started on Wednesday when it was 99 degrees at game time. They also have a day game on Sunday, and the forecast calls for a high of 104 degrees.
"You've got to be mentally tough to play this game, and to deal with the conditions, you've got to be mentally tough," Washington said. "Champions don't use conditions as excuses. We're not champions yet, but we certainly want to be successful."
Blanco gets start at second base
ARLINGTON -- Andres Blanco started at second base for the Rangers on Friday as second baseman Cristian Guzman was given the night off to get extra work with hitting coach Clint Hurdle.
Guzman, a switch-hitter, is just 3-for-33 with the Rangers since being acquired from the Washington Nationals on July 30. Manager Ron Washington said he expects Guzman to start on Saturday against left-hander Jon Lester.
"I'm quite sure it's an adjustment," Washington said. "There is a difference in the National League style of attack and the American League. He's seeing pitchers he doesn't know. It could be a lot of things. He might be pressing."
Washington admitted there might be an opportunity for Blanco to start getting more playing time at second base if he shows the manager something. But Washington still likes Guzman, who is a two-time All-Star and was once a premier front-line shortstop for the Twins and Nationals.
"Believe me, Guzman can offer more than what you've seen," Washington said. "Guzman can play. Ya'll haven't seen it yet, but Guzman can play."
Rangers sign Negro League descendant
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have agreed to terms with outfielder Kendall Radcliffe, a 25th rounder from Morgan Park (Ill.) High. His great uncle was Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe, one of the all-time great players from the Negro Leagues.
Ted Radcliffe, who could both pitch and play catcher, played for more than 30 teams at many different levels. In the 1932 Negro League World Series, playing for the Pittsburgh Crawfords, Radcliffe caught pitcher Satchell Paige in the first game for a shutout and then pitched a shutout in the second game.
His descendant is a left-handed-hitting outfielder who hit .531 with eight home runs, 49 RBIs and 45 stolen bases.
The Rangers will likely wait until Monday before they complete the signing of supplemental first-round pick Luke Jackson, a high school pitcher from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who was in town earlier this week for his physical. Another signing expected to be announced on Friday is fifth-round pick Justin Grimm, a pitcher from the University of Georgia.
The Rangers have just scattered singles, obstructed view and standing room only for the Saturday night game against the Red Sox. There are still plenty of tickets for Sunday's game. ... Wednesday's game against the Yankees is now the highest rated program ever on FOX Sports Southwest. ... Cliff Lee has started the season with 20 straight starts where he pitched at least six innings and walked two or less. Since 1920, only two other pitchers have had longer such streaks to begin a season: Juan Marichal (23) in 1968 and Curt Schilling (21) in 2002.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.