A hotly disputed (OK, blown fair or foul call by umpire Tom Hallion in Texas’ 5-3 loss to San Francisco last night sticks in the craw of the Fort Worth Star Telegram’s Jan Hubbard.

If the Rangers miss the playoffs by one game, or lose the division title by one game, they will look back at the night of June 27 with even more anger than they felt Tuesday.

If it’s any consolation, Texas will probably miss playoffs by more than one game.

SportsTicker is reporting the NHL’s Rangers and Islanders are in negotiations to play a January 1, 2007 game at Yankee Stadium.  I guess it’s never too cold outside to boo A-Rod.

Chien-Ming Wang and John Smoltz are currently dueling at the Stadium, with the Braves holding a 2-1 advantage in the top of the 7th.  Following a nifty Andy Phillips scoop of a low Derek Jeter throw from deep in the hole between 3rd and short, Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez praised Jeter….for thanking Philips.

“So many professional athletes today,” intoned Thorne, “…I’m thinking of the NBA in particular, because it drives me nuts…guys make great passes, great assists….never acknowledged.  A guy goes in, slams it, never points to the guy who set him up, there’s no ‘hey, nice play, I appreciate it.’…it’s part of being a good teammate.”

Indeed, the next time someone argues that Jeter is a sucky shortstop, just quote Gary Thorne and cite the Captain’s sense of etiquette.

Johan Santana has allowed pair of doubles and one walk this afternoon against the Dodgers, as the Twins lead, 6-0. Joe Mauer has a pair of hits (single, double, one RBI) and his batting average stands at a ridiculous .392.  That said, Minnesota are unlikely to gain ground on the AL Central-leading Tigers, who are currently up, 5-0 over the Astros after 7 innings. Closing in on his 10th win, Justin Verlander has struck out 7 and given up just a pair of singles and a Jason Lane double.