Texas Rangers closer Francisco Cordero lost his job, after blowing his fifth game of the season on Wedneday. While he didn't break the one-month record of seven held by Bruce Sutter, the Rangers had enough..

Rangers officials decided that Cordero should not close and instead RP Akinori Otsuka should take Coco's place. Cordero will continue to pitch, but will do so in earlier innings.

Rangers manager Buck Showalter had been reluctant to change Cordero's role because he doesn't want Cordero to think the Rangers have lost confidence in him. But Showalter has to balance that against the needs of the team, and it makes no sense for the Rangers to use a closer who is having problems closing.

"That's the challenge," Showalter said. "You're trying to satisfy a lot of things. The bottom line is winning baseball games, and [right now] we're challenged with it."


Fri 04/28/06, 9:20 am EST



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