After what was the most exciting and historical season for the Texas Rangers last year, the off season for the defending AL champs has been one of discourse and problems. It all started with losing Cliff Lee to the Philadelphia Phillies, then there was the whole Michael Young fiasco that has continued through spring training. But that was just the icing on the cake, unexpectedly the Rangers CEO and managing partner Chuck Greenberg suddenly left the franchise and that is just the off the field issues to boot. Since spring training has started, there have been questions and concerns on the field as well.
The first question is the health of free agent signee Brandon Webb who hasn’t played a game in two years and just recently has had a set back mere days before opening day. Then there are questions surrounding the starting center fielder who has been reported to have forgotten how to catch a fly ball in spring training. While that is a minor issue, it has been major sports talk fodder in the Dallas area, and it just makes you wonder if the kid is ready for the big time from day 1. The other big story on the field was the on again, off again talk about starter vs. closer role for Neftali Feliz. Which just recently got put to bed and he will return to his closer role.
While these stories seem very small and insignificant, the overal constant story lines is a littleworrisome. Because a team who is favored to repeat as Division champs and possible return to the World Series should be a tight ship and not have headlines outside of the normal injury concerns. This may just be nothing more than a mere concern, but since the spotlight is far brighter on this team now, the wrong headlines are being made.
There are still a lot of questions about the rotation and how the line up will shape up for the start of the season. Rangers fans have to be concerned because there are too many questions and not enough answers to explain the concerns before the start of the season. Hopefully this just a smoke screen to be able to keep the team loose and ready, because the expectations are great and anything less than something close to last year will not be tolerated in the area.
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