Texas Rangers make Splash at the deadline

 

As the trade deadline has come and gone, there was a lot of speculation over whether the Rangers would be willing to make a move, or not. But over the last few days the Rangers did pull the trigger on some surprising, yet much needed moves. One of the big problems that has been blaring throughout the season to this point has been a weak bullpen without a solid set up man for closer Neftali Feliz. That was until the last two days of the trade deadline.

On Saturday the Rangers made a very surprising move that really wasn’t known outside of a few small circles. The Rangers decided to trade infielder Chris Davis and fan favorite Tommy “Big Game” Hunter to Baltimore for a bullpen guy who has some of the best states in Major League Baseball, Koji Uehara. While the first reaction of this trade was skeptical and somewhat unpopular by most fans, once his stats and where he was going to be able to fit in on the team, then it was met with excitement.

The next and final move came down on Sunday afternoon, while it was announced during a day game in Toronto, it was announced that the Texas Rangers had made another trade for another solid relief pitcher from San Diego. The Rangers traded a couple Double A prospects from Frisco to the Padres for Mike Bell. A former Texas A&M Aggie who has been one of the best bullpen pitchers in the Majors over the last few seasons. This move was met with a lot of excitement and looks like the team has made another solid move to be able to compete in the final months of the season.

For years the Rangers have always had to find ways to out hit and out score their opponents and that has always been on the of the big downfalls of this team. But for two straight years, the upper management has made moves that would bolster the pitching rotation or the bullpen to give the Rangers a chance to succeed and win.  These two acquisitions will be huge to help the Rangers bullpen going into October. After the disappointment of losing the World Series last year, the improved bullpen this year will give Rangers fans a hope to repeat the playoff run and end it with a championship.

Rangers fast start fuels fans fire

The Texas Rangers have started the season off to a great start of 6-0. While this start is great, it is also very surprising to most fans and experts because there were so many questions leaving spring training. The thought of the opening series being against the Boston Red Sox, most people were going to say a 2 -1 series would be the best case scenario.

Instead the Rangers swept the team that everyone said is favorite to win the American league. Then they followed that up with a sweep of a division foe. Coming in to the first off day of the season, the Rangers are the only American league team still undefeated and are getting ready to play another team who is off to a surprising start.

Rangers fans are beside themselves with excitement over this start, but this is a long season and things will even out. If the Rangers can just try to find a steady pace and stay away from long streaks, then they will have another banner season and could continue to build on last seasons success. First road trip of the season is the time to answer a lot of questions about how this team will play away from the friendly confines of home. In the meantime, enjoy the ride Rangers fans, because these are special days in the teams history.

2011 Major League Baseball Preview

It is that time of year again, the start of the baseball season is coming up fast, and I have poured over hundreds of breakdowns and watched hours of expert analysis to come up with this outlook on how I think this season will go. Ok, maybe not…I haven’t really done a lot of research on this, but I do have a gut feeling about the teams and I am basing my picks on my gut feeling. There have been a lot of changes, and some teams have improved, but I think it will be a fun season. It better be to tolerate a 162 game season. So without further ado, here is my gut feeling on this season.

American League:

AL East:
The AL East is pretty much looking like a 3 team race(again) but the Rays look like they have fallen off from last season, so it may be up to the Red Sox and the Yankees to decide the fate of this division. But watch out for the Orioles, Buck Showalter is jawing and he could have this team be a surprise before the year is out.

  1. Boston Red Sox
  2. New York Yankees
  3. Baltimore Orioles
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Toronto Blue Jays

AL Central:
This division is pretty much cut and dry, the Twins and the White Sox hold the key to the penthouse. It will be a dog fight to see who is the tennant at the end of the year and gets that coveted playoff spot.

  1. Minnesota Twins
  2. Chicago White Sox
  3. Cleveland Indians
  4. Detroit Tigers
  5. Kansas City Royals

AL West:
Last season the Rangers came almost out of nowhere to surpise the entire league and win the division, which led to the American League Pennant. This season, the West almost looks even top to bottom. The only team that probably won’t be able to keep pace is Seattle, but the other three teams will be clawing for the division title and could even steal a wild card spot from one of the other division teams.

  1. Texas Rangers
  2. Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem
  3. Oakland A’s
  4. Seattle Mariners

There you have it, the American league is very similar to last years final standings, but there will be a couple suprises this year and I wouldn’t be shocked to see a team come out of nowhere to steal a playoff spot. Now it is time to tackle the National League.

National League:

NL East:
This is the easiest NL division to decide, barring any major injuries, this division should belong to Philidelphia.

  1. Philidelphia Phillies
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. Florida Marlins
  4. Washington Nationals
  5. New York Mets

NL Central:
Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that this division will be the tightest division in all of baseball and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a loveable loser win the division and make a long playoff run out of the Central.

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Milwaukee Brewers
  4. Cincinati Reds
  5. Houston Astros
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates

NL West:
Once agian, this division is the Giants and I think the other teams will give them a run, but without any real offseason changes, this should be another west title for the bay area boys.

  1. San Francisco Giants
  2. San Diego Padres
  3. Colorado Rockies
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks
  5. Los Angeles Dodgers

There you have the NL breakdown, some what surprising but some what expected also. This should a be a fun season across the board, and I am looking forward to watching the season shape up and progress. Well, at least until Football season kicks off. Just remember, I took this off of gut instinct and didn’t do any long analysis of this. So if I am completly wrong, then I didn’t lose any sleep over researching this.

[box]Kody’s Sports Korner is on Twitter: @kodysportskornr[/box]