Series Recap – Angels

Texas RangersThe Rangers are coming off a terrible end to a month which looked to be a good month for them. They are going into hostile territory against the Los Angeles Angels and will have to face some familiar foes in hopes to get back on the winning track. A good showing in this series can refocus the team and help them to stay close in the early division race. But facing an Angels team on the road is never an easy task. Continue reading

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Texas Rangers Becoming Major Player

Move over New York, Los Angeles and Boston; your aristocratic club just got a brand new member. Yes, I am talking about our Texas Rangers. No, I am not crazy, I have solid proof the Rangers have become a major player in the market and will give New York, Los Angeles and Boston a run for their money every year.

The Rangers made an impression in the market when they won the exclusive bidding rights and eventually signed Japanese sensation Yu Darvish. Nobody outside of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex expected the Rangers to even have a close bid. The Rangers have proven the last two seasons they can compete with the evil empires of the northeast and west coast on the field. Now this off season, they are proving they can stay with them step for step and dollar for dollar in the marketplace in the quality player hunt.

While Texas is the “New Kid” on the block with all of their recent on field success, it is starting to equate into some exciting moves off the field as well. Nolan Ryan being president (and part owner) has an appeal to a lot of players. But don’t discount John Daniels. He has been a shrewd GM and made moves that have shocked and surprised his staunchest critics. Suddenly Texas is becoming a “hot” destination for quality players. Everyone loves a winner. As the old adage goes, “build it and they will come”. Attendance records were broken this past two years and this will continue.

And don’t forget the loveable Ron Washington with his toddler like grin from the dugout. He is a true player’s manager, and has a passion that runs so deep even a fan in the nosebleeds can feel it emanating from him on the field. Everything is starting to add up for a great chance for the Texas Rangers to make their mark in Major League Baseball. Back to back World Series appearances are a good start.

This all started a few years ago when Nolan and John decided the way to build a winner was from the minors up. They placed their focus on the drafts and built towards a great future. They knew it was going to take time and lots of patience. Well, those were some dark days and everybody around the club wanted “JD” gone. But Nolan kept him around, and brought in some new ownership with a lot of money in their pockets. As soon as the sale was finalized and the old owner Tom Hicks was gone, things immediately got better.

Now the Texas Rangers are “wheeling and dealing” and starting to make themselves a destination for quality players instead of a joke. It has been a long road, and there are some painful memories for the fans, but brighter days are ahead. The Rangers are becoming a player in the free agent market, and have been a big time player in the draft. They have also developed a great group of players in their minor league farm system.

These are great days if you are a Rangers fan, and they only look to get better. As long as Nolan and JD run the show, this team will be relevant. So move over Yankees, and step aside Red Sox and Angels because we are crashing your monopoly and will have you uttering, “We shouldn’t have messed with Texas”.

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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.

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