Someone tell me the Texas Rangers aren’t an intriguing team these days. After a decade of losing, and not being relevant, it seems as if the Rangers are finally back to the forefront. They finally play, and beat, the Yankees, showing that they can beat them but also in the latter game of the two game set, blow a big lead. Look at the tabloid like coverage of the sale of the team to Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg instead of the eccentric Mark Cuban. Finally look at the lead up on ESPN highlight shows about just how good the Rangers are. Respect that has been earned. You can say that the Rangers are even starting to play with some swagger and attitude, which to Ranger fans must be very refreshing to see.
I will start at the top this week with ownership. First off kudos to Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg for winning their ownership battle and taking control of the team. The iconic face of the Rangers is definately what this faceless team needed at the top of the helm. With Ryan in charge he will put his workhorse attitude upon this team to always be competitive. As if the playoff drought wasn’t enough motivation for Ryan and Greenberg the hefty $590 million dollar price tag, which was $100 Million more than their original offer, might be another reason they are hoping for some playoff baseball revenue. Either way, the stable ownership can now allow the players to not worry about any off field issues. Another positive to Ryan and Greenberg was that MLB Owners voted unanimously in favor of their purchase. Having the acceptance of your peers is a huge thing when owning a team and this will be helpful down the road.
Now down to business, well baseball that is. The Rangers made some additions at the trade deadline by adding durable infielder Cristian Guzman from the Washington Nationals, Jorge Cantu from Florida and veteran catcher Bengie Molina from San Francisco. Guzman is solid in the middle infield and is insurance in case Ian Kinsler falls to another injury. Cantu is another good acquisition for a post season bound team. He adds some more pop to the order and drives the ball very well. Cantu adds more depth to an already dangerous lineup. As for Molina, his role as a veteran catcher will be more defensive minded. Molina is great controlling a game behind the plate and fantastic defensively. He has caught for some great pitchers recently like Tim Lincecum in San Francisco and Roy Halladay when he was in Toronto. His ability to call a game with his experience will be a huge asset come October. Also, when he was in the AL East he saw the Rays and Yankees quite a few times and may know some batters better than most.
Texas starts a tough stretch of games this week with the AL East. The Boston Red Sox come into town for a three game set then the Rangers set off to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg Florida for three games. The Rangers finish their AL East swing with a trip to Camden Yards where almost guaranteed wins are not anymore after Buck Showalter has the Orioles playing their best baseball in the last few seasons. The Red Sox and Rays series might be used as measuring sticks for the Rangers to see just how competitive they can be with the “Big Boys” of the American League. The Rangers better be up to the test or their comfortable lead in the AL West might not be as relaxing by weeks end.
About the Author
Written by George Kouvalis
A huge fan of sports who loves to travel for major events. I've seen my fair share of major games and events including three Olympics, Wimbledon, The Masters etc.... Always up for a road trip or a drink to talk over sports or pro wrestling, in any city I am in or online. Favorite Teams: Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto FC, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Bulls, San Francisco 49ers, Toronto Argonauts, Manchester United, and of course the teams I blog for, the Texas Rangers and Buffalo Sabres. Follow me on twitter at the handle georgekouvalis