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The Texas Rangers

2017 | Written by David Brodeur

The two time defending AL West division winners Texas Rangers have the goods to once again challenge for what would be their 3rd consecutive division crown. No doubt the Houston Astros come into 2017 as the favorite to take the division away from the Rangers but are no locks to do so? As with most teams, the projected health of the pitching staff is the big question mark entering the 2017 season. Steady lefty Cole Hamels will be the be the # 1 starter while the team hopes for Yu Darvish to be able to complete an entire season without getting injured? Darvish who entered the league several years ago with a buzz surrounding him not seen for a foreign player in a long time yet for most of his career has been on and off the DL and could be viewed as a bust? The rest of the staff is riddled with pitchers who have undergone Tommy John surgery and missed all or a portion of the past two seasons and those question marks and a lack of depth will test the Texas Rangers as soon as the games begin to count. To handle the pitching staff the team acquired C Jonathan Lucroy who is one of the of the best hitting catchers, strong at fielding his position and most important will be an excellent game caller for a staff with many questions for 2017.

One of the stats from 2016 that could be a harbinger for the team's win total dipping from 95 last season is their run differential only being 8 in 2016! That number usually is not attached to a team that won 95 games which says timely hitting was a big factor in winning games but certainly cannot be relied upon to repeat itself. Slugger Ian Desmond was lost to free agency as was Carlos Beltran, but the team did sign slugger Mike Napoli while dependable Adrian Beltre remains at 3B and is usually good for 20+ HR's and 80+ RBI's. The middle infield remains one of the best with Rougned Odor 2B and Elvis Andrus SS up the middle but the outfield is unsettled and lacking any real stars there. Carlos Gomez is a new addition and is projected to be the CF, but he was released outright by Houston because played so poorly there. He picked his game up once with the Texas Rangers but is no sure thing to continue improving? Two young prospects are slated to take the remaining outfield positions, Jurickson Profar and Nomar Mazara both started out last season hot and contributing nicely but both faded badly as the season wore on. That is to be expected for young players and the club is hoping they both continue to grow with the game.Another prospect, power hitter Joey Gallo has impressed this spring hitting several prodigious HR's but must learn the strike zone better and cut down on his strike outs.

GM Jon Daniels has done a good job replacing the talent he has lost to free agency and has made depth a priority and has succeeded in giving manager Jeff Bannister a lot to work with in formulating his lineups and finding the right combination of talent to play together will be a tough job for Bannister. The bullpen features closer Sam Dyson who is nursing an injured wrist right now but is expected to be ready for opening day. If he cannot answer the bell Jeremy Jeffress or Matt Bush can move from set up men to closer with Jeffress the likely one to be called upon based on his previous experience as a closer. There is real depth in the bullpen this year and it could be the strength of the team, especially if Dyson comes back strong? This Rangers team will no doubt be in the thick of the playoff battle right down to the wire and your best bet to see the Texas Rangers at the best ticket price is with The Captain.

TEXAS RANGERS HISTORY:

The Rangers came into existence in 1961, named after the former Washington Senators who had just left for Minnesota and took on the title of the Minnesota Twins, who still play in Minnesota today. As the newly formed Washington Senators, The Senators played at the District of Columbia Stadium, now known as the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. Their tenure in Washington was not a success. For ten years they were one of the worst organizations in baseball. But, as teams began to move west such as the Kansas City Athletics to the bay area, the New York based Giants to San Francisco and the Brooklyn Dodgers who moved to Los Angeles, the Senators planned to move to Arlington Texas as the late 60’s approached. Finally in 1972, the Senators played their first game in Arlington as the Texas Rangers. Playing in Turnpike Stadium, which was later named Arlington Stadium, the Rangers played better and after two one hundred loss seasons, they climbed to second place in 1974; Trailing behind the Athletics who were pretty much a dynasty during those years. The Rangers still struggled in their first few years with winning games and led to attendance problems. While the Rangers wouldn’t make their first playoff appearance until the late 90’s, the Rangers managed to have a slew of talent! Players such as Ruben Sierra, Julio Franco, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, Kevin Brown, Bobby Witt, and the most famous of all, the Texas favorite Nolan Ryan. The Rangers were also led by MLB favorite Bobby Valentine. While the team managed to bring in the best talent, they could never manage a playoff birth…

In 1994, owned by future president of the United States George W. Bush, the Rangers moved into a new top of the line stadium! In 1995, with all stars such as Will Clark, Ivan Rodriquez, Dean Palmer and MVP Juan Gonzalez, the Rangers began to make noise in the majors! Although the Rangers had some of the best bats in baseball, their 1996 first time division champion team lost 3-1 to the New York Yankees, a powerhouse team in the 1990’s. The Rangers would also make the post season in 1998 and 1999, but could not win even one game. After the taste of success, the Rangers signed on Alex Rodriquez to one of the highest paying contracts in all of sports. It backfired and the team could not mange to win despite Alex Rodriquez’s staggering numbers. Rodriquez was traded to the Yankees and the Rangers would regroup after losing their potential cornerstone player!

The Rangers continued for the next few seasons to carry some of the greatest bats in baseball but lacking pitching support. With phenomenal hitters such as Sammy Sosa, Milton Bradley, Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Hank Blaylock, Mark Texieira and Nelson Cruz! But not until 2010 did they make their first World Series and were surprisingly upset by the long shot San Francisco Giants who had filled one void the Rangers had… pitching! They lost their series 4-1. Led by Ron Washington and pretty much the same team, the Rangers would embark on another World Series hunt in 2011. They faced the St. Louis Cardinals in one of the most memorable World Series since possibly the Diamondbacks and Yankees battle in 2001. With a 1-1 tie and going home for a game three, the Rangers were slammed, led by Albert Pujols historical game in which he hit three home runs, the Rangers would stay in the mix, with a 3-2 lead going back to St. Louis. With only one more win away from the championship, the Rangers lost game six and seven—leaving them without a World Series Title! But the taste of winning is now in their blood and heading on into the future, the Rangers look to recapture that amazing run in 2015. Get your tickets now, before they sell out! Check out the red hot Texas Rangers!

THE RANGERS FAN EXPERIENCE:

The Texas Rangers play in probably one of the most beautiful stadiums in baseball. Arlington is a great town for sports, located next to the Dallas Cowboys, surrounded by nice family restaurants and bars, fans are coming out to have a great time. The Rangers play in the American League West, a division filled with great talent. Rather you’re watching the Angles come into town with fan hated Albert Pujols and former Texas great Josh Hamilton, along with MVP Mike Trout. Or the A’s coming into town, who always bring a competitive match no matter who is wearing green. Or maybe the refreshing Seattle Mariners who will come into Arlington with Robinson Cano and former Ranger great Nelson Cruz… the Rangers’ fans should expect some great baseball in 2015! So bring the family and make sure to contact Captain Ticket for some great baseball!

TEXAS RANGERS FUN FACTS:

Relocation after relocation! Rangers were once located in Washington D.C. Two other teams have been or are now located in the Washington Area. The Minnesota Twins were once located in Washington known as the Senators. And once relocated to Minnesota, the Senators were reborn the next season in Washington, and ten years later also relocated to Texas and named the Rangers. Washington was without baseball for many years until it became home to the newest of franchises, the Washington Nationals, now play in the Nation’s capital. The Nationals were another team who took part in relocation, formally known as the Montreal Expos!

TEXAS RANGERS TICKET DEALS:

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