The day has finally come! We’ve anxiously awaited this day for the last 5+ months, and it’s finally here.
We’re going to keep this brief today, because we know everyone has important game day rituals and superstitions to conduct.
Is this bold? It may not feel like it given that Jasen and I both already picked them earlier in the week on the podcast. It may not feel like it because they have been to the World Series the last two seasons. It may not feel like it because your expectations are higher than they have ever been for the Rangers.
All that said, this is BOLD. Some of the greatest dynasties of all-time failed to make it to the World Series more than 2 consecutive years, but it isn’t completely unheard of.
- Recently, the Yankees did it four consecutive years between 1998 and 2001, and yes…that is one of the all-time greatest teams to play the game. They won three of the four.
- In the late 80′s the Oakland A’s, powered by Bash Brother Mark McGwire & Jose Canseco, made it to three consecutive World Series, winning one of the three.
- In the 70′s it happened three times…in the American League alone, as the Orioles, Yankees and A’s each made it to three consecutive World Series.
So, it’s possible. Tough, but possible. Let the skeptics say what they will about how unlikely it might be. Let the so-called experts predict a championship for the Angels. WE BELIEVE in our team. WE BELIEVE that this is the year. WE BELIEVE that the 2012 Texas Rangers will be World Champions.
…and it all begins today.
- Rangers unveil statue in honor of Shannon Stone. I’ll never forget this incident, as it brought sadness to the ballpark. I think Nolan summed up best saying, ”Today is a celebration of spirit, family and a love of the game.”
- Neftali Feliz threw over 100 pitches in a simulated game yesterday and felt good.
“Everything went well,” Feliz said. “I feel strong. Everything was good. I tried to keep the ball down and I did it.”
“He did extremely well,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He did extremely well. He didn’t break a sweat, used all his pitches and threw them all for strikes.”
- In an effort to get more right-handed bats in the starting lineup, Mitch Moreland is out and Yorvit Torrealba is in against the White Sox today. That said, David Murphy will start in left field.
In order for our recent bold prediction of a 30 HR season for Moreland to come true, he’ll need to prove that he can be in the starting lineup against tough left handed pitchers, something that he apparently hasn’t done quite yet.
“He’ll be in there the next day and he’ll be in there a lot against left-handers,” Washington said. “I’m more than certain that Moreland is going to be disappointed. I’ll give him my explanation and I’ll also tell him he’s going to play in a lot of games for us.”
- Michael Young will tie Ivan Rodriguez’s club record with 11 consecutive Opening Days starts when he takes the field on Friday.
- Matt Harrison is on the Opening Day roster for the fourth straight year. He is the only Rangers pitcher who can make that claim.
- Colby Lewis pitches Opening Day. It will be the fifth time he has opened the season in the Rangers’ rotation. He was the No. 2 starter in 2011 and the No. 4 starter in 2010. He also was the No. 3 starter in 2004 and the No. 5 starter in 2003. He is the only Rangers pitcher in the five-man rotation era to begin a season in each spot in the rotation.
- For those of you heading out to the ballpark, here is an important message related to the traffic.
- Nothing new on the Kinsler contract talk front.
“I’m in the same situation I’ve been in the last two weeks,” Kinsler said. “I really don’t want to talk about it after Opening Day. That’s game time, really. I don’t want to be driving home from the ballpark talking about contract discussions. It’s just an added distraction to the season, whether it affects me on the field or not. There’s no reason for it to be there.”
- Richard Durrett (ESPNDallas) on how White Sox Manager (and former Nolan Ryan punching bag) Robin Ventura thinks about the famous incident.
- Durrett also provides his “5 Ups and 5 Downs” on the Rangers 2012 season.
Enjoy the day and BELIEVE!