May 16, 2012

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Sizing Up the Texas Rangers

By: Matt Bowen

Coming into the 2012 MLB season, the Texas Rangers came up on the short end of back-to-back trips to the World Series. As the cliché goes, the third time is the charm and the Rangers sure do look like they’re planning on making it a reality.

Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers have started the MLB season on fire.

Given, it’s only six weeks into the MLB season, but the Rangers look to be the cream of the crop. Currently sitting at 23-12, the team from Texas simply looks better than every other team in baseball.  Most impressively, they are currently 13-6 on the road. Every team knows that to be considered successful they must win on the road and the Rangers are doing just that.

This Rangers team is a well-rounded blend of stellar pitching and a deadly offense. Joining the club this season is Japanese sensation, right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish. The Rangers paid a hefty price (around $111 million) when they acquired Darvish from his former team, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters but so far, he’s been worth every penny. He has posted a 5-1 record with a 2.84 ERA. Darvish has a nasty variety of six pitches and he’s proven that by striking out 51 batters thus far. The most amazing thing about him, he said in an interview that he can throw all six pitches with his off-hand, inclusing a left-handed fastball that can hit 82 mph on the radar gun.

As for the offensive side of the Rangers, the team is led by All-World outfielder Josh Hamilton, who is on a torrid pace this season. He already has hit 18 home runs and knocked in 45 RBI while batting .402. At this rate he’s on track to knock in over 200 RBI, which has never been done in the history of baseball. The current record is 191 held by Hack Wilson in 1930. While it’s a bit too early to start thinking that Hamilton is going to plate 200-plus RBI, it’s certainly something that brings wonderment to the imagination. If Hamilton can stay healthy, he’s on his way to having a historic MVP season.

The Rangers organization, led by Hall of Fame hurler Nolan Ryan has set the standard for all MLB teams. They have set the pedestal very high but carry themselves very well as they’ve become the precedent of baseball.  By continuing their winning ways they’ll find themselves with a ring at season’s end.