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Prediction: The Texas Rangers Will Not Win the 2014 World Series

That is not an especially bold prediction. Always take the field. Vegas’ favorite to win the Major League Baseball championship is the Los Angeles Dodgers, but you’d be wise to bet that one of the other 29 teams will beat them out too.

Today’s Opening Day at the Ballpark in Arlington (I know that’s not the official name anymore.) First pitch is at 1:05 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Rangers of this year look quite different from the team that took the field in 2013. Gone are Nelson Cruz, Craig Gentry, Ian Kinsler, David Murphy, and Joe Nathan, among others. In are headliners Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo. They will be a competitive team, so long as they can tread water well enough while their many injured players heal. The earliest they can hope to have the full strength of the roster that they’d hoped to have this season is late June. It could be a long first half.

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Your Texas Rangers Are in Pain to Start the Season

The Texas Rangers open their 2014 campaign next Monday at Spheroid Vitality Park in Arlington against heated rivals middling acquaintances, the Phillies. Former Rangers playoff hero Cliff Lee will take the mound for Philadelphia, but Texas will not be able to counter with staff ace Yu Darvish. Today we learn that a stiff neck will keep him out of the game and could force him to start the season on the disabled list.

It’s just the latest in a slew of injures the team has suffered.

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Ron Washington Guarantees Texas Rangers Won’t Go 0-162

Responding to Ian Kinsler’s ESPN the Magazine interview, the skipper of your Texas Rangers snorted at Kinsler’s wish that his former team go winless in 2014:

“We’ve got to deal with reality,” Washington said. “We’re not a bad team.”

Washington spoke with Kinsler shortly after the trade that sent him to Detroit last fall for first baseman Prince Fielder. Washington said he thanked Kinsler for his contributions to the club and parted on what he thought were good terms.

“He was a big part of our championship run,” Washington said. “Those are his feelings. I’m not worried about that type of stuff.”

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Ian Kinsler Hopes Texas Rangers Go 0-162, Calls GM a ‘Sleazeball’

Longtime Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler, who was traded to the Detroit Tigers this offseason to make room in the infield for Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar, was interviewed for the latest issue of ESPN The MagazineHe had unflattering things to say about his former team and its general manager especially:

During that time, it was well-known throughout the game that there was a power struggle going on between Ryan and Daniels, who had acquired the title of president of baseball operations last March in a front office restructuring that ultimately led to Ryan’s departure after the season. Kinsler squarely blames the man who traded him. “Daniels is a sleazeball,” he says. “He got in good with the owners and straight pushed Ryan out. He thought all the things he should get credit for, Ryan got credit for. It’s just ego. Once we went to the World Series, everybody’s ego got huge, except for Nolan’s.”

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Which Name Do You Want to See on Rangers Ballpark?

UPDATE, 11 a.m.: It’s Globe Life Park in Arlington, named for an insurance company. So, like Shakespeare before them, the Rangers will play at “the Globe.”

Original Post: The Texas Rangers have scheduled an 11 a.m. press conference to announce a naming rights deal for Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. There’s a rumor that Samsung has ponied up the cash, but I’m hoping for something a bit more Texas-centric. “Blue Bell Ballpark” has a nice ring to it. But that’s just me. Which company are you rooting for?

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Rafael Palmeiro Is Not a Baseball Hall of Famer

The results of this year’s vote by the nation’s ink-stained baseball writers to determine the next inductees to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., were announced just a few minutes ago. It’s a great day for fans of the Atlanta Braves, as pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine both won the honor, as did Chicago White Sox great Frank Thomas.

But it’s a not so great day for former longtime Texas Rangers player Rafael Palmeiro. In his fourth year of eligibility, he garnered support from only 4.4% of the voters (you need 75% to be elected). That means he’ll be dropped from the ballot entirely, since the rules state that a player must get at least 5% to be carried over to the next year for consideration.

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Why Nolan Ryan Wasn’t the Best Pitcher Ever

The great sportswriter Joe Posnanski, over on his blog, is working this way through a ranking of the 100 greatest baseball players. Of interest to Texas Rangers fans, today he’s reached No. 87: Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr.

In his post, he comments on how much better Ryan’s “stuff” — his impossibly fast fastball, his curveball that seemed to “defy physics” — was than his career record. According to Posnanski, he had the talent to be the best pitcher of all time, but that’s not what the man they called the Ryan Express wanted to be:

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Leading Off (12/6/13): The Ice-pocalypse Cometh

Attack of Snow Miser.  Freezing rain and sleet have coated North Texas in a sheet of ice, and conditions aren’t expected to thaw much over the weekend. Grocery stores were overrun last night, with customers stocking up in anticipation of being trapped in their homes for several days. Roads have gotten messySchools are closed. Many flights are canceled. Saturday’s parade has been called off. So far it looks like runners will still show up Saturday morning to run 26 miles in the cold. Best of luck to them. I’ll be sleeping in until Heat Miser returns.

Rangers Outfielder Victim of Extortion Ring. According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami, three people conspired to extort Leonys Martin out of millions of dollars. Martin claims that, after he first defected from Cuba, a Mexican management company held him against his will and held his family hostage until he paid a “ransom” by agreeing to pay 30% of his future baseball earnings.

 City Hall Tree-Huggers Go to Court. In a lawsuit filed last week, the city of Dallas is asking that developer Mario Davey pay a fine of up to $500,000 for illegally clearing an East Dallas lot of 29 trees in order to build homes. Davey just calls it “dirty politics.” It’s the first time the city has sued over a violation of the tree ordinance.

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Leading Off (9/27/13)

The Rebirth of Big Tex. Because of windy conditions yesterday, State Fair organizers couldn’t keep in place the curtains that were meant to hide Big Tex 2.0 from public view before his scheduled unveiling this afternoon, during the first day of the fair. So we all got a look at him yesterday. Now the Morning […]

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The Texas Rangers Have Waffles and Pancakes

Has anyone tried these things?  USA Today offers comment: From the boxes, it’s not clear what the waffles have to do with the Texas Rangers, and vice versa. Do the waffles have Rangers logos on them? Doesn’t look like it. Are they the only waffle that Yu Darvish will eat? Possibly; he’s a man of distinguishing […]

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Adrian Beltre Is Becoming Baseball’s Most Overly Appreciated Underappreciated Player

A co-working FrontBurnervian points out Jonah Keri’s article today on Grantland about the career of Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. Here’s my favorite part, a story I didn’t know, from Beltre’s time playing for the Seattle Mariners: If Beltre was an opportunist who could summon the mighty Contract Year wizard to grant him +50 […]

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Texas Rangers’ Nelson Cruz Could Face 100-Game Suspension by Major League Baseball

ESPN reported last night that Major League Baseball has struck a deal with the operator of a Miami clinic whose records link a number of players to banned substances. He will confirm what he provided and to whom, in exchange for MLB dropping a lawsuit against him. You may remember that the Texas Rangers’ Nelson […]

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Texas Rangers Left-Fielder David Murphy Holds Boston Red Sox Scoreless in Eighth Inning

He did this from the pitching mound. Murphy also notched a strikeout in his inning of relief last night. Unfortunately, the guys whom the Rangers actually pay to pitch couldn’t keep Boston off the scoreboard in any of the previous seven innings, leading to a 17-5 rout. The funniest part of Murphy’s outing is that […]

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This Year’s Texas Rangers Are a Great Baseball Team. Wish They Had a Great Ballpark.

Apologies in advance about bringing up this point again, but the Texas Rangers really should have built their ballpark downtown. (Maybe even if that downtown were Fort Worth’s.) The home of our local Major League Baseball franchise is an oddity, in that of the 21 new MLB ballparks that have opened since 1992, it’s the […]

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