North Texas Daily

Student keen on 2010 Rangers

Student keen on 2010 Rangers

March 24
22:21 2010

OPINION

By Ryan Feuerhelm / Columnist –

Like many Texas Ranger fans, I have surreal optimism at the dawn of every season. Historically, they’re not the best baseball team.

They have never won a playoff series and haven’t been in the postseason since 1999. The Rangers have been here since 1972 and only claimed the division title three times, all in the late ’90s.

Despite few winning seasons and a scarce amount of playoff berths, I still think every year could be the year and 2010 is no exception because they have potential.

President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his potential. Why not award the Rangers the World Series for theirs?

I digress. Anyway, let me do a mini-breakdown.

I’m elated about new owner Chuck Greenberg. No longer will I wake up in a cold sweat, cursing former owner Tom Hicks and his refusal to spend any money. To make his departure even sweeter, Nolan Ryan, a god among men, remains heavily involved with the team.

Our pitching staff is fairly young, and if Rich Harden stays healthy and has good placement on his ball, he is a possible ace in the rotation.

If Scott “Scooter” Feldman repeats his stellar performance from last year, he and Harden will make a deadly one-two punch.

I know Colby Lewis is supposed to be in the rotation, but he’s been in Japan for two years and it’s a different game in the states. I’m still hopeful, though.

The last two spots in the rotation haven’t been set, but I think Matt Harrison will earn one while Tommy “Big Game” Hunter secures the other spot once he recovers from a strained oblique.

I could drone on about our pitching, but I’ll end it by saying they have a lot of options and I think the bullpen can keep the team in close games this season.

As for batting and offense, the Rangers should return to their slugging selves. Julio Borbon should make an excellent leadoff man with speed, and I’m eager to see how he does in centerfield.

If Ian Kinsler stays healthy this season, he should deliver like usual, but he’s made an appearance on the disabled list every season he’s been in the majors.

Michael Young. Enough said.

Big Bad Vladimir Guerrero, former Ranger killer, swings his big bat on the side of good this season. I was wary of this decision but really like it now. I can’t wait to see him knock a few balls out of the park against the Angels — his old team and hated division rival.

Hamilton needs to stay away from the DL and return to his sensational 2008 form. Also, he should avoid taking body shots off of half-naked women in public this year. Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus will continue to help the team grow and I have a lot of faith in Chris Davis this season. Yeah, he slumped at the plate, but his defense is invaluable, and I have his T-shirt.

The position I’m worried about is catcher. All I’m going to say is we should have resigned fan-favorite Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.

I can’t wait to walk through the gates at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and feel the energy and excitement of fellow fans. For me, it’s hard to beat the fresh air, the sound of bats cracking, the old guy bellowing “kettle corn” and the fireworks lighting the sky after every Ranger home run.

Baseball is finally here, and the first pitch is this Monday at 1:05 p.m. against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Play ball!

Ryan Feuerhelm is a journalism senior. He can be reached at Ryan.Feuerhelm@unt.edu.

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