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VINTAGE FOLK ART WOODEN GIRAFFE LAMP By Millwood Toy Barry Grosscup USA
2006 Texas Rangers Preview
Buck Showalter's 2005 Rangers ended up the season with a disappointing 79-83 record despite having one of the better lineups in baseball. What made the 2005 season particularly disappointing was the fact the 2004 team ended the season with 89 wins and one of the most impressive home records in baseball. In 2004, the Rangers won 51 home games which ranked 4th overall in the American League, while in 2005 Texas managed only to win 44, ending the season 16 games behind the AL West Angels.
Texas fielded one of the best offensive infields in 2005. 1st baseman Mark Teixeira (.301 43 144) continued to develop his swing, playing in all of the Rangers 162 games in 2005. 2nd baseman Alfonso Soriano (.268 36 104) also proved durable playing in 156 games by finishing 2nd on the team in HRs behind Teixeria. Shortstop Michael Young (.334 24 91), 3rd baseman Hank Blalock (.263 25 92) and outfielders David Dellucci (.251 29 65) and Kevin Mench (.264 25 73) also helped to contribute runs to the potent offensive lineup.
Starting pitcher Kenny Rogers (14-8 3.46) slipped from his 18 wins in 2004 posting a 14 win season to led all starters. Youngster Chris Young (12-7 4.34 showed promise in 2005 appearing in 31 games, while newly acquired starter Chan Ho Park (8-5 5.66) managed to post an 8-3 record before being traded to the Padres in August. Closer Francisco Cordero (3-1 3.39 37 saves) anchored the relief pitching while pitching an impressive 2-0 2.59 with 17 saves after the all star break.
Off Season Moves:
The Rangers had a busy off season losing Rogers via free agency and trading Soriano in a 4-player deal with the Washington Nationals. Texas also picked up Vicente Padilla (9-12 4.71) from the Phillies in exchange for RHP Ricardo Rodriguez. Soriano was sent to the Nationals for Brad Wilkerson (.248 11 57) while Texas also acquired free agent pitcher Kevin Millwood (9-11 2.86). The Rangers also completed a 6-player deal with the Padres which netted relief pitcher Akinori Otsuka (2-8 3.59) and starter Adam Eaton (11-5 4.57). Pitcher John Wasdin (3-2 4.28) was also resigned via free agency.
New pitching coach Mark Connor has an arsenal of new arms to improve upon the team's 4.97 ERA in 2005. Texas continues to lack any "ace" as Rogers departure will prove difficult to replace. Millwood is a nice acquisition as is Padilla, although both posted sub-500 seasons in 2005. Eaton should fit nicely into the rotation and is a reliable arm. Look for Otsuka to stabilize the bullpen. Retaining the services of relief pitcher John Wasdin was also a wise move. The Rangers will certainly miss Soriano's bat in the lineup and hope Brad Wilkerson can return to his 2004 form when he was able to hit 32 HRS - before the Nationals changed their location to Washington. There are many new faces on the Rangers roster, but a lack of quality starters most likely will land them in the same position as 2005.Jack Scrafford recommends PlatinumTickets to buy Texas Rangers tickets. Seehttp://www.platinumtickets.com/mlb/texas_rangers_tickets.htmlfor more information.
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