I’ve already called dibs on “One Riot, One Ranger” for if Cliff Lee pitches a complete game win against the Yankees.
The Texas Rangers have the reputation of being a pleasant and likeable clubhouse, which is not particularly helpful when going into a Championship Series – where, generally speaking, searing hatred and blind loathing add a bit of spice to the proceedings. But I’m sure once the games get going and the Rangers commit unspeakable acts like scoring against C.C. Sabathia, we’ll come up with some good material. In the meantime, I’ll continue to eye Texas warily as I try to size them up.
*First of all, I have to say I kind of like the whole claw-and-antler schtick; it’s fun, and endearing, although I suspect I might come to find it irritating sooner rather than later. (After all the Rally Monkey seemed kind of charming at first too, before the vicious flea-ridden miscreation showed its true face).
*I’m just a little wary of the Josh Hamilton Redemption Story, only because – through no fault of his own – it has been turned into the kind of too-neat media narrative that’s hard to take at face value. That said, the footage of his teammates 
giving him a ginger ale shower (link via HardballTalk 
) is decidedly heartwarming.
*There are some very good baseball names on these Rangers:
…and my favorite,
“Win one for the Nippert!,” I would often say, if I were a Rangers fan.
*They do, of course, come equipped with a Molina. Remember what we told you last week? BEWARE OF MOLINAS 
! I can almost guarantee that Bengie will hurt the Yankees in some unexpected way this series. Last night against Tampa, he stole a damn base. Brace yourselves.
*My feelings towards Vlad Guerrerro have always been, and continue to be, a mixture of admiration and terror.
*Jeff Francoeur! I cannot even think about Jeff Francoeur anymore without laughing, although since I pull for the Mets when they’re not playing the Yankees, it’s sort of a brittle little laugh. Jeff Francoeur is an extremely personable player and a fantastic quote, and is therefore beloved by beat writers… at least when he first arrives in town; eventually, the fact that he is just a terrible, terrible hitter overwhelms the affability. I wish Frenchy a long and happy life, full of joy, but preferably that life can take place far away from the lineups of my favorite teams.
So Francoeur has now outlasted his original team, the Braves, in the playoffs, and gets to play in NY in the postseason, just like he hoped while he was flailing at balls several feet off the plate for the Mets this past summer. (When Mariano Rivera uncharacteristically hit him with a pitch to force in a run towards the end of the season, many of my Mets fan friends marveled at the fact that Francouer had somehow managed not to swing at the ball that hit him.) Now that I’ve written this Frenchy may well end up with the key hit of the Series - but it won’t be my fault. It’ll be the fault of any Yankees pitcher that throws him a fastball within arm’s reach of the strike zone.
What do you guys like, or dislike, about the Rangers so far?