The DVR: For the first time in my life, I am taping a ballgame to watch in its entirety when I get home from work. I have NEVER successfully taped a ballgame before. It is too tempting to fast forward and find the good parts and get it over with. These are my Rangers, though. My work schedule today does not allow me to monitor the game, so I will start from the beginning when I get home and watch every pitch. My fellow fans know not to text me at all this afternoon and my radio will be tuned to a music station for the ride home. I pray nothing ruins my watching of this game! As to other things…
The Roster: Surprises on the final roster for the ALDS. Only 10 pitchers instead of 11, meaning Esteban German made the roster, mostly to serve as a late-inning pinch runner for the likes of Vlad Guerrero and Bengie Molina. Neither Michael Kirkman or Clay Rapada made the roster, but two long relievers did in Dustin Nippert and Derek Holland. I really thought they’d take one additional short reliever, but the 7th and 8th will all be in the hands of the three O’s: Ogando, O’Day and Oliver.
My Picks for Surprise Impact Players: Jeff Francoeur and either Bengie Molina or Matt Treanor.
My Pick for Surprise Impact Pitcher: Tommy Hunter
Biggest Surprise This Post-Season So Far: Before a game has been played, I have been pleasantly surprised by the love the Rangers have been getting on the national side. A lot of national media are picking the Rays to win this series, but everyone seems to have a healthy respect for Texas and give the Rangers a shot. I don’t think the same was said about the ’96, ’98 and ’99 playoff teams from the Lone Star State (and their results bore that out).
My Prediction: As a Rangers fan, there’s no way I can pick against my team. I’ll go for Texas in 4 games. I just think our pitching is better than the Rays as a whole and will get the job done.