Good morning. Happy Nick Williams Day here at Lone Star Ball!
First off, please come back, Twitter's Cyborg Tommy Hanson:
DEAR HUMANS PLEASE UPLOAD PRGM WHICH ALLOWS MY ALLOYS TO SIMULATE MALEREPRODUCTIVE.STATUS("BONER") EACH MEDLEN KRIS THROWPITCH START— CYBORG HANSON TOMMY (@CyborgHanson48) September 20, 2012
Here is the Gerry Fraley sourpuss article of the day about how the Rangers are a middling team in their division. You could read that, or this one -- about the amazing teams in the West, or you could skip them and read fun things.
Fun things like T.R. Sullivan's comprehensive Spring Training preview as the Rangers near another season of Cactus League baseball.
Anthony Andro writes about the Rangers signing Tommy Hanson to a minor league deal yesterday.
Richard Durrett has a Spring question for us about where Michael Choice fits in with the team after the acquisition of Shin-Soo Choo.
David Schoenfield takes a look at some key position changes for the upcoming season and includes a blurb about Choo switching from center field to left field.
Tim Brown's 2014 preseason team rankings finally lands on the Rangers at No. 3. Brown has the Rangers as the top team in the American League heading into Spring Training and behind only the Dodgers and Cardinals overall.
Schoenfield also ranked the teams from 30 to 1 and has the Rangers at No. 7. The good news is that ranking puts the Rangers back on top among AL West teams, the bad news is that it's still only fourth best in the American League. Also, Schoenfield predicts that the Rangers will win 90+ games for a fifth straight season.
In the wake of Michael Sam's declaration that he is a football player primed to play in the NFL who happens to also be a gay man, Ken Rosenthal spoke with seven MLB executives to see if they would sign an acknowledged gay athlete. All seven said that they would. One of those seven quoted is Jon Daniels.
Does this even surprise anyone? It shouldn't. At least not when it comes to the Rangers. Do you think an organization that prides itself on examining every possible avenue in the pursuit of talent would let something like someone's sexuality impede the possibility of winning? This is, after all, an org that dealt with Josh Hamilton because he was monumentally gifted at playing baseball. And this is a non-issue even before comparing it to a guy who needed special attention and a support network.
Big League Stew's David Brown notes that Yankee Masahiro Tanaka is already enjoying that $175 million the Yankees gave him to be a potential No. 3 starter. Additionally, so is Tanaka's poodle. No word on if Tanaka's dog is named after the ballpark of a cursed team, however.
Finally, keep New Orleans Pelicans mascot Pierre in your thoughts. As SI's Ben Golliver notes, Pierre suffered a nasty injury during a pick-up game with other mascots and is having to undergo emergency beak reconstruction surgery.