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Opening Day stuff

Okay...I'm ready to roll...

In a little more than 8 hours, the first pitch will be thrown.  I'm hyped, even though I know this is a season where the Rangers will likely be a non-factor in the playoff race.

I'm ready to watch some Rangers baseball.

Evan Grant has a lengthy piece up about Michael Young's internal struggles this offseason with where the team is and its goals, that ends up with Young saying he is "re-energized" and ready to go forward with the Rangers...

Tim Cowlishaw says that the struggles of the Mavs and Stars means the spotlight will be on the Rangers from the get go, and Texas will need to get off to a better start than they did last year.  Realistically, I don't know that they can get off to a much worse start...

Jeff Wilson has a piece about Ron Washington and the changes he saw in the team last year, with Washington believing that the solid finish to last season is a positive sign for the team's chances this year.

Jim Reeves expands on that, talking about how a three game sweep at the hands of the Rays, in Orlando, was the turning point, in Washington's mind:

Heading into that three-game series, depending on whom you talk to, Washington had already lost his team or was on the verge of losing it. He knew it, and everyone in the clubhouse knew it.

All the good vibes of spring had long disappeared. Washington was stressing out, failing to delegate, publicly chastising players. Things had to change and change fast.

Washington called six players -- Teixeira, Blalock, Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, Kevin Millwood and Gerald Laird -- in for a private meeting after the team arrived in Orlando.

"We hashed some things out," Washington said. "Then the next day, I called a meeting and laid the things we talked about to the whole club. We decided they had to become accountable for what they had to do and I had to be accountable for what I had to do."

It was exactly the kind of clear-the-air get-together the Rangers desperately needed.

"He said some things, and we said some things," Laird said. "We cleared the slate and went on from there.

"We got off to the bad start. There was a little bit of confusion between the manager and the players, and it wasn't addressed right away. When the guys started feeling comfortable and understanding what he wanted from us and he understood what we wanted from him, we all came together and began to play well."

So...today we start seeing if that second half was really the start of something good, or just false hope.  And we lead off by facing a pitcher who had the most dominant performance I've ever seen in person, against the Rangers last year...

I'm fired up.