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Wednesday a.m. Rangers stuff

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No game yesterday, alas.

Anthony Andro has a story up today about Matt Harrison, talking about his calm demeanor and need to throw strikes.  Harrison says that he isn't taking anything for granted, despite being penciled in early on as part of the Ranger rotation.

Randy Galloway has a column up on Joaquin Arias as a sleeper to end up as the team's shortstop this season, although it seems to have been written primarily as a vehicle to present a hypothetical that I, personally, hadn't heard before:

This we know:

When the Rangers moved out Alex and his contract, a deal with the Red Sox fell through, leaving only one taker. The Yankees were offering Soriano and one of two minor league infielders, either Robinson Cano or Joaquin Arias.

Taking Arias over Cano was not a blunder, by the way.

When the deal was done, however, supposedly Hart and manager Buck Showalter already had the trade in place to immediately ship Soriano to the Mets for, yes, a 19-year-old Reyes, who at the moment is in any discussion as best shortstop in the game.

Hindsight tells us it would have been a brilliant deal. Except ...

As the story goes, owner Tom Hicks, feeling he needed a name attached to the A-Rod trade, shot down the flip of Soriano to the Mets. If true, that would be an ugly smudge on the Hicks ownership résumé.

* * *

"Never heard a word on it," said Hicks, "which doesn’t mean there wasn’t discussion about a deal like that. But the part about me supposedly having said I had to have a frontline, name-type player for Alex, I never said that. I was never asked about that trade."

Showalter, now working the ESPN baseball gig, remains friendly with Hicks, and still has a year of pay remaining on the contract he had signed before being fired. Showalter politely declined to give a direct comment, calling it "ancient history."

And most any trade of that magnitude is usually at least mentioned to Mel Didier, still the team’s special assistant to the GM.

"Jose Reyes? Wow," he replied when asked here in spring training. "Well, it might have been discussed, but not with me. That’s one I hadn’t heard about."

Still, there are those within the Rangers’ organization who maintain Hart had that deal made, and Hicks is to blame for it not happening.

Admittedly, however, the owner’s reaction and answer when asked about Reyes came across as truthful.

And of course, one of the plusses in Galloway's mind about the deal would be that Michael Young would still be at second base and Ian Kinsler would be playing left field...

Gil LeBreton doesn't like the WBC.

Over at the DMN blog, Richard Durrett has a Q&A up with Nolan Ryan, and there are also several posts over there about the improvements to TBIA from this offseason, including pictures.

T.R. Sullivan has a story up on the recent uptick in Ranger players who are from Texas.