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Tuesday Morning Rangers Update

Let's get to it.

T.R. Sullivan has a piece about the Rangers' plans heading into the Winter Meetings. Sullivan says Jon Daniels has mastered the art of "baseball-style poker."

We found out yesterday that the Brewers have named now former Ranger coach Johnny Narron to be their new hitting coach. Narron had been with the Rangers since 2008 as mentor to Josh Hamilton. Jeff Wilson has a couple of quotes from Hamilton about the move.

Katie Sharp and Michael Bonzagni over at ESPN's Stats & Info blog take a look at how Joe Nathan's improved performance in the second half last season was due in large part to Nathan's slider showing improvement after he returned from the DL mid-season.

ESPN Dallas has a report on the Rangers' plans to go ahead with the statue in memory of Shannon Stone and has information on the sculptor who will design the statue.

Wilson has some notes for us on the Narron departure, C.J. Wilson's visit in Miami, and information about the Rangers' playoff shares. League minimum players with the Rangers over the last couple of season don't even know how good they've had it.

Finally, Richard Durrett finished his Dazzling Dozen series but he asked a couple of folks who follow the Rangers to give their list. My list, you didn't ask?

  1. Nelson Cruz hits a walk off grand slam in Game 2 of the ALCS on my birthday in perhaps the best game ever played in Arlington.
  2. Derek Holland pitches the best game in the history of the franchise in Game 4 of the World Series.
  3. Elvis Andrus makes a play up the middle that will be remembered as one of the best by an infielder in World Series history to save a run in Game 2.
  4. Mike Napoli hits a go-ahead and eventual game winning double in Game 5 of the World Series in a game considered the loudest ever at the Ballpark.
  5. The Rangers face a 0-2 hole in the World Series down 1-0 in the top of the 9th before rallying to win 2-1 in classic Rangers hustling baserunning style.
  6. Josh Hamilton hits an emotionally charged walk off home run to defeat the Oakland A's and keep a winning streak that would reach 12 games alive.
  7. Elvis scores the winning run in the bottom of the 11th from second on a Josh Hamilton infield single against the Indians in a game the Rangers needed a two-run, two out game tying 9th inning home run from Michael Young.
  8. Adrian Beltre secures his 2011 legacy by hitting three solo home runs in a game the Rangers won by only one run as the Rangers finished off the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS for the second consecutive year.
  9. In a season finale game that seemed way more tense than it should have been, Mike Napoli stepped in the box in a 1-1 tie game and hit a two run home run in the top of the 9th against his old team that clinched home field in the ALDS and sent the Tigers to New York. The win would be the Rangers' 96th on the season which broke the franchise mark for most wins in a season.
  10. C.J. Wilson, in what at the time could have been the last home game of his Ranger career, with the Rangers only ahead of the Angels by 1 1/2 games, threw an 8 inning, 0 run, 5-hit, 11 K masterpiece on 9/11 to begin a stretch where the Rangers went 14-2 and pulled away in the division.
  11. Nelson Cruz throws ALCS counterpart Miguel Cabrera out at home for a double play on a gorgeous throw in the bottom of the 8th of a tied Game 4 that the Rangers would eventually win in the 11th to go up 3-1 in the series.
  12. John Rhadigan making me think I was having a stroke by telling his cheedaborgey story.