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Friday a.m. Rangers things

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Its time.

Today is the Rangers' Opening Day. And despite rumors and "grinding" yesterday, it appears there will be no contract extension with Ian Kinsler today.

Evan Grant's list of three things to watch today includes Josh Hamilton, who is facing a lefty in the daytime, a bad combination; David Murphy, who is facing a lefty, a bad thing; and Joe Nathan, who is 26 for 30 in save situations against the Chicago White Sox.

Jeff Wilson writes that the Rangers are entering the 2012 season as one of the elite teams in baseball.

Drew Davison writes that the Rangers are seeking to emulate the Atlanta Braves of the 90s and early 00s, seeking to achieve dominance through stability and a strong core.

Wilson ranks the franchises from best to worst, and the Rangers check in at #1.

Davison writes that the Rangers are trying to become the 19th team in baseball history, and just the third since the mid-70s, to make it to three straight World Series.

Randy Galloway talks about the Game Six hangover, C.J. Wilson going to Anaheim and being the Angels' #4 starter (while saying the Rangers were only willing to go to about $50 million to keep him), and predicts that the Angels will beat the Rangers in the A.L. West while the Yankees will win the World Series.

Jean-Jacques Taylor has a column on Ron Washington, his view of family, and how that influences his approach with the Rangers.

Neftali Feliz threw 102 pitches in a simulated game yesterday, and is set to take the ball as scheduled on Tuesday for his start.

Cody Eppley, who was designated for assignment earlier this week by Texas, was claimed by the New York Yankees on waivers.

Sullivan's notes talk about the Opening Day lineup, Josh Hamilton's winter, and Ian Kinsler's contract negotiations, among much else. Kinsler says that while he doesn't want to negotiate past Opening Day, he is now saying that if there's a framework for a deal in place, he'll keep negotiating through the homestand.

The Rangers unveiled the Shannon Stone statue yesterday.