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American League West is Still Rangers’ to Win

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Orange County Southern California Whatever won the off season battle. Again.

So once again, so many have attempted the hand the American League West – and possibly the World Series – to the Angels before a single game was played.

Because as we all know, the pennant is always won in January, right?

Oh, wait.

It’s not like this is uncommon. Everyone in North Texas, not to mention the country, pegged the Rangers for failure in 2010. And again in 2011. when you’re in the Cowboys’ territory, you’re never expected to succeed.

And after the Angels poached away Josh Hamilton, who supposedly Rangers fans didn’t want back anyway, everyone predicted doom and gloom one again and rushed to cancel their season tickets that they first bought all the way back in 2011.

Because the team with the most superstars are guaranteed to win the World Series every single year, right?

It’s pretty clear no one got the memo that Anaheim has been established as the place where superstar careers go to die. A player who’s signed on the dotted line for the Angels is almost a lock to phone it in for the rest of his career.

Latest case in point: Former Arlington Bowie star Vernon Wells, recently shipped to the Yankees for a song after two years of hitting no better than .230 and driving in no more than 66 runs for the Angels after being a three-time All-Star in Toronto.

How do we know that the massive drop-off from Josh Hamilton to end 2012 wasn’t just the beginning, signaling where his career would be headed? Observers predicted the Halos will regret his huge five-year contract two years down the line. They may be giving him too much credit that he’s guaranteed to produce these two years.

And that’s not counting Albert Pujols and his less-than-stellar performance last year.

Frankly, it’s surprising that Mike Scoscia has chosen to remain in Anaheim, given that Arte Moreno continues to provide him with the antithesis of the team he wants. It’s a far cry from the likes of Garrett Anderson, David Eckstein and the scrappy group he took to the Word Series back in 2002.

on the flip side, Ron Washington may be able to do more of what he wants on the field. the Rangers will have to fight for runs every now ad then, and it probably won’t be pretty. But on the other end, Wash will probably take Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland over Jared Weaver and Pray For Rain that will be on the mound for Los Angeles.

Remember when people could only wish that the Rangers had the better pitching in the division.

The Rangers will accept being counted out before they even had a chance to throw a pitch this season. It’s expected to be pegged for failure when you play baseball in football country.

But all that counts is that, in their own minds, this is still their division until further notice.

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