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Texas Rangers Will Try for Sunglasses in the Dark Guinness World Record Tonight

The Texas Rangers‘ new owners made it known when they took over the team they would try to replicate the model the Angels employed to become one of the most fan-friendly teams in sports. They did so by cutting beer prices and giving fans parking refunds during last year’s playoffs. Now they’re following another example set by the Angels: they’re trying for a Guinness World Record during Tuesday night’s game against the Astros.

According to the Rangers’ site via Hardball Talk, the team “will attempt to set a world record for the most people wearing sunglasses in the dark on Tuesday to celebrate the first day of summer.” Sunglasses will be handed out to the first 30,000 fans in attendance who will be asked to wear the shades for 10 minutes at the end of the sixth inning.

So how do the Angels come into play? Well they’re the same team that attempted a record for fans wearing a wrestling mask last month and fans wearing snuggies the year before. I like the thought and I think it will be fun, but we all know where they’re getting their ideas.

UPDATE: The Rangers did set the record. Check out the picture.

Texas Rangers Slip and Slide on Tarp During Rain Delay at Camden Yards

The Rangers-Orioles game on Friday night was postponed because of rain, but don’t say the Texas Rangers didn’t make the most out of the poor weather before the game was called:

That video of the Rangers using the tarp as a slip and slide comes courtesy of the team’s bullpen catcher, Josh Frasier. Michael Young seemed to be the ringleader, and Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre, and a few other seemed to be down. If the team were losing they’d be called fools, but at 6-0, they’re colorful. It’s just another example of the awesomeness that goes on during rain delays of baseball games. If you don’t know what we mean, just check this out.

Thanks to Jimmy Traina on twitter for the heads up.

Adrian Beltre Talking with Texas Rangers, Remains Risky Signing

The Rangers and free agent Adrian Beltre are reportedly close to finalizing a deal to bring the All-Star third baseman to Texas. The deal is said to be worth between $90 and $96 million over six years.

Adrian Beltre first broke into the league with the Dodgers as a teenager. He developed into one of the best young players in the game and peaked in 2004 when he hit .334 with 48 home runs, 32 doubles, and 121 RBIs. It just so happened that that was the final year of his contract with the Dodgers, and he used the monster year to cash in as a free agent.

Beltre headed to the Pacific Northwest to join the Mariners on a five-year $64 million deal. He dropped off in most offensive categories averaging 21 home runs, 34 doubles 79 RBI, and a .261 average with Seattle. The numbers were not bad, but not worth the kind of money he was given. However, you can’t knock his defense — Beltre was in the discussion for the Gold Glove every year and won it in 2007 and 2008.

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Texas Rangers Are World Series Favorites Over the Giants

It’s a bunch of firsts in the World Series this year: the Giants are looking for their first World Series win since moving to San Francisco for the 1958 season while the Rangers are playing in their first World Series in franchise history. Somewhat surprisingly, the team with the least postseason experience is favored in World Series betting odds to bring home the Commissioner’s Trophy.

Both teams pulled off upsets in the LCS with the Rangers dominating the Yankees in all four of their wins while the Giants beat the Phillies by a narrow margin in all four of their victories. The way Cliff Lee, Colby Lewis, and C.J. Wilson are pitching the Rangers are deserving favorites. Lee is now 7-0 in eight career postseason starts, posting a 1.26 ERA and 9.56 K/BB ratio. Because Texas clinched against the Yankees in six games, the studly southpaw is set to start Game 1 against San Francisco.

C.J. Wilson threw a shutout in the ALDS against the Rays and lost both of his starts to the Yankees. Though he looked good in Game 2, he may be surpassed by Colby Lewis in the World Series rotation after getting hit hard in Game 5. Lewis went eight inning of three-hit ball to send Texas to the World Series with a Game 6 win. He’ll have five days of rest should Ron Washington decide to start him in Game 2 on Thursday. Not only has the pitching been consistent for Texas, their offense has been stellar.

Josh Hamilton homered four times against the Yankees winning ALCS MVP honors. He’s swinging the hot stick and the Rangers have so many other offensive weapons it’s hard to say they’ll be shut down. Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz both hit three home runs in the ALDS and are OPSing more than 1.000 in the playoffs. Additionally, both catchers (Bengie Molina and Matt Treanor) have been hitting for Texas, and Elvis Andrus has stolen seven bases and has a hit in every single playoff game. Except for their shaky bullpen, Texas is not showing any weaknesses. I’m going with the favorites to win the World Series in six.

Texas Rangers Appear to Have Genuine Team Chemistry

When the Texas Rangers broke out the ginger ale to celebrate their ALDS win over the Tampa Bay Rays, I thought it was a a bit contrived and done more for show. The more I’ve seen of this team, the more I’m convinced they genuinely love each other. Take the comments from ALCS MVP Josh Hamilton upon receiving the award:

“I love my teammates. I love them so much. Any of these guys could have gotten this award. I’m happy to have them. At the same time … I don’t want to talk about myself, I want to talk about them! WE are the reason we’re here. The chemistry on the team is something like I’ve never know anywhere. All the guys love each other and we support each other.”

That sentiment wasn’t exclusive to Hamilton either; manager Ron Washington said about his team “They’re the greatest bunch of guys I’ve ever worked with in my whole career.”

Texas’ team attitude and the love the players appear to have for each other seems to be contagious. I speculated if winning breeds team chemistry or if it depends on the group of players and how well they get along. While all teams that are winning appear to enjoy themselves, this bunch of guys seems to genuinely like each other and support each other more than the average team. This reality makes them an enjoyable bunch and a team that’s easy to support. As an Angels fan, I can’t stand the Rangers, but because of this reason it’s hard to dislike them.

Nolan Ryan, Rangers Providing Parking Refund for Overcharged Fans

When the new Texas Rangers ownership took over, their goal was to follow the Arte Moreno model of fan-friendliness and a family environment at the ballpark. Much like Moreno, their first step was to cut beer prices and parking. As much as I can’t stand the Rangers, I have to recognize and applaud Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan for doing right by the fans, just like I did with Moreno.

SI Hot Clicks informed us that the Rangers raised parking prices from $10 to $15 around the ballpark for the ALCS. There was negative backlash from the fans as you could imagine, so Nolan Ryan decided to step in and order the prices go back to $10. Additionally, he took the extra step of saying the team would refund fans who spent $15 to park in Game 1 of the ALCS.

In a day where we’re hearing parking prices around Fenway Park could rise to $40 and the Cleveland Browns are charging fans to walk into a parking lot to tailgate, any action that is fan-friendly will be applauded. I hope other teams can take a cue from Ryan’s actions and realize the goodwill established with your fans will be greatly publicized when you do something right.

Ron Washington Pulled C.J. Wilson Too Early and Bullpen Blew it for Texas

If you’re a Texas Rangers fan walking out of the Ballpark in Arlington or done watching Game 1 of the ALCS on TV, you have to be asking yourself “how the heck did that just happen?” The Rangers were up 5-0 in the 7th and on absolute cruise control against the Yankees but wound up losing 6-5. The momentum change in the game was unreal and could cost Texas a chance at the series. Fans are lucky they have their manager Ron Washington to blame for things unraveling so quickly.

Starting pitcher C.J. Wilson was awesome for the first six innings of the game and only got touched up by Robinson Cano who hooked a change up around the right field foul pole for a home run. After the home run in the 7th, Wilson got the next three batters out. Then in the 8th, Wilson allowed an infield hit to Brett Gardner who beat out a ball in the 3-4 hole. Derek Jeter hit a hard ground ball down the left field line right after that, scoring Gardner from first. It was one of the few hard-hit balls Wilson allowed the entire game, yet Ron Washington thought that was the proper time to remove his effective starter. Wilson left with a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the 8th with Derek Jeter at second. And that’s when everything fell apart for the Rangers.

Lefty Darren Oliver walked Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira to load the bases. Washington pulled Oliver after 13 pitches in favor of Darren O’Day who gave up a laser by Alex Rodriguez that scored two making it 5-4. The very next pitch, Robinson Cano smashed a line drive up the middle off reliever Clay Zapada to score Teixeira and tie the game. Keep in mind that’s two pitchers who made two pitches and gave up three runs. Washington then figured Derek Holland could be the answer. Holland gave up the go-ahead single to Marcus Thames but managed to get the next three men out, not to mention pitch a scoreless 9th. By that time it didn’t matter because the damage had been done.

Ron Washington went through five pitchers in the 8th inning. C.J. Wilson left with a 5-2 lead and only a man on second but Washington thought it was time to pull him. Maybe next time he’ll let his starter keep going, and maybe next time the rest of the bullpen will do their jobs.

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images