Tag: Dallas

Texas Rangers: Josh Hamilton Agrees to 2-Year Deal Avoiding Arbitration

Josh Hamilton, the 2010 American League Most Valuable Player, agreed to avoid arbitration and signed to a two-year contract worth $24 million with the Texas Rangers.

The deal allows Hamilton to become a free agent following the 2012 World Series. Had Hamilton and the Rangers gone to arbitration, a third party would have decided between the Rangers offer of $8.7 million per year or Hamilton’s offer of $12 million.

In order to become arbitration eligible, a player has to have a least three seasons of major league experience under their belt and no more than six. Hamilton first became arbitration-eligible in 2010, but signed a one-year deal worth $3.25 million, the same season he won AL MVP and lead the Rangers to the World Series.

Last season, Hamilton hit .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBI in 133 games.

Under arbitration rules, the player’s offer at arbitration salary is determined by their overall performance in comparison with other players of similar stats and position. The player presents their offer on a salary for the upcoming season, while the team presents theirs.

An arbitrator decides one way or the other, either for the team or player, and the term is good for one season.

Under arbitration rules, there is no compromise, it’s one or the other. Assuming Hamilton had a down season in 2011 like he did in 2009 when he only played 89 games and hit .263, Hamilton’s 2012 arbitration could have paid him much less.

Hamilton’s two-year contract voids out any more arbitration hearings and automatically makes him an unrestricted free agent in 2012, when he will be turning 32.

His new two-year deal is scheduled to pay him $7.25 million in 2011 and $13.75 million in 2012 along with a $3 million signing bonus.

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MLB Power Rankings: Picking the Best Hitter-Pitcher Combo in the AL

This week, we take a look at the best hitter-pitcher combo in the American League.

I’m one who believes total value wins championships. Not pitching, not defense and not a power bat. If you have the overall balance and more total value, you’re the best.

So, then, it would be important to have both a solid bat (who can play defense, but that’s not factored in here) and an ace on the mound. A door slammer if you will.

There are a few things I valued highly when sorting these rankings. Some of them will be viewed as unconventional to some readers, and that’s fine. I welcome any and all comments below.

For batters, I used an advanced metric called Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+). The link can explain this to you far better than I can. In a nut shell, though, wRC+ is a park and league adjusted stat that combines everything a player does to contribute to runs scored.

Why is this better than conventional stats? It’s not Player A’s fault no one is ever in scoring position when he gets a hit, so RBI is kind of sneaky in that it doesn’t tell the whole story. Same with Player B who always gets stranded at third. His run total isn’t revealing everything.

For pitchers, I went with Fangraph’s version of WAR. Pretty much every way I looked at pitchers, they shook out in the same order. I put very little stock into stats like wins for pitchers, but having to defend that became a lot less likely now that Felix Hernandez won a Cy Young with such a low win total.

For both pitchers and hitters, I made some adjustments for expected regression due to age, luck etc.

Now that we have that stuff out of the way, let’s get to the results.

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Power Ranking the 20 Biggest Questions Facing the AL West Heading Into 2011

The AL West was one of the worst divisions in baseball in 2010.

Entering the season, projections were all over. Each team was picked to both win the division or finish in the cellar, depending on which prediction you read.

The shape of each club is a bit easier to tell going into 2011, but there are still several questions for each club and the players signed to them.

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Nolan Ryan: Overrated Player, Underrated Executive and Owner

Texas Rangers fans, get ready to hate me. The same goes for all you fans of the Astros, Angels and Mets!

I’ve had this opinion for a few years now and have no intention of changing it.

This opinion is a controversial one, but I have my reasons for it. Therefore, I’ll get right to it.

Nolan Ryan is one of the most overrated players in baseball history, if not the most overrated.

Now, I probably have about 20 minutes before rabid Texans and crazy Ryan fans storm my front door, ambush me and then leave with my head impaled on a stick, so I’ll do my best to keep this concise.

Let’s start off with Ryan’s career accomplishments. Overall, they’re not bad. He made eight All-Star teams and won a World Series with the New York Mets in 1969. On top of that, his seven career no-hitters are a record that will most definitely never be broken.

Now let’s have a look at his career numbers. Again, they’re pretty good. His career record stands at 324 wins and 292 losses. Regarding ERA, it’s a very impressive 3.19. Yet the number that blows everyone’s mind is the career strikeout total: 5,714. To go with the seven no-nos, this is a number that will never be surpassed. It’s just a fact.

I know, I know. I’ve presented you with amazing statistics but still haven’t changed my opinion. Well, let me tell you why.

First off, despite all of his success, Nolan Ryan never won a Cy Young Award. The closest he ever came to winning one was as a member of the then-California Angels in 1973, when he finished with a 21-16 record, 2.87 ERA and a record 383 strikeouts. He ultimately lost the award to Jim Palmer.

Second, let’s analyze his record. The wins are certainly there, but the losses seem a little inflated considering how dominant Ryan was in his prime. The 324-292 record gives us a winning percentage of .526, which, while respectable, is still mediocre. It’s not even in the top 100.

Finally, let’s tie the stats together with Ryan’s career strikeout total of 5,714. Yes, Ryan was a dominant strikeout pitcher throughout most of his career, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I still think he’s overrated. Why? Because the man pitched for 27 seasons!

Let’s be honest: If Nolan Ryan were pitching today, he would not be as dominant. He was a fireballer, and now everybody in baseball is trying to be one. Combine that factor with today’s pitching coaches monitoring pitch counts, the steroid era and hitters being better prepared for hard fastballs, and he would be just another face in the crowd.

The same can be said about his seven career no-hitters. If I was a pitcher in that era and throwing 98 mph, I could probably throw seven no-hitters. Point being this: I don’t care if Ryan was on a lot of bad teams in his career. His stuff was good enough that he should have wiped the floor with any opposing hitter that stepped up to face him.

On top of that, his career stats are ridiculously inflated. Nobody pitches for 27 seasons anymore, and if they did, they would definitely not be as dominant as Ryan was.

Yet despite my feelings about Ryan as a player, I have to say I’ve come to gain a lot of respect for him in recent years. After stepping away from the field for some time following his retirement, Ryan is now back in the game as owner of the Texas Rangers.

He was the president of the 2010 squad that represented the American League in the World Series, and given the balance of veterans and youth on that team, plus some amazing pitching, Ryan as shown himself to be not just one of the more overrated players in history, but possibly the most underrated executive in baseball as well.

To understand Nolan Ryan’s executive genius, we need to go back to when he first became president of the Texas Rangers in 2008. After he was introduced, he announced his intention to make the team’s pitching into the AL’s best. To start, he would do away with the pitch count philosophy that had consumed all of baseball. There was no pitch count limit when he was a player, so why should there be one now?

Before Ryan took over, the Rangers were an AL West division team that had a lot of good young talent, but whose pitching just wasn’t enough to compete with the division rival Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Oakland Athletics. The offense was there, thanks in large part to the Ballpark in Arlington being very hitter-friendly, but this also allowed opposing hitters to have a field day against the Texas pitching.

In each of Ryan’s three seasons as president of the Rangers, the team has improved. They finished third in the division in 2008, second place in 2009 and first place in 2010 on their way to the World Series, where they lost to an equally talented San Francisco Giants team.

Much of the Rangers’ 2010 success has been attributed to its pitching, so let’s break it down. In the starting rotation, there were young guns that simply surprised us all. Tommy Hunter came out of nowhere and impressed with a 13-4 record, and C.J. Wilson was impeccable in his transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation. 

After pitching for one season in Japan, Colby Lewis was possibly the biggest sleeper in all fantasy baseball leagues—and of course, we don’t need to go into detail about Ryan trading for Cliff Lee midseason.

The bullpen was just as effective. Rookie standout Neftali Feliz saved 40 games en route to winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award.

On offense, the team was dangerous. Vladimir Guerrero had a comeback season, silencing his critics. Outfielder Nelson Cruz was effective despite a nagging hamstring injury. Shortstop Elvis Andrus was a pest in the field and an even bigger one whilst running the bases.

Most importantly, outfielder Josh Hamilton put a cap on his inspirational story. A former drug addict, Hamilton batted .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBI, winning himself the AL MVP Award.

Why are these players significant? Because with the help of his young GM, Jon Daniels, Nolan Ryan brought these men to Texas after most teams had written them off as has-beens and/or underachievers. A World Series appearance later, the Rangers have silenced their doubters.

Will some of their players be on different teams next season? Yes, possibly the most important piece is gone in Cliff Lee. However, I have no doubt that the Rangers will return to the playoffs to once again hush their critics and prove that they are a force to be reckoned with.

When the team is on the field proving its worth to the masses, you’ll find Nolan Ryan in his usual seat, behind home plate.

Sir, while you may be considered overrated by some (myself included), I can only hope that you will one day be commended for your accomplishments as an executive and owner. It’s truly a shame that you’re already in the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a player, and I mean that with all due respect. Regardless, there should be another plaque prepared for you, this time as one who changed the game.




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MLB Rumors: Cliff Lee Agrees with Phillies, What’s Next for Texas Rangers?

We’ve all heard the same story since the World Series concluded.

Would Cliff Lee choose the money and sign with the Yankees, or would he stay in Texas, where he and his family felt comfortable? Nobody seemed certain about which way he was leaning, not even Lee himself.

After it was announced that there was a mystery team in the running for Lee, speculation ran rampant that it was Philadelphia, and sure enough it was.

Turning down both Texas and New York, Lee agreed to a five-year deal with the Phillies late on Monday night that sent everyone into utter shock.

A big swing and a miss for both the Yankees and Rangers, as neither team was able to haul in this offseason’s top free agent prize. Now with the Philadelphia rotation boasting Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, it’s going to be awfully tough for anyone to knock off the Fightin’ Phils.

While the Yankees can just throw money at the remaining free agents, what are the Rangers going to do? With no clear-cut contingency plan in mind, the team has found itself in a rather precarious position.

While this certainly isn’t the ideal scenario for most Texas fans, it is the one that makes the most sense.


Sign 3B Adrian Beltre

After pulverizing the American League with both his Gold Glove defense and extraordinary offensive output, Beltre looks primed for a big payday in free agency. Beltre would do very well in a lineup that would provide him ample protection, and he would be a big upgrade at the hot corner over the incumbent Young.


Trade 3B Michael Young

Young, who is said to have been on the trade block for quite some time now, looks like the most likely candidate to get shipped out. Not only would his departure free up the spot for Beltre, but if GM Jon Daniels chooses to trade him for some young minor league talent, it would also create more spending room to add yet another additional piece, which they’ll certainly need to do.


Sign SP Brandon Webb or SP Chien-Ming Wang to a one-year deal

They might not have the package to pull off a Zack Greinke deal, but how about taking a one-year roll of the dice on either of the two mentioned above? Wang would be the better fit, but it’s been rumored that Texas could be a potential landing spot for Webb for a long time now.

Regardless, the Rangers are going to have to begin moving aggressively if they hope to have a chance to move in on anyone with the free agent crop beginning to thin quickly.


Sign CL Rafael Soriano

All those dollars they were going to hand Cliff Lee have to go somewhere, right? The Rangers have said time and time again that if they were unable to re-sign Lee, they’d have to give serious thought to implementing Neftali Feliz into the starting rotation. Well, here’s the perfect opportunity.

With Rafael Soriano coming off one of the most dominant years for a closer in recent memory, he’d fit perfectly at the back end of the Texas bullpen, allowing Feliz to slide into the rotation. Without a bona fide No. 1 starter, the Rangers are going to have to explore all avenues to fill the gaping hole left by Lee’s left arm, and Feliz’s excitement, youth and energy are a great way to begin revamping the rotation once again.

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Baseball Hall of Fame: Why Rafael Palmeiro’s Candidacy Is the Most Important Yet

When even the most adherent fan scans over the list of this year’s National Baseball Hall of Fame candidates, they will see the usual big names: Roberto Alomar, a surefire candidate who missed induction by one vote last year; Bert Blyleven, fifth all-time in strikeouts, who finished five votes away from Cooperstown last year; Jeff Bagwell, a surefire eventual candidate trying to get in on his first year on the ballot.

Yet no name on the ballot may have more significance or wonder connected to it than Rafael Palmeiro.

On the surface, Palmeiro, with 569 homers, 1,839 runs batted in, and 3,020 hits, is the type of player who should coast into the Hall.

But this year, with the addition of Palmeiro to the ballot, what has been speculated and debated for nearly six years will finally bubble to the surface, and baseball will finally stare its demons in the face.

For those who do not know, on March 17, 2005, an adamant Palmeiro famously appeared in front of Congress, stabbed his finger in the air, and defiantly stated, with the trademark confidence that he showed at the plate throughout his career, “Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never.”

Less than three months later, Palmeiro was handed a ten-game suspension for testing positive for what the Washington Post called a “serious” performance-enhancing drug. To this day, Palmeiro remains dumbfounded as to how he became the highest-profile player ever to be suspended for PEDs.

Now, Palmeiro will again be the dubious groundbreaker, as he becomes the first steroid user to take the ballot with what are viewed as sure-fire numbers.

Now, many will say that the voters have expressed their views towards steroids by keeping Mark McGwire, the Cardinals hitting coach and former slugger who hit over 500 long balls and once held the single-season record, far from induction to baseball’s most hallowed hall.

Since being admitted to the ballot in 2005, McGwire has fallen well short of the 75 percent needed for induction, with 23.5, 23.6, 21.9 and 23.7 percent.

However, there’s no guarantee that McGwire has the numbers for induction anyway. His 1,626 hits would be the third fewest among Hall of Famers.

Palmeiro, on the other hand, is a member of the elusive 500-3,000 club, whose other three members, Willie Mays (94.7), Hank Aaron (97.8), and Eddie Murray (85.3), all soared over the competition in their first year on the ballot.

Interestingly, Palmeiro never really held the characteristics of steroid user. He was consistent, piling up 11 seasons with 37-plus homers, 10 seasons with 100-plus RBI, and 11 seasons with 30-plus doubles. He showed a characteristic level-headedness, on and off the field, and he never had the ballooned physique associated with steroids.

So when he, perhaps the least juicer-like juicer ever, stands in front of the Hall of Fame selection committee, he will be poked, prodded, and poked again. His candidacy will be viewed and reviewed more times than any other in history, because it will not only decide whether or not Palmeiro gets in, but also the fates of several other men.

Because if Palmeiro gets in, how can we keep Barry Bonds out? How can we keep out Roger Clemens? Manny Ramirez?

Or, conversely, if we keep Palmeiro out, who has all the statistics of an all-time great, how can we let these other convicted rule-breakers in?

With Rafael Palmeiro, the problems that baseball has pushed aside will finally reach the surface. Here and now, the floodgates to the Hall of Fame may either be opened wide for a rush of players in the future, or locked for good, shut tight.

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Josh Hamilton and the 10 Biggest Home Field Heroes to Win the MVP

Josh Hamilton won the 2010 American League Most Valuable Player award this week, and it would be difficult to argue against the selection.

Hamilton led the Texas Rangers to an incredibly rare playoff appearance and in the process continued one of the great comeback stories in sports.

He hit 32 home runs with 100 RBI and 95 runs scored in only 133 games and won the batting and OPS titles as he threatened to win the Triple Crown.

The other candidates—such as Robinson Cano of the Yankees, Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays and Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers—all had an Achilles heel of some sort, whether playing on stacked teams or playing on teams that weren’t in playoff contention, so Hamilton was the right pick.


There is a frustrating aspect of Hamilton’s story that has come to a head with his winning the MVP award, and that is the absolute refusal of any members of the sports media to acknowledge the fact that his numbers are incredibly inflated by playing in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

In Hamilton’s case, it didn’t make much difference; even considering the inflation, he was a good MVP candidate. Nevertheless, there have been years in which an inadequate player has won the MVP award based on numbers whose credibility was questionable because of his home field.

Let’s have a look at the Top 10 Home Field Heroes to Win the MVP Award.

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AL MVP: Josh Hamilton of Texas Rangers Beats Miguel Cabrera for the Award

Josh Hamilton’s story has been told and retold numerous times over the last few years.

The Texas Rangers star outfielder has endured countless peaks and valleys in his well-chronicled rise and fall as a one-time uber-prospect turned casualty of drug abuse and addiction.

His subsequent recovery and return to baseball’s highest level represents one of sports’ greatest tales of redemption.

However, this time that’s not what the story is about.

On Tuesday, Hamilton was honored by the voting members of the BBWAA as the American League’s Most Valuable Player, capping what was his personal best season and the most successful year in Texas Rangers franchise history.

Winning the award by a landslide, Hamilton was named first on 22 of the 28 possible ballots, easily beating out Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera for the coveted honor. Following Cabrera, New York’s Robinson Cano took third, while Toronto’s Jose Bautista finished fourth. Only Cabrera and Bautista also earned first place votes, with five and one respectively.

In leading the Rangers to the first World Series appearance in the franchise’s 50th year of existence, Hamilton finally ascended to the heights that many had long predicted for him.

As a former No. 1 draft pick for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the now 29-year-old Hamilton is in the midst of reclaiming the baseball greatness that he once nearly threw away as a result of his severe personal issues. With Hamilton now fully focused on his God and baseball, we are finally witnessing what the left-handed slugging outfielder is capable of.

Not only is he a powerful slugger with tremendous athleticism and a great glove, we also discovered in 2010 that Hamilton is capable of hitting for a high average, evidenced by the first batting title of his career. His .359 batting average easily outdistanced the competition, beating second-place Miguel Cabrera by a staggering 31 points.

He was especially destructive against right-handed pitchers, hitting an astounding .401 with a tremendous 1.163 OPS against them. However, he was no slouch against left-handers, as he hit a respectable .271 with a .789 OPS against southpaws.

Along with leading the league in batting average, Hamilton also led all AL hitters in slugging percentage at .633 and OPS at 1.044. He finished second to Cabrera in both on-base percentage at .411 and OPS+ at 175.

Though his 32 home runs and 100 RBI were both well off the league leads, those counting stats suffered significantly due to the 29 games he missed. He still placed fifth in home runs and 11th in RBI, however. It is refreshing to witness the further evolution of the thought process regarding voters’ reliance on once traditional statistics.

Josh’s clutch statistics might prove to be his most impressive, however. With runners in scoring position, he hit .369 with a 1.069 OPS. In the same situations with two outs, he was even better, hitting .379 with a 1.099 OPS. During situations deemed “late and close,” Hamilton hit .383 with a 1.013 OPS. Clearly he was at his best when his team needed him most, the mark of a true MVP.

Not only was he highly valuable with his bat, but Hamilton performed extremely well in the outfield as well. Splitting time between both left field and center, he helped give the Rangers one of the best defensive outfields in the game in 2010. According to FanGraphs’ defensive UZR statistic, Hamilton was the sixth highest-rated outfielder with a 7.9 UZR. His rifle of an arm earned him nine assists, good for the fourth-best total in the AL.

Hamilton’s critics may point out that of the Rangers’ last 30 games of the season, he only played in five of them, spending most of the last five weeks of the season disabled with broken ribs. It is true that no other MVP has played so few games after September 1, often one of the most crucial stretches of the season.

The specifics of the situation should be examined a little closer though to truly gain an understanding of what occurred. When Hamilton was injured on August 31, the Rangers possessed an 8.5-game lead in the AL West. With such a significant lead with only a month to play, the Rangers didn’t feel pressed to rush their star back into the lineup.

Beyond that point in the season, their lead never dropped below seven games, so the team preferred to let Hamilton rest and heal as much as possible rather than force him to play what would ultimately be meaningless regular season games.

It could be reasonably assumed that if the team needed him in a pressure-packed division race, Josh Hamilton could have played through the pain in order to keep his potent bat in the Texas lineup. Of course, we’ll never know this for sure, but it is a fairly reasonable assumption.

Though it is not relevant in the MVP discussion, Hamilton was once against dominant in the ALCS, earning the series MVP award and propelling Texas into the World Series against San Francisco. His .350 batting average, seven RBI and 1.536 OPS were significantly responsible for Texas’ severe dismantling of the Yankees.

Though he disappeared in the World Series, Hamilton was one of the prime reasons that the Rangers were able to progress so deeply, and he will be one of the major factors in their belief that they may soon return to the Fall Classic.

With the 2010 AL MVP now in his trophy cabinet, Hamilton can look forward to chasing an even bigger prize: a World Series championship. If his health can cooperate, we should expect to seem Josh Hamilton’s name among the top players vying for the award for at least the next several seasons. His talent and renewed dedication to the game he loves should make him a worthy candidate for years to come.

Congratulations, Josh.

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Texas Rangers Decline Option On Vladimir Guerrero

Two days after the Texas Rangers lost in the World Series to the San Francisco Giants, they were busy making plans for the 2011 season.

On Wednesday, the Rangers declined their $9 million option on DH Vladimir Guerrero. Big Vlad hit .300/.345/.496 with 29 HRs in 152 games in 2010 for the Rangers.


Vlad’s option was declined by the Rangers

I think there are a couple of reasons the Rangers declined Guerrero’s option.

First, Guerrero really tailed off in the second half. After hitting .319/.364/.554 with 20 HRs in the first half, Vlad hit only .278/.322/.426 with nine HRs in the second half. On top of that, Vlad didn’t hit a HR in the postseason, and outside of one big hit against Phil Hughes, he didn’t hit at all in the postseason.

At 35, the Rangers are probably wondering if Vlad can make it through the entire season at a high level.

Second and the most important, paying an aging DH $9 million doesn’t make much sense. Even with Vlad’s great 2010 season, he only produced like a $10 million player, according to Fangraphs.

The odds are that Guerrero won’t put up the same numbers in 2011 as he did in 2010. So at $9 million, there is a very good chance that he won’t outperform his contract. Now at $4 to $5 million, however, there is a very good chance Vlad will outperform his contract.

And that’s why I think the Rangers will bring him back for around that amount.

Bringing back Vlad for $4 to $5 million makes sense, as he can still hit around 20 HRs if he can stay healthy. He also can still pound lefties, as he hit over .330 against southpaws in 2010.

Guerrero is now a free agent and free to sign with any team. But I fully expect him to be back in a Rangers’ uniform in 2011.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

World Series Game 5: Texas Rangers Report Card Vs. San Francisco Giants

Apparently, the age-old axiom “quality pitching beats good hitting,” so often quoted in regards to postseason baseball, is true after all.

The 2010 San Francisco Giants, a team full of self-proclaimed misfits and recent castoffs from other franchises, have thoroughly defeated the Texas Rangers in five games to claim the first World Series title since the Giants franchise moved to the West Coast from New York following the 1957 season.

Texas, with its power-laden, American League-style lineup boasting several great hitters, was supposed to present a mighty challenge to the pitching-rich yet occasionally offensively-deficient Giants.

In addition to the dynamic offense, Texas’ pitching staff is led by modern postseason hero Cliff Lee, a man who has recently been compared to all-time greats Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson. The Giants were supposed to have no chance.

Though the Giants’ position players may not pack the name-brand recognition or impressive statistics on the back of their baseball cards, they combined with a stellar San Francisco pitching staff to overwhelm a Texas team that never really got going in the World Series.

Game 5’s pitching matchup pitted each team’s ace against one another in a rematch of Game 1’s starters, two of the best hurlers in the game today. Tim Lincecum of the Giants and Texas’ Cliff Lee have won three Cy Young awards between them since 2008. In Game 1, neither ace was sharp, and Lee was handed the first loss of his postseason career, as the Giants got to Texas’ lefty for a playoff career-worst seven runs.

After Game 1’s pitching duel never truly materialized, most baseball people expected Game 5 to be a finely pitched affair, as the two aces looked to revert to their top form. Lincecum and his mates smelled blood in the water and preferred to finish out the series quickly, never allowing Texas reason to dream. Lee, on the other hand, desperately needed to pitch his team to victory in an effort to send the series back to San Francisco for a potential Game 6.

As it turned out, the contest lived up to the hype, as both hurlers traded zeroes until the seventh inning. Only a dramatic seventh-inning, three-run homer from unexpected World Series MVP Edgar Renteria would tarnish the pitching line of Texas’ ace Lee. Lincecum would allow a solo blast to Texas’ Nelson Cruz in the same frame.

San Francisco’s crisp 3-1 victory brought elation to Northern California’s Bay Area and, conversely, agony to those denizens of Arlington, forced to watch the Giants’ joyous celebration on their home turf.

Instead of returning to San Francisco for another do-or-die game, the Rangers will now have time to mull their shortcomings and craft their plans for 2011.

With the 2010 Major League season now history, as baseball fans, we’re already casting a hopeful eye toward next year, but for now, let’s grade the Texas Rangers’ performance in their fateful Game 5 of the World Series.

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