Winter's flurry paves way to start of camp
Two-time AL champs ready to put deals and distractions aside
ARLINGTON -- After a seismic offseason of New York Yankees proportions, the Rangers hope for a more tranquil Spring Training as they prepare to defend their American League championship.The dream of tranquility may prove elusive. The Rangers head to Arizona bracing for unprecedented media coverage of pitcher Yu Darvish and the arrival of outfielder Josh Hamilton. They have contract situations that remain unsettled, injuries that need evaluating and questions that remain unanswered about the composition of their Opening Day roster. Their rotation may be set if the Rangers are committed to moving Alexi Ogando back to the bullpen, but there is still some unknown about Neftali Feliz moving into the rotation. Add the fact that the Rangers are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals in the World Series, it becomes clear this won't be just another ordinary Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz. But general manager Jon Daniels is quick to point out that the Rangers have handled multiple titanic issues in the past, from ownership change and franchise bankruptcy to manager Ron Washington's cocaine admission two years ago and Michael Young's rancorous position switch last year. Given what the Rangers have gone through in the past, Daniels remains confident his team can handle whatever confronts it this spring.
|"You name it and this team has dealt with it and thrived on it. That's a direct reflection on Wash and the leadership in the clubhouse, the players and the staff. These guys come to Spring Training ready to play and don't let anything distract them."|
|-- GM Jon Daniels|
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.