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Rangers

Rangers Begin AL Championship Defense

By Stewart McKenzie, TXA 21 News
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The first season of Friday Night Baseball on TXA 21 was good.  Very good.  In fact, it was a championship season for the Texas Rangers franchise.  And you saw the Friday night games on TXA 21.

Texas will begin their defense of the A.L. Championship crown, this Friday, against the Boston Red Sox.  If you listen to the baseball experts, the game will feature the current A.L. champs against the team expected to take the crown from Texas.

The Rangers enter the season in an unfamiliar position as defending league champions.  But, the team didn’t stand still in the off-season.

Pitcher Cliff Lee decided to leave Arlington and return to Philadelphia.  C.J. Wilson takes over as the staff starter.  He is the opening day pitcher against Boston’s Jon Lester.  Both are lefties.

Adrian Beltre is the Rangers new third baseman.  He takes over for Michael Young who is expected to be the team’s designated hitter and fill in at several positions.

The Rangers signed Yorvit Torrealba during the winter to handle the catching duties.

The team also has several questions as they enter the regular season.

The reigning A.L. MVP, Josh Hamilton, will be in the outfield.  However, will he be roaming in center field or left field?

Can C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis both match the quality year they had in 2010?

The Rangers bullpen had a rough spring training.  Can they recover and put together another dominant year?

It was a fan favorite in 2010.  Will the claw and antlers be as big of a hit this year?

While there are changes on the field, the franchise made a move in the broadcast booth.  John Rhadigan, a long-time sports broadcaster in the DFW market, takes over the play-by-play duties.  He joins Tom Grieve in the booth.

You’ll see, and hear, them this Friday on TXA 21.  We will broadcast the season opener against Boston on tape delay.  Our coverage begins at 7 P.M. on TXA 21.

This opening day will feature the history of the Texas Rangers franchise.  The team is celebrating its 40th year of existence in North Texas.

Before the game, a sold out crowd will honor the memory of Tom Vandergriff.  The former mayor of Arlington died during the off-season.  He’s credited with helping bring the Rangers to Arlington.  Former Rangers Jeff Burroughs and Charlie Hough will both throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Our second season of Friday Night Baseball includes 26 games on TXA 21.  Gina Miller and Mark McLemore return to bring you pre-game coverage and post-game analysis.

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