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Reviewing the biggest sports stories in DFW from 2012.
- Japanese Pitcher Yu Darvish Signs With Rangers (January 18): After the Nippon Ham Fighters accepted the Rangers’ winning bid of $51.7 million, the Rangers were tasked with signing Darvish within the 30-day window. On January 18, just hours before the deadline, the team announced a six-year deal with the Japanese pitcher. Darvish went on to win 16 games with a 3.90 ERA in 29 starts, winning the Rangers’ 2012 Rookie of the Year award.
- Hamilton Hits 4 Homers As Rangers Top Orioles (May 8): In a 10-3 win over the Orioles in Baltimore, Josh Hamilton became just the 16th player in baseball history to hit four home runs in a single game. All four home runs were two-run shots, and each came with Elvis Andrus standing on first base. Hamilton added a double to total 18 bases on the day.
- Rangers Broadcaster Barnett OK After Bizarre On-Air Moment (June 19): In an interleague game in San Diego, Texas Rangers TV play-by-play man Dave Barnett had a bizarre on-air moment in the 8th inning. During a brief break in play, Barnett claimed that the go-ahead run was at “fifth”, and rambled on about an apparent “botched robbery” and a “henchman”. The Rangers attributed the incident to on-going migraines.
- Deron Williams Takes Nets’ $98 Million Deal (July 3): Though it appeared the Mavericks had planned their off-season around luring Deron Williams to Dallas, the point guard made the decision to stick with the Nets in their move to Brooklyn. Williams inked a five-year contract worth $98 million, leaving the Mavericks with few options, particularly after Jason Kidd departed for the Knicks.
- Allen Opens New $60 Million Football Stadium (August 31): The City of Allen unveiled a new $60 million football stadium complete with luxurious private boxes and seating for 18,000 fans. Though the city came under fire for the price tag, the Allen football team temporarily silenced critics by capturing a 5A-Div I State Championship.
- Wild-Card Loss Caps Rangers’ Collapse (October 5): The Texas Rangers stumbled down the stretch, losing the AL West on the final day and finishing their collapse with a one-game wild-card loss to the Baltimore Orioles. The Athletics overcame a five-game deficit in the final nine days of the season, capped by a three-game sweep to win the division. The Rangers’ bats never got going in a 5-1 loss to the Orioles.
- Nowitzki Undergoes Surgery On Knee (October 19): Though the aging superstar tried to avoid surgery, Dirk underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 19. The team expected Nowitzki to return to on-court activities by late November, but Dirk didn’t return to game action until Dec. 23. In his absence, the team struggled to a 12-15 record.
- Romo, Witten Set Franchise Records: On Dec. 2 against Philadelphia, Tony Romo threw for three TDs to pass Troy Aikman for Dallas’ all-time franchise record. Jason Witten joined the record books by collecting his 751st reception on Nov. 5 to pass Michael Irvin as the franchise’s leading pass-catcher. Witten also set the record for most catches by a tight-end in a single season (103).
- Cowboys Josh Brent Arrested On Intoxication Manslaughter Charges (December 8): Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent was arrested for intoxication manslaughter following a late night crash that resulted in the death of his teammate and close friend Jerry Brown. Brent was indicted on Dec. 26 and placed on the Cowboys’ reserve/non-football injury list for the remainder of the season.
- Hamilton Agrees To Deal With LA Angels (December 13): In a stealthy move, the Angels lured Josh Hamilton to Los Angeles with a five-year, $125 million contract. General Manager Jon Daniels insists the Rangers never had an opportunity to match the offer during the process. The surprise move came less than a week after the Rangers missed on signing right-hander Zack Greinke.
- Cowboys’ Season Plagued By Injuries: The Cowboys suffered a number of key injuries in 2012. Defensive starters Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Kenyon Coleman, and Barry Church were all lost for the season. Jay Ratliff, DeMarco Murray and Orlando Scandrick missed significant time. And Demarcus Ware and Dez Bryant played through significant injuries. Introducing Brady Poppinga and Ernie Sims.