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3 Texas Rangers
Chris Ballard
March 26, 2007
Manager Ron Washington first season with Rangers MUCH OF the conversation at Rangers camp this spring centered on the comeback of Sammy Sosa and understandably so, given his high profile and propensity for self-promotion. Ever modest, he wore a slammin' sammy's back T-shirt on his second day in Surprise, Ariz. But more important to Texas's season is the comeback of another former All-Star, new closer Eric Gagn�. Over the last two years Gagn� has pitched only 151/3 innings because of elbow and back injuries. Still, the memory of his 2003 Cy Young season, not to mention his 96.4% lifetime save rate--no other active pitcher is higher than 91.7%--was enough for the Rangers to gamble on a one-year, $6 million deal. "There were very few guys on the market who we thought could be impact players, and he was at the top of the short list," says general manager Jon Daniels. "At six million we're counting on him."
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March 26, 2007

3 Texas Rangers

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THE NUMBERS

LIE

9

Home runs that first baseman Mark Teixeira hit before the All-Star break last season, tying him for 113th in the majors. However, in 275 at bats after the break, Teixeira--who banged 43 homers in 2005 and averaged nearly 36 homers in his first three seasons in the majors--went yard 24 times, which was second only to Ryan Howard's 30 for the Phillies over that span.

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