ARLINGTON, Texas -- Two of the club's free agents hoped that Friday wasn't their last games in a Rangers uniform.
Catcher Mike Napoli, who has played in Texas the past two seasons after he was acquired from the Blue Jays in January of 2011, and pitcher Ryan Dempster, obtained at the trade deadline, aren't sure if they'll be returning. But they want to if things can work out.
"I had nothing but a great time other than today," Dempster said an hour after Friday's 5-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in the AL wild-card game. "It’s been an awesome experience here, not only how they treat you as a baseball player, but as a human. It’s a first-class organization and a great place to play. I’m going to try to spend the next little while getting over this. I’ve loved my time here."
Dempster was 7-3 with a 5.09 ERA in his 12 starts in Texas. The splits told the story. He had solid numbers against non-contending teams but struggled against the Angels, Yankees and A's.
Napoli, who had a tremenouds second half of 2011 but was not able to replicate it in 2012, finished with a .227 average, but had 24 homers and 56 RBIs in 108 games. He dealt with a left quad strain that kept him out a month.
Napoli said he hopes to come back. He said he didn't think about whether he was hearing the "NAP-O-LI" chants for the final time in Friday's AL wild-card loss.
"It didn’t go through my mind," Napoli said. "I got to the ballpark (Friday) and expected to win. I never thought about that. It will be a long offseason. Hopefully I’ll be here but we’ll see what happens."