Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Garko excited about return to Cleveland
CLEVELAND -- Rangers backup first baseman Ryan Garko was excited to see some old friends in Cleveland, where he played most of his career. Manager Ron Washington said Garko will get a chance to play against his former team on Thursday.
"I loved it here and we won a lot of games," Garko said. "I played hard and tried to help the team and left it on the field. It's weird coming out of the other dugout."
Garko said Travis Hafner, Jhonny Peralta and Grady Sizemore stick out for him as guys he was close to that are still on the Indians. Garko was on the 2007 team that nearly made the World Series.
"Everybody was young and 20 guys from that team came back the next year," Garko said. "But it just didn't click. A lot of things went our way that year. C.C. [Sabbathia] was the first domino that was left. You just couldn't replace a guy like that."
Garko said he's looking forward to playing in Texas and helping the Rangers win.
"I'm happy to be a Ranger now," Garko said. "We've got a good club and a real chance to do some special things. Good teams have good bench guys and it's a good spot for me to be. We have a lot of young players and I can help them out and then spell Chris Davis when he needs it and do some things defensively to help. I've only been here a week, but I like what I see from this club. It's a good group of guys."
Garko said he can still catch if needed, though he isn't sure he could do it for nine innings on consecutive days.
"I did it for so long that I think I could pick it up quick," said Garko, who caught through 2006, when he was switched to first. "I think it's more that if Ron wants to pinch hit for one of those guys he's not exposing himself to a situaiton where his hands are tied."