Thursday, July 25, 2013
Buzz: Rangers looking like Chicago South
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A.J. Pierzynski. Matt Garza. Geovany Soto. Jeff Baker. Neal Cotts.
Who knows, maybe Alex Rios someday soon.
The Chicago Cubs and White Sox have banded together to take over the Rangers, right?
"Wait, let's separate it," Pierzynski said half jokingly, in typical fashion of a White Sox player who played on the South Side of Chicago and wants nothing to do with the Cubs.
There's a definite Chicago flavor on the Rangers' roster. Garza, Soto and Baker were all teammates on the Cubs in 2011 and '12. Pierzynski and Cotts were teammates on the White Sox's 2005 World Series championship team.
Pierzynski was teammates with Rios for four seasons before signing with the Rangers as a free agent this offseason. With the Rangers looking for a right-handed bat, Rios is on their list on potential trade additions, which means they could be teammates again in the next week.
Soto, who was acquired by the Rangers from the Cubs last season, said having a fourth of the clubhouse littered with a Chicago contingent is part of the game. He's mostly happy that Garza was acquired from the Cubs on Monday to help the Rangers get to the playoffs.
"It's the way how our business goes," Soto said. "We're really glad to have Garza. He would upgrade any rotation in the big leagues. It's one of those things; the Orioles have a lot of Texas Rangers.
"I really don't care. I'm here with the Texas Rangers and I want to go out there and win any game I play."
Most of the players don't make Chicago their offseason home. But Pierzynski was able to get to know Garza from talking in the Wrigley Field weight room -- there's only one -- seeing him in Florida in the offseason.
"We've hung out a few times," Pierzynski said. "We played them two series every season. We get to know those guys pretty well. Being in Chicago in a two-team city, it's a different dynamic there."
Andrus hits second again: Shortstop Elvis Andrus was back in the No. 2 spot in the lineup for the second straight game, an indication that he has regained his place in the batting order.
"I thought I could sneak it by you'll but I didn't," manager Ron Washington said. "He's starting to get back to shortening his stroke. He had a big base hit for us last night to the opposite field. That's what he does. I still won't say you won't see him down (in the lineup) here and there. There way be a time where we have to do it."
Rivera gets boots, hat: The Rangers presented Yankees closer Mariano Rivera with a cowboy hat and black custom-made boots with the Yankees' logo and his number before the game. Rangers closer Joe Nathan and Rivera's former Yankee teammate and Rangers Hall of Famer John Wetteland participated in the pregame ceremony honoring Rivera.