Texas Rangers: AT&T Park

Return to San Francisco triggers World Series memories

June, 8, 2012
6/08/12
9:00
AM CT
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Texas Rangers will be playing in one of baseball’s most scenic ballparks in one of America’s most popular tourist destinations this weekend, but it’s certain to bring back some bad memories.

The last time the Rangers played in San Francisco’s AT&T Park they were losing the first two games of the 2010 World Series, on the way to losing the series in five games.

Before Thursday’s game in Oakland, Texas manager Ron Washington described the lingering memories of his last visit to San Francisco’s ballpark.

“What I remember about it is the Giants played as good of baseball in those as they could. They were supposed to be slow on defense and they made all the plays. They weren’t supposed to be very good hitters and they got a lot of clutch hits. They were hot at the right time and it showed in the way they performed against us.

“They did everything you could possibly do to win a World Series. They did it and did it well. (Edgar) Renteria wasn’t supposed to have range and he was roaming all over the place. His bat was supposed to be slow and he got some huge hits. They just played an almost a perfect World Series against us.”

The Rangers have never won a game at AT&T Park. Besides the two World Series losses, they are 0-9, having been swept in three regular-season series at the park, in 2000, 2006 and 2009.

Josh Hamilton wary of quirky outfield wall

October, 26, 2010
10/26/10
8:00
AM CT
SAN FRANCISCO -- When the Texas Rangers work out for the first time at AT&T Park Tuesday afternoon, center fielder Josh Hamilton will be paying close attention to the fence in right-center field.

Hamilton has never played at the picturesque ballyard, but he knows the wind can come from any direction at any time and he knows a ball bouncing off the fence out there can bounce in any direction at any time. One bad bounce in particular sticks out.

"The one play that sticks out in my mind is the [2007] All-Star Game," Hamilton said. "Ken Griffey was out there and the ball was hit in right-center and it bounces back towards the line, so that was an inside-the-parker for Ichiro."

Ichiro's shot is the only inside-the-park homer in All-Star Game history. It took a funky bounce that caught Griffey in the wrong direction. Hamilton wants to make sure no one on the San Francisco Giants gets an inside-the-parker in the World Series. Understanding how the ball bounces out there takes on heightened awareness because designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero will be manning right field in Game 1 and possibly Game 2 as well.

"It’s nothing out of the ordinary to go into a new park and take balls off the walls, take ground balls, fly balls, all those things you need to do to become comfortable as quickly as possible with the facilities," Hamilton said. "Another thing will be taking balls off the wall in right-center and then making sure you back up the right fielder every play if he has to go toward the wall."

Guerrero, 35, made just 16 starts in the outfield this season, 15 in right field. But, he'll play right field in at least Game 1 to keep his cleanup bat in the order. Washington said he's not concerned with Guerrero being a defensive liability, even in AT&T's quirky right field.

"Vlad played outfield for us a few times this year. He hasn't hurt us. He knows what he's doing so I feel comfortable putting him out there. He works everyday at it."

Vlad Guerrero will start either Game 1 or 2

October, 24, 2010
10/24/10
12:51
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Without the benefit of the designated hitter in Games 1 and 2 of the World Series at San Francisco, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said Sunday he will start Vladimir Guerrero in the field in one of the first two games.

"I don't know yet. Haven't decided," Washington said of which game he might give his cleanup hitter the start. "We really haven't sat down and talked about it yet, but you can best believe we'll figure out a way to get Vlad in in there. In the staring lineup, some kind of way."

The San Francisco Giants will likely throw two right-handers in the first two games at AT&T Park. Tim Lincecum is the expected Game 1 starter with Matt Cain being the projected Game 2 starter. Guerrero is 1-for-1 off Lincecum in his career. He singled as a pinch-hitter last season during interleague play.

Guerrero is 0-for-3 with a strikeout against Cain, but those matchups came in the 2006 season. Whichever game Guerrero does not start, he will be a valuable right-handed bat off the bench. National League rules typically demand greater use of pinch-hitters in the pitcher's spot of the order.

Guerrero hit .300 during the regular season with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs. He slumped during the ALDS and much of the ALCS, but came on strong in the Game 6 clincher against the New York Yankees, collecting three of his four postseason RBIs. He's hitting .267 in the postseason with three doubles and no home runs.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.327 18 75 77
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 18
RBIA. Beltre 75
RA. Beltre 77
OPSA. Beltre .886
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.34
SOY. Darvish 182