Texas Rangers: What to watch
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Before each series, we're going to give you just a quick glance at a few things to watch. Let's start with Opening weekend:
* Still, the club has dropped 9 of its last 14 openers.
* This is the fifth time the Rangers have opened a season against the Chicago White Sox and all of them were in Arlington. The last was 2000, a win for the Rangers. Texas is 2-2 in openers against Chicago.
* Robin Ventura will make his debut and we'll see if he runs into Nolan Ryan before Friday's game. The two haven't spoken since Ventura charged the mound back in Aug., 1993 in a famous brawl. But it's not because there's any animosity between the two. They just haven't crossed paths. Ryan respected Ventura as a player and respects him now.
* Former Ranger John Danks is on the mound for the White Sox. He was taken 9th overall in the 2003 draft by Texas and later traded as part of the deal for Brandon McCarthy. Read his thoughts here.
* David Murphy will start on Opening Day. It's just the second time that's happened in his career. He started on March 31, 2008 in Seattle as a rookie an dwent 2-for-4 with an RBI. He hasn't started an opener in the last three years and is one of only two players with 120-plus games the past three seasons that didn't start in an opener in that span (Alberto Callaspo is the other).
* Mitch Moreland won't be in the lineup, but expect to see him this weekend. Manager Ron Washington wanted the right-handed bats in the lineup against the lefty Danks, but RHPs Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd pitch on Saturday and Sunday for Chicago.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.