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Rangers could return all key pieces for 3rd chance
Question of the Day
Texas has a 2012 club option for right-hander Colby Lewis (14-10). All the other starting pitchers and players in the regular lineup are either under contract already _ such as Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, Hamilton and Young _ or under club control for next season.
Catcher Mike Napoli, their standout player in the World Series, is eligible for salary arbitration, as are reliever Mike Adams, shortstop Elvis Andrus and AL championship series MVP Nelson Cruz. But the Rangers control all of their rights for next season, and certainly have no plans to let them go.
Since making the transition from the bullpen, Wilson has gone 31-15 with a 3.14 ERA over 67 starts the past two regular seasons. But he was winless this postseason while becoming the first pitcher ever in the same season to have a loss in the division series, championship series and World Series after also being the loser in the All-Star game _ the AL’s loss in July cost the Rangers home-field advantage in the World Series again.
“The only thing I’m thinking about right now is getting out of these clothes and taking a shower,” Wilson said after Game 7. “That’s what’s next.”
Holland (16-5), the 25-year-old left-hander, had a breakthrough season that culminated by pitching into the ninth inning of Game 4 while allowing only two hits in a 4-0 win over the Cardinals. Also back will be Game 7 starter Matt Harrison (14-9) and Alexi Ogando, who won 13 games and was an All-Star after moving from the bullpen to the rotation.
Before last year, the Rangers had never even won a postseason series.
The team that started as the expansion Washington Senators in 1961, and moved to Texas for the 1972 season, won its first-ever playoff game in 1996 at old Yankee Stadium. New York won three in a row to clinch that series, then swept Texas in 1998 and 1999 on the way to World Series titles each time.
The Rangers have now advanced all the way to the World Series twice, but also became the first team since the Atlanta Braves (1991-92) to lose the World Series two years in a row.
“Just the same way that it will never get old to pop champagne and celebrate. This will never be a good feeling. It hurts,” outfielder David Murphy said. “It’s hard to go through a full season and play so well and get to Game 7 of a World Series and not get it done.
“There are so many positive things that we can take away from this year but right now it hurts,” he said. “That’s the easiest way to put it.”
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