Rangers All-Time Team v.2012
Last year's inaugural team can be seen here.
Putting our stamp of approval on this team has probably the most ambivalent thing we've ever done with regards to this blog.
This team, more than any other team we have put together, reflects the steroid era (a result of playing alongside Jose Canseco, for sure). There are four players on this team with direct links to performance enhancing drugs and a few more that we considered. It is impossible to distinguish "fairness" without the benefit of direct knowledge of what actually happened and how much PED's actually affected performance. Instead of trying to figure out what we don't know, we're trying to be consistent and we realize that we have to change the way we've looked at these teams. We're trying to stick to our guns and find the players at each position that best represent a particular franchise. In this case, steroids and PED's are simply a part of the fiber of the franchise... like it or not, the Rangers will forever be linked to the steroid era.
In addition to our normal review, we had to add an infielder and two starting pitchers to last year's team.
We looked very closely at the outfield. Admittedly, Josh Hamilton was a "potential" pick last year and we recognize that he didn't leave on great terms (getting booed in his final home game is probably not the send-off Josh Hamilton had in mind) but you can't deny what he meant this franchise; 5 all-star appearances, three Silver Sluggers and an MVP award in five years while leading the Rangers to two World Series appearances. We compared his contributions to those of Ruben Sierra. Sierra spent ten years with the Rangers and had two separate stints in Texas (one of nine franchises he played for over the course of his 20 year career). He ranks pretty high among the franchise leaderboards in most offensive categories but in this case, we felt that Hamilton's contributions in leading the Rangers two back to back World Series (and an MVP trophy) were noteworthy.
In the infield, we went with Rafael Palmerio and by the numbers, there's no doubt that Palmeiro belongs on this team. This is not an endorsement for Palmeiro in Cooperstown but given the contributions he made as a player to the Texas Rangers franchise over the course of ten years, it's unarguably the right choice to include him on this Rangers All-Time team.
For the starting pitchers, we were able to agree on Charlie Hough and Nolan Ryan rather quickly.
Here's our team, tell us what you think.
C - Ivan Rodriguez
1B - Mark Teixeira
2B - Michael Young
SS - Alex Rodriguez
3B - Buddy Bell
IF - Rafael Palmeiro
OF - Frank Howard
OF - Rusty Greer
OF - Josh Hamilton
OF - Juan Gonzalez
SP - Ferguson Jenkins
SP - Kenny Rogers
SP - Charlie Hough
SP - Nolan Ryan
RP - John Wetteland