By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Designated Hitter: Julio Franco
Morgan—"This is where I wanted Raffy. But I can't imagine the chemistry between him and Will. I'd be willing to put Julio here because, I agree, no Ranger ever hit the ball harder."
Nadel—"Right, perfect spot for Julio's bat."
Pinch Hitter: Bill Stein
Morgan—"1986. Monday night sellout. National TV. Roger Clemens pitching for the Red Sox in the eighth inning. Pinch-hitting for Steve Buechele, he smashes the first pitch he sees for a game-tying homer. How can it be anyone but Geno Petralli?
Nadel—"There's an art to pinch-hitting, and Bill Stein still holds the AL record with seven consecutive pinch-hits."
Morgan—"Hard to argue against the record-holder, I guess."
Right-handed Pitcher: Nolan Ryan
Nadel—"How do you choose between two Hall of Famers like Fergie Jenkins and Nolan Ryan? In '74 Fergie pitched 29 complete games in 41 starts. That's mind-boggling. But Nolan put the Rangers on the baseball map."
Morgan—"If you venture 1,000 miles from here and mention Texas Rangers, people's first reaction will be 'Nolan Ryan'."
Left-handed Pitcher: Kenny Rogers
Morgan—"He had some unfortunate things happen on his way out, but with the perfect game and the way he competed, it's an easy choice."
Nadel— "No contest."
Relief Pitcher: John Wetteland
Nadel—"Jim Kern had the single greatest season for a reliever in '79 when he won 13 games with 29 saves and a 1.57 ERA. That said, John Wetteland was more consistent, and he slammed the door on two division titles."
Morgan—"If I need three outs to save a Rangers game, I'm giving the ball to Wetteland."
After an hour of back-and-forth, give-and-take, sacrifice, acrimony and, finally, accord, we've reached hardball harmony:
A Rangers team with a combined 2,711 home runs, 11,112 RBIs, three batting titles, 63 All-Star appearances, seven AL MVPs, one World Series MVP, 29 Gold Gloves, 582 wins, 364 saves, 8,404 strikeouts, eight no-hitters and one perfect game.
"This team might not win every game," Morgan says, "but, boy, they'd sure sell a lot of tickets."