Texas Rangers

New-Look Rangers!

Okay, now I'm intrigued.

For all the Texas Rangers' promise of a better future, yesterday they made moves geared at providing fans an improved today. I squawked last week about the Rangers not being serious - much less serious contenders - if they trotted out really average re-runs like Frank Catalanotto and Scott Feldman.

Well, lookie here, Feldman was shoved to the bullpen and Catalanotto was released as Texas finalized its 25-man roster. It means that Andruw Jones made the team, Kris Benson made the starting rotation and the Rangers are making headlines for the right reasons.

Feldman in the bullpen = Solid. Feldman in the starting rotation = Horrible. Likewise, I got fed  up the last couple years watching Catalanotto provide absolutely no pop or clutch hits while announcers kept crowing about him being a "professional hitter."

Jones isn't the power-hitting, Gold-Glove winning outfielder from his days in Atlanta. And Benson isn't the same pitcher who was at times dominant for the Pirates.

But ... 

they are both upgrades. Let's not get carried away, Jones and Benson are hardly the final pieces to the puzzle.

But Jon Daniels deserves credit. He's seemingly dragged more veterans off the scrap heap and turned them into viable assets.

Have you changed your mind about the Rangers' over/under win total of 81? Are you at least intrigued yet?

All right then, may I tempt you by the fact that Benson was the first overall pick in the '96 draft, is brave enough to wear Kenny Rogers' old No. 37 and is married to a hot woman who hates PETA, Michael Moore and threatened to sleep with the entire New York Mets' roster if her husband cheated on her?

Thought so.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt