I sat down withTexas Rangers president Nolan Ryan yesterday afternoon here at Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona
We talked about Vladimir Guerrero ("He's making a statement."), Josh Hamilton ("I expect more production out of Josh.") and when the heck will he and Chuck Greenberg be formally approved as the team's new owners ("We're hoping it's done by Opening Day.").
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But mostly, we talked about something at Rangers' camp that's as unprecedented and foreign as this chilly, wet weather: Winning expectations.
Upon his arrival in Surprise Ryan projected 92 wins. Yesterday he confirmed that he expects that number to translate into Texas' first American League West championship since 1999.
"I feel like we have positioned ourselves in our division to be competive," Ryan said. "And I feel like 92 will put us in a postition to win the division. If things go right I don't see why we can't accomplish that."
I wrote ad nauseum last year that 2009 was "the year before the year." Now it's 2010. Are your hopes as high as Nolan's?