When the Rangers came to New York back in April, the team had yet to form its identity. Josh Hamilton wasn’t hitting. The bullpen wasn’t in place. Cliff Lee was in Seattle.
When the Yankees went to Texas late in the year, they were a partial team. For the August series, Mark Teixeira was away for the birth of his son and Curtis Granderson was on the bench going through his mechanical adjustments. For the September series, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira were banged up and not one of the Yankees top three starters pitched.
Obviously this series is different in many, many ways. The American League Championship Series is only hours away. at last, it’s time to play baseball.
On the Rangers offense
“They’re more of a right-handed power lineup where the Twins were more split up. They’ve got a huge left-handed bat in Josh Hamilton. They’re going to throw a lot of big, powerful right-handers at you. They’re a much more aggressive club than the Twins are.”
On Rangers starter C.J. Wilson
“He’s a kid that’s got a good arm. A good fastball. Fastball. Cutter. Slider. Good breaking ball. I would say he challenges. He throws a lot of fastballs and he comes after you… We are a patient team. Hopefully we can get to him and get him from the stretch.”
On Rangers closer Neftali Feliz
“He’s got a live arm and he knows how to pitch and he knows how to hold runners late in games. He seems to be pretty relaxed out there. And for a 22-year-old, your first post-season, with this organization, that’s pretty neat. And an All-Star this year. When I look at him, he appears to be a veteran, and I think he has grown up in front of the Rangers fan’s eyes.”
On the Rangers defense
“Defensively they were not playing well at the beginning of the year, and that has been a trademark of Ron Washington’s teams. They play extremely good defense. They were not playing good defense (when the Rangers came to New York in April) and they turned that around, and I think that’s one of the reasons that they’re here.”
On Rangers Ballpark
“The infield is probably more thick than Wrigley. That’s probably the thickest infield I’ve ever been around. The outfield is like lightning. Two different playing surfaces.”
On building the Rangers
“Dallas and the whole Metroplex area deserves a winner. I went there many years ago with the intention of being in the position they’re in today. I think Nolan Ryan and their general manager and their manager have done a terrific job of bringing that great team to where it’s at today.”