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Early Issues Nothing Like Last Year

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Early Issues Nothing Like Last Year

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ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 31: Tommy Hunter #35 of the Texas Rangers wipes his forehead during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 31, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Unless you're wearing red and blue tinted glasses and fancying yourself a new pair of antlers to wear to Opening Day on Friday, you know the Texas Rangers are entering the 2011 season as the defending AL champs with some serious issues.

An already suspect starting rotation suffered an injury to Tommy Hunter, who is supposed to miss about six weeks, an already suspect bullpen lost the services of Alexi Ogando who was moved to the rotation to fill the void left by Hunter and you'd think there's some Rangers' brass on pins and needles waiting to see how Michael Young will react to getting any possible reps at first base taken away by the Matt Treanor trade. Big-time domino effect, folks.

But in two days, the season begins and all the speculation will end.

And just remember, at this time last season, Rangers fans would've taken these "problems" in a heartbeat.

There was a manager who confessed to a one-time cocaine binge, and was retained to the chagrin of just about every fan in Rangers nation. There was an "ace" and a No. 2, who both had a massive case of epic FAIL and weren't even on the postseason roster. There was a leadoff man who was moved to No. 9 in the order weeks into the season, and a closer who lost his job in the first week of the season. Oh, and don't forget the starting catcher who had a walk-off single on Opening Day and never played for the Rangers again after suffering a neck injury. He's now behind the plate for the Boston Red Sox, who will be invading The Ballpark on Friday.

And that was after the Rangers stumbled through spring training with a record well below .500. We all know spring records don't mean anything, but still. And it happened again this year.

But just remember what happened last season, and hold that close to your hearts, Rangers fans.

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