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December 14, 2011

Rangers still team to beat in AL West

DALLAS – Ron Washington wasted little time dissecting who the favorites in the American League West would be.

“It goes through Texas,” Washington said. “We’re the two-time defending champions.”

Washington, along with several players, acknowledged that the Angels significantly upgraded their team with the signings of free agent first baseman Albert Pujols and starter C.J. Wilson. But those moves didn’t seem to faze anybody associated with the Rangers, who hosted a media lunch on Wednesday afternoon at the Hilton Anatole.

Michael Young could care less what team is projected to win the West, or if a more heated rivalry with the Angels develops because of the signings. In his mind, whoever the opponent is on a given night is the No. 1 rival.

“We have 13 rivals, we’re all playing for the postseason,” Young said. “Every win is big, especially in September. I’d say the same thing if the Angels didn’t acquire Albert and C.J. We know what it takes to win.”

Added David Murphy: “The Angels have gotten better, but I don’t see why they’re the team to beat when we’re the two-time defending AL champions.”

-- Drew Davison

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