Texas Rangers 2010 AL Baseball Championship Ring
The Texas Rangers' 2010 season was the 50th in franchise history. The team, managed by Ron Washington, won their first division title since 1999 and reached the World Series for the first time in only their fourth playoff appearance. Washington would become only the second manager in franchise history to lead the Rangers to the post season and the first to ever win a post season series. They would win the American League pennant by defeating the defending World Series champions, the New York Yankees in six games in the ALCS. In the World Series, they lost to the San Francisco Giants in five games. Because the National League held home-field advantage in this World Series, Arlington, Texas, is where the Curse of Coogan's Bluff died.
The 2010 season showed the results of a 5-year plan implemented by GM Jon Daniels in 2007 with the Mark Teixeira trade. The 2007 trade deadline and the amateur draft a month prior would all be key pieces of the successful Rangers season. Dominant rookie of the year closer Neftalí Feliz, defensive All-Star Elvis Andrus, and platoon outfielder David Murphy were all acquired at the trade deadline, while starting pitcher Tommy Hunter, centerfielder Julio Borbon and first baseman Mitch Moreland were each selected in the June 2007 draft. And trades which resulted in Cliff Lee, Bengie Molina, and Jorge Cantú were each completed with a member of the Rangers 2007 draft class being sent in return.
Mirroring the 2009 revelation of Josh Hamilton getting drunk at a bar in Arizona prior to spring training, the Rangers' team members learned that manager Ron Washington failed an MLB drug test prior to the All-Star game in 2009. Instead of dividing the locker room or casting doubt with the players, the teammates stood behind their manager. "I've got Wash's back. He's my manager", third baseman Michael Young told team mates during a meeting where Washington informed the players of his failed drug test.
The pitching staff, looking to be a strength for one of the first times in recent history, would depend on the #3 and 4 starters, C. J. Wilson and Colby Lewis, due to a lack of expected production from Scott Feldman and free agent Rich Harden. Wilson, Lewis, and trade deadline ace Cliff Lee would each finish in the top 20 among American League pitchers in ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts, and WHIP.
A complicated team sale that would end up in bankruptcy court and possibly cost the team president Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels would be an outside threat the team would have to ignore until it was resolved in August.
Thanks to utility infielder Esteban Germán the "claw and antlers" would become an active part of the Rangers in-game celebration. Following a play involving strength a Rangers' player would look to the bench and raise his right arm with fingers outstretched to make a claw. After a play involving speed a player would place his thumbs on each side of his head and outstretch his fingers to make antlers. The fans would embrace the "claws and antlers" and a "claw and antlers" T-shirt, designed by Rangers equipment manager Richard "Hoggy" Pricewould, would be the top selling MLB T-shirt sold in 2010, selling over 360,000, even though the design was not introduced until after the All-Star game. On the final day of the season fans would participate in a pre-game "claw and antlers" parade.