ARLINGTON -- Having displaced the Angels, three-time defending champions, as American League West kingpins, the Rangers have taken flight this season with a variety of imports -- including former Angels Vladimir Guerrero and Darren Oliver, who enriched the cast as winter free-agent acquisitions.
The Rangers didn't stop there. They kept infusing their roster with home improvements, most notably southpaw Cliff Lee, who became their instant ace, and catcher Bengie Molina, yet another former Los Angeles performer.
"They made some moves all the way through the season," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "As the season went on, their club became deeper and deeper. As the winter goes on, it remains to be seen [what they will do]. We have enough on our plate not to concern ourselves with other clubs. They've got a deep club and benefited from it."
Scioscia said he planned to congratulate Ron Washington, who came up in the Dodgers' system with him, on his triumph this season and included Washington among a collection of worthy Manager of the Year candidates.
"A lot of teams have come together this season, and a lot of guys have done an unbelievable job," Scioscia said, putting Washington in that category along with two of his former coaches -- Joe Maddon and Bud Black -- and the likes of Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, Joe Girardi and Bobby Cox.