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For Texas Rangers, a strong season, bitter finish

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm •  Published: October 9, 2012
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That was the consensus feeling among team president Nolan Ryan, Daniels and Washington during a season-ending news conference, which came on the same day the Rangers would have been playing Game 3 of the AL division series had Texas won the AL West title.

Instead of batting practice at Rangers Ballpark, stadium workers were stripping away the grass in foul territory between the third-base line and the visitor dugout.

The Rangers payroll this year topped $120 million. Ryan, who is also part of the team's ownership group, said there have been numerous discussions about team's budget for 2013 that will not be affected by the lack of revenue-generating home playoff games.

"Overall, we're probably all pretty much in agreement of where we're headed and how we're doing as organization," Ryan said, without getting into specifics. "I think that we all have thoughts and opinions on how we can improve our ballclub, and those will be expressed obviously during meetings going forward. But overall I think everybody's on the same page."

Aside from Hamilton and catcher Mike Napoli, the other potential free agents are pitchers.

Ryan Dempster came from the Chicago Cubs in a July 31 trade, and the Rangers will not pick up a $9 million option on Scott Feldman, who will get a $600,000 buyout instead. The others are relievers Mike Adams, Koji Uehara, Mark Lowe and Roy Oswalt, the three-time All-Star added midseason who wound up in the bullpen after Dempster was acquired.

Hamilton hit a career-high 43 homers and drove in 128 runs but was lustily booed by Rangers fans while going 0-for-4 against the Orioles, the same team he hit four homers against on May 8.

There was also the dropped routine popup in the regular-season finale, a two-out tiebreaking miscue that allowed the A's to score two runs and go ahead to stay. He missed five games on a September trip because of a cornea problem he said was caused by too much caffeine and energy drinks.

"Obviously I think Josh probably would have liked to finish stronger and we would have liked to see him finish stronger," Ryan said. "Will it impact our position as far as going forward? No, I don't think so. We'll consider the entire season because it is an entire season that affects the outcome."