Rangers won’t hold fan rally in Arlington this year

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The Rangers drew several thousand fans to a rally outside the Ballpark in Arlington a few days after last season’s World Series loss to the Giants.

Despite that strong turnout, the organization is not going to host a similar event this time around.

According to Eva-Marie Ayala of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers higher-ups asked Arlington mayor Robert Chuck to not set schedule a fan rally to celebrate the club’s second straight trip to the World Series. Here’s the explanation from Rangers VP of communications John Blake:

“We just felt last year was a special time because we were going for the first time in the history of the franchise. We felt that making it for the second year in a row, unless we won, we wouldn’t have a celebration. Our expectations are higher now, so that’s the way we felt was the most appropriate way to handle it. While going to World Series back to back is something we’ll cherish, we felt we should only celebrate if there was a Series win.”

Gotta dig the honesty, and the acknowledgment that expectations have been raised. The Rangers are a first-class organization with a bright future. They’re no longer content with simply reaching the Fall Classic.

The Cardinals will hold their victory parade in downtown St. Louis on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.