MINNEAPOLIS It's just nine games into the 2012 baseball season, but the Texas Rangers are already going about business as usual.
They're traveling to the same ballparks, shoveling in the same postgame meals. They have the same pregame routines, the same celebrations, largely the same spots in their batting order. Look over those box scores a little too quickly, and it's still 2011.
But the Rangers are far from complacent. They've simply found what works, the blend of personalities and talents, habits and eccentricities that makes a championship caliber team. If you ask them, it's going to take a lot more than a few high-profile signings, a couple of stars poached from the National League and one lured from among their own, to alter the terrain of the American League.
This past offseason was the best free agent market in years, and the American League, with its lure of designated hitters and the cash that appeared with just a few signatures on unprecedented TV contracts, capitali...