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Eye on Rivalries: Josh Hamilton returns to Texas

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Josh Hamilton
Hamilton the Angel returns on Friday to where Hamilton the Ranger became a star. (USATSI)

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One series is in the books, and we've already seen some outstanding action. It's time to refocus to the weekend series with our eye on possible rivalries.

All About Josh Hamilton

The Rangers and the Angels already were developing a pretty solid rivalry, but now the former Rangers superstar bats cleanup for the Angels after signing a huge contract this past offseason to move to Anaheim. And it didn't take long for Hamilton to visit his old home this season, because the Rangers host the Angels for a three-games series that kicks off Friday afternoon (2:05 p.m. ET).

ALCS Rematch

Last time the Tigers and Yankees faced each other, it ended in Prince Fielder squeezing the final out on a popup and Phil Coke slamming his glove to the ground in ecstasy. Not only was it a Tigers sweep, but the entire series was an embarrassment for the Yankees with the Alex Rodriguez drama and entire lineup being unable to muster anything outside Game 1's ninth-inning Raul Ibanez heroics. This weekend, the Yankees return to the scene of the Games 3 and 4 beatdowns, beginning with a 1:08 p.m. ET first pitch Friday afternoon.

NLCS Rematch

Last time the Cardinals and Giants met, the Giants were busy putting away the Cardinals -- and overcoming a 3-1 series deficit -- in the monsoon in San Francisco, en route to a World Series championship. And these do happen to be the last two World Champions. They are set to square off in a three-game set, starting Friday afternoon at AT&T Park.

The John Farrell Bowl

John Farrell managed the Blue Jays the past two seasons, but then departed for Boston this past offseason, saying it was a chance to take his "dream job." This angered the good folks in Toronto, but what followed was the Blue Jays making a huge splash in the offseason. After losing their first two games, the Jays won Thursday night and look to gain some momentum against the man who many in the city now despise, starting Friday at 7:07 p.m. ET.

Francona's Redemption?

Many may have forgotten this, but before Tuesday's opener in Toronto, the last time Terry Francona managed was the last day of the 2011 regular season -- when his Red Sox lost to the Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays got a walkoff homer from Evan Longoria in Tropicana Field. Francona's Indians visit The Trop this weekend, starting Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Russell Returns

Pirates catcher Russell Martin made his name with the Dodgers, spending five seasons with Los Angeles and making two All-Star games. Starting Friday, he'll come back to Dodger Stadium as a visitor for the first time. He'll do so with his Pirates for a three-game series.

We Used to be A's

The interleague series this weekend is no rivalry, but it's notable in that it pits clubs from two cities that used to be home to the Athletics: Philadelphia and Kansas City. The Phillies actually co-existed with the A's in Philadelphia until the A's moved to KC for the 1955 season. The A's then moved to Oakland after the 1967 season and the Royals joined the majors prior to the 1969 season.

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