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Angels-Rangers: A nice little developing rivalry

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider
When the All-Star Game was in Anaheim, Angels fans booed players from the Yankees and Red Sox.

They did not boo anyone from the Rangers.

Angels-Rangers is a nice little developing rivalry. Angels-Rangers is not Yankees-Red Sox.

"What the Yankees and Red Sox have got, that's history," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said. "I don't think we have that. Maybe 30 years from now, we will, but not now."

Angels-Rangers is getting more interesting by the month. Ex-Angel Mike Napoli helped the Rangers to the World Series. Ex-Ranger C.J. Wilson signed with the Angels.

The Angels won the American League West five times in six years. The Rangers took it away the last two years.

But these teams don't hate each other. These fan bases don't hate each other.

Angels outfielders don't get abused at Rangers Ballpark. Rangers players don't hear it at Angel Stadium.

Hunter spends his winters in the Dallas area.

Imagine Derek Jeter spending his winters in Boston. Or Dustin Pedroia deciding to settle down in New York.

No, this isn't the same.

"To be honest, I don't really think about it," Rangers leader Michael Young said. "Especially with the extra wild card, everybody is a rival."

And with the extra wild card and the new playoff format, there's a better chance of teams from the same division meeting in October. It happened in 2003 and 2004 with the Yankees and Red Sox, and it took their historic rivalry to a new level.

If the Angels and Rangers meet this October, maybe that can start to happen in the American League West, as well.

To say it has already? That's just not right.

"It's friendly competition," said Vernon Wells, another Texas-residing Angel. "The thing that's ramped up is that the level of competition gets better."

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