Elvis Andrus spent last week in Hawaii vacationing with a few of his friends, including Ian Kinsler. During that trip, news came down that Kinsler would be heading to the Detroit Tigers as the Texas Rangers acquired Prince Fielder in a swap of All-Stars.
Andrus admitted it became a little bit awkward for about 30 minutes before it went back to normal.
But the loss of Kinsler could mean more leadership responsibilities for the 25-year-old Andrus, who is going into his sixth season with the Rangers and is now the club’s longest-tenured position player.
“Before [Kinsler] left, I was going in that direction,” said Andrus, who hosted a Thanksgiving gathering with the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas on Monday. “That is something that even with Ian here, I was still trying to get better at that. I want to be a leader. I will be a leader. But I know there are steps in front of me that I have to take and do for me to be a leader.”
Andrus continues to grow as a player, overcoming a slow start last season. He signed a long-term deal the first week of the season and admitted he put too much pressure on himself while batting .242 in the first half.
Manager Ron Washington helped alleviate some of that pressure by moving Andrus down in the lineup for a few stretches, and Andrus rebounded by batting .313 in the second half.
David Murphy officially is a member of the Cleveland Indians, but he only had praise for the seven years he spent in Texas.
The former Rangers outfielder felt he joined the team at an ideal time in his career back in 2007. He was trying to prove himself as a big-league player, and the Rangers gave him that opportunity.
Murphy went on to have success, playing a role in the Rangers’ two World Series runs in 2010 and 2011, and then having a career year in 2012. However, Murphy struggled last year by posting career lows in batting average (.220), on-base percentage (.282) and slugging percentage (.374).
Murphy and the Rangers discussed a contract extension prior to last season, but nothing came close. They talked again after the season, but it became clear that Murphy’s time in Texas was over.
“I’m extremely thankful and blessed every day I wore a Texas uniform,” Murphy said. “The only thing that would have made my time in Texas completely perfect would be winning those World Series, or one of those World Series.”
The Rangers proudly showed off their new uniforms during Prince Fielder’s news conference Monday. The jerseys have slight changes to the color shading on the front and back lettering.
There are no changes outside the lettering alterations.
The new white home jerseys of Fielder are now available along with T-shirt jerseys of Fielder, Andrus, Adrian Beltre and Yu Darvish. Additional merchandise with the new insignias will be available starting Friday.
The Rangers also are running their own Black Friday special at all three club gift shops. Fans who purchase select replica jerseys from 2013 will receive a free Rangers game-used baseball (valued at $40) while supplies last.
Briefly• General manager Jon Daniels said the team is cautious of free agent signings that would cost them draft picks but said: “For the right player and right fit, we’re willing to do it. It has to be just that.”
• Andrus on new double-play partner Jurickson Profar: “I know how talented he is. It’s going to be up to him to go out there and practice as much as he can at second. He’s got Wash to help him, so it’s going to be easier for him. … He’s a great kid, and he’s going to be fine.”
• Andrus would like to see the Rangers re-sign slugger Nelson Cruz. “I know he wants to play here if he gets the right deal,” Andrus said. “Hopefully we sign him.”