By Keith Antigiovanni
Texas and Arizona both clinched the AL and NL West titles respectively. Texas came into this year with the expectations of winning the division after they won the AL West and AL title in 2010. The Rangers goal is to not only return to the World Series but win the title this year.
Arizona by contrast finished in fifth place last year under interim manager Kirk Gibson.
Gibson's leadership style along with General Manager Kevin Towers helped push the Diamondbacks into becoming a contender again after two uncompetitive years.
Arizona has played well in its' 14-year history with 8 winning seasons, 5 NL West titles, 2 nlds wins, 1 NL title and a World Series title. Baseball fans recall Gibson's incredible performance in the 1988 World Series when he hit the game winning homerun in game one. That win propelled Los Angeles to the title that year after being the underdog for the regular season, NLCS and World Series. Arizona is similiar to that 1988 Los Angeles team in that respect.
Texas is another club that has improved quickly under Owner Nolan Ryan after struggling throughout most of the 2000's. The Rangers have achieved three straight winning seasons for the first time in club history since 1977-1979 and won back to back AL West titles for the first time since 1998-1999.
Texas has not always had great teams in the 40 seasons since moving to the "Metroplex" but the franchise hopes to continue putting out winning teams consistently after posting 18 winning seasons and 6 AL West titles since they arrived in 1972.
They had incredible achievements in 2010 with the victories in the first two playoff series and hope to win it all in 2011.
Although neither club is a perennial baseball power tradition has to start somewhere and both clubs appear to have the foundation to become consistent winners.