ARLINGTON -- The Yankees have been saying for months that the Rangers are still the team to beat in the American League, a nod to Texas' appearance in last year's World Series against the Cardinals and the 2010 Fall Classic against the Giants.
This week's series at Rangers Ballpark, then, figures to provide the Yankees with a very strong indication of how good they should feel about their season's first month.
"This is a club, you can't take anything for granted," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "If there's a ball in the dirt, they're going to second base, they're trying to move up. So you have to be on your toes at all times when you play this team. They're very athletic, and they use that to their advantage."
The Rangers will provide a complete test for New York's pitching staff, Girardi said.
"They're very explosive," Girardi said. "You have to be at the top of your game right away, from the first inning on, or it could be a short night. You're going to need some distance."