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Evan chats with Rangers broadcaster Matt Hicks at Dyess

matt hicks.jpg

Members of the Texas Rangers organization visited Abilene last Friday afternoon. Players Brett Nicholas, Preston Beck and Reed Garrett, and radio broadcaster Matt Hicks were at Dyess Air Force Base signing autographs and taking a tour of several planes on the flight line.

KTXS Sports Reporter Evan Nemec caught up with Hicks to caught about the day at Dyess and what to look for with the Rangers in the upcoming season.

Below is a transcript of the interview.

"Evan: We're at Dyess Air Force Base with the Texas Rangers radio broadcaster Matt Hicks. Matt, your season is every day for six months. What do you do during the off-season?"

"Matt: In the off-season we do events like this. Earlier this week I had the opportunity to go to North Carolina where we spent a day because the Rangers have a couple of affiliates, just to let people know what's going on with the Rangers in the off-season and help prepare them for the upcoming campaign."

"Evan: When you get to go to a place like this, a military base, what is it like to meet some of the fans, and some of the Airmen that are in Texas?"

"Matt: I think it's neat to talk to fans wherever they may be. In this day and time with communication the way they are, fans are not just in your area, or regional they are everywhere. They're all across the country. We're also learning about what people in their daily lives. Last year for example one of bases I went to was in Wichita Falls. I learned a ton of stuff about military operations there and I'm sure I'll learn a little bit more here today."

"Evan: One of the big things of this off-season is Yu Darvish, free agent. He has five or six teams he's supposedly looking at. What do you think could happen?"

"Matt: I think for Yu and his agent, they are looking for a long-term deal. Moreso perhaps than the total dollar figure is the length of the deal whether that me five, six or sevean year deal, whatever you can get, I think that's what they are trying to do. The team that is willing to give him that long-term deal is probably the team that is going to land him. On social media the other day it was put out that there are five teams including the Rangers that are still bidding for his services and then Yu tweeted out, 'Well I know one other team.' Who knows in situations like this. Players do not want to limit their potentality landing spots. It might be those five or six teams, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was another team in the mix that no one's even talking about."

"Evan: We've got about six weeks until spring training. What are you looking forward to most in 2018 with the Rangers?"

"Matt: For me I just want spring training to come to me because ther are so many things that can happen between now and when pitchers and catchers reporter, which for the Rangers is February 14. There's that almost like opening present. What do we have? Who are these new guys? Introducing yourself to these new guys and trying to figure out just who might be a surprise to make it as the 24th or 25th player on the team. We could talk about certain guys now, but there might be guys that don't get signed until right before spring training starts and they end up having a nice spring and they make the ball club. You never know. It's like baseball's version of Christmas."

"Evan: Full of surprises to come. Thank you Matt. Thank you for coming to Abilene."

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