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Rangers improved 18 games in '04

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Buck Showalter, the reigning AL Manager
of the Year, received a three-year contract extension from the
Texas Rangers on Friday.

Showalter's new contract runs through the 2009 season, and
includes a club option for 2010.

Owner Tom Hicks also extended the contract of general manager
John Hart through 2006. That contract then becomes renewable
annually and continues until terminated by either party, after
which time Hart will have a five-year deal to serve as senior
adviser to Hicks.

"John and Buck are keys to the continuing success of this
franchise and I am pleased we could ensure they will be here in the
future," Hicks said. "This organization is on the right track and
with John and Buck leading our baseball operations, I know it will
continue to prosper."

Hicks, Showalter and Hart were among a group of Rangers
officials who were in Puerto Rico on Friday meeting with free-agent
slugger Carlos Delgado. The New York Mets, Florida and Baltimore
are also pursuing Delgado.

After four straight last-place finishes in the AL West, the
Rangers were 89-73 last season in Showalter's second year and
remained in contention until the final week. They finished third,
but were just three games behind division champion Anaheim and won
18 more games than in 2003.

Showalter is already tied with Pat Corrales for the third-most
wins (160) by a manager in club history. Only Bobby Valentine (581)
and Johnny Oates (506) have more wins as the Rangers skipper.

Showalter is 723-668 in nine seasons as a major league manager.
He previously led the New York Yankees (1992-95) and Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000), who both went to the World Series the
year after he left.

Hart is entering his fourth season with the Rangers and his 14th
consecutive season as a major league general manager, having been
in Cleveland for two World Series before joining Texas. Only
Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz has a longer active tenure.