The Texas Rangers are going back to the World Series. Who would have thought anyone would type “The Rangers are back in the World Series” before they typed “The Cowboys are back in the Super Bowl”?
The Rangers declawed the Tigers 15-5 last night to win the AL Championship. The turning point was the 9-run third inning where the Tigers used a good portion of their bullpen and the Rangers hit around the order. Michael Young hit two two-run doubles in the same inning. I’m sure there were people in Detroit thinking, “Maybe baseball should try that “Play for an hour and stop” rule like other sports”, but the Rangers just kept hitting.
It was the first Rangers game I saw in person this year, and I think I picked the right game.
That’s two championships clinched while I was in the stands this year. It’s interesting sharing a ballpark with 51,000 other people instead of 900. The crowd’s emotion level is similar when the final out clinched the victory for the home team, but it’s a different level, partially because of the crowd size and partially because of the relationship of the fans to the players. I know the Rangers – I see them on TV all the time. However, I know the AirHogs – I talk to them, I have dinner with them, we’re connected online. So, as happy as I am for the Rangers (and this team deserved the victory and I think they may be the ones to bring a World Series victory to Texas), it’s different.
Now, the wait to see who the opponent will be, just like the end of the AirHogs season. At least the Rangers don’t have to stay in a hotel in Wichita.
The series provided the beauty of baseball for me – you can win in dramatic fashion on offense (a walk-off grand slam) or you can win on defense (a first baseman’s glove cradling a pop-up for the final out.) It doesn’t matter what the score is, the visitor gets their at-bats, and the home team gets their chance to respond. You can’t run out the clock, you have to get the outs.
The Rangers got the hits, then they got the outs. Now, it’s on to the World Series.
An interesting scheduling note – the Cowboys will be playing at home next week while a potential game 4 of the World Series is next door at Rangers Stadium. I hope Jerry Jones won’t gouge the baseball fans that park in his lot when the Ballpark lots fill up. Baseball will never break the stranglehold football has on the Texas psyche, but I think the Rangers may be a slightly better team than the Cowboys.