World Series Lamentations of a Huge Texas Rangers Fan

by on March 16th, 2011
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If I thought I could make some money off of that T-shirt, I might copyright the slogan, but then again I would not feel right profiting off of the Rangers like that after what happened in Games 6 and 7. Unreal. Unbelievable. Haven’t felt that sports pain and physically ill feeling since my junior year losing to Dallas Carter in the state semis. I was up until 3:15am Friday morning, not able to go to sleep rethinking the multitude of what-ifs from that game. What if Wash makes a different call on pinch hitters, on pitchers in the 10th (Darren Oliver?!?!? He is just as culpable for letting the bottom of the damn order get on in the 10th). Feliz? Feldman? Cruz? Young at 1B jacking up a routine grounder? On and on and on….

I told my 13-year-old son Zach, almost equally as upset as I was and still am, that he is now a true Rangers fan, for the last 39 years of frustration and watching countless games blown by previously sub-par pitching was packaged and magnified by 45 minutes of hell that was the 9th-11th on Thursday night. So welcome to the club, son. One pitch from Feliz or Feldman located differently. Or most agonizingly, about 18 inches Cruz’s glove was from where it SHOULD have been. I don’t care what Cruz’s fear may have been – crash into the wall, crack your skull, I don’t care – catch that ball – you’ve got your whole life to heal up, and there would be a World Series ring you could kiss curled up in the fetal position in bed while you recover.

That being said, I think I may look back years from now and be glad that we’re still pursuing the title. Winning around here in the often fair-weathered Metroplex is enjoyed, then taken for granted after that. We’ll see how the town handles Mavs’ success….it has not handled the 90’s Cowboys run very well…the sense of entitlement in Cowboy fandom is sickening. I’d like to think Mavs and Rangers fans are still more pure fans. Once again, the true Rangers fans will endure, while the band-wagoners were left behind as of 10:30-ish Friday night.

I’ll go to games next year, and those games, as well as the ones I watch on TV, where we are ahead in the 9th, will be those where I will always at least once think of the 9th and 10th innings of Game 6 every time. I’m pretty sure I and avid Ranger fans will care more in years to come than many of those players will care (ultimately, they’re getting paid regardless), and will probably care more in the future then the new arrivals (whoever the next Napoli is that comes in here). This is a sports-defining moment in the Dallas fan’s sports career. It’s the JFK and Challenger event of sports here – people will always remember where they were. I was pacing like an idiot in my kitchen for the last 90 minutes of the game, having already had to go for a drive in the inning Ogando pitched to calm down and listen to the radio version of that inning. I was seconds from hitting “Send” on my phone delivering a “Rangers are World Series Champs!” text to my many Ranger friends (almost did before I suddenly realized Cruz DIDN’T catch Freese’s line shot).

Granted, it’s sports – many more important things in life – I do get it. But for a guy who loves sports, it does not, and will never again, I don’t think, be more sports-painful than that.

To the Cardinals fan: That all being said, David Freese needs his statue built now – that guy is awesome and the real deal. Glad it was him and not Pujols and Berkman who was the MVP – he sure as hell deserved it. Congrats on #11…we’re see when #1 comes along for us. Just saw that LaRussa retired. Nice way to go out for that guy.

One Strike Away. Twice. Ugh.


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