Astros fans want it, but Rangers fans need it.
By Michael Brooks
Growing up in west Texas, my only sources of Major League Baseball on TV was the Chicago Cubs on WGN, the Atlanta Braves on TBS and the Texas Rangers on a television station out of Dallas that was oddly picked up by our cable provider. In the mid 80’s, none of these options fielded a quality team, but I watched on. I needed my baseball fill.
Then in the 90’s, the Braves became a dynasty. It was fun but I wanted my home-state Rangers in the playoffs.
In the mid 90’s the Rangers finally made the playoffs and I was excited. Of course they got promptly kicked out of the playoffs by the New York Yankees, but at least I finally got a taste of Rangers playoff baseball.
Then another long drought. Finally in 2011 the Rangers made the playoffs again. And this time they won. They knocked off the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, then they got revenge on the Yankees but couldn’t win one World Series game against the Giants.
In 2012, the Rangers were back again, and even better than the year before. They had a scary good offense, and a great pitching staff with two front line starters. They returned to the World Series, finally won a game, and had two chance to close it out, but couldn’t do it. (If anyone mentions anything about Game Six, I will probably still cry.)
Yet again the Rangers followed this up with not much of anything. They did return to the playoffs and got knocked out again, this time by the Toronto Blue Jays in one of the craziest playoff games I’ve ever seen, which included Jose Batista’s bat flip.
This offseason, they signed Jacob deGrom, one of the best pitchers in baseball, despite him being a notorious injury risk. They picked up Nate Eovaldi, a decent pitcher in the past but now just more of an innings eater. They had a couple of big dollar signings in the line up and the rest were kids with a promising MLB future.
I thought they may be a .500 team this year, but with a very bright future. Except they won, and kept winning. Then they slumped after the all star break and barely grabbed a playoff spot on the last day of the regular season.
And of course, deGrom got injured very early in the season, so Texas signed Max Scherzer. And he also got hurt, although he is supposedly going to be able to start game three on Wednesday.
Eovaldi became a solid number two pitcher, who showed flashes of brillance. (The fifth inning of game two will go down in Rangers history. Y’all baseball fans know what I’m talking about.)
Well, they made the playoffs, I thought, but that was as good as they could do. First they faced the Rays, the team with the second best record in the American League. And the Rangers swept them.
Then they faced the Orioles, the team with the best record in the American League. And the Rangers swept them.
Now they are facing the Houston Astros, the team that has made it to seven straight League Championship series, and who won the AL West over the Ranger. And they lead two games to zero.
(Interesting side note-Along with the Orioles and Rays, the Blue Jays were the third team from the AL East to make the playoffs. They had the fifth best record in the AL. None of those three teams won a single playoff game).
Despite having the lead, I am still quite concerned about the Astros. They are a formidable team with a lot of playoff experience.
If the Rangers don’t hold on and win the series, I will be rooting for the Astros in the World Series.
However, if the Rangers do advance to the World Series, I will be all in. I just ask the Astros fans to switch their alliance for one series.
Y’all want another ring, but Rangers fans need one.
Also, Ranger’s pitchers, it’s time to give Yordan Alvarez the Barry Bonds treatment. Just walk him because in the playoffs, he IS Bonds.