The Texas Rangers are in the postseason for the first time since 1999, or another way of looking at it is they’re in the playoffs for the first time since my senior year of high school. At the time, I took them being there for granted. Since then, the team has been mired in mediocrity, bad contracts, lousy managing, piss-poor pitching, and hot-ass weather.
Seriously, imagine going to a game at the ballpark during the down years in Arlington. It’s already 176 degrees outside, your team isn’t that good, and the best part about the games are the $1 hot dogs, and any other lil’ gimmick the team does to get fans out there. I’ve never been to a playoff baseball game in my life, and, Lord willing, if the Rangers can at least split against Tampa, I’ll be in attendance for Game Four. It should be able to happen, because, if nothing else, the Rangers will be playing in front of a crowd of about 653 people in Tampa’s ballpark for the first two games.
This has been a long time coming, and the squad looks like a collection of parts and pieces that makes you wonder how in the world they came together to function effectively, despite the fact that this is anything but an accident. The best hitter in the American League is known more for his missteps with alcohol in the past, as well as going nuts in the Home Run Derby a couple of years ago, but now people are showering the man with praise. In case you don’t know who I’m speaking about, it’s Josh Hamilton.
Our manager tested positive for that Christina Aguilera before the season started, but he’s also the same man who’s presided over a team that has increased their win total over the past three seasons, and deserves AL Manager of the Year. That man is Big Ron Washington. Michael Young, a man who could've headed for higher ground years ago, stuck it out, and now he's in the postseason for the first time. Our starting ace is a man who is so taken for granted and so underappreciated that he has been on four teams in the past 16 months. That man is Cliff Lee, or as The Reverend Paul Revere likes to call him, The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, as well as his favorite Phillie of all-time, despite Lee only being a Phillie for three months. I could go on and on, but I don’t wanna be a homer, so I’ll stop here.
Ed’s Braves are in the postseason, as well as The Rev’s Phillies, Phil's Giants, and Crazy Joe, Joslin, and Terita’s Yankees, so we all have a vested interest in this thing. The Rev wants the Phillies to get back to the World Series and atone for their showing from last year. Ed wants his Braves to send Bobby Cox out the right way, and I just want the Rangers to do as well as they can. The one thing The Rev, Ed, and I will agree on though is we don’t want the Yanks to repeat. It doesn’t matter who beats them; they just can’t be there in the end.
If a game is being played in your city, go check one out, and if you can’t, watch one on TV. There’s always the potential to see something crazy, and instead of waiting for a 30 for 30 to relive it, just tune in as it happens, and check it out in real time. There’s honestly nothing else like it. Here’s to baseball in October. Let the games begin.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!