Friday, October 28, 2011

Open Wound Thoughts On The 2011 World Series

Well that didn't go the way we had planned.  With a 3-run lead in the 8th inning and a reliable bullpen lined up, it seemed like this was going to actually happen.  With one out and no one on in the 9th I was almost certain it was going to happen.  Then everything else happened.  I don't even want to write down what happened.  We all saw it.  I'm just glad what happened in Game 6 happened in Game 6 and not Game 7.  Game 7 was easier to swallow.

Metroplex sports fans have had a great ride the last year.  Two trips to the World Series and an NBA Championship.  The Cowboys were disappointing last year, but at least it got Wade fired.  That isn't much consolation right now.

For me, the Rangers are my team.  In my house we root for the Rangers, Cowboys, Mavericks, Stars (kind of), and Aggies.  But it's those Rangers that are the love of my sports life.  From the first time I went to my first game when I was 7 years old I have loved that team.  An Aggies national championship (in football, not women's basketball or track) would thrill me to no end, but it's a Rangers World Series that would leave me feeling like I had accomplished everything I needed to see in my sports lifetime.

And that is what hurts the most.  It's what really hurt the most last night when I woke up at 4 AM thinking about that 9th inning pitch to David Effing Freese.  The Rangers could very easily make it back next year, but what if they run into Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee?  Are we looking at the two-thousand-and-teens version of the 1990s Atlanta Braves?  They were a lock for the playoffs, but every year but one ended up in disappointment.  And I realize that this is the Rangers we're talking about and that we don't need to get picky, but like the Mavericks, once you're good for a while, those excuses of "but wait, we should just be happy we're in this situation" arguments aren't valid.

I mentioned to a friend of mine that is a Phillies fan that the Mavericks collapse of 2006 made the 2011 championship so much sweeter.  He reminded me that his heartbreak from 1993 wasn't redeemed until 2008.  Boston fans from 1986 had to wait 18 years to finally realize a championship. So while it's great that the Rangers are a legitimate and relevant team - and should be for years to come - it's not a fun thought that I might be 50 before the Game 6 demons are exorcised.  My dad will be in his 70s.  My grandfather will be pushing 100.  I almost deleted those last two sentences, they hurt so much to write. 

I love the Rangers, and I especially love this Rangers team.  It's so much fun to root for good guys.  That's one of the reasons that already, just an hour after the last out, I'm coming to grips with the loss.  The Cardinals seem like a good bunch of dudes too.  Much different than if we had to watch the Heat celebrate a championship.  While I can't wait for pitchers and catchers to report, I am looking forward to a sports-break, where I just care about my teams on Saturdays and Sundays.  I'm even thankful for the NBA lockout.  I need a rest.  A full year's worth of playoff intensity has shortened my stomach's life by a decade. 

I fully expect the Rangers to be big time players in the free agency market.  They need a first baseman and there are two great ones out there.  And Boston and NY are set at first base.  The Rangers need an ace and there is a great one out there.  For the first time in team history the Rangers have an A+ ownership, an A+ front office, and A+ talent on the field.  They are a great team to root for, and 2012 should be fun as well.  I just hope we can get that last strike.

1 comment:

  1. Just gives them a reason to go back next year! What a fun season and exciting postseason.