Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rangers Win! Rangers Win!

Baseball is unlike other American sports. It is not only something we play or watch being played, it is a part of who we are.

The giants of the game, the individual players and the teams, are a part of our folklore and mythology -- in both victory and defeat. Describing the American story without the game of baseball is just not possible.

The Texas Rangers are relative newcomers to this tale. But in our forty years of competition we have become accustomed to the defeat part of the baseball equation. We have flirted with success but never attained it.

Until last night.

Something happened during this recent put-the-team-up-for-sale fiasco. Nolan Ryan was given more responsibility, Jon Daniels became an experienced general manager, Ron Washington was hired and retained.

Maybe we didn't notice the stars align and good players being signed. We actually went looking for good pitching -- and found it -- and the found remained good even after they took the mound here. We're not used to that.

The Texas Rangers' win last night and the chance to win the American League pennant is one of those rare moments of baseball triumph, and we are all enjoying it. It is one of the highlights of my baseball enjoying life. A baseball equivalent to Surprised by Joy.

What is particularly satisfying for me is Ron Washington's old-school baseball strategy: solid pitching, aggressive base running, sacrifice at-bats. And the end of the steroids-era home run derby baseball.

So, to all the Texas Rangers' baseball people: office, coaches, players -- thank you, this city will enjoy your accomplishment for a long time.

It took us a few years to get there, but in baseball's way of the cross, that's just about right.



Thomas Wigington said...

Yep, the Rangers are finally stepping up and I couldn't be happier for them. The previous owner, Mr. Hicks, was not focused on the Rangers. He had too many irons in the fire. I'm glad he's gone and I'm glad Cuban didn't get the team.
Go Rangers!

Francis Shivone said...

Thomas -- Tonight's a big night. I'm nervous but enjoying this ride.