Quick. When was the last time a Texas team won the World Series?
If almost never was your answer, then you are wrong, baseball breath. Since the World Series started in 1902, teams from Texas have won zip, zero, or zilch.
One WS appearance in 107 years by the state of Texas is listed. Phil Garner’s Astros lost to Ozzie Guillen’s South Siders in 2005.
Think fast. When was the last time an African-American manager won the World Series?
Ron Washington hopes to join both lists, and he has a monster of a hitting team to help.
Back in July, I predicted the Rangers would upset the Yankees. My Yankees friends laughed.
They ain’t laughing now. I told them Texas had too much hitting.
The pitching ain’t too bad, either. Cliff Lee’s cut fastball speaks for itself in three different languages: Strikes one, two, and three.
The Giants get home field advantage because the NL All-Stars won the game this year, the first time since Arizona had it in 2001.
Thank manager Joe Girardi for keeping A-Rod on the bench in the All-Star Game.
Will the first African-American manager in Rangers history deliver their first World Series title?
He will have to go through chilly California to do it.
Christened for the 2000 season, AT&T Park sits on San Francisco Bay at 24 Willie Mays Plaza. China Basin, aka McCovey Cove, is part of the Bay just beyond right field. The ballpark was once one of the largest 802.11b wireless hotspots in the world.
Playing there over the years, Texas is colder than a Frisco Fourth of July; they have yet to win a game in nine tries. They are 0-11 anywhere in Frisco going back to Candlestick Park.
The pitcher-friendly ballpark on the waterfront is prime Frisco real estate, and home runs may be minimalized.
The general description of this matchup is that Texas has plenty pop, while Frisco has plenty pitching.
Which team closes the deal before foreclosure kicks in?
Seven Rangers batted over .300 in the ALCS against the Yankees. That is more than the legendary Gas House Gang, the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals, who had five hitters batting at least .300 for the regular season.
Baseball stingers Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz have their eyes on the ball.
The Giants had four batters over .300 in the NLCS against Philly, including pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, who was one-for-three.
San Francisco’s starters posted a 2.92 earned-run average against the vaunted Phillies. Texas’ starters were at 5.36 against the Yankees.
What about team defense, you ask?
Vlad the Baseball Impaler started 16 regular season outfield games. Right fielder for Game 1, Guerrero once owned baseball’s most feared field gun. Now is he a liability next to one of the best center fielders in the game?
Defensive insurance was Wash’s forté as Oakland’s third base and infield coach.
Young was a shortstop who made way for Elvis Andrus—a Wash favorite. Rangers broadcasters questioned Andrus' ability last season. No more. He catalyzes high-scoring Texas on offense and defense.
One could say he eats bases, and base-hits, like Lassie being fed at first.
Wash came to dinner in the ALCS and left with a doggy bag of gourmet wins.
A pennant and an American League championship trophy later, Sidney Poitier should throw out the first WS pitch. Poitier started in the classic Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? with Katharine Hepburn. Google it.
The Giants defense is suspect, especially behind the plate. The Rangers should be able to run at will on Lincecum/Posey. But they have to get on base, first, second and last.
Cito Gaston was the last African-American manager to the win the World Series, in 1993. Ron Washington knows that because I told him in a previous article.
This will be the Bay Area’s first World Series article since Barry Bonds’ squad lost to Anaheim in 2002. San Francisco has gone from a hitting team to a pitching team since he retired.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy starts quirky ace Tim Lincecum tonight in Game 1. Few Ranger have faced Lincecum, whose stuff is filthy. If someone thinks there is a better fantasy baseball pitcher over the last two seasons, then I say he is delusional.
Lincecum may be the best in real baseball, too. Fireballer Matt Cain will ably toe the rubber on Thursday night.
Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner are set to start in Arlington. I would have started Sanchez in Game 2. He pitched a no-hitter at AT&T Park in July 2009.
Texas owns the road this postseason, and they also shined at home after the first game of the ALCS.
Lee, CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis are the probable starters for the Rangers.
Will Lee humiliate Giants hitters?
I have been a hit with my bold predictions, and this one is no different.
Prediction: Hamilton will help Wash attain managerial glory by hammering Frisco’s right field wall. Arlington, near Dallas, experienced flooding this year. McCovey Cove will flood with baseballs fired off the Rangers bats. Texas wins 4-2.