Texas Rangers Making Progress as Team Turns Page on Franchise Futility

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Texas Rangers Making Progress as Team Turns Page on Franchise Futility
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The 2010 World Series concluded in rather anticlimactic fashion on Monday night as Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants hoisted the holy grail of baseball after just five games.

As for the Rangers? As manager Ron Washington would say, "That's just the way baseball go."

But for as much depth as there is in Washington's sentiments—and if you've ever played baseball, you know there is—perhaps the Rangers and their fans should look to Scottish author Samuel Smiles for consolation.

Smiles once said, "Progress, of the best kind, is comparatively slow."

Sure, the Ranger loss is an absolute heart breaker for a community that now has to endure ten more weeks of Cowboy football, but the Rangers will learn a lot from their World Series failure.

If the surprise 2010 season was any indication, the Rangers could get used to October baseball.

Rangers' GM Jon Daniels had gone on record several times prior to the 2010 season saying that this would be the year the Rangers emerged as a playoff contender.

Was he ever right.

And remember, the keyword in the statement Daniels made several times was "emerge," as in "We'll be here awhile."

When looking at the Ranger organization from top to bottom, they are set for years to come.

They have a stable ownership group for the first time in almost two years.

They have a minor league system that is the envy of the Major Leagues.

They have stars in Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton and Michael Young.

They have young players like Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus, Tommy Hunter and Mitch Moreland under contract for years to come. And they're already playing in the Majors AND they're under contract for the foreseeable future.

But most importantly: The Rangers learned how to win.

They learned how to win in the ALDS with small ball and timely pitching. They beat the Yankees by scoring early and late, while not giving into the pressures of a Game 1 collapse. And while they lost four of five to the Giants, they learned what it takes to win in the World Series.

No longer will the Rangers be looked at as the cellar dweller of the AL West. Rather, they will be viewed as the team who took out both of the top dogs in the AL East. They will be viewed as a team that can be a player in the free-agent market.

And most importantly, they will be viewed as team to beat.

So while losing in the first World Series in franchise history hurts, remember, we all tripped and fell before we learned to tie our shoes, but when tied, we never stopped walking.

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