I really don't know where to begin on this one, perhaps because I haven't fully come to grips with the emotions yet. Since last night, since being in that stadium and watching the Giants celebrate, since walking back to my car and still hearing some celebrating, I have run through almost every emotion.
Depression: The Rangers lose the World Series in five games, we lost at home, and baseball is officially closed and done for 2010.
Pride: The Texas Rangers won the AL West, won a playoff game, won a playoff series, won the AL Pennant, won over the two "over-hyped" AL East powerhouses, made it to the World Series, and even won a World Series game. Even after losing, to hear the 52,000+ standing and applauding our Texas Rangers as they left the field, and then—even while the Giants were celebrating—the stadium chanted "Let's Go Rangers!"
Annoyed: As dominate as we were over the Yankees, that's how the Giants were to us. We were outscored 29-12, and we won one of only five games. Seriously, where did the offense go? Props to the Giants, but we freaking disappeared.
Excitement: Unlike the mid and late-90s Rangers, these aren't end of their career type players. We are youngsters that are just breaking onto the scene. The experiences that the Rangers have accrued this October and November 1st can go a long way in the seasoning of these guys. Were we really this good, or just a solid team that overachieved and peaked at the right time? I'm not going to answer that today, but even if you believe in the latter, that's fine. We are here to stay, so get used to October Rangers baseball.
Frustration: 12 runs in five games; that's just over two per game. Hamilton batting 2-20 in the World Series. The disappearance of Young when we needed him. The holes the size of Texas in Vlad's bat. The desertion from "Wash Ball" (our five runs in the final four games all came off of home runs). Getting shutout twice!
Sadness: The season is over. With all the ups and downs that this season had, it is now over, and it's sad to have to move on because we have all enjoyed this ride so much. The season ended with a loss, at home, in the World Series, and with the winning team celebrating on our field. (Yeah it might be a little weird to see a grown man tearing up as he walks through a parking lot to his car but, ugh, it is not fun to see your opponent celebrate on your field).
There are other emotions as well as I'm sure all of you have felt similarly to me during this ride.
Of course I do want to take a moment to congratulate the San Francisco Giants; they were the better team this series. They will, and should, forever be known as the best baseball team in 2010. They have earned that distinction. I tip my cap to Brian Sabean, Bruce Bochy, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Brian Wilson, Aubrey Huff, Edgar Renteria, Buster Posey and Cody Ross. Congrats, job well done. Y'all earned it and we will see you again soon.
Baseball is over, and some might decry my lack of vocabulary right now, but the best words to describe this feeling for me is "this sucks." Seriously, it sucks, baseball is over.
Last night after the loss my dad told me that now I can move on to cheering for the Mavs. My response: "There are other sports!" I have been so wrapped up in this Rangers season—and postseason—run that I have not even begun to process that the NHL season is like nearly a month old, the NBA's started last week (and apparently LeBron, Wade, and Bosh play together), the Cowboys are 1-6, and the Longhorns have lost three straight home football games (that includes Iowa State and Baylor). All I can say to all of that is that now I miss baseball even more.
It is a little depressing to know that the season is over and the building for the 2011 season has already begun. There are many questions to ask, there are many decisions to be made and in due time I will touch on each and everyone of these as will my fellow writers. Two years ago, the hot topic was moving Young to third to make room for Andrus, and last year it was C.J. moving from a setup role to one of the top starters on the team.
Catchers and pitchers report in about three and a half months, and between now and then the make up of this team is going to change. There won't be tons and tons of changes, but there will likely be some significant changes. It's the first time in a long time that we have an ownership group that not only "has a clue," but also truly cares about not only winning, but about the fan base. And y'all with have to trust me on this one, but that is a great sign and it's only going to get better and better.
2010 is in the books, and I for one am extremely proud of the Texas Rangers team this season. Though it did not end how we wanted it to, how many of us on day one of Spring Training honestly believed that this season was going to play out this way.
Back in February, had you told me the Rangers season wasn't going to end in October, I would have been depressed right away believing we wouldn't make the postseason and/or win the AL West. But in fact that statement would have been true because these Rangers played through October and finished in November.
Keep you heads up, keep your antlers held high, and I give you one last CLAW...at least until February 2011!
"It's amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares about who gets credit."
- Blanton Collier