World Series 2011: 8 Ways a Title Would Change Everything for the Texas Rangers
It was most assuredly a letdown to all Texas Rangers fans—as well as baseball fans in general—when Mother Nature just wouldn't let Game 6 of the World Series get underway on Wednesday.
With Game 6 moved to Thursday at Busch Stadium in St Louis, not even the rain-swept dreariness can put a damper on the Texas Rangers' mood, or the mood of their fanbase.
Wet or not, Wednesday or Thursday, the Texas Rangers are just one win away from doing something that hasn't been done in the franchise's 50 years of existence—they're just 27 outs from a World Series Championship.
No amount of bad weather can dampen that fact.
After making the World Series for the first time in franchise history just one year ago, the Rangers were certainly left with a sour taste in their mouth after the San Francisco Giants shattered Cliff Lee's aura of invincibility and the Rangers' hopes of a title as well, cooling their hot bats by winning 4-of-5.
After being down in this year's Fall Classic, two games to one, the Rangers battled back from the shellacking of a 16-7 Pujols-fest to win two straight. Now, they have two chances to bring the World Series crown back to the American League, and into the Lone Star State.
The St. Louis Cardinals will look to stop this, of course. But if the Rangers can pull it off, it will change things in Texas. Here's a look at how the possibility of World Series Championship will impact not just the Texas Rangers, but many other factors as well.
No. 8: It's Great for the Local Economy
As we all know, sports is not just a wonderful source of entertainment, but it also supplies an excellent amount of escapism when things aren't going so great.
Unemployment rates have skyrocketed in recent years, and the recession that we all thought we might be sneaking out of a year ago, is back and rearing its ugly head.
Say what you want about Texas fans, about their fickleness or whatever, but they will whole-heartedly back their favorite teams during the good times.
Sound silly? Well, the Tampa Bay Rays have been pretty great too in recent years, and there sure are more than a few empty seats at Tropicana Field.
We saw it recently with the Dallas Mavericks, and got a touch of it last fall with the Rangers' first World Series run, but the excitement generated by the local boys making good is outstanding for the economy.
I've personally never witnessed so many of the good denizens of Denton County sporting their Texas Rangers caps...
Oh, and good luck finding a "Napoli" or "Cruz" jersey, t-shirt or whatever. Sold out everywhere. Trust me, I've been looking.
No. 7: Makes It Easier to Land Quality Free Agents
Every coach of a major college football team knows that the best key to recruiting is the success of your team.
That's why I'm a little confused as to why UT is so far behind the rest of the Big 12's best.
Generally, however, if you put a quality product out on the field, it's going to make it a much more attractive destination for free agents to seek out.
Who wouldn't want to play for the Texas Rangers if they win it all this year?
Heck, C.J. Wilson has even proved that starting pitchers can have success while pitching in the hitting-friendly confines of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The Texas Rangers' recent postseason success will increase the interest of pitchers as well as offensive juggernauts such as Prince Fielder.
Heck, if the Rangers can land Fielder, they may not need any pitching to replace C.J. Wilson.
No. 6: Builds That Fanbase
From Tony La Russa's bullpen issues in "phone-gate," to extreme coverage on the topic from media all over the nation, it's no secret that the Texas Rangers faithful are turning up in droves and making their presence felt in Arlington, TX.
As mentioned previously, Rangers merchandise adorns smiling fans all over the Lone Star State.
It used to be I was the only guy in the local tavern/bar/restaurant sporting the "T" of my beloved Rangers proudly. Not so anymore, and it's a welcome sight.
Every time the Rangers get that much closer to a World Series title, countless numbers of people become fans.
Call them "bandwagon" fans if you want (hey, at some point we're all bandwagon fans, unless you know your favorite team right out of the womb), but all new adaptors to the glorious ways of Rangers Nation increase that fanbase exponentially.
And that's a great thing.
No. 5: Means Less Brian Wilson Commercials
Here's a way that a Texas Rangers World Series Championship can make all of us (even St. Louis Cardinals fans) happy:
It will mean (hopefully) the end of Brian Wilson's ridiculously long 15 minutes of fame.
Get out of here Wilson, your beard has become as appealing as an extreme close-up of Mark McGwire's neck.
No. 4: C.J. Wilson Will Re-Sign with the Rangers
C.J. Wilson, considered by most to be the premiere starting pitcher in the free-agent class of 2012, would most likely sign for a reasonable sum to stay with the Texas Rangers.
He has said publicly that he is happy in Texas, and how winning a championship is a top priority. So if the Texas Rangers win the World Series title, they should be able to re-sign Wilson.
Unless, of course, he doesn't truly care about winning and he was just flapping his gums.
No. 3: C.J. Wilson Won't Re-Sign with the Rangers
If C.J. Wilson ends up being in it for the money—a la Mark Teixeira—there's no better time to go for the dough than after you've won the big one. After all, you already got the ultimate prize. Plus, that's $20 million a year the Texas Rangers can spend on somebody else.
And, as mentioned previously, the appeal now to play for the Rangers will be at an all-time high. I mean, what's the worst case scenario here?
The Rangers screw up big time, and sign a pitcher who fails to win one game in the postseason?
You never want that to happen, of course, and without Wilson's stellar '10 and '11 regular season campaigns, the Rangers likely won't make the postseason—but seriously, an "ace" needs to win past September, too.
Besides, why pay No. 1 starter money for postseason exploits barely equivalent of a No. 4?
No. 2: Proves the Rangers Can Win the Big One
After making so many strides (winning their first postseason series, exorcising the Yankees' demons and making it to the World Series) during the 2010 postseason, not winning the ultimate prize was still a letdown.
After all, if you make it that far, you want to win the whole dang thing.
This will show the baseball world that the Texas Rangers aren't just a good team, but a great team. It will prove they can win the "Big One."
Besides, nobody wants to be the Buffalo Bills of baseball.
No. 1: Dallas Cowboys
Continued success by the Texas Rangers—especially winning a World Championship—would have an unbelievably positive impact on Texas.
It may even make North Texas a "baseball town." Well, the Dallas Cowboys haven't done much in recent years, having won one solitary playoff game since 1996.
Turning DFW into a certifiable baseball town is one heck of a tall order. Texas is a state so football-crazed that some high school coaches are viewed as demigods, and gridiron greats are worshipped for all eternity.
A World Series title might just change that...or, worse case scenario, maybe, just maybe, it will make the Dallas Cowboys step up their game.
After all, they're a distant third to the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers at this point.