There have been many good times in Arlington. We can’t forget the mid to late 90’s with Rusty, Pudge, Juando and the Dr. of Defense. Those teams set the wheels in motion. They proved that winning baseball in Arlington, Texas can exist and that a football driven area of the country will support a competitive baseball team. Those first playoff appearances were some of the best times I remember watching this franchise. One of my favorite memories is the second playoff game against the Yankees in New York when Juan Gonzalez hit 2 home runs. I can still hear Bob Costas,
“George Steinbrenner might want to check the deed, because it’s Juan Gonzalez who owns the Yankees these days.”
Flash forward back to the here and now. Since 2007, when Wash was hired as the manager, the Rangers have finished 4th, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd and are currently sitting in 1st again. There have been 3 straight playoff appearances, including 2 trips to the World Series. That is (as of today) 598 wins, 2 AL pennants and an average finish of 1.9. Despite the overall results of the past few years, we really should just sit back, smile, drink a beer and appreciate what this franchise has become.
We’ve seen players carry the team on their back for months on end. We’ve seen players almost win an ALCS by themselves. Cliff Lee was amazing. Alex Rodriguez is forever frozen on that Feliz breaking ball in our minds. Kinsler and Andrus in Game 2 of the 2011 World Series. Derek Holland in Game 4. Benji Molina’s cycle. NAP-O-LI. Adrian Beltre’s 3 home runs in Tampa. The Mitch Moreland Game 3 home run. Michael Young. Yu Darvish.
We argue about Yu’s ace status. We argue about whether Mitch Moreland has a future here. We argue about what should be done with Profar or Kinsler. Arguments that didn’t happen in the past. When was the last time we argued about a pitcher being a true ace of the Texas Rangers? While our arguments are based on the fact we want this team to succeed, we should take note that these verbal/digital squabbles actually matter now. In 1987 nobody complained about the leverage situations Dale Mohorcic was used in. Why? Because nobody gave an S.
This could very well be a long run of competitive Rangers baseball. This is fun. This is what it’s about. THIS is the “Golden Era” of Rangers baseball.
These…are the best of times (with more to come). These…are amazing players wearing Ranger uniforms. These…are players who want to play here. These…are very bright people in the front office. These…are great fans. These…are not your father’s Texas Rangers.
I wish Johnny Oates and Mark Holtz were here to see it.