If you had expected I might have posted something this October, you were wrong, but there was a good reason for it: the Rangers were winning.
Not that I wanted them to lose, of course, but because of that craziest of sports things: superstition. You see, I hadn’t posted in a while, and they’d been winning, and the longer it went and the more I wanted to say something, the more I knew I couldn’t. If I wrote something, they’d lose, and it would be all my fault.
Last week, on Wednesday afternoon, I went to Academy and bought some items. Found a really nice gray-blue World Series hat, claw and antlers and a Rangers logo on it. Wore it during Game 1 and Game 2. Took it off for Game 3. Yeah, superstition. I guess I can wear it again now.
Went to Game 4, which, for the amount of money I had to pay on StubHub, was a rip. Especially given the result. And even though I was way in the depths of the third deck past the foul pole (couldn’t even see the center or right fielders at the start of each play), I was disappointed at the crowd. There were occasional chants of Lets Go Rangers, but they were very much half-hearted. When I read Jamey Newberg’s comments about the crowd this morning, I was very much nodding my head. People seemed to be there just to say they’d been to a World Series game, like they knew what was going to happen so it was just the experience they wanted. I wanted that, but I wanted a win too. If we’d won yesterday, we’d still be going tomorrow.
Which leads to a few other things. Like, why didn’t Cliff start Game 4? We all knew Tommy Hunter wasn’t going to work out. Didn’t know the offense was going to disappear though. A whole bunch of bad at-bats. At this point I’m supposed to say something about how it was great pitching from the Giants, but screw them. They won.
Another thought from the playoffs: taunting. There’s a fine line between celebrating your team’s win and taunting someone else’s loss. Yankees fans jump across that line all the time. There’s only one thing I always think about when I hear about Roberto Alomar, and that’s taunting. In the World Series in 92 (I think), the Blue Jays beat the Braves, and Alomar was in the clubhouse doing the Tomahawk Chop and singing “no, no, nooooo” to the tune of the Braves chant of the time. That’s taunting, and that’s what has made him a jerk to me all these years. I bring that up for two reasons: in the Tampa series, a couple of the Tampa players were doing the claw as they won Game 4. If I knew who they were, I’d remember them for that. Glad they lost because of that. The other is the Giants fan as we left the ballpark Sunday night, standing on a table and waving a Giants flag. Sorry, pal, my memory of the 2010 World Series won’t be of your team outplaying and outpitching the Rangers, it’ll be of one jerk who has to ruin things for his whole team.
Not going to get into the manager right now. I’ll put it this way: he pretty much just got himself a job for life in Texas. And he by no means deserves it. I will maintain until the day I die that the team won in spite of him, not because of him. He might be a good motivator, he might be a good coach, but he’s a terrible field manager and a terrible decision maker. Just about every loss during this post season can be laid at his feet in one way or another, if not doing the actual deed then certainly not putting his team in a position to do well, or worse, taking them out of one. And how he could let Vlad take all those at-bats, when he was a shadow of himself from even just a couple of months ago? Certainly not hitting cleanup.
How come everyone thinks Nolan Ryan did such a great job turning this team around the last couple of years? All his ideas that got the pitching staff going. What was Mike Maddux, chopped liver? He’s now done it in two places, and you can bet he’ll be a guy with a job for life, and that will be deserved.
Struggling to think what we can do with Michael Young. He can’t keep embarrassing himself and the team out there at third. The number of balls he missed that were right by him (or right at him in a few cases) was astonishing. Does he have the power to play first, or DH? Can he move to the outfield? I don’t know, but Elvis can’t cover it all himself.
OK, final thought for the night: In the next few days you’ll hear a lot of people saying “oh well, at least they are the AL Champs for the first time ever”. To those people I say: Bite Me. Anyone who thinks that is not a sports fan. That’s like getting a silver medal, nobody cares. In my sporting fandom I’ve lost a number of finals (more than I’d care to think about), and in every case the trite “at least you were there” is like a punch to the gut. No, it’s not like a silver medal, it’s like getting a participation award. Tell that to the six year old who was crying himself to sleep tonight. Then try telling it to his dad, who was sitting there trying not to cry himself.