In one of the more dramatic World Series in baseball history, the Texas Rangers were denied their first-ever championship by the St. Louis Cardinals. The seven-game series provided both epic entertainment and frustrating despair for Rangers fans everywhere. Here’s a sample of the reactions and observations made by Daily Texan sports writers:
It was Josh Hamilton’s “Disney Moment”.
His two-run homer in the bottom of 10th put the Rangers up by two in Game 6. It was the perfect way to cap off Hamilton’s career comeback, after the former number one overall pick was away from baseball for three years because of drug issues.
But it wasn’t to be for the Hamilton or the Rangers as the Cardinals scraped their way back once again to tie the game and eventually win it on a David Freese walk-off homerun in the 11th.
The series was tied but the outcome of the seventh game was a foregone conclusion. When upsets and comebacks like these happen, the losing team is mentally and emotionally done.
The Rangers went out in Game 7 with little more than a whimper and watched another team celebrate a championship for the second straight year.
There were plenty of things to blame for the Rangers loss. Most will point to Game 6.
But it really comes down to the fact that this team could not get it done in the clutch. Whether it was Ron Washington’s questionable managing decisions, the bullpen’s blown saves, the defense’s terrible showing, or the offense’s inability to manufacture runs in crunch time, there were many things that caused the Rangers to settle for an AL championship ring again.
This will not be the Rangers’ last shot at a title. Their lineup is young, the group of starters is only going to get better, and their farm system is deep.
But the real question for is, will Texas ever be able to get over the hump?
Best case scenario they turn into the Braves of the 90’s make the playoffs every year and eventually break through. But unfortunately, comparisons are being drawn to a different 90’s power - the Buffalo Bills, who ost four straight Super Bowls.
Which comparison will prove to be more accurate? Only time will tell.
Being from Austin, I root just as hard for the Texas Rangers as I do for the Houston Astros. Since I support what many like to call the “Last-ros,” I have seen my fair share of excruciating collapses. But Game 6 of this year’s World Series topped them all. When Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz hit back-to-back homeruns in that epic contest, I thought it was over. But the combination of blowing multiple two-run leads, having the Cardinals down to their final strike twice, and seeing an heroic Josh Hamilton 10th-inning 2-run bomb go to waste made for the most dramatic but most heartbreaking game I’ve ever seen. I was pulling hard for the Rangers in Game 7 but, deep down, I knew St. Louis had already won the series.
In season where the Philadelphia Phillies were predestined World Series Champions, the accomplishments the Texas Rangers achieved speaks volumes. Last season, when Cliff Lee bolted out of Arlington after a brief stint with the Rangers, many expected Texas to return to its role of little brother to the Anaheim Angels in the American League West. The Rangers silenced their critics by accruing one of the major league’s top five ERAs, proving to be more than the team can hit - it can pitch as well. While Ranger ace and free agent C.J. Wilson is probably headed to the Yankees this offseason, young pitchers like Derek Holland will fill his role, just like Wilson filled Lee’s in 2011. Fans can expect the Rangers to continue to make deep playoff runs in the future under manager Ron Washington, who gets the most out of his players.
For me its frustration. We needed one win in two games. In Game 6, we needed just one more out, twice, to win it all. With the level of obsession for sports in the state of Texas, one national championship isn’t enough. The Mavericks did their part but with the Cowboys bipolar on the field and the dis-Astros still in a midlife crisis, the Rangers were our only hope. To come so close to winning it all twice is just crushing. Next year, though, next year the Rangers will make it happen. Next year will be the year. Third time’s the charm, right?
-Sara Beth Purdy