Monday, October 10, 2016

What Ranger Baseball Means To Me

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You all will have to grant me a little levity for this rather 4th grade book report title sounding blog post, but it's the morning after another particularly soul-crushing loss by your Texas Rangers and I feel the need to vent a little bit. 

Before we get into all that: Hey! How's it going? Long time no see, huh? We've been pretty busy with new jobs and t-ball games now and just generally watching our children grow up before our very eyes. So, you know, normal stuff. 

But I chose this subject matter today because often times I think back to an earlier point in my life as a sports fan, where I miss the days of not caring whether my team made it to the playoffs. I didn't care about things like winning the division or clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs - all I cared about was whether we won or lost that day. Each day was like a little miniature Game 7 of the World Series to me. 

Then there are times when I reminisce about not caring about sports at all. When all that mattered to me was how long I would have to sit in the backseat of my parents light blue Oldsmobile 98 listening to Christopher Cross sing "Sailling" while on my way to swim lessons. 

There were two times in my life both of those feelings reached peak emotional levels at the same time for me: One was in Game 6, 2011 World Series, and the other was last night. The only reason last year's ALDS exit at the hand of the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista isn't also a part of that list is that I was at work at the time and was distracted by my job thankfully.

But last night....

I'm not so much sad over losing, because with the way that series had gone if the game remained tied into extra innings it was almost a foregone conclusion for me. But the way that team played, and lost - badly - is what really sticks in my craw. Best record in the American League? Didn't mean squat. Home fiend advantage? Didn't mean squat. Didn't feel like squat either what with two home games in the middle of the day at home that nobody cared about or watched on television because they were in the middle of the day.

What it did mean was that our pitching, and our hitting, both failed us at the absolute worst time. Sure there were red flags up about the shortcomings of our pitching all throughout the month of September, but the offensive disappearance was pretty ugly and deflating at the same time. If you had to pick an MVP of a series that you lost, it'd probably be Alex Claudio. Or maybe Matt Bush for basically telling the rest of the team last night, "hey since the rest of you guys can't pitch worth a crap just leave this to me."

So there it goes. Like a floater in the toilet bowl, another season flushed down the drain. 

And really, as much as I have just ranted and raved about what this season means to me, I think Mel and I would both agree that we're more sad for our 3-year old who had to wake up this morning to the news that there's no more Rangers to watch this year. No more going to the ballpark. No more Ian Desmond (her favorite). She probably doesn't understand all that right now. Plus we can still watch other games or MLB Network as much as we want to or will let her. But until next April, it's all over for her and for us. 

There's a guy I follow on Twitter for TCU related sports tweets who is a big Red Sox fan, and I think it's the 2004 World Series he's made mention of going in and waking his son or daughter up to watch the final out. This is something that I've dreamed about being able to do with our girls one day and how it would play out. Would I run in screaming like a mad man? Would I sneak in quietly and just kind of scoop them up out of bed and carry them out to the TV half asleep? 

Would they be 21 and in college, wanting to know why their Dad was calling to bug them so late because they're busy hanging out with their way cooler friends? 

Who knows.

But for now, it'll have to wait. Again.