Saturday, October 23, 2010

Destiny's Child

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Once upon a time, the Texas Rangers (1996, 1998, 1999) were 1-9 against the New York Yankees in the postseason.

Those were the only 3 postseason appearances ever for the team formerly known as the Washington Senators. In all 3 postseason appearances the Yankees ousted them out of the playoffs in the first round.

The Rangers won their first-ever playoff game and then went on to lose 9 in a row to the Yankees. It was a disastrous introduction to the postseason for Texas.

In 2001, the Rangers signed Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez to a 10-year, $252 million contract-- the richest ever in sports history.

The goal: The Rangers hoped to build a dynasty around the best slugger in baseball.

The result: The Rangers were in disarray and A-Rod's contract was a major factor in their insurmountable financial problems which eventually lead them to file for bankruptcy. Out of desperation they traded A-Rod and a large-chunk of his contract to the financially-rich Yankees.

Thus began the post-A-Rod era in Texas.

They hired small-ball manager Ron Washington and the days of depending on the high-priced big sluggers were over. Good-bye Juan Gonzalez, good-bye Ivan Rodriguez and good-bye A-Rod.

Hello Josh Hamilton, hello Elvis Andrus, hello Ian Kinsler and hello good starting pitching.

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Texas slowly built a contender on pitching, defense and manufacturing runs. As TBS broadcaster Ron Darling put it, "these aren't your parents' Rangers, these are the new-look Rangers".

The result: Texas makes their 4th-ever playoff appearance in 2010. They win their first-ever postseason series against the Tampa Bay Rays (3-2) in the ALDS and then defeat their arch-nemesis--the A-Rod led Yankees--4-2 in the ALCS.

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After 50 years and two different names in two different cities-- it has FINALLY happened.

The Washington Senators/Texas Rangers are in their first-ever World Series.

....And it was only fitting that A-Rod STRUCK OUT to make the last out which put the Rangers in the Fall Classic.

Is that destiny or what?!

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