It wasn’t that long ago that the Texas Rangers were at the top of the AL.
Behind Ron Washington, they won back-to-back pennants in 2010 and 2011 and reached the World Series both years as well. And while the opposing NL teams differed, the results were the same. The Rangers lost both series in heartbreaking fashion and subsequently lost the ace that had led them to the playoffs that very same year as well.
The losses were really defining for the Rangers, especially the second of the two. That is because with two outs in the ninth inning of the do-or-die Game 6, Texas allowed the St. Louis Cardinals to tie the game, losing it in extra innings and then go on to lose Game 7 and the championship.
Numb isn’t even the word to describe the feeling that went through that clubhouse. And for the team that is the oldest in MLB without a World Series title, the drought would continue at least one more year.
Entering the 2013 season, the Rangers drought sits at 52 years without a championship. They are the last team since the 1991-92 Atlanta Braves to lose consecutive World Series and are one of just two teams in MLB history to lose the championship after recording 26 of the 27 outs needed to win.
In short, the Rangers have been as close as a team could possibly be to that ultimate glory. But they have yet to experience that success, to taste that champagne and to parade down the streets in front of their cheering fans. Instead, they have watched as other teams have done just that.
For the Rangers, winning the World Series would mean everything. That is not to say that it won’t matter to any of the other teams, but for Texas, because of all of the history, especially that in recent memory, there really is so much riding on this postseason.
This could be the year for the Rangers too. They are eighth in MLB in runs scored and seventh in batting average. Their starting staff is 10th in ERA and ninth in BAA. They have a bona fide ace to turn to in Yu Darvish, who very well should get AL Cy Young considerations.
The Rangers aren’t the best team entering the playoffs but in the end, they haven’t had success as the favorites. Maybe the underdog role will suit them well.
Ultimately, Texas does have the talent and they certainly had the motivation to get this done. A lot of players on the roster are carry-overs from those two World Series teams, and I think it is obvious that these guys especially want this.
The passion is there for sure. but the play needs to follow. If it does, there is no reason to believe that the Rangers won’t be able to finally bring home the coveted championship.
Marilee Gallagher is a baseball writer for RantSports.com. You can follow her on Twitter @MGallagher17 like her page on Facebook, or join her network on Google.