Texas Rangers to Return to the World Series

I've said it once (recently in fact) and I’ll say it again—I love these Texas Rangers.

Like many people I watch sports because they remind me of a kinder, gentler time; when the game was just a good excuse to hang out with your friends.

Now it’s a little different. We still wear jerseys and we still gather for the game with friends. We don’t drink a lot of Gatorade and water during games anymore, but a more age appropriate beverage. None of us fit into our game pants anymore, but we all still know how to properly wear a rally cap.

That feeling of friendship, camaraderie, and nostalgia will now get to live on for a couple more weeks as we watch the Texas Rangers return to the World Series after defeating the Detroit Tigers in Game 6 of the ALCS Saturday night. The win gave them the 4-2 in the ALCS and a return trip to the Series

What makes watching these guys even better is that they are people you want to cheer for.

Who can’t back a guy like Josh Hamilton? The demons that the man has overcome would be impressive if he just got up and breathed in an out on a daily basis. When I read about him trying to apologize to the Tampa Bay staff that was still in town (when they faced the Rays in the ALDS) I thought of one word—class.

Saturday night’s hero nearly wasn’t a part of the team this year. Michael Young, an integral part of the 2010 team that lost to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series, asked to be traded after the team acquired Adrian Beltre.

His feelings of betrayal were understandable. Here you had a guy that had done whatever the team had asked for the sake of the club, and they appeared to be jerking him around. Rather than be despondent and give less than his best effort, he turned in an all-star caliber season.

I would say that it was topped off with a 3-6 night that included two doubles, a home run, and five RBIs, but we have a few more games still to go.

Who could forget Nelson Cruz? If ALCS play continues into the World Series, we might have a modern day Senor Octubre on our hands. During the ALCS he was 8-22 (all extra base hits) with an ALCS record six home runs—including the first ever walk off grand slam in post season history-- and 13 RBIs. Is it any surprise that he was named the 20111 ALCS MVP?

"It was his series," Rangers first-base and outfield coach Gary Pettis said. "What can you say? He did it all. He played defense. He swung the bat. He drove in runs. We're glad he's on our team."

Like any fan base is when their team makes it to the championship game, the Texas Rangers fan base is on Cloud Nine right about now. However, like the players, they have expectations when it comes to how the team will fare in the World Series, whether they play the St. Louis Cardinals or Milwaukee Brewers. Team president and owner, Nolan Ryan, put it perfectly when he said:

"We were so excited last year and didn't know what we were capable of doing in the Series. This year we're more focused and more determined because we came away a little disappointed.  

“This is what you play for. You play to get into the World Series and you play to win it."
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