Monday, November 1, 2010

This is Madness

“'But I don’t want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
'Oh, you can’t help that,' said the Cat. 'We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.'
'How do you know I’m mad?' said Alice.
'You must be,” said the Cat. 'or you wouldn’t have come here.'”

Never mind that I just quoted Alice in Wonderland. Never mind that I haven't written in 8,000 years. It's 1:30 a.m. I've been up stirring and this is what you get.

Because I think it fits. We've all gone just a little (if not more) mad following this team this year. Between the sometimes egregious baserunning, the silent bats, the terrible defense at third base or the fact that the your colored dot lost for the 10th straight dot race, we all have our reasons.

The Rangers are in the World Series. If it ends with the Giants capping off an improbable season (maybe more so than ours. At least SOME experts thought the Rangers would actually make the playoffs) they'll say we should celebrate. They'll say we should enjoy it. They'll say to remember it it. 

I say the Rangers should of won. And not winning isn't OK. We've already celebrated. Between the filthy slider from Neftali Feliz against Alex Rodriguez and Elvis Andrus' soft single to left field against the Tim Lincecum, the Rangers have celebrated. We've celebrated. It was great, it was grand. But it isn't everything.

Sure, I sound like a rotten old curmudgeon (Note: I am. My mother has been calling me a cranky old man since I was in 6th grade) but I don't care. I want to win. If we don't win I'll be pissed. I know every other Ranger fan will be too, but I really won't care for the first person to tell me "Hey it was a good season!" after the Giants win.

And tonight was a sucker punch. It felt like my fiance dumped me at the alter for her second cousin and then started making out with him in front of my parents. That's how I feel. Does that make me sick? (Note: Yes) Do others feel how I feel? (Note: hopefully not) but all I can say is it sucks. Tonight was worse than the first two games by a long shot. At least we weren't at the 8th inning meltdown in Game 2. At least we weren't at Cliff Lee's shelling in Game 1. I was there tonight front and center. A crowd that was ready to burst. 

After Josh Hamilton reached on an error in the bottom of the 7th, Vlad stepped to the plate. Despite looking absolutely foolish in two earlier strikeouts, the crowd rose up. They remembered Game 6 of the ALCS. They remember Joe Girardi intentionally walking Hamilton...again. They remember the swing. They remember the emphatic 'claw.' They chanted his name

Vladdy! Vladdy! Vladdy!

The chant rang once again. Only a 3-0 San Francisco lead. One swing could cut it to one, with Nelson Cruz waiting. There was still life. The crowd keep chanting throughout the count.

Vladdy! Vladdy! Vladdy!

Hell, I even chanted. I try to keep my emotions in check while attending games as a fan because I don't want to look like an ass or curse in front of children. Those parents' glares are the worst. But I didn't care, everyone was chanting. It was the World Series. 

Then Vlad swung through a change up from Madison Bumgarner. "Swung" is probably to kind. It looked as if Vlad was trying to return a senior citizen's serve in  a game of badminton. A pathetic swing on a change up that floated right over the heart of the plate.

The crowd was done after that. We tired. But the Rangers were not scoring tonight, no matter how much we chanted. Vlad's demise over the second half and the postseason are greatly explored by much brighter minds than myself. I don't dare to read over the numbers again. 

The Rangers will recover. They have too. But the crowd has to recover too. Whenever I watch a game in person or on TV I always think of what I would make the lede for the story (I know, I know, I'm a big nerd.) Tonight I probably would of gone with something like this:

"On a night that celebrates ghosts, ghouls and goblins the Texas Ranger bats were more frightening than Frankenstein."

I told my Dad and a few friends about how I'm worried about tomorrow. Cliff Lee has never pitched well in Arlington. I don't know why I said or thought that. Maybe it's because his career 5.07 ERA in Arlington terrifies me. 

But then I looked at this year: 61.2 innings pitched, 2.92 ERA, 55 strikeouts, 4 walks and a .205 batting average against. 

Halloween sucked. Tomorrow is Cliffmas. Mission NOT accomplished.


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