Elvis Andrus squeezed the ball tossed from Rougned Odor, and it was finished.
With that out the Rangers earned their second of back-to-back A.L.West Division Championships. It is their 4th in 7 years, and 7th overall, the most in the history of the division.
Those in the dugout calmly trotted out onto the field with the rest of their teammates and shared handshakes and high fives. There were a couple hugs mixed in and even a couple beard tugs.
The moment was a culmination of 154 games worth of work. They still have 8 dress rehearsals before the second season begins. I doubt very much that they are too concerned with their Divisional Series opponent. But, I also think it matters to them that they secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The American League representative will have home field advantage during the Fall Classic on the merit of beating the Senior Circuit in the Mid-Summer Classic. In lay terms: Their league beat the other league at the All-Star Game, and by edict of a former commissioner the winner of that exhibition is awarded home team status during the World Series and thus extra game (if necessary) at home. It’s a dumb rule, and the two times the Rangers played in the World Series (2010 & 2011) they were the visiting team because of it.
What they need to go do now is make sure they have home field during any other potential playoff series. That means continue winning games and finish with more wins than Cleveland or Boston. They have two more road games in Oakland and finish with 6 at home against Milwaukee and Tampa Bay.
I really like this team. However, like them I was happy but more relieved than happy about them winning the Division. I think this team is really good, like win the World Series good. #newsflash
I’m not really going out on a limb with that statement as they’ve had the 2nd best record in the entire League for most of the year. They have two horses at the top of their pitching rotation. 1-9 hitters that can slap the ball all over the damn field, and a bullpen that seems to show up when you need them most. I’m quietly confident that these guys are going to ride out of this season as Champions.
The post season is what separates American sports from International ones. In international play you have a Table, play every team once at home and once on the road and tally up the records at the end and crown your champion. In fairness, it might be a better way to name a champion, but here in America-land we treasure “Greatness”. And “Greatness” is earned not bestowed. The playoffs in any sport provide a platform for the possibility of “Greatness”.
Greatness is Madison Bumgarner almost single handedly defeating the Kansas City Royals in an amazing 7 game series in 2014. Greatness is Randy Johnson and Curt Shilling doing the same for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the New York Yankees in 2001. Greatness is Michael Jordan never losing in the Finals. Greatness is Lebron James putting the city of Cleveland on his broad shoulders and exerting his will on Steph Curry and the 73-win Golden State Warriors.
Greatness, man. It’s great.
The playoffs are near and that’s when our hometown heroes will have a chance to claim “Greatness.”
Congratulations to the 2016 A.L. West Division Champion Texas Rangers. Thanks for the ride but take us the rest of the way!