By Krista Pirtle
In the words of Texas Ranger manager Ron Washington, “That’s the way baseball go.”
It’s unfortunate for the T-shirt Rangers fans who haven’t experienced the ups and downs this franchise has produced over the years.
Sadly, I was only 2 when Nolan Ryan, present owner and former pitcher for the Rangers, placed Robin Ventura in a headlock on the pitcher’s mound.
I was 3 when my parents left me at home as they went to watch Kenny Rogers pitch a perfect game.
Since then, I remember watching Pudge Rodriguez and being surprised by his post-game interview.
I was fully expecting him to speak perfect English, but he did not.
I remember going to games every year and taking tours of the stadium.
Opening Day 2000 my little brother was born, making Opening Day even more special for my family.
Alfonso Soriano was my favorite when I was younger, and I was sad when he was traded in 2006 to the Nationals.
However, that trade brought in current second basemen Ian Kinsler, whose first at bat of the season was a home run.
Michael Young, who has been in the franchise for a decade, has become the face of the Rangers.
However, Josh Hamilton is probably the most famous Ranger on the team.
His story is famous and his book is a great read.
Now while I’m at Baylor, David Murphy might be my favorite.
Yes, I know that he doesn’t start every game and he is not one of the headliners, but Murph went to Baylor.
I can go on and on about individual players, but the most important aspect of this 2011 team is that it is back in the World Series.
This is the first team to have repeat appearances in the Fall Classic since the Yankees in 1999, 2000, and 2001.
Last year, claw and antlers took over the state, with many people wondering what those mean.
The claw is raised as a long distance high five when a player does something good on the field.
The antlers are given when a player does something amazing utilizing his speed.
A new symbol, ducks on the pond, is used when the bases are loaded for the Rangers.
It comes to no surprise that the Rangers would be powerful on the offensive side of the game, seeing as Texas once had players like Mark Texiera and Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees, Pudge Rodriguez and Rafael Palmiero.
This team has big bats as well with Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz, who smashed the first ever walk off grand slam in postseason history during the ALCS.
Behind headline starting pitchers of C.J. Wilson and Derek Holland and the speedy closer Neftali Feliz, meat is needed in the middle of these powers on the mound.
And meat the Rangers finally have.
The Rangers’ bullpen proved itself in the ALCS, a strength the Detroit Tigers couldn’t overpower.
After Cliff Lee joined the Rangers and then left quickly, many people doubted the talent of the bullpen to lead the Texas team to the postseason.
Cliff Lee and his Phillies were eliminated in the NLDS by the St. Louis Cardinals, who the Rangers will be facing tonight in Game One of the World Series.
The bullpen has done well this postseason.
Ryan predicted his Rangers to win the Series in six games.
Personally, I would not hate it if the Rangers just swept the Cards in four, making the final game in the expectant confines of the Ballpark in Arlington.
Krista Pirtle is a junior journalism major from Olney and is a sports writer for the Lariat.
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