I won't lie--I'm really bummed at how Game 5 of the World Series ended tonight. I really thought that the lineup the Rangers sent up to the plate in the top of the ninth could come through like they had all season long, but in the end, the unexpected juggernaut that is the Giants' pitching staff proved to be too much. I'd never heard of most of these guys before the Series started, but I sure won't disrespect the National League again any time soon.
It's easy right now to wallow in defeat and think of what might have been, but let's not lose sight of all the great things that happened this season: The first playoff series victory; first trip to an ALCS and winning of same; finally vanquishing the hated Yankees; first World Series, and first Rangers game in November, ever. Who would have imagined even half of that at the start of the season?
Sure, there are some problems that need to be solved. Keeping Cliff Lee for next season is of paramount importance, and finding a way to keep key players healthy for bigger chunks of the year would really help (imagine what things would have been like if Nellie, Josh and Ian hadn't missed so many games due to injury). A top-three pitching rotation of Lee, CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis would put the team in good shape, but the other two are question marks (can Tommy Hunter gain some consistency?). The first baseman of the future has arrived in the person of Mitch Moreland, and I sure hope Bengie Molina wasn't serious the other day about retiring.
And I can't wait to see the team enjoy a full year under the ownership of Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan. For the first time in years, the team is on solid financial footing, with one co-owner who has the money to upgrade not only the team but the entire fan experience, and another one who's not only a local icon but has already turned the team around as club president. The future's looking bright, and I don't think it'll be another 41 years before the Rangers are in the World Series again (and if it does take that long, I'll be really freakin' old, so they'd better be selling wheelchair section tickets on StubHub.)
Congrats, Rangers, on a great season. I'm sorry it had to end this way, but I can't wait to see what next year will bring.