Welcome to the game the Texas Rangers didn't want to play, against the opponent from hell.
It's not that the Baltimore Orioles are the best team in the American League. They're not. They won 93 games and finished second in their division, just like the Rangers.
But they are a frightening adversary in the inaugural American League wild-card game for two reasons: They are unburdened by preseason expectations, and their roster consists of more ex-Texas Rangers than a black-and-white Western.
Friday will be an anxious night for the Rangers, for the same reason that general managers prefer trading players to the opposite league: Particularly in the most important games, baseball tends to remind its practitioners of the wisdom (or lack thereof) in their past decisions. One of the most famous home runs in winner-take-all history -- Bucky Dent, Fenway Park, 1978 -- was surrendered by a Red Sox pitcher (Mike Torrez) who was a Yankee the previous year.
I don't know who will win Friday's g...