Found October 04, 2012 on Fox Sports Southwest:
If you still had a sick feeling in your stomach despite your team having a 5-1 lead in the fourth inning, you must be a Texas Rangers fan. For a team that has had an inflated sense of itself all season, Wednesday's 12-5 loss in Oakland seemed like an appropriate ending to the regular-season. The Rangers left the champagne on ice, perhaps for good, because they put more value in their postseason pedigree than actually going out and finishing the season. If you've been listening to the quotes coming out of this clubhouse the past two weeks, you could tell how sensitive the players and their manager were about being questioned. Ian Kinsler, who butchered a double-play opportunity to help open the floodgates Wednesday, defiantly told reporters the Rangers were still the best team in the American League. Ron Washington, who rarely hits a wrong note, brought up his favorite submarine analogy to illustrate how the "real" Rangers would surface at the appropriate time. Well, we're still waiting. It seems all the playoff pedigree in the world wasn't going to stop this Oakland A's freight train. Not even a four-game lead with six to play was enough of a cushion for the idling Rangers. And if this team couldn't muster any sense of urgency in the division race, how can you be optimistic they'll rise to the occasion against another upstart team in the Baltimore Orioles. By Friday, Rangers apologists will become intoxicated by the fact Orioles veteran Joe Saunders has struggled mightily at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. They will point to the Orioles only coming up with 11 hits and five runs in their season-ending series against the Tampa Bay Rays. But the Rangers are in no position to be feeling good about their chances. The one legitimate positive is that Friday's starting pitcher, Yu Darvish, hasn't had a hand in this collapse. He pitched well enough to win in the first game of a double-header Sunday, but closer Joe Nathan blew the save. I have no problem with the bravado Washington expressed when asked about Darvish on Wednesday. "I'm not going to put any labels on guys as a No. 1 or whatever. But when we play our next game, he's going to pitch," Washington told reporters in Oakland. "I like the way he has gone out and competed. I like where he started and where he has arrived. You can say this: He is a big-game pitcher." And at least Darvish doesn't seem to have the sense of entitlement that has apparently infected some of his teammates. They'll never admit it, but the Rangers expected the A's to eventually come back to earth. They didn't count on them surviving a ridiculously tough road trip and then sprinting to the finish. As sportswriters, we're trained to think in terms of potential "wake-up calls" after tough losses. But that call should've come way before Wednesday's loss. It shouldn't take an All-Star center fielder butchering a lazy flyball to get a team's attention. Josh Hamilton has a made of mess of things in recent weeks, but it's not fair to put the collapse all on him. This team was constantly reminded by the national media how great it was. And even during poor stretches, there was a belief that the pitching and hitting was too potent to remain in a ditch. But when it was time for this team to hit its stride, it actually went into full retreat. At least the Red Sox could blame their 2011 collapse on fried chicken and beer in the clubhouse. For some reason, blaming this Rangers swoon on coffee and energy drinks doesn't seem plausible. Now, they have one more shot to save face.
1 Comment:
  • I have to agree with much of what you say, but as far as "national media" reminding the Rangers of how great they are, I disagree. Because they are not on a coast or in St. Louis, the Rangers are pretty much played down by the national media. If the Rangers make the World Series again (longshot, I agree, but the Cards did it), I dread having to listen to the "great" McCarver talk about how lucky they are to be there.

Hamilton jeered in possible finale with Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas Josh Hamilton did a lot of talking in past tense following his Rangers' 5-1 season-ending loss to the Orioles. The five time All-Star played what could have been his final game with the Rangers, and it was one he'd like to forget. It won't be easy. Hamilton went 0 for 4 and struck out twice. He saw just eight pitches at the plate and any chance at...

Josh Hamilton error cost the Rangers the AL West (Video)

Texas Rangers outfielder and soon-to-be free agent, Josh Hamilton, will take the blame for his team losing the AL West on the final day on the regular season.During the 4th inning with the game tied 5-5, Hamilton misplayed an fly ball from Yoenis Cespedes with two outs. The error by Hamilton allowed the Athletics to score two additional runs in the inning. Texas eventually fell to...

Time for Rangers to snap out of it

Think maybe now the Texas Rangers will snap out of it? The two-time defending American League champions have been mostly sleepwalking since the first two weeks of the season. They're a mere 43-40 since June 30. And on Wednesday afternoon, they got what they deserved. A 12-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics in a winner-take-all game for the AL West title. A ticket to the wild-card...

Rangers Injury News: Mike Adams Uncertain for ALDS

Texas Rangers reliever Mike Adams didn’t make the team’s 25-man roster for their one-game playoff against the Baltimore Orioles, and his status remains uncertain if the team is able to advance to the American League Division Series, reports Scott Crisp of “My neck actually feels pretty good,” said Adams, per the Dallas Morning News. “But the symptoms of...

Rangers in unexpected spot vs O's in AL wild card

After a grinding stretch when the Texas Rangers lost nine of their last 13 games, and the AL West crown in the process, manager Ron Washington gave his players the day off Thursday. They get a chance to start fresh Friday. One chance - or the season will be over for the two-time defending American League champions long before another World Series. The Rangers are home Friday night...

Orioles defeat Rangers in American League wildcard, advance to ALDS

The Baltimore Orioles are moving on after beating the Texas Rangers in the one-game wild card playoff held tonight in Arlington. Orioles pitcher Joe Saunders gave the Orioles 5 2/3  innings before he handed the game over to the bullpen. Darren O’Day came in and pitched 2 innings giving up only one hit before he was replaced by Brian Matusz. Jim Johnson came in to close out the...

AL Wild Card preview: Orioles vs Rangers

If I would have told you six months ago that the Rangers and Orioles would be in the AL's Wild Card playoff game, I bet you would have imagined that the Angels ran roughshod over the AL West, and that two out of the three top contenders in the AL East had a massive breakdown. Well...that's sort of accurate. But at any rate, here we are, with the Rangers and Orioles and their...

Three Keys to a Rangers Win

So, after a historic collapse, it all comes down to tonight. One game against the Baltimore Orioles for the rights to play the New York Yankees in the ALDS. I couldn’t imagine a better situation for tonight’s game. Yu Darvish is pitching for Texas, and the Orioles have never faced him. On the other hand, [...] Related posts: Texas Rangers’ Week In Review — 5/7/12 Rangers...

Texas collapse complete as Baltimore marches onto the ALDS

Baltimore’s amazing run through the 2012 season continued Friday night as they defeated the two-time defending AL Champion Texas Rangers 5-1 in the inaugural American League Wild Card game. O’s starter Joe Saunders who was acquired from the Diamondbacks in August, tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball, out pitching Japanese phenom Yu Darvish. Pirates cast off Nate McLouth, who...

A's fan has Interesting reaction to Clinching AL West

Okay, this is too funny not to repost. And really, it's not that relevant. It's just plain funny. Check out the reactions at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum after the A's comeback win 12-5 Wednesday over the Texas Rangers to win the AL West. Words cannot describe:

Rangers Are Still Fine, As Long As They Win Friday

As the Major League Baseball season came to a close on Wednesday, we saw the Texas Rangers have one of the worse collapses since, well, last year's collapses by the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves (which were far worse than the Rangers' version).  The Rangers lost 12-5 to the white hot Oakland Athletics in the Bay Area, which results Texas having to play a glorified play...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.