When the MLB playoff seedings became clear on the final day of the regular season, I was slightly relieved that the Texas Rangers were on the opposite side of the American League bracket from the Astros. It meant that if the two teams were to square off against each other in the playoffs this season, it would be for the pennant on the line. Truth be told, I was not exactly expecting the Rangers to take out both the Rays and then the Orioles so the matchup seemed like something that wouldn't come to fruition. Plus, there was a chance that Houston would drop their ALDS series as well.
Well, both teams from the Lone Star State went on and took care of business, setting up the rivalry matchup for a trip to the World Series on the line. Personally, I think that I wanted to beat the Astros more than I even wanted to go to the Fall Classic. I know that sound silly, but I was sick and tired of all of the noise that had been coming from the humidity capital of the state all summer. It had really picked up steam late in the season when the Astros caught the Rangers in the AL West, and then Texas would ultimately hand the division back to them on that final day.
The Astros have been on a historic run no doubt, and there are a large number of faithful fans that have been with them through the lean years in Houston. But the arrogance of many was just nearly too much to handle. I hope that Rangers fans will not fall into the same category, although winning and social media lends itself to some really ugly, obnoxious stuff.
When the ALCS started, I just wanted the Rangers to play solid baseball and somehow, someway get the series win. The two teams were so evenly matched that it could have been a sweep either way or ended in seven games like it did. After the Game 5 crushing loss, it felt like all hope was lost on the series and that it would be the Astros yet again gloating all the way to the World Series.
But that isn't what happened. The Rangers took the two final games in Houston and won the series. I was so thankful for that outcome, as were Rangers fans everywhere! To be the best, you have to beat the best, and that is what Texas did this year in the ALCS. Houston was not only the defending World Series champions but had dominated the Rangers and the entire American League for several years. But not this time, not in 2023!
The Texas Rangers obviously went on to win the World Series title which makes us all thankful, but that ALCS victory is a very close second as far as thankfulness level for me and many others. The Rangers took it to the Astros and came out on top. And for that I am extremely thankful!
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