I’m gonna say this
now, on Saturday, because I try to write from a raw place, as a fan prone to
emotional swings before reason takes over, not as a journalist bound to objectivity.
I’ll cool down in the morning, just as I
tend to do after huge wins, and a month from now I may recall that our ace had
a bad day in Baltimore but may not remember much else from Orioles 8, Rangers 6,
especially if the first 162 end up, as they should, with Texas getting ready to
But I write this
tonight because of what I’m thinking right now, as much as I hope that I’m
wrong about it, and in spite of the fact that I’m not sure I really believe it
in the first place.
I wonder if this
team isn’t much better as an underdog.
They’ll be that
again in October, but that doesn’t help now.
Especially with seven left head-to-head against Los Angeles, and seven
against Oakland, which is six outs away from drawing to within six games of the
The personality of this team, from its manager to its
leaders to some of its star players who have come from other teams, is to prove
people wrong, to fight its way out of a corner, to be motivated by adversity
and to overcome it. It’s a team marked
by its resilience as much as anything else.
But there’s not a whole lot of experience with a big
lead. And right now – depleted by injury
or not – Texas doesn’t appear to be playing as loose, and is making more mental
and focus mistakes than usual. That concerns
me. You don’t want to coast into the
playoffs, having to turn the intensity back up from zero, but at the same time
it would be pretty lousy to have to fight for your life over the final six
weeks after building what seemed, and still seems, to be a virtually insurmountable
I hope I’m wrong.
And in the morning I’ll probably feel differently.
(I’m pretty sure I know how this will play with the Sabermetricians
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(c) Jamey Newberg