ALDS, Game Five: Texas 5, Tampa Bay 1.
Every year the main section of my book has roughly 12 months of reports in it. I generally cut it off some time in October, when there’s a natural break in the ongoing story.
Last year’s book ended with an October 12, 2009 report, which concluded (before any marketing campaign had been launched) with these words: “It’s time to win.“
One year later, to the day, this team won.
Not the big prize yet, of course. There are two more teams to beat, eight more games to win.
For some franchises, this wouldn’t be quite as big a deal. For some, in fact, anything less than what happened last night might be considered a failure.
But for this team, what happened last night, with the entire baseball world having cleared the stage, had never happened, and for a number of reasons it felt like it needed to. It’s too early to call the season a success, but at the same time, no matter what happens going forward, that’s what this season will be called once the final Texas Rangers game of 2010 has been played.
Nolan Ryan said in March he expected 92 wins. It took more than 162 games to get there, and if Texas had lost last night that’s where the number would have been frozen. But Texas 5, Tampa Bay 1 was number 93 for the year, and this team plays on, with at least four more baseball games to go in 2010 and maybe as many as 14.
I haven’t stopped smiling since about the sixth inning last night (when David Price missed the first base bag by the thickness of a Sports Illustrated cover and Vladimir Guerrero took advantage, scoring from second base). I haven’t slept much. And I haven’t allowed myself to think fully about the things I want to say in this space.
I’ll get there, but bear with me. It will probably be tomorrow before I settle back into a writing frame of mind. Right now, no chance.
There’s a lot more writing to go in what will be this year’s version of the Bound Edition, and when in October the book will reach its natural end is impossible now to predict.
Especially since it might be in November.
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(c) Jamey Newberg