By: Drew Marshall
In the modern world of baseball, having repeated successful seasons is rare. Winning the pennant two years in a row, however, is nearly impossible. The Texas Rangers, however, have accomplished it. After a huge performance from the plate against the Detroit Tigers last week, the Rangers advanced to the World Series, defeating Detroit 15-5. Texas is the first American League team to go to back-to-back World Series since the New York Yankees did so from 1998-2001.
The Rangers have never won a World Series, and they were on a mission to prove that last year’s run was not a fluke. The Texas based franchise had not yet won a playoff series before last year’s championship run. Now, it has emerged as a power in the American League and are looking to solidify its newfound prowess with four more wins. “We haven’t finished what we set out to do,” team president and CEO Nolan Ryan said.
The Rangers hope to have a different result this year in the Series. They brought back most of last year’s pennant winning team, but they lost starting pitcher Cliff Lee to the Philadelphia Phillies and their $120 million offer. The team signed third baseman Adrian Beltre and catcher Mike Napoli to make up for the loss of their star. The Rangers needed to click on all cylinders during the series against Detroit if they wanted to get past Justin Verlander on the mound and Miguel Cabrera at the plate. Texas proved that they were ready, scoring 15 runs in the decisive game six.
In Major League Baseball, the hardest thing may not be to acquire the best players or to get the best coach. It may be that one team just needs to stay healthy physically and mentally in order to make it that far into the postseason. It is even tougher to do this twice in a row. In order for it to occur, one team must have a set of players that can remain healthy and play at a high level for an extremely long period of time. The Rangers have managed to do it twice in a row, a feat that is becoming less prevalent in recent years. Can a team successfully compete two years in a row? It seems so, but the Rangers still have to prove that they can meet their goal: to win the World Series.