PHOENIX - For the first time in history, the Texas Rangers are World Series champions.
It always feels special when droughts are snapped, because I think about the fans. It's no secret in these parts that I'm a die-hard Cubs fan, so I feel a certain empathetic kinship with tortured fans, having formerly been one. We've seen a lot of special since I've been on this job, too. When it comes to just the World Series alone, I've seen ...
- The Giants win their first World Series title in San Francisco.
- The Royals win their first World Series in 30 years.
- The Cubs, well, you know damn well what.
- The Astros win their first World Series title ever.
- The Nationals win the first World Series title for the franchise that was once the Montreal Expos.
- The Braves win their first World Series in 25 years.
- We know all about the Red Sox and White Sox from the previous decade, too.
Add the Texas Rangers winning the first World Series title for a franchise that dates back to the second iteration of the Washington Senators.
If I were to offer any advice to Rangers fans, it would simply be to cherish the positive and ignore any negative. Your team won the World Series. Don't worry about any nonsense from other fan bases, and there will be nonsense because jealousy is an ugly yet very real human emotion. Bask in the glory of the jealousy and don't any mind to any sort of naysaying.
Also, I've long done this: I'll spend the next year mixing in "the champs" or "champions" whenever I get the chance. I started doing it over a decade ago because I thought it would be so cool to hear others doing it if the Cubs ever won the World Series. When my dream came true, yes, it was that cool. That dream is now a reality for you, Rangers fans.
Enjoy your champs.
|Go back to when the Rangers lost 16 of 20 late in the season, Rangers fans. Remember how bleak things looked? Remember how you felt? This feeling right now is why it was all worth it. All the bad over the years is worth the elation of a championship. It's why we torture ourselves as sports fans. I'm so happy for you.||6||90-72|
|Do I actually think the Diamondbacks were the second-best team in 2023? Absolutely not, but they earned the second spot here by beating the team that beat the best team.||11||84-78|
|Man, it's gonna be a long, cold winter after losing Games 6 and 7 at home to a clearly inferior team. They could be planning a parade right now, who knows? Instead, they'll be fretting over Aaron Nola's free agency.||6||90-72|
|No, I do not think the playoff format needs to be changed. Stop making excuses.||3||104-58|
|That was only year one with this foundation, but it's so hard to win 100-plus games in any given season and that division isn't getting any easier. Will the Orioles look back on this season as a huge missed opportunity? That AL was wide open for the taking and the Rangers just bludgeoned them.||3||101-61|
|How much stock do you put in the 2020 World Series title? I ask this because other than that, the Dodgers have been arguably the biggest postseason choke artists from 2019 to present.||3||100-62|
|Seven straight trips to the ALCS is just mind-boggling, especially now with the extra rounds.||1||90-72|
|From 13-0 to 20-3 to 29-7 to 51-22 to home before the ALDS. Rough.||4||99-63|
|Are you ready for Corbin Burnes trade rumors? They are coming.||4||92-70|
|The Twins finally won a playoff game, and series! Now they need an aggressive offseason to get even better and build a team suited for a deep run.||--||87-75|
|I really like Daulton Varsho, but that trade sending Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Gabriel Moreno to the D-backs doesn't look promising, especially since the Jays refuse to catch Varsho -- which means putting his bat in a corner outfield spot where it's no longer as special.||3||89-73|
|Maybe they should actually try to do something good this offseason?||1||88-74|
|I'm expecting a backslide for 2024 here.||1||84-78|
|I'm not kidding when I say they should basically run it back. It looks like maybe they won't be able to hold onto Blake Snell, but otherwise you're talking about a roster that badly underperformed and still only missed the playoffs by two games while the last team in won the pennant.||--||82-80|
|Remember when the Yankees played in the World Series seemingly every year? Yeah, that was a *long* time ago.||--||82-80|
|If you want to blame the Phillies for the Diamondbacks making the World Series -- I've seen some of this -- you could go back a little bit further and blame the Cubs. In just over a week stretch in September, the Cubs went 1-6 against the now-NL champs. If the Cubs turned just one of those six losses into a win, they make the playoffs and send Arizona packing.||--||83-79|
|One of the more pleasant surprises in 2023 will be better next year.||--||82-80|
|I like the Bob Melvin hire and I'm not a fan of Gabe Kapler, but I still don't think the manager solves much of the problems here.||--||79-83|
|The Red Sox went from 1993-2012 without ever finishing in last place. They've now finished last six of the last 12 seasons. Within that stretch, though, they've also won the AL East three times and the World Series twice. Amazing.||--||78-84|
|Spencer Torkelson had what felt like a really quiet 31-homer, 94-RBI season. I think maybe it's because there's more in there. I'll say he gets to 40 and over 100 next year.||--||78-84|
|They hit 124 home runs this season. The Nationals hit 151 and I mention them because they finished 29th in baseball. People, you can flex with "small ball" rhetoric all you want, but if you can't hit the ball out of the yard, it's a major disservice to your chances to win games.||--||76-86|
|I would like to request for 2024 that we see more than nine games from Oneil Cruz.||--||76-86|
|Why are there still Pete Alonso trade rumors? Stop messing around and extend him.||--||75-87|
|When the Cardinals were annual contenders, one of the models of the ballclub was excellent run prevention. They were terrible at it this past season and must be aggressive in fixing that this coming offseason in order to get back to contention. I have a feeling a busy winter is coming.||--||71-91|
|There were a lot of good signs from some youngsters this past season at the big-league level, but they don't appear to have anything resembling a superstar position player or an ace.||--||71-91|
|What an absolute mess of an organization.||--||73-89|
|One good thing that happened this season was the emergence of Luis Robert as a bona fide star. There's MVP upside and we finally saw it for a full season.||--||61-101|
|It's hard to see a run at contention any time in the near future.||--||59-103|
|They got Cole Ragans in the Aroldis Chapman trade and Ragans was outstanding down the stretch. The downside is this group has seemingly ruined every pitching prospect they've had lately, so there's concern moving forward.||--||56-106|
|I appreciated Trevor May retiring and during his announcement going after A's owner John Fisher. For those unaware, Fisher is rich because his parents founded The Gap. Being born into wealth isn't a skill. Fisher stinks.||--||50-112|