As the Major League Baseball season came to a close on Wednesday, we saw the Texas Rangers have one of the worse collapses since, well, last year’s collapses by the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves (which were far worse than the Rangers’ version). The Rangers lost 12-5 to the white hot Oakland Athletics in the Bay Area, which results Texas having to play a glorified play-in game against the Baltimore Orioles Friday night in Arlington. The winner of that game will face the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series beginning on Sunday; the loser is done for 2012. As for the Athletics, they clinched the AL West crown with the victory and will face the Detroit Tigers in the other ALDS beginning on Saturday. Back to the Rangers, there’s no doubt it appears the team is falling apart at the seams. They had a 13 game lead over the A’s going into July, so the thinking was the AL West was a slam dunk for the Rangers. As bad as it looks right now, it’s far from the end of the world. so relax Rangers fans. One, the Rangers still have a chance to regroup and right the ship. We all know the Red Sox and Braves didn’t have that same opportunitiy last season. They do have the Orioles coming down for this play-in game, and I do feel the Rangers will win this game and go up against the Yankees. If there is any team that can overcome adversity, it is this Rangers squad. They have one of the best managers in baseball in Ron Washington. Also, this is the two-time American League champions we’re talking about. This team has proven to be very resilient. Even though they experienced the worst of all heartbreaks last season, coming within one strike of winning the World Series, the Rangers keep coming back for more. Who knows, maybe this is the wake up call they need to get over that hump. Maybe the pressure of being the team to beat in the American League goes down a little because the Rangers are now being viewed as a underdog. When you’re an underdog, it allows you to play a little looser and have a “nothing to lose” attitude. This is honestly what I expect from the Rangers, starting on Friday. I think they will beat the Orioles and move on to beat the Yankees. I said at the beginning of the season that the Rangers will represent the American League in the World Series, and I’m still sticking with that prediction. You don’t get to the World Series two years in a row and not know how to deal with adversity. Things look bleak right now, but I still believe things will get brighter. You know if I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it. I feel this is still the Rangers’ year to win the World series. The only difference is the road will have to be a little bit longer this time around. You know what they say: Anything worth having is worth working for. I’m sure this is the message Washington is passing along to his players, and what a great message to pass along.

By Charles Taylor

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