These Rangers will beat the Tampa Bay Rays. You saw it here first.
No, my brain has not been cooked in the broiling Arlington summer sun. I think they can do it, with a break here and there.
Not since 1999 have Ranger fans had anything to crow about. So they are back in the playoffs since an 11-year layoff. The wait is well worth it.
First, start with the MVP of the American League Josh Hamilton. He's "The Natural" and very amazing to watch. I made it to just two Ranger games this year, I happened to be lucky enough to see his longest homer in ballpark history. He's 6-4, 230 and runs like a deer and hits like a hammer. He's already won the batting title, with a sizzling .359 average, add to that 32 homers and 100 RBIs and he missed over a month of games. Now, he's healthy and ready to guide the teams to the playoffs again.
Add to that Nelson Cruz, Bad Vlad, Ian Kinsler, Elvis and The Murph, the have some timely hitters. It doesn't take as many hits as it used to, thanks to the Ranger pitching. The starters have been OK, and the bullpen pretty spectacular. From Cliff Lee to Colby to C.J. to the Big Game Hunter and even Neftali Feliz (a rookie with 40 saves) it has been a tremendous season. The defense has been very good as well.
Then we figure in the old pro, the guts, the glue, the captain of the team, my favorite Ranger - Michael Young. Not since Rusty Greer has a player shown some much leadership and dedication. Young, also a batting champion winner and former all-star, is now a great third baseman. Figure in that he's waited 1,508 games (all with Texas) to play in a postseason game. Then you will get my drift.
These Rangers are dedicated to the task at hand. The Rays are a good young, team. They have good pitching and hitting. But I question their desire. That's why I am picking the Rangers to win this series. The first step is winning in Tampa. Then the Rangers can erase a very ugly stat from their resume. The Ranger are the only MLB team which hasn't won a playoff series. That soon will change.
So North Texas, the Super Bowl is coming in four months. But right now, the Rangers are the most exciting story.
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