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Welcome To Case's Column

Let me say a big welcome to all of you for joining me here. I'm going to call these blog meetings Case's Column. I wanted to use "Corner", but that was already taken. Since 2008, it's been a real privilege to come on here and share some of my life with you, and it's a big world where we live.

In these blogs, I'll just speak whatever is on my mind, but we will be playing within the rules here. I may pick a particular topic, point out an event, or shoot the breeze. I'm a little bit of an essayist at times, so I'll just speak what's on my mind, and I might tell a story or two. Or, I might spew out an opinion or three. There will be some serious moments, some tender, some poignant, but there will also be those moments that you'll just bust out laughing. But, hopefully, everything will be in good fun here. And, of course, there's a place below for your comments and thoughts as we go along here. So feel free to join me for the ride -- I sure as heck hope I'm doing this right and not making any mistakes.

Thanks for taking your time in reading Case's Column. Hopefully, you'll enjoy being entertained by it as much as I've enjoyed putting these writings together. And thanks for the time you spend in City-Data.com, where it's great to be alive!

Regards,

case44

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Your Writer Is Still Trying To Digest A Texas Rangers Miracle

Posted 12-22-2023 at 06:20 PM by case44


It may be just a few days left before Christmas when this chickenscratch is being written, but your writer is still trying to get used to the fact that the baseball team I grew up watching.............had actually won a world championship!

Most of you out there already know that I'm a Houston Astros fan, but that isn't my local team. It just happens to be in my home state of Texas, but I've spent my entire life in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. That's where the Texas Rangers of the American League are. This was the team I grew up with; yet, it's also one which I became royally frustrated with. The Rangers started out as the expansion Washington Senators before relocating to an expanded minor-league baseball park. Arlington Stadium, as it was known, was the major leagues' worst ballpark. Poor sightlines, limited concourses, and no shade. Yes, it was the hottest ballpark in baseball for its 22-year run. Then came a better place, but still with no heat relief. What would eventually be named Globe Life Park had become a revered baseball palace in state lore, and that place did have some exciting moments from time to time. During that stretch, the Rangers did go to two World Series and proceeded to lose both.

Oh, yeah, I forgot the most important thing.

The Rangers had been one of baseball's most futile franchises for many years. Since their move to Arlington, it took twenty-four years for Texas to finally see a division title. Johnny Oates was the manager, and it looked like this club was finally going to turn the corner. This was in the late-1990s. He was legit. Well, reality had set in again, and before the end of the 2001 season, Oates stepped down with the Rangers suffering another losing season. It was around that point that I'd simply given up on the team. I was already becoming more of an Astros fan as they were making some noise in the National League around that same time, so I basically adopted them as my new home team and never looked back.

As for things in Arlington, their baseball club eventually would go back up in the early 2010s before it would go down again. But, incredibly, it took a general manager named Chris Young (a former player) who orchestrated the Rangers' good fortunes in a relatively short time. I was always used to the Rangers finding new ways to lose. In 2023, they did the unthinkable: They were winning games consistently and staying ahead of opponents. Not many folks were used to that, but that was what we saw in this Rangers' season. Houston snuck up on them at the end of the regular season so they would win the American League West, but Texas got their revenge. Because of two players brought in during the last few weeks of the season, it became the difference-maker for them after two aggressive offseasons where they brought in several exceptional players. And let's not forget that the Rangers now have a cooler yard to play in, as Globe Life Field has a roof over Texas fans' heads.

Arlington became Titletown in 2023, overtaking the Astros in the ALCS, and then pummeling the Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series. Yes, you can stop pinching yourself: The Rangers really did shock the world!

And here I am still trying to digest that. I know, I know. "Case, you should be celebrating....", but I'm still wondering if it's even real. One thing's for sure: The Texas Rangers have a lineup and most of a pitching staff that is now built for the postseason. Erstwhile dynasty Houston's taking notice.

Spring Training is less than two months away. And two Texas teams will purely be battling for supremacy.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Growing up in TX, I thought that the World Series was something that teams in other states won, or even reached. The Rangers were handicapped for the reasons you mentioned, while the Astros couldn’t get consistent crowds in its cookie cutter stadium (as cutting-edge as it was for its time). Then the Astrodome was probably made worse by the expansion that the other tenant’s owner requested.

    The replacement ballpark was/is a lot better, but the original title sponsor fiasco, along with the slow development of the area around the current Minute Maid Park, probably got it off to a less-than-ideal start.

    Now, things are great at both places.
    permalink
    Posted 12-23-2023 at 11:05 PM by shoe01 shoe01 is offline
 

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