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The Texas Rangers have clinched the American League West title, and while they’re known to play some sound baseball during the regular season, they usually blow it when they get to the playoffs. Now is the perfect time to dig up and relive all the moments where the wheels fell off.
— Compiled by Brianna Harmon
Two hands to catch the ball
Do you ever have those moments where everything is so good that you just know things are about to hit the fan? The bottom of the ninth inning in the 2011 World Series against the Cardinals was that moment for me. The Rangers were one out from winning their first World Series. But with runners on first and second in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Cardinals had other plans. David Freese hit a two-out triple that ended up tying the game 7-7. The Rangers lost 10-9 in extra innings. It’s sickening to think we were one out away from winning the World Series twice.
Bat flip failure
I’ve never been a big fan of Jose Bautista, but after Game 5 of the American League Division series last year, I can’t stand him or that bat flip of his. In a 53-minute seventh inning where the Rangers had the 3-2 lead over the Toronto Blue Jays, it seemed like all hell broke loose. Security had to stop the game at one point because Blue Jays fans were throwing water bottles and beer on the field. Veteran Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus made two costly plays that ended up tying the game, bringing Bautista to the plate. At this point I wanted nothing more than for him to strike out, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. Bautista hit a home run to left-center and threw his bat higher than ever. The Rangers ended up losing the series, but the pain of that game seemed to go away when Rougned Odor punched Bautista in the face during a game this season.
We hate the Yanks
Let’s go back to the good ol’ days when Rusty Greer, Mark McLemore, Ivan Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro played for the Rangers. The 1996, 1998 and 1999 post-seasons are frightening. Yes, they won the AL West each season, but if losing to the Yankees three years in a row is acceptable, then you might want to find a different team to support. If you didn’t hate the New York Yankees already, there is a perfect reason to. In the 1998 and 1999 post-seasons, the Yankees swept the Rangers in three games and only allowed them to get one run across the plate. In those series, they played Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Orlando Hernandez.
The biggest choke in Rangers history
The Rangers lost the 2012 Wild Card game against the Baltimore Orioles 5-1. The loss is not why I placed this game here. I placed it here because for the entire game, I couldn’t help but think that it would be the last time we saw that specific team together. I can’t even say I was surprised that they lost. The Rangers had led their division for 156 games but then lost the last 7 out of 9 and ended up losing the division title to the Oakland A’s. The team just fell apart, and I knew we were going to trade some beloved athletes.
The curse of Nolan Ryan
Though the franchise is looking to clinch the division and return to the World Series, I think letting Nolan Ryan leave for the rival Houston Astros is a huge blown moment by the Rangers. Growing up a Rangers fan, I looked up to a team great like Ryan. To this day, I still have a signed photo of Ryan punching Robin Ventura hanging in my house. For me, a Rangers organization without Ryan is empty, but that’s how baseball goes.