Texas Wins AL Pennant

The Texas Rangers won their second straight American League pennant last night, with a 15-5 win over Detroit, a blow victory that belied how closely fought this series was through the first five games. A few closing thoughts on the Ranger win…

*As is to be expected when you score 15 runs, it was a complete team effort and everyone in the Ranger lineup hit. It’s also noteworthy that it wasn’t the home run ball that did it—the two Texas long balls by Michael Young and Nelson Cruz came well after the game was decided. The lineup simply attacked Detroit with each at-bat.

*In the end, Detroit sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez still came around. Cabrera homered to put the Tigers on top 1-0 and Martinez had three singles. Detroit staked Max Scherzer to a 2-0 lead, but it vanished in the nine-run Texas onslaught that was the third inning.

*Can we give Texas manager Ron Washington a little love now as one of the game’s top skippers? He lost his top starter from last year in Cliff Lee and still won a pennant. I know Washington still has very good talent up and down the roster, but it’s not as though other rightfully renowned skippers—his Tiger counterpart Jim Leyland and St. Louis boss Tony LaRussa—are overseeing a bunch of stiffs. Washington’s excitable style in the dugout is unorthodox, but so is winning back-to-back AL flags, something that hasn’t been achieved outside the Bronx since Toronto in 1992-93.

*So is Dallas now a baseball town? With the Cowboys messing around with inconsistency and a beatdown in New England ahead of them this afternoon, and the UT football team far from the national elite, is Texas a baseball hotbed? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves—after all, Dirk Nowitzki (in attendance last night) and the Mavericks just won an NBA title. But while football may have Texas’ heart, its baseball and hoops that bringing in its championships right now.