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Baseball’s Finale

Patrick Fleming takes a look at this year’s World Series in baseball.

Liverpool supporters should be watching this year’s World Series as there’s a very relevant point being played out: it is possible to rebuild after Bill Hicks. Indeed the Texas Rangers, treatment now making their second World Series appearance in a row, sildenafil were staring bankruptcy in the face just two years ago under Hicks’s ownership. Now, depending upon what has transpired between the time of writing this and when you read it, they could be World Series champions for the first time in their history.

If anything though, their financial troubles may have been a blessing in disguise. It forced the team to invest in young prospects that were inevitably cheaper and misfits like star slugger Josh Hamilton, who had suffered from injury and drug addiction during the early part of his career before finding his niche in the arid climate of northern Texas. The result of their enforced frugality is one of the most dynamic and talented gatherings of ballplayers in the Majors. They have an offense which boasted three players who hit over 30 home runs during the regular season and had the highest batting average in the league. On pitching, all five of their starters notched up at least thirteen wins over the course of the season.

Texas, however, are not the only comeback story in this World Series. The St. Louis Cardinals, who are competing in their third Fall Classic in a decade, were almost completely written off in late August. With the team facing an eleven game deficit going into the final month of the season it was going to take something extraordinary to get them into the postseason. Sure enough, St. Louis hit top gear for the final stretch while the Atlanta Braves, who seemed destined to take the National League Wild Card spot, capitulated. When St. Louis won against the Houston Astros on the final night of the regular season, it capped what would be the second largest final month comeback in MLB history. Coincidentally, the largest comeback was sealed by the Tampa Bay Rays on the very same night as they caught the Boston Red Sox with a walk-off homerun in extra innings against the Yankees to take the American League Wild Card spot.

For many, it will be the collapses of those big teams that didn’t make it that will be most memorable from the 2011 season. Aside from the Braves and Red Sox, the failure of the Yankees to make it past the first playoff round despite their bloated payroll and star studded line-up surprised many. The Philadelphia Phillies, meanwhile, were virtual shoe-ins from the first day of the season due to their redoubtable pitching staff and were the first team to seal their playoff spot. However, they too fell at the first hurdle when they were beaten by the Cardinals.

It would be unfair though to focus solely on the ones that didn’t make it. The two teams that have made it have done so based on merit more so than anything else and the fact that they have outlasted some of the weightier payrolls is a testament to that. The Cardinals’ ability to rally late in the season and take that momentum all the way to the World Series is proof that there is more to this team than mere luck.

But by far the better fairytale story here would be that of the Rangers. After all, we must remember that, aside from Hicks, the most hated American executive there ever was, George W. Bush, was also once the owner of the club. So Liverpool fans – and any other fans who lament their club’s ownership for that matter – if the Texas Rangers can come through all that they have been forced to endure and still make it to the Promised Land, then any team can.

 

 

 

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