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An Irrational Fear

This is incredible stupid.
It's not a secret to most people who know me that I love baseball.  And of those who know of my love of baseball, most know that I root for those Lone Star State teams; the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.
But like I've said before (somewhere at sometime - maybe on this blog) I think it's wrong to like both the Rangers and Astros.  You shouldn't like two teams from the relative same location.  For instance you can't be a Yankee and a Met fan.  And you can't be a Cubs and a White Sox fan.  And you can't be Royals and Cardinals fan.  And you can't...oh, I think you get it.  
So I think you see my dilemma.  I'm breaking the moral sports law that I often call others out on.  I'm a hypocrite.  
Here's how it happened.  The earliest little league team I can remember being a part of was the Cardinals; we had those iconic uniforms with the two red birds on the baseball bat.  I still have an affection for those uniforms.  
But my first baseball game was at the 8th wonder of the world, the Astrodome, to see the Houston Astros play the Los Angeles Dodgers.  If my memory serves me right Mike Scott out dueled Fernando Valenzuela, thanks to the home run by Jose Cru-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-z!  It was awesome.  Also my dad paid to have the scoreboard say happy birthday to me and my brothers.  
During the 80s Nolan Ryan was a dominate pitcher for the Astros and I was always a pitcher in little league.  At some point I began to idolize Ryan and tried to pitch just like him.  I emulated his high kick and well placed fastball.   I tried to always stare down my opposing batter.  
But in 1989 Nolan explored free agency and landed up the road from Houston in the Dallas area to pitch for the Texas Rangers.  Well of course I could not not root for him and his team.  So I became a fan of the Rangers in addition to the Astros.  Hence the beginning of my dilemma.
So to solve this problem I made a personal commitment: I would continue to cheer for both teams until one actually won the World Series.  In case you don't know, neither team has ever won the World Series.  And until recently when the Astros lost the White Sox in four games neither team had never even been to the World Series.  

I share all that to share this:
Here is my current irrational fear.  Last night the Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to win their very first post season series ever.  And I think they have, at least, a chance to beat the Yankees to win the American League Championship.  If they could somehow win that series and then somehow overcome the Phillies (because let's be honest, there is no way the Giants beat the Phillies) then I would have to drop the Rangers from my list of teams to root for.  
But I love cheering for both teams.  I am nervous that I won't be able to anymore.  

Like I said; this is stupid.




I believe I made the prediction before the season started that the Texas Rangers would make the playoffs this year.  But if I was honest I wasn't sure I entirely believed that; I made the prediction more out of faith and hope than head knowledge.  If I had were to have picked a team based on what my head was telling me and not my heart I thought the Rangers were going to have a good season, but fall short because the Angels or Mariners just had better seasons.
But that just never happened.  In fact Texas lead most of the season, despite some injuries and stretches of "not their best baseball". Around the All-Star game it really did look like Rangers were going to coast into the post season.  However, I have been saying that, while in full support of my team and a belief that anything can happen, more than likely the Rangers were not a World Series team.
Some days I just have trouble getting my head and heart to agree.  But I'll be rooting along with all my heart tomorrow night as the Rangers open up their series against Tampa Bay.  I will say that I don't think we have seen the Rangers playing their best baseball in the past few months, as they weren't really pressured in their division.  I'm hoping they come into the playoffs rested and full of energy.
I will also admit that this being Bobby Cox's final year in Atlanta I am rooting for them as well (but not if they face Rangers in the WS).
Here are my MLB Play-off Predictions:

Wild Card Round
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays = Rays (in four)
New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins = Yankees (in five)
Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Phillies = Phillies (in four)
San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves = Braves (in four)

League Championship Series
Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees = Rays (in six)
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves = Phillies (in seven)

World Series
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Tampa Bay Rays = Phillies (in six)