AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!! (best described in the real world as a gutteral scream)
That is my usual reaction to big exciting things involving the Rangers. It could be heard about a billion times last Friday night as the Rangers successfully dismantled the New York Yankees to earn their first ever World Series berth.
(Yes, yes, yes. I know this post is a little bit late, but this is MY blog. I don’t care. Plus, I need practice in posting things for when this stuff gets really serious and I can pull down a guap by just mind vomiting all over the interwebz.)
I can honestly say that the most heroic thing I have EVER seen in my life was when Vladimir Guerrero doubled in the bottom of the 5th inning, knocking in Mitch Moreland and Josh Hamilton. Vlad came to bat after Josh Hamilton was walked intentionally for the second straight plate appearance. The first time (bottom 3rd) resulted in Vlad weakly popping out to Robinson Cano at second base. (A quick moment of hot fist-pumping action occurred when Phil Hughes was TRYING to intentionally walk Hamilton and somehow missed Jorge Posada’s outstretched glove sending Mitch Moreland to third). I mean, the scene was set THEN for Vlad to be a hero. They insulted him by pitching around Hamilton. They made it easier by looking like children trying to play catch and allowing Moreland to take third. The crowd was ready for Vlad to get pissed and just shove it up the Yankees’ backside. Instead…NOTHING. UGH! I was insulted! How could Vlad NOT take it so personally and with such fiery, prideful anger and then destroy a pitch back at Hughes with so much power behind it that it would lift and carry Hughes over the green hill in center field? I mean, COME ON!
So, when the practically exact same situation presented itself in the bottom of the 5th, the energy in the air (or at least my surrounding atmosphere) was so palpable and real that it you could smell, taste and even SEE it! Moreland was at third. Hamilton was on first via a free pass. There were two outs. Ballgame tied at one a piece…
“Get pissed and shove it up their ass!”, was my cheer and words of advice for Vlad.
First pitch: ball.
“Get pissed and shove it up their ass!”, was my cheer yet again.
Phil Hughes stretched and pitched.
You know those moments that are just so incredibly saturated with greatness and are always played out in slow-motion in films? Those moments where you hear it and live it before it actually happens because that moment is SO great that the God even has to stop and watch and allows the natural order of things to get a little wonky just so you can double enjoy it? THAT was this moment.
Before Vlad even made contact, I could see the power and effort and decision in his eye (and I was way out in left field!). He was going to make the Yankees pay and RIGHT NOW. A thunderous crack. A tiny meteor sailing through the humid Texas air and crash landing at the bottom of the center field wall. An explosion of screams from 54,000+ fans who had been harboring angst for an entire series. Moreland scores. Hamilton scores. Vlad pulls into second base.
My arms reach to heaven. My entire body tries to leave my mouth through scream. Tears pour down my face. Everyone hugs. We didn’t “know” but, yeah, we knew the Rangers were going to win (does that make sense?). Phil Hughes gets pulled and as Dave Robertson jogs to the mound, the stadium again explodes with cheers and screams (and more of my tears) for Vlad. His name, written in animated flames, is being flashed upon the electronic screens all throughout the stadium. Chants of “Vladdy! Vladdy! Vladdy!” soaring and bouncing from one side of the stadium to the other. Finally, Vladdy raises his helmet to the masses to appreciate the support and almost assure the crowd that “It’s ok. Vladdy’s here.” It was…indescribable how proud I was of Vlad. I know that sounds weird. But it’s true. A man, disrespected (p.s. – WHY would you EVER choose to face Vlad?!?!) rectifying the situation. Taking the perpetrator by the throat and saying “try that again”. DAMN! HELL DAMN HELL!
When Cruz destroyed a 1-2 pitch over the left-center field wall, we all knew the final blow had been struck. The Rangers were going to the World Series.
To be honest, and I’m kind of ashamed to say this, by the time A-Rod was fittingly made to be the last out of the game, I didn’t have much in the emotional tank to throw on the field. My whole emotional load had been spent heaping praise upon Vladdy. I knew that was all the Rangers would need. I just….celebrated early…!!!
Best sports night of my life. Period.
Now, bring on the Giants…