Texas takes down the AL East on its way to the Series

Ballgame over. Season over. Yankees lose. Theeeeeeee Yankees lose!!! Of course, I had to go there. Jeffrey Maier II could not even save them. When you flaunt winning like they do, like their fans do, like even their play-by-play announcer does, you have to expect some fans to revel in it when you lose. To some, the Yankees represent excellence - To others, all that is wrong with baseball. Checkbook baseball. Right after they lost Friday night, my first thought was this: If they didn't win it this year with a $213 million dollar payroll, will they have a $313 million dollar payroll next year, or will they just go to $413 million? Maybe that's what it will be if they resign Derek Jeter and add Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford. Now, there's a depressing thought. Anyway, what October proved again is that it is much easier to beat the Yankees this month, in the playoffs, than it is over 162 games and six months. Texas entered the playoffs with 90 wins, the fewest of all AL postseason clubs. They went 19-25 versus the AL East, including a 4-6 mark versus the Orioles, during the regular season. But they beat Tampa and New York to go 7-4 versus the East in the playoffs. The Rangers showed me something when they won the first two games of the playoffs in Tampa. They showed me more in game two versus New York. After blowing game one when they gave up five runs in the eighth, they led 5-0 after three innings of game two. After losing that first game, they out-scored the Yankees 25-5 over the next three games. This was more than just Cliff Lee. Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson have a combined 2.68 ERA in six starts this month. This was more than Josh Hamilton. Nelson Cruz has five post-season homers, while Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Benji Molina and Mitch Moreland are hitting over .300 in the playoffs. Hard not to feel good for a franchise in its 50th year that, until this month, had never won a postseason series or even a postseason home game. The Rangers should represent the AL well in the World Series. Meanwhile, many O's fans are thrilled the Yankees got beat. Brian Cashman was wearing a hat that said "spring training" on it after the game. Guess his "wait 'til next year" hat was at home. Now we are left to wonder just how George Steinbrenner's sons will react to all this. Here is one final stat: If an O's fan really wants to get under a Yankee fan's skin, they could probably point out that CC Sabathia and A.J Burnett had a combined 39.5 million dollar salary this year and the duo's combined playoff ERA is 6.14. A-Rod and Mark Teixeira, with a combined 52 million dollars worth of salary this season, combined to bat .186-1-6 in the playoffs.
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The World Series of Costumes

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