CONGRATULATIONS TEXAS RANGERS!

I was delighted to watch the Rangers knock off the Tampa Bay Rays again by winning three out of four games and advance to the American League Championship Series.

Here come the World Series champs — for the second year in a row!

This team is amazing.They can win in so many different ways. How about Adrian Beltre hitting three consecutive home runs! Only six other players, including the Hall of Famers Babe Ruth (twice), Reggie Jackson and George Brett, had ever homered three times in a postseason game. Great move signing him when Boston let him go last winter and then Cliff Lee took off for Philadelphia.

The Rays owner graciously praised the Rangers:”They went out in the off-season, and during the season, and spent and spent and picked up some players,” Stuart Sternberg said. “They’re a different franchise right now.”

That’s quite a compliment, considering the team’s stunning year in 2010.

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that the Rangers were just another team that couldn’t win its division.

In Game 4, Manager Ron Washington got five strong innings from Matt Harrison, who came here in the brilliant 2007 deal that also brought Andrus and closer Neftali Feliz.

Then Washington got four outs from his Game 2 starter, Derek Holland, and two from Mike Adams, acquired from San Diego for prospects in July. Alexi Ogando, an All-Star starter during the season, worked a 1-2-3 eighth. Then Feliz earned his third save of the series, pumping fastballs close to 100 miles per hour.

Nolan Ryan was named the team president after the 2007 season, two years after Daniels and his staff started reshaping the farm system. The organization came through bankruptcy last season, and with new ownership, a popular stadium and a steady flow of fans from a large market, the Rangers are thriving.

“Well, we’ve got a ways to go yet,” Ryan said, “This is the first step. But to be honest with you, I couldn’t be any prouder of the guys.”

Go Rangers! And go Arlington Cowboys against New England on Sunday!

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