I live in Texas which is, in my humble opinion, the best state in the union. I was born here and get a rash if I’m out of the state for more than a week. Seriously. I really do understand how you might not agree if you were born in another state, but it’s the kind of understanding I have for people who were born right-handed instead of left. (It’s ok, honey. Not everybody is born left-handed.) The best state in the union should have the best baseball team in the world, right? Right!?
Early in my life, I learned that Texas only has one professional baseball team. Yes, by 1972 we had the Texas Rangers, but the only team that counted was the Houston Astros. The Astros had previously been called the Colt 45’s before NASA moved to Houston and the Astrodome was self-proclaimed the 8th wonder of the world.
Our grandmother was a big Astros fan, listening to them on the radio every night right after she said the rosary. I’m not sure if it was because then as now I had the physique of a pillow pet or because I slept like one, but I was the one who shared the bed with Grandma when our family visited her in San Antonio. Listening Grandma softly murmur encouragement (“Come on, boys. You can do it!”) as she listened to the game on Astros Radio was what put me to sleep.
Grandma never got to see her Astros in the playoffs; they didn’t win the NL West Division until 1980 and she passed away in 1976. Out of loyalty to her, I watched them in the playoffs, but every playoff game I saw her Astros play were heartbreakers. I can’t imagine her disappointment when they got bushwhacked by the Chicago White Soxs in 2005.
Disloyal as it might have been, I watched the Rangers last year when they played in the World Series against San Francisco. They lost 4-1 and I began to see a trend with Texas teams in the World Series. Friday night when the Rangers lost the World Series 4-3 to the St. Louis Cardinals confirmed the hypothesis. What the heck!
Evidently, Texas is not destined to have a World Series winner. Personally, I think it was the darn rally squirrel. I wondered why people were waving squirrels at the game when cardinals are the mascot. Then, I watched the Fox News pre-game and found out about the Rally Squirrel.
The Rally Squirrel made his arrival during Game 3 of the NLDS, when he ran around the outfield and down the third-base line to briefly interrupt the game with Ryan Theriot at the plate in the sixth inning. In Game 4 the Rally Squirrel took center stage when it darted across home plate just moments after Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt threw a pitch to Skip Schumaker whichh the ump called a ball. The squirrel then ran into the stands as Oswalt protested that the pitch shouldn’t have counted because the squirrel distracted him. That was when the Power of the Rally Squirrel exerted itself. They ruled against Oswalt in an obvious miscarriage of justice.
Did the Rangers have a Rally Squirrel or something comparable? I think not. We probably should have just forfeited the series. The odds were against us before we ever got to St. Louis. Or maybe there are just some things that Texas, great state that it is, doesn’t get to have. I mean, New Jersey has a Republican governor who recognized that the state was is deep doo and decided against running for president with the words: “Now is not my time,” Christie said. “New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me,”
Does Texas get to have that type of Republican governor? Dear heavens, no! We’ve got Rick Perry who is trying to convince everybody but us Texans who know better that “everything is just fine.” Ignore the drought, the wildfires, the lack of funding for schools, the troubles at facilities for the disabled, and rising unemployment. Everything is just fine.
Maybe a squirrel needs to run through the Governor’s mansion and bring us some good MoJo. We may need a herd of squirrels.