Five hours before the first pitch of last night’s elimination game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays, a colleague casually asked whether I was ready. It was just casual office chitchat, but I could tell by the halting way I said “yes” and the slight twitching of my left eye that Game 5 of the playoff series was making me more nervous than I had realized.
Can you blame me? I’ve been a Rangers fan since I was a kid and can mark the stages of my life by what happened during trips to the old Arlington Stadium. My first Rangers hero was Jeff Burroughs, an outfielder who was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1974, when I was eight years old. It was perfect: Our first and middle names were the same, and we had the same last initial. The following season, when a man in the stands suggested the Rangers mow the patch of outfield Burroughs patrolled into the shape