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06/20/2013

It's 2013 & Game 6 still honks

Web-WorldSeriesRangers _admiARLINGTON, Texas - Ron Washington was about as abrupt as a man can be with the subject because, really, what can you say?

"It happened," he said after the Rangers defeated the Oakland A's to take three out of four games in the series. "They were the world champs' and we were the runnerup. ... We all dealt with it in our way."

He is talking about the 2011 World Series, and specifically Game 6.

It's 2013 and Game 6 sucks. Still. Just pure sports pain.

Sports offers a million triggers to happy and sad memories, and the Rangers traveling to play the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis for a three-game series beginning Friday is the mother load of negative memories.

"I've already thrown too many balls and too many helmets over that," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said.

Even as a cynical, closet-optimist and tragic pragmatist when it comes to sports even I have to admit the way the Rangers lost Game 6 bothered me in a way few games have since I was a kid. Certainly since I entered sports media and realized the fans cry over these games often more than the players and coaches.

Mlb_a_freese13_600We were all mad, and watching the Cardinals celebrate their extra inning home run to win that game made me sick, even if I could professionally appreciate the rarity of both that night and the fantastic narrative. 

Here we are in 2013 and Game 6 still hurts. And I'm not even from here. The Reds were my childhood team, but Game 6 means one thing - the 2011 World Series. I'm not even technically a Rangers fan but I wanted that game for my friends, for Michael Young, John Blake, Randy Galloway, T.R. Sullivan, Jim Reeves, The Hardline at 1310 The Ticket, and mostly for the millions of loyal Rangers followers who wanted that moment so desperately.

I won't watch the highlights because I can see too many of them without trying.

* Adrian Beltre's monster home run for the big lead.
* Neftali Feliz's face as that two-out, ninth-inning shot from David Freese went to deep right.
* How quickly that drive ate up Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz and his inability to catch that bleepin' bleep, bleep ball.
* Thinking that drive could have been an inside the park home run.
* Watching Josh Hamilton hit that two-run home run for what should have been the game in the 10th.
* Feeling sick when Washington brought in Darren Oliver for the 10th.
* Feeling extra sick when Washington brought in Scott Feldman in the same inning.
* Resigned when Washington brought in Mark Lowe for the 11th.
* And actually getting mad when Freese hit that 873-foot home run to win the game.

Game 7 was no contest. No team was coming back from a loss like that.

"You can't dwell on it," Rangers pitcher Derek Holland told me, "but anybody that tells you that it didn't linger is lying to you."

Agreed.

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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