Seven.

I woke up this morning to the dismal realization that, in fact, that happened.

Baseball is still the greatest game, but on some nights it's the hardest to take.

But this is mentally the strongest team I've ever seen, at any level in any sport. Tonight the Rangers will need to be stronger mentally than they've ever had to be.

And better tactically, and a lot better defensively, and better at throwing strikes, and, I'm afraid, better at capitalizing offensively, even on a night when they absolutely do enough at the plate to win.

Because on some nights, it turns out it may not be enough.

Maybe the Rangers just need to be better at one or two of those things. Last night, if they were better on just one pitch, more than once, there is no more baseball to be played.

The Rangers need to be just as good at not losing consecutive games as they've been for more than two months.

I know there's a strong sense, probably just about everywhere outside the visitors' clubhouse, that you'd rather be the Cardinals than the Rangers going into Game Seven tonight.

But you'd much rather be the Rangers than at least 28 other teams.

Thirty teams dreamed of this opportunity, some with more conviction than others, the moment that Pitchers & Catchers Reported eight and a half months ago.

All but two of them are left watching this epic battle play out to its decisive end, just like you and me.

Texas can win the World Series tonight.

And as difficult as last night was to take, a great and terrible baseball game that I will never make any effort to watch again, I don't know how an opportunity to do that can be anything other than awesome.

I need the Rangers to put me on their back tonight. They've more than earned my faith.

They never quit. Never.

Don't.

 
title_authors

Jamey Newberg

Dallas attorney Jamey Newberg has been commenting on Rangers from the big club down through the entire farm system since 1998.

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas was born in Arlington, Texas, to Richard and Becky Lucas. He lived mostly in Arlington before moving to Austin, where he graduated from The University of Texas. Scott works for Austin Valuation Consultants, Ltd., and has published several boring articles about real estate appraisal and environmental contamination. He makes a swell margarita and refuses to run longer than ten kilometres.

Eleanor Czajka

Eleanor grew up watching the AAA Mudhens in Toledo, Ohio. A loyal Ranger fan since 1979, she works "behind the scenes" at the Newberg Report.