The narrative doesn’t end there, though. Here are some key questions for fans to ponder as they await free agent King Albert’s decision as to whether he’ll play for the Cubs – or even the Rangers – next season.
HOW RELIEVED IS TONY LARUSSA? The Cardinals manager had set himself up as the World Series goat. In Game 5 he’d failed to ensure the right relievers were warming up, arguably costing his team the game. It was so bad that at one point LaRussa signaled for a right-hander and was greeted by a different reliever than the one he thought he would be getting.
Now LaRussa won’t have to worry about a stain on his reputation. Instead he’ll be remembered as he ought to be – the greatest manager since baseball games hit television. His touch in the clubhouse and chess master player match-ups worked this time. Is he a frenetic over-manager? OK, Tampa’s Joe Maddon is relaxed, but how many World Series has he won?
ARE THE RANGERS THE NEW RED SOX? The Rangers did not just lose. They lost in . . . well, let’s say it was deflating, the sense that you’re in a blimp at 5,000 feet and an asteroid bursts through the blimp itself and the whole thing collapses in flames. That kind of deflating.
Twice they were one strike from winning. In the ninth inning of Game 6 Ranger right-fielder Nelson Cruz might have caught Freese’s shot to the base of the wall, bringing the championship back to Texas.
Cruz hit eight home runs in the post-season, so it’s not like he was an anvil on the team. But his ill-timed leap seemed Greek in its tragedy. Just like the kind of thing that used to happen to the Red Sox, before they became the Yankees of Cambridge.