Last night, during the 10th inning of Game 6, Steve Busby handed the mic to his Rangers broadcast partner -- Eric Nadel, Frick Award finalist and a man whose voice has gotten us through countless seasons in hell. Buzz wanted to make sure Eric had the opportunity to call the final out of the game, to usher the Texas Rangers, finally, into the ultimate win column. Alas, it was not to be: Lance Berkman's single up the middle tied the ballgame, and one inning later, the catastrophic collapse was complete.
"Last night I felt like I let down every Ranger fan out there by not being able to deliver the last out," Nadel says, some 13 short hours later. "I know it makes no sense, but that's how I felt. It was incredibly gracious of Busby to let me call the Berkman at-bat so I could have the thrill of calling the out that won the World Series, only to have me screw it up for the second straight inning." He lets out a small, sad laugh.
"Which makes no sense at all. But that was my emotion at the time."
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Nadel didn't sleep well; he finally climbed out of bed around 11, and will have to spend the time between then and his 3:15 p.m. taping of The Ron Washington Show catching up on what, exactly, he watched last night from the broadcast booth: "I have a lot of questions about plays, decisions." It's time to rally. Everyone.
"I have a game to do tonight," he says. "This may be the only time in my life I get to do a Game 7 of a World Series, so I gotta get myself into the frame of mind where I am cherishing the opportunity. For Rangers fans, it'll probably be the only time they see the team in Game 7 of a World Series, and they need to cherish that opportunity. If and when the Rangers win tonight, it'll be that much sweeter having gone through the heartbreak of last night. And, yeah, my heart is totally broken right now, but there's a chance for it to be repaired in one game."
"Rangers fans are grieving," he said earlier in our chat, when I asked him what I asked Jamey Newberg.
"Thing is, all isn't lost. It's not worth grieving over one game. People grieve at their own paces, but the game's over whether they lost 15-0 or the way they did. There's nothing you can do about it. The focus should be on tonight, and we need all the positive energy we can muster for tonight. It's cliched and all that, but it's a new day. And I was repulsed, disgusted, horrified and bitter even when I woke up this morning, since there wasn't much to wake up from, but it's time for an attitude change. We have a game tonight that, if we win, makes us the world champions."