|Is tonight THE night?|
The lights are on. Clouds are circling but so far nothing but sprinkles.
The wind is howling in from the south/right field, which means -- as evidenced by Josh Hamilton's extra-hitting session right now -- the jet stream out to right-center is in full effect and it will take more than a couple runs to win this thing.
More important, the Texas Rangers are on the brink of history. After 39 years the Rangers are nine innings and 27 outs from the World Effin' Series.
Will they get there tonight?
Game 6 of the ALCS is a rematch of last Saturday's Game 2, which is seemingly good news. In that game Rangers' starter Colby Lewis retired the Yankees on nine pitches in the first and sailed to a 7-2 victory. Yankees' starter Phil Hughes was battered for 10 hits and seven runs in four innings.
Of course it will a different, more desperate New York team tonight. CC Sabathia will be available in the bullpen. Closer Mariano Rivera might try a two-inning save.
The Yankees won't go meekly. They have pride and talent and 27 World Series and they are like the crabs in that, until they're totally gone they're not gone at all.
This weekend in Arlington will either be unprecedented history, or an epic Texas Fold 'Em.
In this surreal season Tom Grieve will throw out tonight's first pitch, BJ Thomas will sing the National Anthem, Miss Texas Ashley Melnick "God Bless America" in the seventh, and the flyover will be four F-18's from the VMFA-112 Marines Corps Unit. There will be 45,000 red pom poms in the stands and a guy on the mound -- Lewis -- who a year ago was pitching in obscurity in Japan.
Of course, if nothing goes according to plan and all else fails tonight, there are two words to massage the feelings of Rangers fans:
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Yankees: Jeter/ Granderson/ Cano/ A-Rod/ Berkman/ Swisher/ Posada/ Thames/ Gardner
Rangers: Andrus/ Young/ Hamilton/ Vlad/ Cruz/ Kinsler/ Murphy/ Molina/ Moreland