Win or lose, tonight's the final home game of the 2010 Texas Rangers season. And, yes, even the die-hards must admit at this late date (November 1, itself a remarkable achievement) that the Rangers' chances of winning the World Series look slim. But Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg, posting to his Facebook page in the wee small hours of this morning, has one last favor to ask the fans, especially those in attendance tonight: Do not give up hope. He writes:
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We all owe it to ourselves, our players and each other, to celebrate with passion, enthusiasm and indefatigable belief from lineup cards to the final out, loud and proud.
The defining team of my young life was the 1979, "We are Family" Pittsburgh Pirates. I have often remarked how much this Rangers club reminds me of that team, with a confident but friendly swagger and an abundance of character and personality.
Now these two teams have something else in common. Both fell behind 3-1 in the World Series. Kent Tekulve, the great closer from the '79 Pirates, texted me after tonight's game to pass along this story. Before Game 5, Willie Stargell told his teammates:
"We are playing in front of the whole world. We may not win this thing, but before we go, let's show the world how the Pirates really play baseball."