Reporting Bud Gillett
ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Disappointed North Texas baseball fans can only wait until next year after the Texas Rangers were eliminated in their one and only post season game Friday.
Disappointment and disgust were emotions CBS 11 News heard from fans about a team that led the American League West all but the last day of the season….then were one-and-done in the playoffs.
“Just disappointed. Heartbreaking; just to see them go out like this,” said Ryan McGuire moments after the 5-1 loss. “For what’s happened the last couple of years to come down to this? It’s heartbreaking.”
Other fans weighed in on a season that might have been. “I would’ve changed a lot of things. First of all I would’ve changed the batting order, the whole lineup,” said Todd Johnson, adding, “I think we had a horrible loss. I wish we could’ve won the game. Then again, we just didn’t make the cut.”
Cole Fieber partially blamed the crowd. “It was weak, weak. We had very little fan support. the game wasn’t sold out. They still had tickets left.”
In the aftermath Saturday, players and coaches cleared out their lockers to go their own ways, wondering if they had maybe seen the last of Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. Hamilton is a free agent, and Cruz will be one after next season, so he is subject to trade rumors.
Hamilton’s play of late and manager Ron Washington’s lineup were singled out for criticism, especially by fans fascinated with stats, like Jason Razo of Fort Worth.
“A lot of sabrematricians are not that fond of Ron Washington’s lineup construction and things like that, but whoever he puts out there the players still need to do it,” said Razo. He also observed the home town fans. “The crowd seemed as tense and the players and nervous and not too confident it was going to go their way. Everything had been sliding backwards the last couple of weeks and this epitomized how they’ve been playing the last two weeks.”
Still, Razo and others hit the Rangers merchandise shop at the ballpark, where diehard supporters could get unique keepsakes; a shirt or hat bearing witness to a single event: Texas’ 2012 post season.
Jason Moore, a fan from Houston, doesn’t like the single elimination game. ”I feel like some mistakes were made and they were easily correctable and I just wish we could play them again.”
Gene Kropff and his son, 11-year-old Riley Kropff, were in attendance at the fateful game, but still came back Saturday to buy Rangers gear.
“The offense just collapsed,” said the elder Kropff, “we couldn’t score any runs the Rangers have largely been about run support for their pitchers.”
Riley added, “I think Josh Hamilton’s attitude is pretty bad, also; Josh Hamilton is not doing too good.” Still a Rangers fan is a Rangers fan and
Gene Kropff is already looking forward to next season. ”107 days until pitchers and catchers report, something like that,” he said.
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