If football is a religion in Texas, what does that make baseball? Call it what you will—a culture, a social landscape, a pastime—but no matter what you call it, the truth of the matter is that baseball is a huge deal in Texas as well. While football fans patiently await the off-season to end, another season of its own is starting to gain steam in both the collegiate and the professional ranks. Read on as UWeekly examines some of the more notable clubs in the Lone Star State and gets intimate with each and every one of them. Don’t worry, we brought rubbers.
Historically, Bevo is actually quite good when it comes to baseball. Besides winning six NCAA national championships, the Longhorns are essentially a baseball powerhouse and have been since before World War II. They’re basically considered a permanent fixture at the College World Series in Omaha every year.
As far as this season is concerned, however, it’s no secret that this is simply not the best team UT has ever fielded—hell, it’s not even close—but it is becoming increasingly obvious that one thing this year’s team does have is immense heart and a whole lot of cajones. As long as they keep up that attitude, however, no one will be complaining. Especially head coach Augie Garrido, who mentioned early on in the year that with such a young team, freshmen all over the place would be forced to step up. So far they have, with somewhat mixed results, but as they continue to improve, so will UT’s chances of making it to Omaha again this year. Here’s to hoping, because these damn tickets I bought for one-way airfare to Nebraska are non-refundable.
Ever wonder why you hardly ever see anything written about the Astros these days? Well, it’s because they’re terrible. Whenever a club openly admits that their season’s success hinges more on progress instead of wins and losses, that just automatically sets the bar incredibly low when it comes to actual expectations for this squad.
It’s not all bad for the Astros, however, as they truly are a team in transition. Besides playing in its first year under a new owner and new management, this will also be Houston’s final year in the National League as they make the move to join the American League next off-season. Usually when a team faces this many distractions heading into a season, especially if they’re fresh off a club-record 106-loss season, it generally means you’re in for another long season. It’s not all bad, however, as Houston literally has nowhere to go but up and are starting to load themselves with better talent. The Astros these days, however, are a far cry from the group that made it to the World Series just over half a decade ago.
The Texas Rangers, media darling to just about every sports news outlet in the nation, have been enjoying some of the greatest success in club history despite the fact that they are now 0 for 2 in World Series with both of the championship losses coming in back-to-back years. If you’re a true Rangers fan, however, you don’t let it get you down. After all, chances are you remember when the Rangers were a perennial punch-line in the baseball universe while playing perpetual second-fiddle to the other pro franchise in the nation, the Houston Astros. Oh, how the times have changed.
These days, the Astros can only hope to sniff the same kind of success the Rangers have been having ever since Nolan Ryan took over in the owner’s booth. That’s what makes baseball such a cruel mistress: the gradual degradation that can happen to a club over the course of a season. While that’s where the Astros find themselves these days, the Rangers have established themselves as perennial contenders and don’t look to be going away anytime soon. Here’s to you winning your first World Series, Texas Rangers. Few clubs in baseball are more deserving.