Big congratulations to the Texas Rangers for slaying the Evil Empire and reaching the World Series for the first time in club history. I admit I’ve always had a soft spot for the Rangers, back when Pete O’Brien, Buddy Bell, and Larry Parrish were thumping the ball around the park and Charlie Hough was slinging spitballs. The Rangers have always had brushes with All-Star players: Juan Gonzalez, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmiero, Ruben Sierra, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Julio Franco, Kevin Brown, and Kenny Rogers all spent time as a Ranger. But these players never seemed to put it together and reach that “next level” of baseball achievement until they were away from the Lone Star State. It’s good to see that they’re cultivating and keeping their own stars and building a team that can be successful not just this year, but for several years to come.