The mid 1990s were the good ol’ days for the Texas Rangers. Well, sorta.
They won the American League West division titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999, but in each those years, they lost handedly to the Yankees. So the Yankees have history on their side it seems, heading into Game 1 of the ALCS Friday. But manager Joe Girardi doesn’t believe his club’s good fortune is predestined.
“I think history can play a role if you’re facing a role if you’re facing a team that you’ve faced in the playoffs before, where the players are on that team,” he said. “Not one of those guys happen to be on the Texas team that we faced in ‘90s, so for them, that doesn’t really mean anything. This is a very talented group of guys. Some of the guys have a lot of experience.
“You look at Vlad Guerrero and the postseason experience that he has and what he’s brought to that lineup. Michael young has been a staple there for a long time, has been the ultimate team player that has moved around and seems to be the leader on that team. Cliff Lee, obviously, has a pretty remarkable history of what he’s done in the postseason – even though it hasn’t been a lot of different seasons. But he’s been really good. So when you look at this club, probably most of them don’t remember the late ‘90s. And it’s not going to affect them one way or the other."
Young, the longest-tenured Ranger, joined the team in 2000.
Girardi also highlighted a major difference between his next opponent and the Minnesota Twins: Texas’ aggressiveness on the bases.
“That’s a big part of their game,” the manager said. “They’re more of a right-handed power lineup, where the Twins were more split up. The huge left-handed bat is Josh Hamilton and they’re going to throw a lot of big powerful right-handers at you. They’re a much more aggressive club than the Twins.”