Who Would Have Thought?

October 23, 2010

11:30 p.m.

 

            Just finished watching my former team win a spot in the World Series against my current team. It’s amazing that it has turned out this way. I wonder if that’s ever happened before: one player who, in a single season, has been a starter for the two teams that end up playing in the World Series.

But believe me, I’m pulling 150 percent for the Rangers. I love the guys on this team, and I love these fans. When the umpire rung up A-Rod for the final out of the game, all I remember is bolting for the mound and jumping onto Feliz. Everyone else on the team ran in from the bullpen and the dugout and threw themselves on us. I suddenly found myself flatted on the bottom of the pile. I could hardly breathe – that’s a lot of poundage in that pile. I had the ball in my glove and suddenly someone took it out. I later learned it was Feliz, which was fine. But I’m lying there on the infield dirt. I can’t move a muscle – and my face is smashed into Feliz’s Afro. That was nasty. And Matt Treanor is kissing me on the cheek. It was crazy.

When everyone finally peeled themselves away, I looked up into the stands. It was incredible. All through the stadium, tiny bursts of light flashed from thousands of cameras. I could see people cheering and crying. I saw signs that said, “We Believe!” Confetti fluttered all around us. I saw the scoreboard blazing with the words, “Hello World Series!” I felt as if I was in a dream. When you’ve been around the game as long as I have, you take nothing for granted. You know how rare and special these moments are. I loved making a lap around the field. The fans here have waited so long for this, and I’m so grateful I got to be a part of it.

I sought out Colby Lewis on the field and hugged him and told him how much I respect and admire him for how he pitched. With so much at stake and so much pressure, he was absolutely locked in. He is exactly what this team is all about: guys who believe in themselves and in each other.

I admit that it’s going to feel weird to play against the Giants. But it’s also a great feeling. I have lots of brothers over in that clubhouse, not just the players but the coaches and clubbies and trainers. So, of course, I was rooting for them all the way, yelling and cheering at my TV.

 I know one of the story lines of this Series will be me and Buster Posey, the rookie who replaced me on the Giants. People seem to have a hard time believing that Buster and I have nothing but affection for each other. He’s a talented, smart and humble kid. I appreciate how he conducts himself and the credit he gives me for teaching him a few things. He texts me all the time, including after we won the pennant Friday night. And I texted him and other Giants players tonight, congratulating them. I’m so happy for all of them. I know how hard they worked.

Do I think my knowledge of the Giants will help me and the Rangers? I sure hope so. But I don’t think it will help to the degree people might think. Obviously, I haven’t been watching their hitters lately, so it will be our scouts and our pitching giving the pitchers and catchers the most accurate and up-to-date info. And as far as hitting the Giants pitchers, I might drive myself crazy trying to out-think them. They know that I know what they like to throw in certain situations, so they’re not going to throw it, or maybe they will because they’ll think I won’t be expecting it. Or something like that. Anyway, I could twist my brain into a pretzel instead of just getting into the box and hitting the ball.

I can’t wait to get to San Francisco and start playing. This is going to be an amazing Series. Both teams have heart. Both teams are fearless.

It’s amazing to think that no matter who wins, I’ll have my second World Series ring. If this is my last year in baseball, what better ending than to have contributed to both teams in the World Series? I couldn’t ask for anything more.

OK, I could ask for one more thing.

Another rush to the pitcher’s mound, another stadium filled with flashing cameras and a scoreboard ablaze with the words, “World Series Champion Texas Rangers!”

12 Comments

Bengie,

I’m a huge Giants fan, and you were one of my favorites. I will be rooting for the Giants, but also for you. Although, I’m not a fan of the fact you are the catcher on an AL West team going for their first ever World Series Championship playing against us. It didn’t work out so well in 2002.

To answer your question, Lonnie Smith is the only other player to play the team he was traded from in the World Series the same year. It was in 1985, Royals and Cardinals.

It’s going to be a great series! Go G-men!!!

Bengie, I am 43 and have been a Rangers fan since I was a little kid. I have gone to countless games through the years. The “wait til next year” mantra is officially out the window. I get chills everytime I go back and look at highlights of the playoff games that I recorded and just can’t bring myself to delete off the DVR just yet! Everytime I think about yall being in the World Series, I get chills!

You guys are truly amazing. What team chemistry. And you guys are so much fun to watch!

I consider this the greatest sports moment in DFW history. Seriously! This eclipses the Super Bowls, Stanley Cup and NBA finals. All I can hope is that this team stays together for next season and that we don’t lose anyone to free agency….make them all stay, Bengie! And that includes you!

Tell your teammates that we’re all rooting for yall in San Fran and we’ll see you back in the ballpark next weekend!

I love your attitude Bengie and as a Giants fan I’m hoping for the best for San Francisco, but it’s been a pleasure following you with Texas since you left and I’m thrilled you made it to the Fall Classic! We loved having you here and I’m so glad you’re gonna get a ring regardless! God bless.

I don’t know what happened with Lonnie Smith, but Bengie could end up with *two* rings for this year, a League Championship *and* a World Series ring. Oddly, you’ve been instrumental in getting *both* teams to the World Series. I’d still like that to be an American League Championship ring, though… :)
I did think it was for the better for you to go from a third-place (at the time) team to a first place one who later traded for Cliff Lee to boot.
Frightening thought: *Neither* team has won a World Series during my lifetime.

I made an account just so I could tell you to keep up the work Bengie. on the field, and on the internet! (I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m enjoying catching up on your past posts). Your views and insight to these key moments is awesome, especially without having reporters getting in the way and asking the same standard questions sometimes.
After watching a lot of seasons fall apart it’s awesome to see the Rangers as a whole turn the corner and pull out all the stops to get the talent in all facets they need to go all the way. Whilst being traded and leaving a home is never fun. (my own job has me in Seattle for at least 6 months right now) The fact you are on two teams that are in the word series, and that one of them purposely had their eye on you as a piece they needed to make it all the way shows a lot about your talent and work ethic.
I will be watching nonstop from Seattle. You just keep up the excellent work and keep doing what you guys do and it’ll all work out good.

Hi Bengie! Congratulations to you and your fellow Texas Rangers for winning the ALCS and advancing to the World Series! I am delighted that the Texas Rangers will be the AL team in the World Series. . .partly because it will be the club’s first time there, but mostly because you will also be there. And you’ll get a WS ring regardless of which team wins, which is fitting, because you have been a true Champion. Both teams have been fortunate to have you in their ranks.
Although I will naturally be cheering for the Giants to win the WS, I trust that you will also do well to help the Rangers make their very first appearance in the WS a most memorable one. Best Wishes, Bengie!

Congratulations, Bengie! I’ll be rooting for Giants, but I will give you a standing O the first time you come up in SF, and I bet I won’t be alone.

hey bengie, i just want to echo the sentiments of sfrith22 above — i was so sad to see you leave my giants, and while i’ve been rooting for them all season and will continue to do so during the series, i have been so thrilled that you’ve settled in well and had a successful season with the rangers. i miss seeing you in the orange, but will always root for you no matter what colors you’re wearing. and as much as i want a giants victory in the series, i can’t help thinking that if we lose, having you on the winning team will cushion the blow. best of luck!!

Bengie,
Glad to see you still blogging. This is great for us all baseball fans that you continue to give us inside into the playoff. I am enjoying your reports as I am sure many fans here are.
Thanks for all the work you are putting into blogging! I think is great you will get a ring no matter what.
.
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

I moved from Orange County to the East Bay a year after you did, Benjie, so I’ve been a fan of yours with two teams and two leagues! You are great ambassador for baseball through this articulate, candid, class-act of a blog. I won’t be in the park Weds, but I earnestly hope you get the love and respect from the SF fans that you deserve.

Bengie has always been a class act…no matter who he played for. And I can remember a certain Angels scout many years ago talking to me across a table in a restaurant in Midland, Texas after a AA Angels game….he told me Bengie would never make it to the majors because he “didn’t want to be there”. Boy would I love to have just 30 seconds with the scout today! Bengie proved him wrong – and I knew all along he would. Bengie has given every team he has played for 110%. Will be cheering for Bengie and the Texas Rangers from the East Coast – even if I have to stay up half the night waiting for the game to finish when they are in California! GO BENGIE and GO TEXAS RANGERS!

Bengie, I’m a lifelong Giant’s fan and I wanted to echo the others in how much you meant to the Giants and their fans. You have been a class act all the way and you are still loved in San Francisco. Of course, I’m rooting for the Giants but I am SO happy for you and the influence you have had on both World Series teams. I wish you the best of luck and please know that you will always have a special place in the hearts of the fans of San Francisco.

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