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Friday, October 5, 2012
Rangers flush AL West collapse, focus on 'fun part of year'

By Tim MacMahon

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Collapse? What collapse?

Allowing the Oakland A’s to make a historic rally for the American League West title is a distant memory for the Rangers. Well, that’s their story and they’re sticking to it in the hours before a one-and-done wild-card game against the Orioles.

“Great, we’re excited,” clubhouse leader Michael Young said when asked about the Rangers’ morale after losing seven of the last nine games, including a three-game sweep by the A’s that bumped Texas into second place for the first time since April. “Postseason starts today. We’re excited about the opportunity we have. We’re ready to play.

“This is the fun part of the year for us.”

Manager Ron Washington doesn’t deny that the Rangers were extremely disappointed that they failed to accomplish their goal of winning the AL West.

However, the Rangers insist that their stumbling down the stretch isn’t weighing on their mind now. Young said the regular season “is all flushed down the toilet,” stressing that the Rangers built trust and equity in their clubhouse with their World Series runs the last two postseasons.

“What we know is we can play baseball,” Washington said. “It’s just a matter of going out there and putting it together the way we know we’re capable of doing it.

“Tonight, if we do that, [not winning] the division, I think that’ll be in the distant past. We’ll be in the playoffs, and then anything can happen.”