The Rangers give Ron Washington a 26 year-old GM product as a thank you

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I kid the GM people!  It’s just that I lived in Flint, Michigan for the first 11 years of my life and was surrounded by people — and continue to be in contact with many of them — who act as if General Motors didn’t make some pretty awful cars in the 1980s. And not just that, they treated you (i.e. my old man) like he had committed treason for buying a 1980 Toyota Supra back in the day.  As if he were trying to betray the auto industry. Pshaw! It’s just that he was entering his midlife crisis years, needed a peppy little sports car and couldn’t afford a Corvette thanks to the UAW blowing up the cost structure with their cushy, industry-killing demands!

Wait, I may have lost the thread there.  Never mind. The point here is that Ron Washington had a customized 1985 Cadillac Eldorado that he loved more than life itself which he lost in Hurricane Katrina. As a gesture of gratitude for the 2010 pennant, the Rangers tracked down one just like it, had it customized and presented it to Washington as a gift, and he is over-the-moon happy about it. Which is beyond cool.

Don’t laugh at Washington for loving that car. We all have irrational loves when it comes to vehicles. The car that I loved the most in my life was my 1987 Chevy Cavalier RS. Midnight blue. Got it before my senior year of high school and kept it through college. Despite it, you know, being a 1987 Chevy Cavalier RS, it ran like a top. And I didn’t care if the paint faded the hell off it in no time, a phenomenon with which anyone who owned a blue 1980s Chevy product is intimately familiar. It was my car, man. I loved that car. If they all hadn’t rusted out years ago, I’d buy another one in a second.

And no, that has nothing to do with the fact that I am the same age my dad was around the time he bought that 1980 Supra.  No midlife crisis here, no-siree, nope!

Justin Verlander named ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.