CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 31: Joe Nathan #36 of the Minnesota Twins pitches in the 9th inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 31, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Twins defeated the White Sox 7-6. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joe Nathan
Many Texas Rangers fans have likely not been able to forget about Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. Remember? That game when the Rangers were one strike away from their first World Series crown ... twice. Yeah, that's the one.
OK, now that you've recalled it, go ahead and wipe the vomit from your shirt and prepare to do what the Rangers have done — move on.
Manager Ron Washington called his closed-door meeting Sunday to tell his team to put 2011 in the past, where it belongs. The usual suspects apparently spoke at the meeting: Washington, elder statesman Michael Young and Joe Nathan??
Nathan, a 37-year-old veteran closer has yet to play a game in a Rangers uniform but Washington wanted his veteran presence felt from the get-go after the first official workout of spring training Sunday.
"I talked about what it looks like from the outside looking in," Nathan told ESPN Dallas. "For me, watching that, they were the better team. What happened is baseball. Stuff happens in this game is sometimes unexplainable, but it doesn't mean they weren't the better team and I'm excited to be here and that they had nothing to be ashamed about."
Nathan had 47 saves in 2009 before missing all of 2010 due to injury. He slowly made his way back in 2011 and seemed to be finally hitting his old stride toward the end of last season as he recorded 14 saves, including 11 straight over the last 2 1/2 months of the season for the lowly Minnesota Twins.