Elvis Was Bad, But It’s No Time to Burn Him at the Stake

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If you're a fan of the HBO show "Game of Thrones" you remember how last season ended, with Joffrey's mom (seriously, who can keep up with all the characters' names, anyway?) being publicly shamed as she walked through the streets of her city.

After Wednesday's Game 5 debacle, you kind of had to wonder if Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was going to face the same homecoming in DFW after his two errors (and three bad plays) were the main reason the Blue Jays were able to pull away and win a decisive Game 5 of the ALDS, ending the Rangers' magical season.

My colleague Richie Whitt summed it up pretty well today, placing a large portion of the blame for Wednesday's loss on the polarizing shortstop, and he was right to do so. But as he also pointed out, there were several other factors in the Rangers losing this series, even after taking a 2-0 lead by winning Games 1 and 2 in Toronto and then failing to get one more win over the next three games.

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Social media was ablaze on Wednesday evening as the seventh inning was happening and the game was slipping away, largely at Andrus' feet. Lots of folks telling us how Andrus should be embarrassed (he is) and how he doesn't care (he does). You think you hurt? Imagine how he felt, and still feels.

In the seventh inning alone, Mitch Moreland made a poor throw, and Rougned Odor totally misplayed the tying hit. The last error for Andrus was the most egregious of all, and he deserves the heat for it. Elvis choked, it's true.

But go back to what Andrus did in the regular season. He was awful — literally one of the worst starting players in all of baseball. Then, after the all-star break, he flipped a switch and proved everyone wrong that says he doesn't work hard enough and doesn't care. He worked on his game and flipped everything around — hitting .277 in the second half after batting .242 in the first half. He was dramatically better in all offensive categories post-break. As for his defense, he was spectacular after a horrendous first half, and if you remember back to the stretch run in September, and even Games 1 and 2 of this series, we were talking about how great Andrus had been in the field.

Bad things happen to good players, and on Wednesday, Andrus learned that in the cruelest of manners. Give him credit for standing up to the media after the game and taking his medicine with a ton of class and vowing to make this moment motivate him to be better next year. Until then, lay off a little bit.

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