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Total team effort

Total team effort

Credit: AP

The Texas Rangers celebrate a 6-1 win over the New York Yankees in the deciding Game 6 of baseball's American League Championship Series Friday, Oct. 22, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

by TED MADDEN / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 12:18 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 19 at 12:32 PM

His shadow was long. His game seven start loomed. But at the end of the day, Cliff Lee won "only" one game in the ALCS. And now that he hasn't had to bail the Rangers out in a game seven, nearly the every player on the team can feel like he played a role in taking the Rangers to their first World Series.

Josh Hamilton won the series MVP award, with four home runs and eight walks (most of them intentional). Colby Lewis went 2-0 in the series. Elvis Andrus and Michael Young led the team with nine base hits. Vlad Guerrero had a big hits to help Texas win games 3 and 6, making up for his slump. Mitch Moreland led the team in batting in the ALCS, at .389. Nelson Cruz hit two more home runs (five in the post-season); Bengie Molina hit a 3-run homer in game 4 to give Texas the lead and eventually the win. David Murphy had a homer and a double in the game 2 win. Ian Kinsler, Jeff Francoeur, Julio Borbon all contributed on offense. Derek Holland got a win in relief.

Had Cliff Lee been needed (and succeeded) in winning a game 7, the series would have probably been more about him than any other player. Instead, this series win belongs to everybody.

Is this significant? Probably not, in regards to whether they end up winning the World Series. The 1990's Chicago Bulls belonged to Michael Jordan, and they had no problem winning. The Lakers have won back-to-back NBA Championships, and that team is clearly Kobe Bryant's. But it does make this Ranger team that much more likable. And it's a team on which every player knows that his contributions will be needed in the World Series, and maybe that will help them all stay 100% involved, instead of relying on a single star to lead them.

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