For those fans of pure playoff chaos, the masochists who derive extreme pleasure out of the idea of a seven-way tie for one playoff spot, you, like the rest of the contenders this time of year, have a magic number: 81. Once the contenders for the second wild-card spot in the American League start exceeding 81 wins, the dreams of anarchy go with it. The idea of the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles ending up in one giant morass of mediocrity is delicious, if altogether unrealistic.
Buster Olney ESPN Senior Writer Close Senior writer ESPN Magazine/ESPN.com Analyst/reporter ESPN television Author of "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty" Follow on Twitter Yu Darvish is known to put pressure on himself and, since he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, there is a sense around that team that he wants to prove himself to his new teammates. The perception in the room is that he wants to demonstrate that he was a worthy addition as a finishing piece to a championship-caliber team. Human nature. As if all of that isn’t enough: Darvish has many tens of millions of dollars on the line as a potential free agent this fall, and the 2017 season hasn’t gone according to plan for him.
Editor's note: Take a look back into The Dallas Morning News archives. For almost 50 years, the Texas Rangers baseball team has called the D-FW area home. While many younger people may take the team for granted, older Rangers fans remember how challenging it was to lure a franchise to the region. On Sept. 18, 1962, four Dallasites pleaded Dallas' case to American League's top brass, but president Joe Cronin and his board were less than enthusiastic. Although rumors flew wildly that Kansas City A's owner Charles Finley had his eye on Dallas, no formal request was ever made. At the end of the presentation, any hopes for a 1963 D-FW team were dashed with Cronin's statement that "there is no sentiment