The Texas Rangers led the Toronto Blue Jays two games to none in the best-of-five ALDS this past October, but came up short. Toronto's furious rally earned them three straight wins and a trip to the ALCS, while the Rangers saw the series slip through their fingers.
In a recent appearance on KTCK The Ticket (as summarized by the Dallas Morning News), manager Jeff Banister addressed a few things about his 2015 club - including his words to the team after that frustrating ALDS exit.
As Banister sees it, losing a series in the manner the Rangers did provides the players - many of them young and relatively inexperienced, after all - with a chance to learn and be even more motivated should they return to October in the future:
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"The one thing I think I do well is I shower very well. That doesn't mean that I have forgotten any part of that loss. Because as I talked to every one of our players at the very end and right after that game, 'Don't forget this one. Don't just gloss past this one. Allow this one to burn for the entire winter. Because if this doesn't get you up in the morning to get to the gym, to get to the field, to give you some determination to continue to work for what you want to achieve then I don't know what motivation is out there.' So I'm not going to allow this one just to go away. (But) we all need to find a way to wash well. Part of that shower process is to learn to not allow that burn to get too hot. There is a moment in time where you shut the door. You close one door and you open another. And that's similar to what I talked to our guys (about) in spring training last year about 2014. One of the things we did for them was we helped them close the book on 2014. We've talked about the playoff loss, of how it's going to help us, how we're going to utilize that burn. And we can shut the door on that playoff loss. It's just about finding the appropriate time."
Being a professional athlete pretty much requires one to have a short memory and/or be able to bounce back quickly from disappointment, but given the context of the Rangers' ALDS loss Banister's perspective makes sense since it can really be a learning tool moving forward.