Twelve years later.

And here we are.

After a three-day wait the followed a twelve year wait, the Rangers are playing in the World Series again. Twelve years after one-strike away. Twelve years after “the year of Napoli.” Twelve years after Cruz didn’t catch it, the Rangers are back.

The team with Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli, David Murphy, and Mitch Moreland has morphed into the team with Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Evan Carter, Adolis Garcia, Mitch Garver, Jonah Heim, Nathanial Lowe, Josh Jung, and Leody Taveras.

The team with CJ Wilson, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison, and Derek Holland is now the team with Nathan Eovaldi, Jordan Montgomery, and Max Scherzer.

It’s not the Cardinals, it’s the Diamondbacks. Arizona got where they are exactly the same way Texas did. Sweeping the Wild Card Series. Sweeping the Division Series. Taking the Championship Series in seven games.

The Rangers need to hope their mighty offense continues in bludgeon mode. And that their two-man bullpen won’t require the help of a third man, or, gulp, a fourth or fifth. 

It’s hard to believe this team is in the World Series. After six years of wandering in the wilderness, lost, here they are. Found. 

Game 1 is tonight. After all this time.