They were gassed.
Regardless of which way you describe the end of the Rangers 2012 campaign there is no question the organization failed to reach their ultimate goal from mid-February to yet another demoralizing end to a season in October.
October is quickly becoming a month filled with both elation and an equivalent amount of pain for these Rangers and their fan base.
So what's the good news?
Is there any good news?
You bet there is because Jon Daniels and his Super Friends have built a foundation for a team capable of winning the World Series over the next few seasons.
Sure, each year will bring about subtle changes and this offseason is no different, although it's hard to call letting Josh Hamilton walk a subtle change but that's exactly what the Rangers must do.
Josh Hamilton has provided Rangers fans with a lot of memories over the past five seasons, some good, some bad, but memories none the less.
However, his immense talent is not worth the distractions he brings, and it is certainly not worth putting up with the attitude concerns his final month in Texas verified.
Josh can say all he wants that he gave his best this season but we all saw David Murphy beat him to that ball he dropped in Oakland from left field, we all remember his quotes about taking two months off and who can forget how he looked "bored" all season long.
That's not a player worth making the best paid in baseball, but this isn't about the money either.
The Rangers played more baseball than any team in baseball over the past three seasons and it showed down the stretch.
That team was flat out gassed which goes a long way to explaining why the entire offense, outside of Adrian Beltre, had a down season.
This team needs to get younger; infuse the roster with the likes of Jurickson Profar, Mike Olt and Leonys "Cohiba" Martin which of course will have ripple effects on the roster but these three kids are ready to be everyday players in the Major Leagues.
Ian Kinsler either shifts to left field or becomes trade bait for pitching this offseason allowing Profar to become the everyday second baseman; imagine that up the middle defense, especially with Martin replacing Hamilton in center field.
Mitch Moreland moves to the bench as the club's backup first baseman and reserve right fielder allowing Olt to take over first base which let's face it has been the plan all along; that's why the Rangers didn't push harder for Prince Fielder last offseason.
Michael Young remains a big mystery because he's entering the final year of his contract and it is now movable if the Rangers choose to do so. No clue what his value would be on the trade market but the Rangers will surely get some calls and should listen.
With the money the Rangers save by letting Josh Hamilton walk the club can re-sign Mike Napoli, Mike Adams and Koji Uehara to multi-year contracts bringing stability to positions that haven't been very stable the past few seasons.
Once they are done with those contracts it'll be time to turn their attention to long term extensions with guys approaching the free agent market like Elvis Andrus, Nelson Cruz and Matt Harrison; extensions by the way that become unlikely if the Rangers give in to Hamilton's demands so those of you still wanting Josh back at any cost need to think long and hard about that.
Of course the Rangers could easily dip into the free agent market and bring in another elite bat to replace Hamilton like they did with Beltre in 2010 or make a big trade and I'm sure they will check in on everyone, but the Rangers core has gotten them to the playoffs three straight seasons, two of which ended in the World Series.
There will be changes, but the Rangers don't have to pull a big trade or make the big free agent splash. They have the answers to their roster questions in house and while I expect Jon Daniels to be his usual creative self this winter, don't be surprised if the Rangers solution is to give the kids their shot.