After a smoking start to the second half, the Tigers have seen their fortunes wane. Ok, they’ve sucked. Sure, they’re only a couple games behind the White Sox but when you’re playing in a division as bad as the AL Central, that’s not really saying a whole lot. Detroit could still make the playoffs and even if they don’t, it’s probably still safe to say that they’re the best team in the Central. That being said, Detroit has become known for quite a few things as of late but they don’t tend to be baseball related.
If the Tigers do make the postseason, you may find yourself in the position of visiting Windsor’s American cousin sometime this fall. And although Detroit does have a few well-known monuments like the giant tire and the River Rouge plant, it’s easy to find yourself wondering where you are. Since we here at RSBS would hate for you to be unaware of where you are, today we provide you with guide to identifying that you have arrived to Detroit.
Well, not yet. But if Mark Siwak gets his way, Detroit may soon be known for its roaming zombie hoards. This isn’t all bad as the plan could provide a boost to the city’s GDP. It could also increase the city’s DNA with all those body parts strewn about.
The most successful cities develop clusters that support and develop the culture and economy of an urban area. London and New York are known for their clusters of financial whizzes while the area around San Francisco has developed a reputation for tech know-how and venture capital. Detroit? Well, it has clusters, too. Clusters of feral dogs. Chances are that if you are attacked by a pack of wild dogs in a major US city, it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re in Detroit.
Despite everything else, Detroit has become somewhat unrecognizable as of late due to the arrival of something more foreign than zombies or wild dogs. Hope. The auto industry received a bail-out just when it seemed that Detroit’s last economic life-line was being cut. The University of Michigan not only had a winning football season but also managed to beat Ohio State for the first time in seven years. And the Detroit Lions, the holders of the only 0-16 record in NFL history, actually made the playoffs last year. That’s even more hope-y and change-y than Barack Obama.
Hopefully we’ll see you in Detroit this fall for some postseason baseball. If so, you’ll now be able to come prepared to identify where you are.
I love it when the old timers show up at spring training. Decked out in jerseys that don’t fit and pants that would be better off… well, off (and hopefully replaced by something baggy), seeing them throwing BP and shagging flies always gets me to smile.
So when I heard Kenny Rogers was in Tigers camp I quickly browsed the internets for proof. Though I was surprised to see Kenny has taken on the Prince Fielder diet (good grief, don’t ex-baseballers know about portion control???), I was pleased to see that he still has that gruff go-EFF-yerself demeanor.
Too bad I couldn’t find any recent pictures of his left hand. The last time I saw it, it was pissing me off.
I even searched the YouTubes to see if said hand was still up to its dirty tricks and this is what I found:
Bummer. Couldn’t get a good look. Still, the Jack Daniels is a nice touch, especially for a spring training camp that includes Miguel Cabrera.
Hate me. It’s all good. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Image courtesy of Brad Galli)
“Ideology is just a pejorative word for principles in which you happen not to believe.”
–The Economist, 11 February 2012
Ideology colors everything. For the dyed-in-the-wool conservative, Obama’s healthcare plan is a socialist plot that threatens the very foundation of the United States. For the liberal, it’s a half-assed compromise that sells out to big business and especially insurance companies. In reality, it’s the first step toward reining in out of control healthcare spending that simultaneously provides a laughable level of actual service.
And ideology goes further than that, filtering everything through a lens of principles and beliefs. This is fine to a certain extent when the debate is constructive and leads to better proposals and more responsive policies. But when ideology goes too far, it leads to a total lack of common sense.
For instance, take the uproar over Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad. Setting aside the fact that Clint Eastwood is apolitical at best, it’s hard to see how this car ad could be taken as anything but a commentary on the tough economic conditions Americans have faced over the past few years and how Chrysler wants them to know that they went through the same thing. Look at it again:
Me, I see a pretty darn effective car commercial. But conservatives see a hidden campaign for Obama’s re-election while liberals interpret it as anti-union. It makes me wonder what they’d see in last year’s Chrysler Super Bowl commercial:
Xenophobia? Racism? Socialism?
Here’s what I think. Detroit is a metaphor for America. And Detroit has had a rough decade. But Detroit hasn’t given up. Look at the Tigers and Lions. Look at the new line of Fords. Hell, look at what Chrysler is turning out. That, my friends, has nothing to do with ideology. It has everything to do with inspiration.
He’s larger than life. He’s estranged from his father. He could possibly eat his body weight in donuts. And he’s all ours!
Detroit has fallen in love with Prince Fielder and it seems like the feeling is mutual. Me? I couldn’t be happier. One of the happiest memories of my childhood was watching Prince’s daddy crush a ball that flew out of old Tiger Stadium, right over me, my brother and my dad. You don’t forget that kind of thing. And now we can go relive it in Comerica Park with Prince doing the honors. It just feels right.
At the same time, I’m a little worried. The baseball world hasn’t been this giddy about the Tigers since 2008 when they were shoo-ins to win the World Series. Shoo-ins, that is, until they ended up falling flat on their face right out of the gate. This team is too good to fail but, well, if there’s anything we’ve learned in the past few years it’s that nothing is too anything to fail.
All that aside, I’m excited about 2012. It’s an election year, the Lions should be even better next season and now the Tigers have made a move that in retrospect seems brilliant, even if no one saw it coming. Verlander and Fister. Prince and Miggy. You can forgive me for feeling a little giddy.
The coke-binged, wiry meme used as today’s title may not have the same ring to it as it did WAY back in 2011, but if you’re a fan of the Detroit variety, you know that Tiger blood is still in the streets.
Well, the South Florida streets anyway.
In case you’ve been distracted by the train wreck that is the Republican Party primary, Victor Martinez tore his ACL and will be out for the whole season, leaving my pessimistic and oft lugubrious colleague, Mr. Krause, as sad as sad can be (probably).
But not all hope is lost, Mr. Krause. My team lost its ace pitcher prior to the ’11 season and we went out and won the whole damn thing.
Still, just in case Tigers fans are really feeling suicidal, let me remind you of some even bigger Tiger fails that make this one look minor in comparison:
See, life can ALWAYS be worse. Like Mike Maroth worse.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As a Tigers’ fan, I’m proud of Justin Verlander. Not only did he carry his team into the playoffs, he also brought home the Cy Young and the MVP. That’s a lot of hardware for one season and like him or not, the guy deserved it.
However, for all that he is (human cannon; Detroit’s great white hope; tiger-striped aphrodisiac) there are also things he is not. For instance, he is not a comedian as we found out on Conan O’Brien the other evening.
Look, I love the guy and I’m glad he plays for us. But, let’s face it. He’s no Brian Wilson.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5609xjVLvM8]
Of course, unlike Wilson, he’s also sane…..so there’s that.
I remember how excited I was when the Tigers beat the Yankees in the playoffs. If you take the inverse of that, it’s about how I felt after the Lions lost last night. The thing about Detroit and Detroit sports is that despite all this talk of a Detroit renaissance, it keeps falling a little short.
The Tigers made the playoffs and beat the Yankees in spectacular fashion but then barely showed up against the Rangers. The Lions look nothing like the 0-16 laughing stock they used to be but after getting trounced by the Saints in the playoffs, they obviously have a ways to go.
No, the fact of the matter is that Detroit is still Detroit and, at this point, its best years are somewhere in the past. In fact, it’s completely possible that this is the moment where Detroit peaked:[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFt6MyiVx54]
…but I sure hope not.