As the postseason awards get handed out and as Yankees fans revel in what 1.4 billion dollars can do for you, those of us cheering for also-ran teams have to sit back and hope for better luck next year. Yep, next year could be the year when Verlander wins his Cy Young, Miguel Cabrera finally walks off with the MVP award and Jimmy Leyland and the Tigers win the Series. It’s not impossible.
But even if this is just a pipe dream, it’s still better than watching the Lions continue to redefine terrible, one loss at a time. We used to have the Pistons but they’re just ordinary anymore. And I suppose there are the Red Wings but I am not nor have I ever been Canadian so that just doesn’t do it for me.
The thing is that the Tigers have all the pieces. They’re just missing that elusive something, that killer instinct that could put them over the top. You don’t put that many Venezuelans on a team and not expect some sort of revolution. Expectations are about all we have these days, though.
This whole process is kind of like that old song about playing right field. You daydream about the ideal situation and everything coming together but then something wakes you up and you face the truth, the terror of a baseball hurtling your way. For me, that something is one of my favorite Twitter streams, Sh!tMyDadSays. And if you scroll down to the tweet on October 8th, you’ll see what I mean. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
Hope springs eternal, though. And in case you’ve forgotten the song, the kid ultimately ends up making the catch out in right field. Who knows? Maybe next year the Tigers will get the good news that Justin’s dad thinks they deserve. But I’m betting on god taking another dump in the parking lot.
Right now, dear readers, you are probably experiencing the same agonizing symptoms of baseball withdrawal that Al and I are. We are here to remind you that we know: it hurts. It will continue to hurt… until pitchers and catchers report. If your symptoms gain in severity, do not hesitate to contact your primary caretaker (for those of you who can afford health care, that’d be your doctor; for those of you who cannot, try calling your congressman. I’m sure that will work).
Football and hockey can only carry us so far (not very, especially if you’re a jaded Bears fan, or in Mr. Krause’s case: a lowly win-deprived Lions fan), so we are left to rely on the offseason baseball hot stove for our daily fixins.
We like our hot stove like we like our coffee: hot.
(Mr. Levin is doing just fine. His skin graph surgeries were successful — well, most of them anyway.)
Hate me ‘cuz I tricked you into processing that painful imagery, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
At this very moment, as I sit here writing this blog a long, long way from Comerica Park, the Tigers are attempting to sew up the AL Central title. But I’m worried. Very worried. I mean, there are the usual reasons as I explained the other day but this time there’s a much more relevant reason. Comerica Park is on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Now, I don’t know that the SI cover jinx applies to ballparks or cities but why would SI even risk it? It’s not as though the Detroit (or the state of Michigan for that matter) has anything else going for it. Yeah, the Lions may have finally won and the University of Michigan has eked out some close victories. But that’s no reason to be going around messing with curses. That’s some potent stuff.
I’m not really a superstitious man. I mean, it’s not my fault that my teams do better when I don’t watch them. That’s just how it is. But the SI cover? That’s fact. Just like the Madden cover is fact for the NFL. I don’t buy all this “regression from the mean,” scientific mumbo-jumbo. I believe what I see and what I see is that Sports Illustrated jinxes people by placing them on the cover.
And when you take all of this to its (il)logical extreme, does this mean that all the people sitting in the stands when the picture of the park was taken are jinxed, too? Thanks a lot, Sports Illustrated. Just what Detroit needs: more bad luck.
I have an idea, though. I’m inviting you, SI, to come visit Detroit with me. I have a beautiful old building with a very special elevator shaft I’d love to show you. Make sure you dress warm.
I don’t like it when things come down to the wire. I like to know early what’s going on and then just settle back and not worry about it. Perhaps this explains why I often miss incredible finishes, like Boise State beating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl a couple years ago. Or Michigan coming back against Notre Dame. And Indiana. I’m not sure what it is, maybe my German blood, but just like I don’t enjoy gambling, I don’t enjoy close finishes.
Which is why I’d like the Tigers to make up their mind about the AL Central title. A friend of mine used to describe this peculiar inability to make a decision with the phrase, “Either sh!t or get off the pot.” And maybe someone needs to pointedly remind the Tigers of this. At this point I don’t care so much how it ends (OK, that’s not exactly true) but I’d just like it to end.
Would it be exciting if the Tigers and Twins ended the year tied and (once again) had to go to a one game playoff? Sure. Would I enjoy it? Not one bit. I can deal with it when it’s teams I don’t care about because, well, because I don’t care about them. But watching Michigan when they’re down 5 points in a dogfight with Indiana? Or the Tigers as they try to redeem the season? I’d rather just go to bed. That isn’t going to make me an ideal candidate for Lipitor.
So, here’s the deal, guys. If I wanted drama I’d just pop in some HBO on DVD. If I want mind numbing entertainment, I have the internet. But is it too much to ask for my sports teams to either just win or lose convincingly? At least the Lions have that one down. Kind of.
The pessimist in me always begins to worry when people write good things about the teams I support. So, when I read Gordon Edes’ Yahoo! Sports column earlier today, I immediately threw some salt over my shoulder, made a blood sacrifice and purchased gypsy tears to guard against the evil eye. It’s nice to get some recognition and he did hit some of the right notes, pointing out the seeming flaws in the Tigers’ system and why they shouldn’t necessarily be in first. But then he turns around and jinxes them by also pointing out what they’re doing well. It’s just not right.
I’ve mentioned it many times before but Detroit has so little going for it that the last thing we Michiganders need is to get our hearts broken once again. We could laugh about the Lions. But the Pistons? The Red Wings? If the Tigers go into the All-Star break in first place and then slowly bleed it away over the remainder of the season, it’s going to be killer.
How killer, you ask? Well, considering that Tigers fans are already jumping off buildings near the stadium despite the team being hot, it ain’t going to be pretty when the collapse comes along. However, if there is one thing we do well, it’s that we die hard. Did you happen to notice that line in the story about how the person fell three stories and was still texting? Yeah, that’s how we roll. Unfortunately, there’s still no coming back being frozen solid at the bottom of an elevator shaft, though.
What do you think will happen first: the Iranians blow us up or the Royals win the pennant?
Blue Springs, MO
Tim, first of all let me say that I understand your frustration.
Waiting for mutually assured destruction or the return of the George
Brett era Royals can both be daunting and rather fruitless tasks. Remember,
I’m a Lion’s fan. During our glory days, Henry Ford was still signing
the checks over at his eponymous motor company. But fear not! I have
some bad news for you but it’s followed by something a little more
First, the bad. The Iranians will have the bomb well before the Royals
ever win another pennant. In fact, there’s a good chance that the
Congolese and Nepalese will have the bomb before the Royals head to the
World Series again. I don’t say that to be mean, I just want to be
honest with you. It’s therapeutic.
But now the good news. No one really cares if the Iranians get the
bomb. It’s kind of a dirty little foreign policy secret but most
everyone, even Dick Cheney,
assumes that they’re only a year or two from it happening anyway. If we
were to go in today and knock out the nuclear sites we know about,
there’s enough redundancy in the program that it would probably only
set them back by a few months. Like it or not, the world is going to
have to accept the idea of a nuclear-armed Iran.
However, here’s the better news. Despite occasional
crackpot pronouncements by certain leaders, the bomb tends to moderate
those who possess it. What’s the old phrase, “With great power comes
great responsibility?” Once you have the bomb, you kind of have to take
care of it. Otherwise, it’s possible that it just might blow up in your
So, Tim, take a lesson from Kubrick and Sellers and learn to stop worrying and love the bomb. Really, what do you have to worry about anyway? Let’s be honest, when the bombs start falling, Missouri is going to be some prime real estate. In fact, it will probably be the only untouched part of the country. Sleep tight, Timmy! You’re safe. Because, when you think about it, why would you nuke some wheat fields, a few cows and a really crappy baseball team?
As a born and bred Michigander, I know better than most that what goes around, comes around. The Pistons win it all a couple times in a row and then Michael Jordan comes along. Tigers go to the World Series one year and find themselves finishing behind the Royals two years later. And the Lions? Well, let’s not even start with that.
But sometimes going around and coming around can be a good thing. Griffey starts off with the Mariners and now he comes back to the Mariners. Cecil Fielder belts some home runs and now Prince Fielder (occasionally) does the same. However, I think I found something that epitomizes the upside of what goes around, comes around.
Happy Friday! Hope I didn’t just blow your mind.
-Video via The Daily Dish