Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Moment I Wish I Hadn't Missed

So this has been a totally fucked up week as I stated earlier, and one of the more disappointing moments was missing going out to the game Tuesday night. Just so happens that's the night that Justin Verlander pulled off a no hitter against Milwaukee. But at least I got to watch it on my "All Tiger's Network", yes I am a complete freak when it comes to this team and games like that one just really enable the obsession.

I gotta admit I am in awe of this kid, yes I called him a kid, hell his is only 24 and he has accomplished so much already. He was last season's Al Rookie of the Year, got to go to the World Series and now threw his first No hitter game. Quite a bit to be proud of really. Not every 24 year old can be so lucky.

One of the things I really like about Justin is that he obviously LOVES this game, and lives to play it. It's what baseball is supposed to be. When he goes out there he's there to give 100%. The game was on when he was pitching at 99 mph for the first eight innings and then ended with a bang turning the heat up to 102 mph for his last two pitches of the game. The LAST TWO !!! And the control that guy has at that speed and the ability to keep that control while changing up his pitches just simply amazes me. Although this was his first actual major league no hitter success, he has come close to grabbing the ring in his amature career, in middle school he pitched a 5 inning no hit game, and at Old Dominican University he pitched a one hitter and also a two hitter, just a taste of the glory to come. Yes, I know, I know I should have been born male, but I just can't help myself.

I can't imagine the career this kid has before him, and no doubt this will not be his last no hitter that he throws. I have to say I was also moved by the reaction and emotions that followed the victory. I think it is what has made this team so great for me over the years. The comradery of the players and how they seem to willingly try to bring out the best in each other and celebrate each others victories.

The obvious pride and genuine joy that Pudge showed in that hug he gave Justin after the last strike of the game, the wordless but not tearless embrace Leland gave to him as he approached the dugout, well I have to say it moved me. You have a lot to be proud of Justin, and all of Detroit is proud for you.