This summer, for the first time in quite some time , has reminded me just how extreme my Tigers have tended to play throughout the history of the franchise, at least for as long as I can remember in my 36 years.
Most cities that have major league teams are used to their club being there on the outside edge of contention when approaching the last stretch of the season, especially during the wild card era. But even I have to admit that for the most part the Tigers have been dreadful this September. There are many more teams in the National League that are within reachable grasp of the wild card spots, and several are in neck to neck divisional races.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love to see my guys win, and play well, but I have never been oblivious to other player’s talents. Like the night I was in Applebe’s wanting to watch the Tigers game but they ironically had the Yankee’s game on, sure I was rooting for them to lose, hell my guys needed to gain some ground on the wild card spot, but I also was able to appreciate a true baseball moment also. But you know it did create an interesting dynamic, as I commented on Derek Jetter hitting a big homerun against the Red Sox in Fenway Park. I couldn’t resist my accolades....even for a player on a team that I so desperately wanted to lose that night.
Of course I got a few what the hell looks from fellow customers that looked at me as if I was some trader, while I sat there decked out in my Tigers T-shirt. But in that moment I wasn’t even thinking about my team, I was just reveling in a great baseball moment. But it was hurtful to the Tiger Fans none the less, and I can understand their reasoning. All the sudden these past two seasons we have been winning, and up to a few days ago it looked as if we had a decent shot to overtake the Yanks in the wild card. And well, us Tiger fans we cling onto hope as we always do....and sort of forget about the past transgressions and short falling of our team.
Historically we either jump way out in front of every other team like we did in ’68,and ’84 or even like last season we get involved in these white knuckle races like the one’s in ’72, 87 and 88. But in most cases we are done by September...but it doesn’t matter really...we are a forgiving bunch of rag tag fans and although we can be disappointed time and time again we still come back.....as will I, call me weird but I love September baseball, it’s what hopes and dreams are made of....maybe just not for my boys this year.
On a lighter note....at least we are playing a hella lot better than the Cardinals, talk about not living up last seasons potential.