I have been watching a lot of baseball lately. No seriously. SO MUCH BASEBALL. I even know too much about the other teams, who they are dating, what they eat for lunch, etc. I have become obsessed with the game and consumed by the boring-ass off the field lives of the athletes. I just have a hard time thinking of anything else during the playoffs, which usually results in me trying to figure out how we are going to get to the World Series. And more importantly, how we are going to STOP others from getting there instead of us. So what I have come up with is the five things we need to get there. A top 5 list, if you will. Two wins. How hard can it be? Woah! Don't start warming up yet, Jose Valverde.
5. Our starting pitchers. Some might say that pitching wins playoff games. OK everyone says that. They are a well-oiled machine, and they are a joy to watch. Did you see Verlander destroy the A's to win the ALDS? It was brilliance. And how about Fister in N.Y. on Saturday loading the bases three times and getting out of it -- three times. Not to mention his hand was jacked by a line drive. Oh yeah BTW he kept pitching. Boss. And Anibal Sanchez crushing the Yankees Sunday in a pitching duel. We won. So if these efforts stay consistent, we are in good shape.
4. The Royals. Prince Fielder and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera are supposedly the best 3-4 punch in the American League, but I honestly feel like they are not giving their all this postseason. If these two actually gave us the talent we are used to seeing, these games could be won by even bigger margins. And there is nothing wrong with that. We know you guys have had a long season, but how about some home runs? Thanks.
3. Good calls. Hey, I love a bad call in favor of the Tigers as much as the next guy, but if I have to listen to these BS national announcers talk about any more bad calls, I might just have to... listen to the radio. Which I am fine with. But seriously -- when bad calls decide if an inning is ending or not, and the Tigers take full advantage and start the hit parade, don't show me slow-motion replays of said bad call and make me feel like my great team is lucky to be winning. Ummmm, WERE THERE SOME YANKEE HITS I MISSED ON SUNDAY NIGHT? Didn't think so.
2. Rookies. Sometimes we get hits where we least expect it. Avisail Garcia (his first name has four syllables) and Quintin Berry are two players I just love watching. Not only do they get hits, they celebrate the hits. And yes, Garcia looks exactly like Miguel Cabrera. Mini Miggy, Miggy Jr.; I don't give a lick what you call him, someone just make sure he is hitting. They also know how to play the field. Talented at offense AND defense? What a novel idea. No Raburn jokes, please.
1. A-Rod. Yeah, I said it. A-Rod. I have to admit, every time he walks up to the plate I think to myself, "this might be the hit that changes this game." And then he strikes out. As long as he keeps this streak going, we are better off. And closer to the World Series. And let's be honest; if this series has to go back to New York, we need those boos. Yankees fans take booing to another level. It's an art form. I can only imagine the heckling we aren't hearing. Pissed New Yorkers are amazing to listen to. Maybe it's not just A-Rod we need, it's all the guys who have been struggling and have been booed off the field: Granderson, Swisher, Cano. All great players (except Swisher), all getting treated like dirt. I guess if their fans are bringing them down, then we don't have to worry about doing it ourselves. But please, by all means, please keep striking out. And some of the striking out has a lot to do with our starting pitching. And now we have come full circle.
Tigers, we are so close. If we just focus on these few things, I am sure we will win the pennant. And getting to the World Series is something that we need. This town has its ups and downs, but for some reason, sports bring us together. I am feeling the love for this team, and the love for the city. So boys, let's not screw this up.