If I were a Tiger fan (ahem, Allen Krause) I would go the airport, buy a ticket to the most remote war-torn nation, find a spot of uninhabited land, dig a hole, get in it, and light myself on fire. Okay, maybe I wouldn’t take the time to dig a hole, but I would certainly light myself on fire. At the very least I would kick down Dave Dombrowski’s door and demand he give me a refund for my hard-earned money, hopes, dreams. Because as much as the Tigers stole the headlines away from the evils of New York, Boston and L.A. during this past offseason, they sure are reneging on every dime invested. Yeah, yeah, I know. There are still 155 games remaining in the season but their lackluster performance and the sheer absence of urgency in their play proves to me that their season is pretty much in the can. I suppose they’ll get hot at some point and make a little noise but by then it will be too little too late. In essence, the 2008 Tigers are the baseball equivalent of the Clinton campaign — great resume, great talent, would probably do a decent job, but so far behind there is no possible way they can win it all. So do us all a favor and get out of the race so we can concentrate on the important stuff, like the teams that are winning.
Bench Magglio. Sit Cabrera. Weld Granderson’s hand back together. I know it’s not the popular thing to do. I know you didn’t spend 140 million dollars to sit your franchise players — but you sure didn’t spend 140 million to be the only team in the Majors without a win thus far. Tick people off. Light some fires under some tooshies. Get ‘em motivated for crying out loud.
The Royals are motivated. They beat the Evil Empire today to go to 5-2 on the young season, even with the White Sox, who (ahem), destroyed the Tigers on national television Sunday night. Heck, even Baltimore’s fired up. At 6-1 they probably feel like they’re cheating their fans by actually being worth the price of admission. Allen could’ve been one of those fans, but he said he would eschew the whole Oriole scene because they were “terrible”.
Terrible is what the Tigers will be thought of when this season is over. After Boston they have to come to the Southside. Then they face the Twins, Indians and Blue Jays next week before they get somewhat of a breather with the Rangers (though I’m pretty sure they’ll find a way to lose that series too). But then it’s on to play the Angels and Yankees and by the beginning of May they could possibly be worse than the 1988 Baltimore Orioles who forever live in infamy for losing their first 21 games of the season. Don’t feel bad, at least you and all your Hockeytown brethren have four months of NHL playoffs to look forward to, eh?
But who really cares about the Tigers anyway? Why am I spending so much time talking about these overpaid losers? How ’bout a proven winner, how ’bout those Cardinals! The old adage you’re only as good as your pitching still rings true (just ask the Yankees) and the Cards have been getting brilliant outing after brilliant outing to start the year. With Carp and Mulder on the DL and Matt Clement still rehabbing, it has been a pleasant surprise to see Kyle Lohse (who didn’t even have a job in the Big Leagues at the beginning of March) come through and pitch the hell out of the number two spot. Wainwright has been stellar. Wellemeyer, Thompson and Looper have all added to that super-impressive team ERA. In their win tonight, Anthony Reyes (a bonafide Tiger killer, see ’06 WS, Game 1) gave them three scoreless innings in relief, which gave Glaus enough time to drive in two big runs.
I’ve been watching these guys every day and I’ve noticed something you’ll never see in any box score: they really believe in themselves. Even if no one else does, they do. They just do. And they don’t care what anyone else says or thinks in regards to their less-than-stellar-on-paper rotation. They have spark, they have guts, and they’re having a ton of fun.
And isn’t that what it’s all about?
I feel alive again. Al, you better check to see if you still have a pulse.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.