“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”
-Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America
Whenever I listen to Sam Cooke sing “A Change is Gonna Come,” I get a little shiver up and down my spine. The same thing happened Tuesday night as President Elect Obama channelled the soul of this fellow Chicagoan in his already famous speech to supporters in Grant Park.
Without a doubt, Election Day 2008 heralded a sea change in American politics. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a realist. I don’t think that President Obama will be able to accomplish in four years all that he promised over the course of a 21 month campaign. But, hope still springs eternal. And if nothing else, he has redefined the rules of the game.
However, moving beyond the rhetoric and the fascination with this singular event in our nation’s history, what would I like to see happen?
Well, to begin with, I hope Obama was more than talk when he said during Monday Night Football that he thinks there should be a College Football Playoff. You’re 75 days away from being the most powerful man in the world. Make it happen, sir.
Yes, there are more important challenges at hand (the economy, our incoherent foreign policy, Indian pitchers) but forcing the hand of holdouts like Big Ten commissioner, James Delany, would endear Obama to even the most stubborn Republican voter. How could a Georgian not vote for a president who accomplished a playoff system after the travesty they believe befell their Bulldogs last season? And what SEC or Big 12 fan wouldn’t admit they had just a little more respect for a man who made sure their teams at least got a shot at the title every year.
However, I am a little worried. What if President Obama issues an Executive Order declaring that his hometown White Sox are to be champions of the AL Central every year that he’s in office, regardless of their record? Granted, I don’t expect the Tigers to put up much of a fight next year but what about 2 or 3 years from now, when they’ve had a chance to retool? Do I have to remind you that Ozzie Guillen is Venezuelan, just like Hugo Chavez. Coincidence? I think not.
But, for now, while the world still seems like a land of wonder and opportunity, I think I’ll just focus on what has happened and what it means.
Our day has come, my fellow Americans.
And now is the time. Now is the time to be heard.
Now is the time to count.
So it is with great pride, dear readers, that at this historic moment I shed my Cardinal red in favor of the stars and stripes forever. I gladly reach across the proverbial aisle and shake the hand of the Cub fan who spit on me, who kicked me, who urinated on my shoe.
We may not love one another; but we both love the greatest game on earth.
And likewise, our shared passion for making a difference in this great nation will bring us together on November 4th. For on this day we are not Cardinal fans, Cub fans, Democrats nor Republicans: we’re Americans and we have a duty to fulfill.
So join us, Astros fans. Join us, Brewers fans. Tiger fans. Yankee fans. Red Sox fans. Join us in the celebration of what our forefathers fought so hard to provide us.
Get out on November 4th and vote.
It’s your god given right.
You deserve to be heard.
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
74-88. That was the Tigers’ record for the 2008 season. After 130 million dollars were wasted on an AL Central last place finish in which the Kansas City Royals had a better squad (for a mere $57 million), realistically, where do the Tigers go from here?
It goes without saying that the Tigers face some pretty serious questions going into this offseason. For better of for worse, this is a team that was built to win this year. Not only did they trade away some fine young talent (Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller) in order to obtain the underwhelming Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, they also got rid of veteran leadership during the season when they sent Pudge to New York in return for Kyle Farnsworth. The former was a gamble that didn’t pay off and we all know how I feel about the latter.
But, to answer your question, I’m not sure where the Tigers go from here. Despite his poor season, Justin Verlander is still one of the most exciting young pitchers in the game. Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya have the entire (hopefully Guitar Hero free) offseason to get healthy. And Maggs’ resurgence over the past couple years makes him an attractive bargaining chip to other teams looking for an offensive bump that will put them over the top. I’m sure the Cubs or Cardinals have already placed an offer.
I’m not sure where we stand, though. This was supposed to be our year, the year when we finally put it all together and no almost .500 Cardinal team would be able to stand in the way. But, like John McCain on November 5, we’re staring at the wreckage and wondering how it all went so wrong.
Personally, I don’t think the Tigers will challenge for the AL Central next year. The Division isn’t all that strong but the Tigers are missing a lot of necessary pieces. The pitching is questionable, the offense never showed up and most of these guys weren’t really brought in because of their defensive skills. We don’t have a catcher, shortstop is a big question mark and I have no idea who is going to fill out the rotation.
You know what, though? At the end of the day, you never know what’s going to happen. Barack Obama was a footnote when he started his run for the Senate in 2004. And no one gave him a chance against Hillary in 2008 either. I don’t think anyone imagined the Rays would emerge from the AL East as Division champs and then slug their way into the World Series. So, I’m going to do what I always do and hope that Dombrowski and team are making the right moves to ensure that 2009 looks more like 2006 and a lot less like 2008. But I expect to be disappointed.