T-shirt #205 - Detroit Tigers in blue script
In 2003, the Tigers lost 119 games. I watched or listened to nearly every game. The Tigers set a new mark for futility and almost tied the hapless 1962 Mets for worst record in the modern history of Baseball.
Do not expect order here. I am reminiscing and attempting to make a point but somewhat out of order.
In 1987, after trading John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander, the Tigers lost the ALCS to the Minnesota Twins four games to one lone win. Alexander pitched brilliantly and helped the Tigers win the East but not the AL or the World Series. Worse, it would be nineteen years before they would back to the World Series. And the team is still striving for its first win in, now, twenty-nine years.
Back in 1968 the Tigers won the World Series, beating the Cardinals, but I was only six, so I was not fully aware and on board. By 1972, I was a die-hard, full-fledged Tigers fan, but though the team won the division it fell to the dread Oakland Athletics (the team it just beat to reach this year's ALCS) in a decisive game five. Years of futility followed. As the Tigers lost 90 games in 1974 and 102 games in 1975, I moved on to other interests and for a short time forgot how much I loved Baseball as I was pre-occupied with comic books, magic, theatre, role playing games, and girls (not necessarily in that order). When I again joined the Tigers band wagon, it was 1984 and the team proved to be one of the best ever in the history of Baseball.
And then years of futility.
Things were looking up in 1997. I liked Bobby Higginson. He seemed to play the game the right way. After dismal season of 109 losses in 1996, the Tigers seemed hot enough to finish the season with a winning record. Though they limped to a 79-83 finish and 3rd in the AL Central, the team showed promise and potential, which was quickly dashed in 1998 with a disappointing last place finish and a record of 65-97.
In 2006, a friend of mine predicted, on the first day of the season, that the Tigers would go all the way to the World Series. I considered this to be clear evidence of her lunacy because the year before, 2005, the Tigers were 71-91 and fourth in the AL Central. But somehow, despite her clear insanity, she pegged it. Inexplicably (I think she just got lucky because a crazy optimistic fan will always predict a World Series run), the Tigers beat down the Yankees and the Athletics in devastating fashion before losing (as I expected) to the Cardinals in a re-match of the 1968 classic that did not go the Tigers' way.
And then years of futility and narrow misses (and one dismal catastrophe) before 2011 when the Tigers reached but lost the ALCS to the Rangers. Then last year's domination of (once again) the Athletics and the Yankees (whom they swept 4-0) only to be swept themselves by the subpar but lucky San Francisco Giants (who finished this year 76-86 and 16 games behind the NL West leading Dodgers).
And with yet another repeat of events, the St. Louis Cardinals could very well make it to the World Series (playing the Dodgers to win the bid) this year.
Remember what I wrote about expectations on Thursday? I urged putting expectations into perspective. Instead of reaching for Alpha Centauri, how about Mars? Well, Verlander gave us fans the Andromeda Galaxy.
I still caution tempering craziness. Of course, I want the Tigers to win. The Baseball lover in me would love it to go seven games, if only to see the maximum number of games possible. I surely do not want to see the Tigers get swept, especially since a friend of mine is working on tickets for Game Four. If the Tigers lose the series with Game Four, with me in the house, I will be so convinced that I am a jinx that I may never attend another game in my life. (I say this for melodrama but rest assured that next year I am there for opening day).
The Red Sox are a tough team. They have the best record in the AL, and they did play a tough division. The Tigers bested the Red Sox this year 4-3 but that's hardly domination. In the last game between the two clubs, at Fenway, the Tigers lost 20-4. Let's not forget that one. Scherzer took his second loss in the game the day before. And Doug Fister beat them in the first game of the series 3-0. At home, The Tigers won three of the four games. Fister took a 10-6 loss on June 21st. Scherzer won a 10-3 gem the next day and Verlander pitched in the next winner, won in the end by Benoit. The other game, 4-3 win on June 20th, was started by Alvarez and won by Smyly.
They can win this series. I hope they do. But I am wary enough not to expect it, and I certainly will not jinx the team by bragging about it before it happens. But then, please, Baseball Gods, could we end the years of futility and disappointment?
- chris tower - 1310.12 - 16:32
365 T-shirts - the reasoning
This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.
I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.
I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.
When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.
The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.
I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.
Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)