I must admit that I feel some relief.
I am no longer slicing my toast into two or four pieces. I am eating whole pieces at a go.
No, really, I am feeling relief about last night's Tigers game. Though just writing that comment reminds me that I need to buy more Tums. I like wintergreen.
I was trying not to be nervous. But with the Tigers having lost two games against the Red Sox that they should have won (Game Two in which they led 5-0 and somehow lost 6-5, and Game Three in which Verlander almost no hit the Red Sox except for the one homer he gave up to Napoli and the Tigers lose 1-0), my confidence was shaken. Okay, that's not right. I am not confident because Baseball is a crazy game. Anything can happen. Let's say my optimism was shaken.
And then last night, Game Four...
It was not all Tigers. Some of it was mistakes by Jake Peavy. But even the walks (walking in a run) can be in part attributed to the Tigers who were patient and more relaxed (unlike in Game Three) at the plate. Without the pressure to hit a home run to give the Tigers the lead, Miguel Cabrera could relax and just put the ball in play and drive in runs.
I like that Jim Leyland deflected any credit for the lineup change, which dropped Austin Jackson to eighth, and moved everyone else up one slot: Hunter in leadoff, Cabrera second, Fielder third etc. He said the win was not his doing; it was the players. Hard to want a guy with such humility fired.
JACKSON LEADS REVAMPED DETROIT LINEUP
I am not a die hard Jim Leyland fan. When everyone wanted to give him credit for the 2006 run to the World Series, I did not. I gave credit to the players. After all, when he was brought in to manage, he replaced Alan Trammell, my all-time favorite Baseball player. In the last few years, I am a little more enamoured of Jim Leyland. I think he paces the players through the season better than he did in 2006 and 2007. He seems to be paying more attention to stats. Though he is still a bit too old school, especially with pitching matchups and relievers, he manages the team as well as most any other manager (possible exceptions being Joe Maddon or Kirk Gibson) and better than most.
Here's a few more Game Four factoids.
"• Doug Fister threw six innings of one-run ball, striking out seven while walking one. Detroit's rotation now has a combined 1.00 ERA this series, having allowed three runs in 27 innings.But it's not all cheery rosey land in blogville when it comes to the Tigers. There's a blowhard here in Michigan who writes a blog and hosts a radio show called "The Huge Show." It strikes me as a "huge mistake" by local media outlets to give this numbskull an outlet for his voice. I had not heard of this guy until last night when a friend and fellow Tigers fan told me that he had quit reading this guy's blog to save his blood pressure. This is why I did not know this guy's work. Why would I read ridiculous invective that seems ill informed and rather poorly written? (Not that today's blog features my best grammar and most mellifluous writing to date.)
• The Tigers' five-run second inning was the first time Detroit posted a five spot in a postseason frame since the third inning in Game 3 of the 1987 ALCS vs. the Twins.
ALDS • Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 while batting out of the two-spot for the third time and first since 2004. He's 4-for-12 batting second in his career. Cabrera's two RBIs ran his postseason total to 24, a Tigers record.
• Torii Hunter was 1-for-5 while batting leadoff for the first time since 2000. He's 12-for-72 (.167) out of the top spot throughout his career.
• Austin Jackson went 2-for-2 with two walks, reaching base four times for the first time since Aug. 31. He was batting eighth for the first time this postseason after previously hitting leadoff" (FACTS & FIGURES, 2013).
Here's a sample: THE HUGE SHOW: JIM LEYLAND'S LEGACY.
Obviously, my friend and I are not the only ones who find this guy jejune and banal. (Yes, I am busting out as many college words as I can because I am a snobbish prick and a show-off. I went to college. This guy probably got his college-degree through a mail order catalog.)
I had not even read Bill Simonson's work before. The first thing I read verified that I never want to read anything he writes ever again. I know from experience that it can be difficult to generate unique content of interest to readers every day (though this guy seems to post like once a week, which is a much easier thing). But his criticisms of Jim Leyland (and granted I am rarely defending the guy though I no longer want to see him fired) are inane. THIS series is Leyland's legacy? So the World Series losses of 2006 and 2012, one a sweep and the other all but a sweep (they won one in 2006) and the ALCS failure of 2011 do not define his legacy? Are we arguing that Leyland had NOTHING to do with getting the Tigers to the post season this year? I am no more of a fan of frequent pitching changes than most other Baseball fans, but I have strong doubts that Leyland will not fired or will choose to step down if the Tigers lose this series. Three ALCS' in a row? That's pretty damn good. When's the last time the Tigers had a run like that?
Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks this "writer" is an idiot. From TigerSnark:
You know people say about opinions and assholes, right?
And then if the agony of two straight losses and fears of losing this series were not enough, my wife decided to torment me. Here's her Facebook status from last night:
It's not enough that I suffer as the Tigers lose. It's not enough that I think of Comerica Park as a holy shrine. It's not enough that she knows I listen to and watch nearly every Tigers game all season long. And to add more insult to this injury, she knows I have a strong distaste (one could call it an actual prejudice, real bigotry here) against facial hair. I have told her on many occasions that I love her, and I am willing to do almost anything for her, but one of those things is not growing facial hair. I can't do it. I won't do it. And yet, she torments me with this status. Yeah, not having much of sense of humor about this one, honey.
So, now the Tigers have to win.
Trim those beards.
I hate facial hair, on men that is.
- chris tower - 1310.17 - 17:35