Monday, September 19, 2011

We Are the Champions My Friend

So, the division, it belongs to us. We own it. The Tigers are the Champions of the American League Central Division for 2011. It sounds so lovely. It seems like forever since we've said that because it is forever. We've never won the Central. We won the East in 1987. Sorry for reminding you about the black hole of suck we were for a while. Let's not dwell on that.

I hope you stayed up to watch the clincher. I mean, I know you could watch almost all of the highlights the next day, but it's not the same, you know. It's not the same as being bleary eyed at 1:30 in the morning, watching our boys pour champagne over each other's heads, smoking cigars about an inch and half in diameter (expensive ones provided by Papa Grande--who else?), and reveling in sealing their own playoff destiny. Of course Brandon Inge had a snorkel and mask on and looked like a total dork. Of course he did. I understand that champagne burns the eyes and whatnot, but come on. The boys also reportedly turned the plastic on the clubhouse floor into a slip and slide. Jim Leyland didn't want to hear about that or watch it. It scared him. But he didn't do anything to stop it. Imagine the nightmare injury scenarios running through poor Skip's mind.

Speaking of Skip, his interview was a blubbering mess, but endeared him to struggling Detroiters everywhere. He flat out sobbed about how he hoped this meant something to the fans, and he grew up with a factory worker dad who worried about the threat of layoffs. Jim Leyland cares about Joe Schmo, and he's not afraid to cry in front of the whole baseball watching world.

Saturday's game was one giant hangover. I appreciate that Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez wanted to play the day after a clinching celebration went well into the morning hours. Apparently, the team went to a bar together after all the clubhouse festivities for some private celebration time. Then Jim Leyland and Gene Lamont went to Carl's Junior to get some food and ran into Magglio Ordóñez. Imagine what time it was at that point. The game felt so meaningless. I even felt hung over and I hadn't drunk any alcohol. It was just too soon to process a game. I know we needed to reset and focus on home field advantage, but I doubt that anyone on Saturday could have broken out of a momentary listless fog.

On Sunday, Justin Verlander gave us all a swift smack and brought us back to the race against the Texas Rangers for first round HFA. Eight innings, NO RUNS, y'all. Justin Verlander, ladies and gentlemen. Just another day at the office. Just another case in point for MVP. Jose Valverde just, ho-hum, got his 46th save out of 46 opportunities this season. Are you not impressed?

So, now we are tunnel vision on winning out these last nine games, right? No, I'm not that unrealistic. I just want to finish strong. I just want the home field advantage. I just....I am greedy. Sorry.

One last thing. Could the next two weeks hurry by so I can GO TO A PLAYOFF GAME????????

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