OK, so it’s lions that travel in prides, not tigers. Work with me and my clumsy puns here, people.
The point, anyways, insofar as there is a point, is not about gregarious groups of large felines that may or may not be striped. THE POINT is that there were three Tigers in the All Star Game and, get this, they were all deserving. And holy crumbnutters on a crumbcake, both Bonderman and especially Verlander were thrown out as deserving names by all the wise old number-crunching blog-types. Some people were even saying our very own big-headed Plonkers should be manning second base! That’s 6 more or less deserving Tigers, at the least.
I realize that we have been swimming in these heady waters for much of the season thus far, but it is still a cool refreshing bath for our poor much-burnt fanbrains when you realize that the Tigers are in the realm of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Wrong Sox when it comes to individual talent. This is as opposed to the realm of the Royals, which is a very small, sad, and quiet realm, populated only by Mark Redman saying, “Wait, huh? I thought I had this week off. Why don’t I have this week off?” over and over again.
They played tolerably well, too. Sure, Kenny gave up a home run, but he gave it up to David Wright, the youthful hitter of all things baseball-shaped and the human incarnation of Mr. Met. I’m not kidding. Check them out sometime: if you knocked out all of Wright’s teeth, to better mimic the black maw of Mr. Met, you’d see that they have the same smile.
Sure, Alfonso Soriano and Contract Beltran stole bases off of Pudge. But there were a couple reasons for that. One was the fact that the freaking announcers had just gone on for a little while about Pudge’s laser arm and how unstoppable he is and so on and so forth. In the baseball fan business, this is what we like to call a Filthy Stinkin’ Jinx, and if you dont’ think that exists in baseball, I wonder seriously about how many games you’ve actually watched live and irrationally freaked out over. You are not a fan until watching a game makes you a) break a small article of furniture, b) become physically ill, c) behave cruelly to loved ones, d) become useless at work due to paralyzing black depression, or all of the above. Hellooooo, 2003.
The other reason was that Roy Halladay appeared to have the slowest delivery known to mankind. I’m guessing this was just an All Star Game/unfamiliar catcher thing, because I’ve seen the guy pitch in person and he didn’t come off as particularly tardy then. But on the initial Soriano steal (during one of the rare FOX video sequences where they actually gave you enough angles and information to draw these sorts of conclusions… generally they leave out something vital, like a shot of the runner taking off and the pitcher all in the same frame), he was pretty much three quarters of the way to second before Pudge even got his hand on the ball.
And the play where Beltran came across home was scored a wild pitch, I think, not a passed ball. Which would be accurate. Pudge could’ve maybe thrown himself more in the way of the ball, blocked it, but it did take a wonky bounce in the dirt (which is the pitcher’s fault, not his, hence the WP) and I think everyone on the field and off it understood that there’s no need to make a potentially dangerous play in an All Star Game.
Well, everyone except for probably Ozzie Guillen, but Ozzie Guillen is psychotic.
It’s a bit of a pity that we couldn’t be having this season when we were the ones hosting the game. It would’ve been nice to have a bunch of Tigers on the field in a starting capacity, instead of just Pudge backing up and a whole lot of not much else. I mean, although I have still not forgiven Freddy Sanchez for the horrible, unnameable things he did to us not very long ago, it was still neat to see how warmly the Pittsburgh crowd received him.
So ends the first half. Now we need to settle down, not tire, and convince everyone that we are not the 2005 Washington Nationals.