World freakin’ Series Game 5: hollow cats

So that’s it.

I’m sure that in, I dunno, a week or so I’ll be able to think about how great this season was, how utterly unexpected. How amazing it was to see Detroit actually excited about baseball again.

How this weird cast of characters came together in front of us: Bondo and Verlander and Zoom all starting to come into their own, Curtis Granderson making everyone forget the name of Nook, the return of Todd Jones, the genius of Jim Leyland, the rise and subsequent rapid fall of the AROUS, the totally unlikely pitchers who stepped up when Maroth went down, the breath of fresh air that is Sean Casey. How we gave hope to every cruddy team out there, now that they can see what can happen to even the very worst of them, in only 3 years.

Yeah. I’ll be able to reflect on that, maybe, in about a week or so.

Right now, though. It’s… it’s just sad. The season was so crazy, so exciting, it felt like the season HAD to end, one way or another, excitingly. Either the Tigers would shut it out, like they did the ALCS, or they would come from behind to win it, or even if they lost, it would go to 7 games and be a slugfest ’til the very end. The only appropriate end to this season would have been a bang, really, not this quiet little whimper.

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

Look, it’s the Tigers pitchers. Headpieces filled with straw, that would account for all the errors, I expect.

Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar.

Yeah, all those mound meetings poor Pudge and the coaches kept calling did a whole lot of good, didn’t they?

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

errors errors errors errors errors errors errors errors errors errors errors errors errors errors errors

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom

Death’s other Kingdom being Detroit, of course.

Remember us — if at all — not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

That’s how it feels right now. Hollow. There was no grandiose ending, no “violent souls” fighting to keep the series alive. Just a string of spirit-breaking errors that destroyed any momentum the Tigers tried to get going.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

The Cardinals had no trouble taking idea and making it reality, taking motion and completing the act. Aside from Chris Duncan, they just played good solid baseball. The Tigers didn’t. They had the idea of how to play, they made the motions, and there was that bloody old Shadow of inexperience or nervousness or just plain old bad luck, whatever it was, keeping them from crossing that bridge.

Congrats to the Cards and their fans. They earned it. We materially helped them along, but they earned it. And that’s as gracious as I’m capable of being right now. It was a great season for the Tigers, a riotous rollercoaster of a season, loud and brash and so far over everyone’s head that we all got cricks in our necks from staring at it. You can’t deny how awesome that was. You can’t deny how good it felt to care about the Tigers this late into the season again (or, if you’re around my age, for the first time).

But, man. What a gut-punching way to end the season. Or not even a gut punch, that’s not right. More like letting the air out of a balloon, watching it phththththlllbthbthing all around the room until it falls in a little lifeless dessicated wrinkly heap on the floor.

I don’t know if he knew anything about basebll, but TS Eliot knew his stuff.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.


5 responses to “World freakin’ Series Game 5: hollow cats

  1. The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
    Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
    Crosses the brown land, unheard.

    (Apologies to Mr Eliot, but October is the cruelest month.)
    Funny, but I’m taking a creative writing class and last night I stayed up late writing a long poem addressed to Granderson about him slipping on the outfield grass. Silly, but therapeutic. (I’d post the damned thing but it’s like 50 lines and I’m not quite that pretentious.
    Anyway, this team will be together for a while yet. In fact, next year they almost can’t help but be better. Keep on writing! It’s been fun.

  2. This is something you guys may find interesting. I thought it was funny.

  3. I know I can remember back on opening day. The gambler had the ball and chris shelton was on fire. Then I remember The series against the twins in april when the tigers killed them. When Rondell white hit that ball surely it wouldn’t get by kenny the best fielding pitcher, but it did and it turned into what I think was the best tigers play of the year. I can hear rod say no look flip for the out are you kidding me. Polanco had made the play. Who can forget the grand slam from monroe against the rival white sox. Marcus thames game tieing homer against the now hated cardnails. Curtis grandersons game tieing homer against the reds after Grifey Jr. had just got the lead with a grand slam of of zumaya. Then the world series comes and we all feel sad. But we have next year to look forward to.

  4. My favorite memories of this year will be falling in love with Joel Zumaya, finding new found respect and admiration for Kenny Rogers… the champagne on the field celebration, Being at Game 3 of the ALCS and watching the Gambler dominate, and hearing everyone cheer KEN-NY every time the count was 2-2, and The Magglio and the Walk Off, and finding this awesome blog.
    After I stopped crying on Friday (and literally, tears were shed), I was able to reminisce about the happy days.
    Here’s to the 2007 World Series!

  5. ivantopumpyouup

    Arrrgh TS Eliot continues to haunt me. D:

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