photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Ah ha! There’s the offense! Now, why should the offense suddenly realize it exists against Mark Buehrle, and not against anyone on the Royals’ staff? This is a mystery that we may all ponder. Perhaps the Wrong Sox are a better-known entity, i.e. when they’re playing tolerably well, we understand and recognize them better than we understand or recognize good-playing Royals.
Then again, it’s possible that the Wrong Sox are just REALLY suffering right now. That’s what their announcers made it sound like as I was watching the game. Now, I know from experience that the Wrong Sox announcers are major, shameless home-team rooters, so they don’t even make a pretense of objectivity, but my goodness, I have never heard them so doggedly dejected before.
And I’ll be honest: if I had to hear the Hawk call a perfectly respectable Tiger hit a “ducksnort” one more time (immediately followed by a thousand statements about luck, but of course the Tigers are “going good” so they’re “making their own luck”, and the Wrong Sox aren’t, and that’s what you can expect, and luck luck, cheap hits, ducksnorts, so on and so on), I was going to find a way to leap through the TV into Chicago so that I could PERSONALLY slap him in the face with an irritable mallard duck.
This was mostly infuriating because the Hawk, and whoever the heck it was with him in the booth, admitted that the Tigers are a really good hitting team (apparently when they’re not playing the Royals), and admitted that the Wrong Sox are having trouble, AND they admitted that their so-called “luck” seemed to favor teams that are actually, y’know, GOOD AT BASEBALL RIGHT NOW, they STILL persisted in ducksnorting and luck-talking their way through the Tigers’ offensive attack.
Let the record state that just because a baseball falls onto the field in a way perceived by Hawk Harrelson to be “gentle”, that does not make said hit “cheap”, or “ducksnorty”, or in any way unearned by the hitting team.
Anyways. Aside from that annoyance, the Tigers did get their claws into the Wrong Sox, and they did rend. Granderson was a triple away from the cycle (dude hits more triples than anyone in the universe, and the one time he NEEDS a triple, he can’t get one. sigh), including a leadoff home run, and had 4 RBI. Every time you think that Curtis Granderson has reached a pinnacle of awesome, he goes right ahead and gets more awesome.
A great big WELCOME to Mike Hessman, who burst onto the scene as a Tiger with a 2-for-4 day and 2 RBI. This is a guy who’s been slogging along in the minors since 2004, that being the last time he was up with a major league team (and that was the Braves, and only for 29 games).
He’s 29 years old and had basically had the career minor leaguer tag stuck on him… and of course he was only playing today because Sean Casey + lefty pitcher = quiet sobbing, but it’s still an accomplishment, and he sure did his best to make the Tigers feel like they made the right choice in promoting him, even if it only ends up being temporary.
Maybe this disheartened Wrong Sox squad is exactly what we need to get our tigerliciousness back after being so cruelly mishandled by the Royals. It would certainly help everyone get their dignity back if they were winning, and if they could feel like they were beating a real team in the process. Double-header tomorrow, with games at 2 and 8. Go get ’em, Tigers.