photo by Samara Pearlstein
The Yankees won. Which is, you know, too bad, but pretty much inevitable, because you can take the DEVIL out of the RAY, but you can’t take the INABILITY TO PLAY BASEBALL out of them. Never send a floppy chondrichthian to do a tiger’s job.
This was just a weird game, the kind of game that usually would get postponed and rescheduled, but since we’re at the very stripey tail tip of the season here there’s no time left for extra games. I generally am not a fan of cutting games short, due to the ‘no lead is safe’ viewpoint with which I approach all games, but I’m actually pretty happy that this one got chopped off at the knees. The Tigers were winning fairly big and I really wasn’t keen on staying up until the wee hours of the morning to watch a game that, once the Yankees had won, didn’t mean anything anyways. A win is a win, even if it only lasts five and a half innings.
In a way it was a rainy little blessing for the relievers, because, although Jair Jurrjens did scorelessly survive two innings after the vomit-inducing 4-run first (and who knows how long he might have clung to the mound if that first rain delay hadn’t happened), a full frame game was looking like a LOT of work for the bullpen. Tim Byrdak, riding high off of his recent success, threw two scoreless innings, and Jason Grilli threw one more. We might have needed three or four more pitchers to get through 9 innings.
It’s not like we particularly need to save the bullpen anymore (having nothing to save them for), but why risk injury to these guys at the vestigial end of the season? We managed to get out of this game relatively intact: Carlos Guillen was slid into (Surgically Repaired Knee!!!), but seemed to escape damage, and even Jurrjens’ emotional state avoided severe injury, as he must have felt somewhat better when he realized he was capable of shutting down the Twinkies even after a bad start to the game.
There are only 3 games left in the season, meaning that the worst the Tigers can finish is 87-75, no postseason. I was talking about this with someone and I mentioned how disappointed I was. He started saying all these things about how Tigers fans had no right to be disappointed about missing the playoffs, not when this was a team that used to not even be able to get to the 0.500 mark and blah blah blah. This is all very true, but….
If someone is ‘disappointed’ that means that they are upset because something didn’t fulfill their expectations. To say that you are not disappointed in this year’s team is to say that you had no expectations of them. It isn’t 2003 anymore and this is not the 2003 team. The 2007 team is a cat of a different color. It’s a team with talent, a good mix of experience and youth, and at least some passing familiarity with winning: all things the 2003 team manifestly lacked.
So, yes, I am disappointed that the Tigers didn’t make the postseason. I’m disappointed precisely because I thought so highly of them at the start of the season. The Tigers were one of the best teams in BASEBALL last season, and many of them returned to the ’07 team… can you really say that you didn’t EXPECT a team with that kind of talent and cred to still be playing come October? If you honestly didn’t expect anything of them, then sure, you can parade about all puffed up with your happy lack of disappointment now, but you must have had a heart of iron with regards to the ’06 team.
Obviously we shouldn’t be SUICIDALLY disappointed or anything like that. We’re not the Pirates. But we’re not ‘bad fans’ if we’re grumpy and disappointed with the way this season fell out.