photo by Samara Pearlstein
What is rational thought? It is the ability to consider things from a standpoint of reason and logic. It is free from overwrought emotions, irrational superstitions, dogged belief without proof, and sea cucumbers (a truly illogical creature). Rational thought is in evidence when someone says, “I would rather my team not play the Yankees because stats X, Y, and Z show that the Yankees are provably, numerically better than my team Q% of the time, where Q is some number greater than 50.”
Rational thought is NOT in evidence when you sit me down in front of a Yankee game and I start frothing at the mouth with foamy, rabid, Boston-bred loathing. I have no rational reasons, although if you ask me for reasons I’ll give you a million, some more solidly based in fact than others. Mark Teixeira? He snubbed Boston, then his wife super-snubbed Boston, so he’s a coprolite for life. Let’s make fun of his stupid face. Bartolo Colon? Call him a digestive tract. ARod? Don’t get me started.
Even some of the definitely fact-based points of rage cannot truly be called rational. For instance, I would like to see Nick Swisher be eaten by wolves, because he’s a filthy Buckeye, you see. That’s a real fact, but rational it is not.
Thus the mere IDEA that the Tigers might lose their entire 2011 opening series to these no-chin-hair-dictator cretins was, therefore, bordering on the nauseating. I KNOW it’s only three games and, in the grand scheme of the season, means very little. I know– rationally– that the Yankees should not be the main concern of the Tigers, who will have plenty to worry about in the Central. I know that struggles against Yankee players should not worry me as much as, say, comparable struggles against the Wrong Sox this year should. I know that we are currently dealing with super small sample sizes and things can change. Things WILL change.
But holy freakin’ cats, if we had been swept by the Yankees, I would have been obligated to melt down in some fashion. The Red Sox were swept in their opening series and the sky is totally falling all over New England. It’s Look Out Below around here, except for the tiny bit David Ortiz is holding up by himself. It may not be rational, but it is how things are done in this region.
I thought I was doomed, because Max Scherzer was not exactly what I would have called ‘sharp’. One of the home runs he gave up (Cano’s) was a cheap ballpark shot, the short-porch kind of hit that wouldn’t be a home run anywhere else in MLB… but Max gave up four home runs all by himself, and they weren’t ALL cheapies. Yeah. That kind of a day.
Thank cats for the offense. Thank cats for Miguel Cabrera, who homered twice, and Brennan Boesch, who went 4-for-4 with 4 RBI and 4 runs scored.
Mr. Boesch is currently batting .625 (in the two games that he’s played). This is most splendid and glorious and ridiculously unsustainable, but his attack on all things Yankee today was so wondrous to behold that we can maybe imagine, just for now, what life would be like if Brennan Boesch continued to hit .625 or thereabouts for the rest of the year. Even just the rest of the month.
Yes, imagine that world. The sky would be blue and free of pollution; the oceans would be clean, and filled with whales who would be endangered no longer. Rainforests would regrow. People would stop firing missiles at each other and there would be hugs all ’round. Will Rhymes would have cured the common cold. The dodo would reappear in the forests, frolicking with the ivory-billed woodpecker. The Tigers would be on top of the division, slaying all who would dare to stand in their way, because the amazingness of Brennan’s bat would have energized the rest of the team, inspiring them to great baseball feats of their own.
A more perfect world than the one we inhabit today, to be sure. But we can glimpse it right now, because of what Brennan Boesch did today. It’s a beautiful thing.
All that is a manifestation of the relief I feel because the Tigers are not going to be swept by the Yankees in their opening series. The Yankees are the worst jerks; losing every game of a series against them is near-intolerable. Ugh. UGH. But we’re ok. It didn’t happen. Brennan Boesch made sure that it was not going to happen. I’m taking deep breaths.
Now the Tigers head off to Baltimore. The Orioles are not the Yankees, and the Cats should be able to play appropriately.
But even if they lose, it will not be nearly as infuriating/sick-making as Yankee losses are. Does this make sense? Not really, of course: a loss is a loss, a win is a win, and the East isn’t the Central. They should all count the same, if we were using logic. Which I most definitely am not.