Once again we’re saying wait til next year, but this time we’re doing it with a banner to hang. The only thing that hurts is that it is so tough to get to the World Series in the first place. The Tigers could field a healthy competitive team next year and still finish 3rd in their division. Nothing is a given and that’s why I tried to savor this experience, even if it was painful at the end.
No matter what happens in the future, nothing will replicate the joy that we as Tiger fans experienced this year. This team came out of nowhere, and that is part of what made this run so special.
I’m not going to use this space to rehash game 5. The bulk of it was covered in the game thread and live blog. At this point I just want to say thank you. I want to say thank you to all of you who made this site a part of your summer. It was an awesome ride.
But mostly I want to say thank you to the Tigers. Thanks for adding drama to those August nights where there would have been none. Thanks for taking a city on your back and carrying us through to the end of October. Thanks for bringing back the Olde English D.
I know that expectations change as things go along, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be writing about the Tigers in the World Series. They are American League Champions and posted 95 wins. I’m so damn proud of these guys. My only regret is that the bulk of the nation saw them at their worst.
Thanks to the pitching staff who chucked shut out after shut out and gave the Tigers a chance every night. Thanks to Jeremy Bonderman who really did turn the corner. Thanks to Kenny Rogers who not only was a veteran presence, but a dominant one at that. Thanks to Justin Verlander turning in the most prolific rookie season in Detroit in I don’t know how long. Thanks to Nate Robertson and gum time and taking the ball and giving the team 6 innings or more every single start. Thanks to Zach Miner and Wil Ledezma who stepped in and didn’t miss a beat. Thanks to Mike Maroth for everything and I’m sorry you weren’t able to be a part of it on the field.
Thanks to the bullpen which was amongst the best. Thanks to Todd Jones for the cardiac work that was largely successful this season. Thanks to Fernando Rodney and the change up of doom. Thanks to Joel Zumaya who turns a stadium electric by simply coming into the game. Thanks to Jamie Walker, the most unsung of the group, but who always did his job. Thanks to Jason Grilli who was as solid a long guy as you’ll see.
Thanks to Ivan Rodriguez for continuing to shut down the running game with a gold glove season and a .300 batting average. Thanks to Sean Casey for coming over and giving this team the bulk of its offense in the World Series. Thanks to Chris Shelton who sparked this incredible season with an incredible April. Here’s hoping you’re back for more. Thanks to Placido Polanco who was always sure handed defensively and was the one guy who could put the ball in play at will. Thanks to Carlos Guillen for another MVP caliber season. Thanks to Brandon Inge and the plethora of web gems at the hot corner.
Thanks to Magglio Ordonez for the most dramatic homer Detroit has seen since Kirk Gibson in 1987. Thanks to Curtis Granderson for a season of nearly flawless defense and timely hits and showing way more poise and maturity than a virtual rookie should. Thanks to Craig Monroe for the late inning heroics throughout the season. Thanks to Marcus Thames who finally got a shot and made the most of each at-bat.
Thanks to Vance Wilson for being a very capable back-up to a Hall of Famer. Thanks to Omar Infante and Ramon Santiago – you’ve come a long way since 2003.
And thanks to Jim Leyland. You made me crazy a couple times with your decisions, but you got a team and a city believing that the Tigers can and should win.
Thank you for the countless memories this season.