ALCS Aftermath

Did anyone really expect the Tigers to top the atmosphere that took place when they beat the Yankees? Sure, winning the ALCS is a bigger deal. But it’s hard to top beating the Yankees not to mention the celebration for the ages. Enter the tie game and walk off homer.

This game was the only part of the series that was close. Today marked the first time in the series that the A’s came to bat in any inning with a lead. The Tigers out hit, out pitched, and out defended the A’s. Like in the Yankees series, the Tigers appeared to be very prepared knowing exactly what would be coming at them. Of course getting key hit after key hit and double play after double play helps with that perception.

Am I surprised that the Tigers so soundly defeated the A’s. Yes and no. This team was consistently awesome the first 2/3 of the season so of course this type of performance was possible. But I am suprised that it all came together for 7 straight games.

Now the Tigers have a one week vacation, so everyone should be rested. Joel Zumaya should probably be available and Sean Casey said he was feeling better when interviewed after the game. Also, the rotation can be set in any order that Leyland prefers. Everyone will be on extended rest, even if Bonderman were to start game 1 (which might not be a bad idea).

Things of a celebratory nature

My 4 favorite elements of the walk off were:
1. The shot of Dave Dombrowski yelling “get out, get out , get out” and jumping around just like every other fan in the city.
2. Todd Jones running back like he was going to make a play on the ball in the bullpen
3. Placido Polanco incapable of running like a regular human being and doing this goofy skip step around the bases.
4. The expression on Craig Monroe’s face as he touched 3rd. It’s like it hit him at exactly that moment he was going to the World Series.

I’m sure videos will be popping up all over the place within a few hours. If I come across any, I’ll post them. Also, keep an eye out on The other clinching games have been available for download for free and hopefully they’ll do the same this time.

What others are saying

Baseball Toaster: Catfish Stew : Congrats to the Tigers

They deserved to be American League champions. They were the best team.
The Tigers fell apart at the end of the regular season, but they were without Placido Polanco for most of it, so we’ll forgive them for that. The dropoff from Polanco to Neifi Perez–it’s about as big as the dropoff from Mark Ellis to D’Angelo Jimenez.

Athletics Nation :: An Oakland A’s Blog

In hindsight, the A’s never really had a chance in this series. They have absolutely no clue how to hit Kenny Rogers and absolutely no clue how to get Placido Polanco out. Every decision Leyland farted out there would be turned to gold by overachieving players, excellent ones and mediocre ones alike, and the few mistakes Ken Macha made would be compounded by his players’ inability to make him look good.

Wojo: Maybe, just maybe, there’s one more celebration left – 10/14/06 – The Detroit News Online

That time is here, tied to the arc of a majestic home run, tied together by players and management and coaches who weren’t supposed to get this far. Just like that, all deficits are erased. Out of nowhere, the Tigers are headed to the World Series, launched there by an unforgettable swing, and so much more.

Foster: Owner set strategy for team after dismal 2003 season – 10/14/06 – The Detroit News Online

Ilitch tried to do things on the cheap and you cannot do that in baseball. This is an animal that demands prime rib every day of the year.
He finally said enough is enough. But let me tell you, Ilitch was not going to throw money into a bottomless pit. He did not have enough faith in former General Manager Randy Smith to do that. But he had faith in Dombrowski, who had built a winner in Florida. He is a good president but Dombrowski is no miracle worker. If you give him decent numbers to work with, then Dombrowski can bring you a winner. If you don’t, then he is just like anybody else, shuffling talent back and forth looking for a miracle.

So is that all there is? Yes, and take comfort

Unlike those other playoff years, this one was different. This was all they could do, this was as far as they could go, this time they lost to a team they simply weren’t going to beat. There is at least some comfort in that.

Detroit Tiger Tales

This is the same team that had not had a winning season in 13 years; the team that had lost 119 games 3 years ago; the team that had lost over 400 games over the past 4 years. Even their most optimistic fans doubted they would be anywhere near post-season this year. A .500 season would have been good for most. Then, after an amazing 76-36 start, they stumbled down the stretch and the whole nation doubted them again. Nobody gave them a chance to make the World Series especially after losing game 1 to the Yankees. But now 7 consecutive victories later, they are American League Champions for the first time since 1984.

TigerBlog » Blog Archive » The Tigers are Headed to the World Series

On several occasions, I’ve stated the Magglio Ordonez will never be worth the money we paid him. Like a lot of things this season, I’m rethinking things. Ordonez did his best Kirk Gibson imitation and hit a solo homerun in the sixth inning to tie the game up at 3-3. Then he hit a huge three run walk off bomb in the ninth inning to win it.

The Pastime: And so it ends. For this year…

Detroit was simply the better team over these 4 games. Eric Chavez took a lot of heat for saying that, but he was right. They made very few mistakes, and took advantage of the A’s miscues.

MITCH ALBOM: Tigers finish sweep, head to World Series

And here, after a shaky start and a three-run deficit and a bases-loaded blown opportunity and a bases-loaded escape, here after almost every chance imaginable and the score still tied, here came the bottom of the ninth, two outs, two on — I mean, come on, is this perfect or what? —-and here came your something big, folks, here came Magglio Ordonez, one of those free agents who a number of years ago might never have signed with the Tigers, and he smoked an 1-0 pitch so high and so far into the leftfield seats that he had time to watch, walk, raise a fist, then raise another fist, then run the bases pointing the new direction for this new era of Detroit baseball.

16 thoughts on “ALCS Aftermath”

  1. I have to comment on this one. Placido’s impression of a 4 year old running down the stairs to open presents on Christmas morning in a little pajama hoodie was the absolute best part of my day. What a great image. I will never forget that celebration.

  2. I agree-that shot of the ball sailing over the Tiger bullpen was pretty cool.I have to admit-I’d been getting down on Ordonez’ lack of production-I take back everything I said.
    Did anyone else see Kendall flipping the ump off(his hand was on his batting helmet with his middle finger outstretched) after he was called out to open the game?Seems like a good way for a catcher to shrink his pitcher’s strike zone.
    I was impressed by the way Bonderman toughed it out and kept the Tigers in the game on a day he didn’t seem that sharp.
    The rest will be nice,but how do you manage a week off?These guys seem to be beating with one heart right now and it may be hard to stay in synch.

  3. “The dropoff from Polanco to Neifi Perez–it’s about as big as the dropoff from Mark Ellis to D’Angelo Jimenez.”

    That’s an understatement, big time. I like Mark Ellis just fine, but the drop from Polanco to Perez is about as big as dropping from Konerko to Ross Gload.

  4. Bill I did notice Jones in the pen, my thoughts were that maybe he was trying to retrive a historic ball for Maggs. I also agree great dance and hoodie for Polanco, I also noticed that most of the players seem to be wearing hoodies, even Kenny Rogers who clearly is from the earlier generation. I wonder what the deal is?

    Anyway great game


  5. I jumped up out of my chair the moment Magglio hit the game winner and yelled, “He did it!, that’s money!” Which my 2 year old quickly began imitating while he was playing in the living room. He kept saying, “that’s money, that’s money!” Too cute.

    Throughout the year I’ve been getting him to yell, “Go Tigers!” I felt like running around the room like Polanco – with a skip, jump and a huge smile.

    Great game. I am currently downloading it from I can play it for my son when he is older and tell him what he said.

    Oh the unbridled childlike joy shown by adults playing a game that they started playing in backyards and sandlots.

    Favorite Game Memories –

    Magllio putting up one fist, then two as he rounded first. Placido skipping around the bases. Reading Dombrowski’s lips as he is yelling, “get out!” Leyland telling the fans thank you for the patience (or sticking with the club) the last 14-15 (not sure if that is what he said or not) years.

  6. Polanco as MVP is just sweet. I honestly can not think of a nicer or more deserving guy. Our Tigs are going to the World Series! OUR TIGERS!!

  7. Polanco jumpin around the bases, was the most hilarious thing. I laugh just thinking about it.

    Aww, I was thinkin about how Maggs was slumping but when he came up there with the bases loaded, I was thinkin this is what we got you for. This is your moment. And then I just screamed “YES!” And then I was speechless. I was just so ecstatic, that I was speechless.

    Im still in awe at just the thought.

    Now go get us the World Series!!!

  8. I was alone watching the game in my family room. Well, alone in that sometimes my wife would sit down and watch some, but she doesn’t really care about baseball. I was on my feet from the 7th inning on. Cheering everything good that happened, every pitch. I intentionally opened my doorwalls so my neighbors could hear me (my backyard neighbor also plays on my softball team). It felt good…it felt REAL good.

    Here’s my observation about the team celebration: Since when did baseball teams start doing a celebratory lap? Historically baseball has been a little less self-serving than that. I don’t think you would ever see Al Kaline do a fist-pumping lap around Tiger stadium. My first impression was that I didn’t like it. But I have a theory. There are many more Latin players on the team than ever before. These players grew up in their native countries with SOCCER as the #1 sport. Carlos Guillen grew up watching Pele (for example) on Saturday mornings (if he watched anything at all), not Alan Trammell and Johnny Bench. The celebration lap is a VERY soccer thing to do. When a kid grows up in Venezuela, or Puerto Rico, that’s what you do in big events. American kids might not react that way, but in retrospect I don’t feel the integrity or humility of the game suffers for it. You guys take your lap, and I’ll cheer you every step of the way.

  9. I also want to comment on Lou Pinella as an announcer. I am now a big LP fan. First of all the SOUND of his voice has tons of character. Like a cartoon character. Harry Carey had it; Mel Allen had it. Second, he really does know baseball. As opposed to a guy like Tim McCarver whose voice irritates me…and it might be because he SPEWS baseball, but I disagree with so much he says.

    One thing that usually irritates me about announcers is relating the game in progress to their past experiences. “When I played we had a…bla bla bla.” Watch other telecasts and you’ll find them replete with self-bolstering commentary. We have been spoiled in Detroit by the likes of Paul & Ernie, George & Al. Those guys totally removed their own playing days from the broadcast and concentrated on TODAY’S GAME. Nowadays we catch Jim Price and Rod Allen slipping in reminders that they are ex-players, but usually it is in a self-depricating way, like Bob Uecker would do. I am tolerant of that in small doses even…and so far it has been small enough. So keep that in mind the next time you catch the White Sox and see how many irritating “When I played…” comments there are.

    So how does this relate to Lou Pinella? There were many times other announcers, mostly Steve Lyons, would bring it up and Lou would have no choice but to comment. Steve: “Lou, how did you handle this when you managed Seattle?” But on his own he would speak from a 3rd person point of view. Example: “A lot of times you want a slap-hitter batting 2nd so when the leadoff batter gets on base you can move him along.” Not “When I managed NY I had Willie Randolph bat 2nd for his bat control so he could move Rickey Henderson along.” (don’t get on me for my bad examples…they are just here for flavor).

    There was one point where he was talking about infield communication when the crowd got loud. He said there was a system the SS and 2B use to determine who will take a throw (from P or C). Lou said “it’s easy, mouth open you take the throw, mouth closed you don’t take the throw.” That was a great piece of information I learned from him. I’ve never played in a situation loud enough to need signs on who takes throws. And I was so impressed that he didn’t present it as “when I managed, I had my players open their mouth…”

    So there, I like Lou Piniella as an announcer.

  10. Speaking of announcers, it was nice to hear Kevin Kennedy say some positive things on Fox pregame about Trammell. I thought Tram had some tough breaks with Guillen & Ordenez injuries and the problems with reliever Urbina and even before that with Palmer’s injuries. Those years with big losses weren’t all Trammell’s fault.

    I hope they ask Tram to throw out a WS first pitch as he was a great Tiger.

  11. The man should be governer. If he could turn the Tigers around, he damn sure can turn Michigan around.

    Seriously though, I have no problem with the victory laps. But I think ff the Tigers remain a top team capable of multiple runs at the Series the next five years you won’t see that sort of thing again.

    The Tigers have lost their innocence with this victory. Next year if they’re in the playoffs, you won’t see that sort of thing after an ALDS/ALCS win. Thats what makes this postseason run so “magical.” It’s one of a kind celebration (this year), and something that cannot be duplicated if we’re back next year.

    Because we weren’t supposed to do this. If we’re back in postition next year we’re going to expect them to win and be on them if they lose just like we are with the Red Wings and Pistons.

  12. Breaking News: A’s fire Manager Ken Macha after he loses 4 in a row to Detroit. Wow! It sure is hard to be appreciated. You win your Division and you sweep the Twins, but that isn’t good enough.

  13. 4. The expression on Craig Monroe’s face as he touched 3rd. It’s like it hit him at exactly that moment he was going to the World Series.

    From what he said on the field a few minutes later, that’s exactly what happened:

    “Craig, what was going through your mind when you saw the ball go over the fence?”

    “I’m going to the World Series! Oh my god, we’re going to the World Series!”

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