The Clinch: ALDS

I’ve been home from the UM/MSU game for almost an hour. I had over an hour in the car to listen to postgame quotes and gather my thoughts. And I’m still here and don’t even know what to write. I’ll start with just saying how freakin’ proud I am of this team right now. I’m proud of how they weren’t overwhelmed by playing the Yankees. I’m proud of how 18 of the 25 guys who had never played in the postseason looked like they belonged. I’m proud of how the veterans came to play with a steely eyed focus. I’m proud how the team shook off an awful week leading up to the postseason. I’m proud how they celebrated with the fans.

I know there is a lot of animosity towards the “experts” and really everyone who didn’t give the Tigers a chance. These people aren’t idiots. They are paid for analysis and opinion and in all reality the smart money was on the Yankees. But it is right to believe that the Tigers weren’t even considered a formidable foe. On several occasions I heard cute predictions like Yankees in 2.

The Tigers were a team that did win 95 games in a division where they were just 1 of 3 teams to post 90 wins. They were a team that did post a 19-31 record over their last 50 games but were only outscored by 3 runs over that time period. They were slumping, but more to the tune of .500 than what their record reflected.

As for that Yankees lineup that had an advantage at every position, they were held in check to say the least. I thought that the Tigers chances would be to limit the damage from the Murderers Row enough that the Tiger hitters could take advantage of the Yankee pitching. Instead the Tigers outhit the Yankees at every position except catcher over the last 4 games.

As David Pinto pointed out the real surprise isn’t that the Tigers pitching staff had success against the Yankees. It’s that they completely shut them down for the last 2 days.

But there will be plenty of time for analysis later. For now it is all about unbridled enthusiasm.

11 Comments

  1. Ghost of Tigers Past

    October 7, 2006 at 11:00 pm

    Headlines read; David defeats Goliath! Bless you Boys!

  2. Darrin

    October 7, 2006 at 11:57 pm

    The only thing I’ll disagree with is that I think the “experts” are kinda idiots. I never pay heed to any of their baseball predictions, be it post-season or regular season.

    Do a study one day and check out expert predictions for major league baseball. Rarely are the predictions ever better than mere 50/50 chance.

  3. Darrin

    October 8, 2006 at 12:16 am

    Just as a quick follow-up…

    Over at espn.com they listed their “expert picks” prior to the divisonal series. 19 experts made picks.
    You know how many picked the Tigers? 0
    You know how many picked the A’s? 4
    That’s a batting average of 4 for 38. (Sounds like the Yankee team batting average).
    Oh also, only 1 out of 19 picked St. Louis.

  4. Nate A.

    October 8, 2006 at 12:51 am

    “the Tigers outhit the Yankees at every position except catcher over the last 4 games.”

    Even 3B with Inge looking so terrible at the plate?!? Holy smoke, A-Rod sucked indeed.

    Darrin, I really do like how you can mock your own favorite team. Are you sure you’re not a lifelong Tiger fan? 😛 I hope you stick with us and have fun every step of the way!

    Onward!

  5. Cameron in Singapore

    October 8, 2006 at 3:43 am

    This is great. If the pitchers can keep it up, we have an excellent chance to go all the way.

  6. SBG

    October 8, 2006 at 7:57 am

    Those of us over at SBG are universally behind the Tigers. We are pulling for your team to go all the way.

    As fans of the Tigers, you must be thrilled to have beaten Goliath. It’s much sweeter to be pulling for David. 🙂

    For us Twins fans, it’s wait until next year, when we can’t wait to have another chance to face off with the World Champions in our own division.

    Go Tigers!

  7. Bobby

    October 8, 2006 at 8:20 am

    I got to be there Friday night for Kenny’s gem, and watched from our living room high above Woodward Avenue last night as 43,000 screaming fans high-fived and honked their horns well into the evening. My 5-year-old daughter and I stuck our heads out the window, waving our Tiger Towels and yelling “Let’s Go Tigers!” to the revelers below.

    I was teary-eyed to see that celebration at the Park, and I think anyone who has cared about this team – this franchise – at least felt it so deeply that it moved them. Looking back on the last 6 years, living next to the Park, attending 20 or 40 games as it were, this city was a comparative morgue until this season. Oh sure, the occasional 15,000, maybe 20,000 on a good night would park and walk and sit and walk back and drive – a simple equation for something to do on a Saturday night. But this season was so starkly different, so intense as to push those same Saturday-night Robots into honking horns and chants of “Let’s Go Tigers” – and this in June!

    I kept thinking last night that I wouldn’t even care if this meant the end – if this was all we got to see and hear and share, I’d be alright. It already feels like we’re cheating the system a bit, you know? I guess anyone who was a season ticket holder in 2003 is still looking over their shoulder, waiting for someone to tap them on the shoulder to wake them up from this dream.

    The great part is that it’s not the end, but rather the beginning of a new era.

    One thing I can tell you with certainty: the debate is over. The perennial debate wondering if Detroit was a certain sport town has simply come to an obvious conclusion… Detroit is – and always has been – a Baseball Town.

    Thanks, all you guys, for sharing this with each other, and with me.

  8. Sam

    October 8, 2006 at 8:55 am

    Great Post Bobby,
    gave me goose bumps reading it.

    -Sam

  9. Sam

    October 8, 2006 at 9:35 am

    I stole this prom a post at http://www.stats.com:

    One shortstop who always knows where the cameras are and pretends to be loose when his team is getting their butts kicked…20 million dollars.

    One former third baseman turned outfielder turned into an embarrassing first baseman…10 million dollars.

    One steroid-taker, not good enough to play ahead of Milkey Cabrera in an elimination game…20 million dollars.

    One post season choking third baseman…22 million dollars.

    One overrated starting pitching staff…45 million dollars.

    One greedy, disloyal, bad-arm and overrated centerfielder…13 million dollars.

    Seeing the Yankees and their 200 million dollar payroll lose three straight to the Tigers in the AL playoffs and eliminated (thus playing only 4 more games than the Pirates and Royals)……PRICELESS!!!!!!

  10. Darrin

    October 8, 2006 at 1:14 pm

    Nate A:
    It’s a simple choice really. If I don’t laugh at the Yankees situation right now, I’d have to cry.

    Yes, I’m a true, lifelong Yankee fan. And even though I live in Detroit now, I’m a transplanted New Yorker by way of Florida. So that means that not only am I a Yankee fan, but I’m also a Miami Heat fan. Which would really make me popular here, huh?

    In seriousness though, I will root for the Tigers to take it home now because it essentially validates their victory over New York (“Hey, the Tigers beat us. The Tigers then win the World Series. That means we could very well be the 2nd best team in all of baseball, right?”) Think I’m in denial?

  11. The Disembodied Head of Dick Devos

    October 8, 2006 at 2:37 pm

    Sure. Try and steal the credit but the truth is that Dick Devos and the Amway Guy Curse beat the Yankees!