How I’m coping – or – it’s hard to be a fan

One thing I’ve learned doing this blog is that being a fan of any team is a very personal thing. Fans approach their love for their teams in a myriad of ways, and this is manifested when the teams are at their lowest point. After all, when the team is winning that is when all types of fans band together and celebrate. High fives are exchanged and wins are cherished, but when things go south the reactions are so varied.

For some being a fan is all about the payoff. It’s all about seeing the team win. There’s the portion of fans who are happy to have a good team, and there are others who aren’t satisfied unless the team wins a championship.

There are others where fandom is about the process, the journey. It’s about enjoying the beauty of the sport and hanging on each moment throughout a long season.

Some want to have players they like and respect and who represent the team well. Guys that you want to pull for, who you want to see succeed. Others don’t give a damn about character. It’s just win baby.

And when a season ends without that championship, the responses are very different. There are emotional responses, analytical responses, silver linings to search for, and blame to assign. Most fans seem to do all of the above to some extent.

With a very long preamble now out of the way, I in no way expect others to deal with this the way I am. This is just one moderately humble bloggers take.

On Monday night when Casey Blake jumped around the bases, it was a punch in the gut. Much like Curtis Granderson slipping in game 4 of the World Series I pretty much knew at that moment that playoff hopes were lost. It hurt going to bed, and it didn’t get any better when I woke up the next morning. But as I felt when game 5 of the series got underway, when the first pitch was thrown Tuesday night I was quite calm. Sure I still had a little bit of hope, but I also knew that barring something extraordinary the season was done. As the Indians launched an aerial assault on their own fans, it just became clearer. So instead of supreme frustration last night, it was merely a sigh.

I know that in time I’ll do a deep dive analysis. In the meantime I’m going to enjoy the last week of the Tigers season. I know that the games don’t have larger implications. It will just be enjoying baseball for the sake of baseball and spending a couple nights more nights at the ballpark soaking up those summertime sounds and smells. It’ll be a couple more nights laying in bed with my son while the Tigers and I tuck him in at night.

There’s a part of me that says, who cares, shut it off. But then there is the other part of me that knows there will be nights in January where I’m craving baseball. And I know in February I’ll be so excited to see a bunch of grown men laying in the outfield stretching as newspaper headlines say “Pitchers and Catchers Report.” And I’ll tune in at work when the Tigers play their first exhibition game against Florida Southern and I’ll be dreading the end of spring training where all I want are games that count. And then we’ll do the dance again.

And I can go into this last week knowing that despite the fact my team won’t be playing for anything, I had nightly entertainment for the last 6 months. I still have a team that went from being a joke for a decade to posting a 178-138 record over the last 2 years. I had a team where a young centerfielder made history. I saw a veteran who is past his prime put together the best offensive season I’ve experienced from a member of the hometown 9 and I want to see him hang on to his batting title for one more week.

Yeah, I’m more of an optimist. And yeah, the team broke my heart. But they also gave me so much more, and I’m going to keep taking from these last 9 games as I did from the 153 before. The good, the bad, the frustrating, the thrilling – I’ll take it all.

62 Comments

  1. Stephen

    September 19, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Very eloquent. Well said.

  2. Stephen

    September 19, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Just so we know we’re not alone. And these are the fans of a team still in first place! Many are quite hilarious and provide me with sheepishness about some of my own most bitter comments.

    http://www.boston.com/sports/b...../09_19_07/

  3. Stephen

    September 19, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    Again, more perspective: Griffey just went down with an excruciating injury. So sad.

  4. Jeff M

    September 19, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    Yeah, I’m more of an optimist. And yeah, the team broke my heart. But they also gave me so much more, and I’m going to keep taking from these last 9 games as I did from the 153 before it. The good, the bad, the frustrating, the thrilling – I’ll take it all.

    Hear, hear!

  5. cib

    September 19, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    You had to make me cry again.

    Bill you are the Philosopher King of baseball. I am so glad I met you and all of the gang on this blog. I could not have gotten through the season without it.

    All of the bandwagon drunks who were in the streets screaming “we won!” after Magglio’s HR last October are gone now. It’s just us.

    I’ll be at the game on Friday with a printout of your post in my bag.

  6. Anthony L

    September 19, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Excellent post Billfer. You summed it all up, and I’m right there with you.

  7. Kathy

    September 19, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    I dread the end. I love looking forward to every game and being consumed with the team. My whole life revolves around the games and everything going on with the team (kinda sick, I know). Even my 16 month old grandson watches with me. I don’t want to lose my friends that I’ve made here because they have become part of my life. I just don’t want it to end… which is probably why I can’t stop hoping. I love that team but I’m so mad at them.

  8. Greg

    September 19, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    Nice post Billfer.

    Griffey……what’s really sad about Griffey, is he’s merely reaping what he’s sown. That may sound harsh, but its the stark reality. He doesn’t really stretch out, he just goes through the motions, and now, he’s paying the price. One of the more foolish non-moves this trading season, was the Reds choice to NOT unload Griffey when he had value. He’s an injury waiting to happen, always has been, always will be.

  9. Ian in the UP

    September 19, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    I’ve been lurking around this blog all season and finally decided I should chime in. First off – great post. It’s very true that the team provided me with nightly entertainment all summer. They’ve provided me with a few less than 162 episodes (I wish living in Michigan meant I got to see all of the games… hell there isn’t even a radio station that I can listen to to get the games. I’m glad I have XM!) of my favorite program that allows me a hell of a lot more passion than any primetime show (which only has what? 20 something episodes?) during the off season.

    I know this season hooked me on baseball again. I used to love the Tigers when I was younger then drifted from the sport around the time of the strike and generally only checked scores post-game and never watched the game. The world series run last year got my attention and this year, like I said, hooked me. Whether they won or lost, it doesn’t matter to me now. I’m just glad it was and will continue to be such a nice distraction from the stresses of the final time in college.

    Hey, we get to start fresh next year :)

  10. Jim

    September 19, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Cheers.

  11. Stephen

    September 19, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    greg, are you seriously blaming this on griffey not stretching? are you the same greg who was saying earlier that the yankees still could fold?

  12. Greg

    September 19, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    Of course I am. People who don’t stretch are more prone to muscle strains/pulls than people that do stretch, that’s why people stretch in the first place. People who don’t take it seriously(just go through the motions) also pay the price.

    Not sure how the Yankees relate to Griffey’s stretching habits.

  13. Stephen

    September 19, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    I’m just not sure what you’re basing your blanket statement that HoF in waiting Griffey isn’t a stretcher. I have never heard that ever before.

  14. s

    September 19, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    amen.

    and i’ll take from your blog what i’ve taken from it all season – shared enthusiasm that has made me feel like i’m not hundreds of miles away.

    thank you.

  15. Kathy

    September 19, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Remember all the folks who were screaming for DD to get Gagne?

  16. Kurt

    September 19, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    Geez Ian, you leave me to be the only U.P. representative (that i know of) here for the entire season? How mean! Where are you that you don’t get the Tigers anyway? Gwinn? :P I’m in MQT for what it’s worth.

    And well put, Bilfer. We’ve just got to enjoy the final week because it’s going to be months before we can watch a baseball game we actually care the results of.

  17. Rob Howard

    September 19, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    Yes, quite well said. Good perspective. I’m thrilled to have a good team to root for again, or, really, the first time- being 26, I really don’t remember much about 1987 or 1984.

    It is funny to see how badly Gagne has turned out for the Red Sox. Really, no doable acquisition would have done it for us this year. It was too many injuries, and too many guys (Inge, Monroe, Casey, Maroth, Robertson) having off-years.

    Let’s cheer Maggs on to a batting title!

  18. Greg

    September 19, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    He has a reputation as being quite the slacker, that includes stretching. I’ve heard beat writers, local radio/TV people talk about it. Not a ton, but a half dozen to a dozen times. Spring Training reports, ‘Reds Insider’ stuff like that. I probably hear about more then those outside Ohio, because I’m exposed to the local media more often. Not a ton, but a half dozen to a dozen times.

    But apart from that, I’ve known a ton of athletes. I’ve never known a single one, ever, who stretched, thoroughly and properly, to ever pull or strain a muscle, even once.

    Not saying it can’t happen if you stretch. Just that its pretty rare…..unless perhaps, you take illegal performance enhancing substances….but that’s a different discussion.

  19. Ian in the UP

    September 19, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    Kurt, I’m from Escanaba but am going to school in the Soo. In Escanaba, I can just barely pick up the station out of Charlevoix, I think (1270 am).

    Sorry to leave you abandoned all summer. Next summer you’ll have an ally ;)

  20. Bix

    September 19, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    Billfer, well said as always. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, and I can’t wait to tuck my kids in — in the years to come, as the Mrs. Bix and I are just entering that stage of our lives — with Tigerball on the internet way out here in Idaho. I was hoping to try to meet up with you during the Series this year, but that’ll have to be next season…I guess I need to start trying to talk the wife into a trip to Lakeland in the spring.

    If I may, I’d add one other small item that I’ll take away from this season — God Bless Brian Bluhm, as he brought the whole Tiger fan community together for something much bigger than baseball. I’ve never been more proud to be a part of this Tigerblog family, and to see the outpouring of support for him and his family is something I’ll never forget.

    Oh, and Grandy is still My Tiger.

  21. Lee Panas

    September 20, 2007 at 12:04 am

    Well stated Billfer. It’s been another fun season and I will enjoy the last week of games. There are still individual accomplishments to follow, great plays to watch and maybe another walk off victory. of course, this is coming from someone who also somehow managed to enjoy 2003.

    Lee

  22. TM

    September 20, 2007 at 12:08 am

    I read this blog and comments every day, but rarely make a comment of my own. Thank you, Bilfer for your sincere level-headed and very human writing. I consider you part of the team and tune into your writing as much as I do the games. Enjoy the rest of this still-respectable season! Cheers – Tim M.

  23. PHT in HK

    September 20, 2007 at 12:18 am

    Nice post. There is always the promise of next season. Can’t wait for Spring Training!

  24. Andrew

    September 20, 2007 at 12:32 am

    I will miss Tiger Baseball so much when it takes a break this fall and winter, but I’ll take plenty of amazing memories away from this season…Granderson…Maggs…That hot HR streak Guillen had for a while there (during which hit the 3:30am walkoff against the Yankees)…JV’s no hitter…Granderson’s catch against Boston when we swept them going into the all-star break…Taking my Dad to a game and having it be the one where we put up 16 on the Yankees (wow that was fun)…

    There are just too many to list. I may be extremely frustrated with this team right now…But I’m still proud of them. They fought through a ton of adversity, and it was an accomplishment in itself to make September games meaningful. The way this team had to be pieced together throughout the entire season, they probably should even have been close. The efforts of Maggs, Granderson, Polanco, etc. are the reason why. I may not be happy with the result, but I can’t deny that it wasn’t for a lack of effort. That’s why I’m still proud of this team. Go Tigers! Finish out the season strong, and we’ll see you fresh and ready to go for 2008.

  25. charlie

    September 20, 2007 at 1:08 am

    good post bill…very well said.

    i’m disappointed as we all are but i’ve been a tiger fan for 46 of my 54 years and for better or worse i will be a fan again next year as well. living in western canada, north of calgary, i’ve often been a box score watcher out of necessity but now with mlb.tv i watched almost every game, i certainly read every post here again this year. so i want to thank bill for this enjoyable site and all of you for being my tiger buddies as there are not very many in my part of the world.

    cheers
    charlie

  26. David

    September 20, 2007 at 1:15 am

    Well I still haven’t given up. Untill the Indians, Yanks, Boston and LA win 93 games I won’t give up hope. Last years Twins and Cards, ’05 Astros etc.

    Like I said I’m really glad I found this site and will really hate when this season ends.

    A good friend of mine used to say, “This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.” Think about that for a while.

  27. Paul in CA

    September 20, 2007 at 1:22 am

    Bilfer, I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for the blog. We’ll get ‘em next year. The highlight of the year was that marathon against the Yanks. It didn’t affect the season but it was great for that one night (morning).

  28. Bob

    September 20, 2007 at 1:29 am

    spoken like a true fan of a true loser.

  29. Jim

    September 20, 2007 at 1:47 am

    Bill, this is exactly why I come here every day. I am proud to be a Tigers fan. Do I cuss out Jonesy, Leyland, and pretty much everyone else from time to time? Yes. But that’s what makes this game so great. You can come from my 28 years of being a fan and being laughed at to becoming one of the more feared teams in MLB. So we probably won’t get in this year. Well, I don’t live for October exclusively, I live and die by my Tigers, and they have a good chance at being “in there” for a long time. Keep the faith everyone! We have ourselves a team to be dealt with for years to come.

  30. Cameron in Singapore

    September 20, 2007 at 5:52 am

    Great post Bilfer.

  31. Scott

    September 20, 2007 at 7:09 am

    Nicely said, Bill. Nicely said.

    As I wrote on another blog, I’m disappointed the Tigers won’t be in the hunt for the Series. But I’m really, really proud of the team. The Tigers never gave up or gave in to injuries, slumps or anything else. They gave us everything they had, it simply wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs. And, that’s okay with me.

    Is it time for Spring Training yet?

  32. Vern Morrison

    September 20, 2007 at 8:05 am

    Yeah, I’m more of an optimist. And yeah, the team broke my heart. But they also gave me so much more, and I’m going to keep taking from these last 9 games as I did from the 153 before. The good, the bad, the frustrating, the thrilling – I’ll take it all.

    Right on, Bill. That’s at the heart of what it means to be a baseball fan. Our teams don’t always go as far as we want them to–hell, they almost never do. But the joys of being a fan go so far beyond that. It’s hard to keep things in perspective when things don’t go our way, but you’ve done it. I just hope that if and when the Indians get beat in the playoffs, I’ll remember what you wrote above, and try to take it to heart.

    Someday I hope to take in a game with you, either in your town or mine. Hey, why not both?

    Vern
    The Official Indians Fan of the Detroit Tigers Weblog

  33. Sam

    September 20, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Great post Billfer!!

    I can’t wait for 2008!

    Will Guillen be on 1B?
    Who will play SS?
    Does Maybin make the team coming out of Spring Training?
    What will the rotation be like (Jurrgins? Miller?)?
    Does Bondo bounce back, or more elbow problems?
    Are the Gambler and/or the Roller Coaster back?
    Do they give Pudge his $13m?

    So many questions, so many chances for us the 2nd guess.

    St. Patty’s day weekend next year will be spent by me in Lakeland and I CAN’T WAIT!

    -Sam

  34. Andrew

    September 20, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Bill,

    This is why I read this blog on a daily basis. I was without internet access the past three days and it killed me to not share in the disappointment of these losses (especially the extra inning debacle Monday night).

    I am going to watch the World Series clinching win against the A’s with the Magglio walk-off home run today. It was a free download from Mlb.com last year and I have been saving it for a moment like this.

    Just so I don’t forget how much fun this team is in spite of the current low point of missing out on the playoffs.

    Go Tigers!

  35. Dirk

    September 20, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Well said, Bill.

    In my 17 Years as a Tigers Fan I, and all of you, have to suffer in one way or another each season (even last year, when we got the miracle year with the ALCS only to get downed by a 0.500 Team in the WS). But even all these downs can’t stop my love for this Team. Real Tigers Fans are no bandwagoners.

    It was a sometimes brilliant season and sometimes horrible Season. Now that we are done with the Playoffs (although when we win all our 9 Games and the Indians or the Yankees…..ah, shut up, Dirk :D ), I can watch the Tigers Games via mlb.tv more relaxed. I am hoping, that the Tigers are showing all In those last 9 Games from now on that they are the real Deal. Let’s have fun when you go out there

    Although it’s not important to some, but we have the first back to back 81plus Win Season since 87/88. So that happens really for the first time in my 17 years as Tigers Fan. Unbelievable.

    Tigers4ever

    Greetings from Germany

  36. Mike R

    September 20, 2007 at 10:15 am

    Very eloquent Bill. And there’s parts that I agree with and parts that make me wish I was wired the same way you are.

    For now, I’ve got that overwhelming feeling where I’d rather just not contend then to contend, collapse, and sucker-punch me in the stomach. Not contending hurts less.

  37. Glassyarddog

    September 20, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Nicely put, billfer. I’ve also been reading the blog for some time now and just have not posted.

    The entertainment provided by the Tigers this summer has been great. I watched a ton of baseball, tuning in almost every night. My wife got sick of it, but my youngest son and I enjoyed every moment (well, at least most of the moments).

    That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing Maggs win the batting title, and then sitting around the hot stove, waiting for next April.

  38. Evan

    September 20, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Great post. It makes me a little less angry. It always hurts more when you are almost good enough than when you totally suck. Just think about the Lions. No expectations, no disappointment.

    It is amazing how upset I am now and how I rethink all the tough losses (5 run Todd Jones blowup against Cleveland, 7-0 Oakland game Labor Day weekend, Monday night) but only 3 years ago I was longing for the days of .500 ball.

  39. Abigail

    September 20, 2007 at 10:48 am

    Good post, Billfer. You’re damn right. I’ve got tickets to Friday’s game, great seats, and I’m still excited for the game. Not because of a playoff race, but because it’s baseball, and it’s my team.

  40. Riley

    September 20, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Well said, Billfer. This season has been the textbook definition of “rollercoaster,” and while I’m glad that I’ll have a little time to study for the LSAT without feeling the urge to get up and check the score every 20 minutes, I’m still sad that it will come to an end soon. However, I have to tip my cap to a team that, over the last two seasons, has provided me with most of the greatest baseball memories I have enjoyed in my short life (20 years) as a fan.

  41. Kurt

    September 20, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Ian, the Tigers seem to think they’re on WSOO 1230 AM. But with AM, you never know. Maybe they’re pre-empted or you live behind a tree, or they’re wrong. In any case, good luck! They weren’t on the radio in Marquette at all one season (2004 I think). That stunk.

  42. Jim

    September 20, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Ya know…The seasons not over yet….

    Somebody had to say it..

  43. tiff

    September 20, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Here, here, Billfer!

    I wrote something similar, some sort of obituary to the season. And as for them breaking my heart? I’m only happy that each year, they make me care enough to have my heart broken. If that’s not sick, I don’t know what is!

    I’ll be at the game on Friday too, cheering them on, thanking them for the season, and hoping Maggs can hold on for the Batting Title!

  44. Kyle J

    September 20, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    And I know in February I’ll be so excited to see a bunch of grown men laying in the outfield stretching as newspaper headlines say “Pitchers and Catchers Report.”

    Ain’t that the truth. And ain’t that the beauty of baseball.

  45. Kyle J

    September 20, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Still on my list is to figure out how to properly use those darn XHTML tags.

  46. David

    September 20, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    The Yanks have to win 5 more games, can they do it?

  47. Mike R

    September 20, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    Kyle J, you’ve got to close off the tag.
    text

    just without the spaces, so it looks like this

  48. Chris Y.

    September 20, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Nice summary, Billfer.

    The season has been an odd one for me. I moved mid-season and started a college teaching gig, and my nightly Tigers “viewing” relegated to listening to Dan on XM. My participation here dropped to zero, but I did stop by occasionally to check the pulse and for good analysis.

    This team just had to much to overcome this year, and the all the could’ves leaves a real metallic taste of this season that’ll last ’til spring. Fresh off a trip to the WS, this team had individuals who performed at extraordinary levels but couldn’t fill the gaps of injury and some expected regression at other positions.

    Of course, the highlight has been seeing the maturation Verlander and Granderson, watching Maggs mash, and catching glimpses of what this team CAN do when healthy. But, the performance of Jurrjens, Rayburn, Miller (for the first 5 games or so), and the like has me hopeful. Hopefully, with the extra rest this winter, things will hit the ground running in the spring.

    The Tigers are back where they belong, an annual contender, and DD and Illitch are doing everything they can to ensure the consistency of contention. So, I’ll enjoy the playoffs and feel somewhat sad, but my heart is still pounds for this new group of Tigers and the fine year turned in by many on the squad.

  49. Kyle J

    September 20, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    But how do I close it off–just throw in the same tag again?

  50. Don

    September 20, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    My sentiments exactly. I remember ’84 and ’87 and I remember ’03, and the Tigers have always been and will always be my team. I love baseball, especially Tigers baseball. Monday’s loss was when I gave up on the season for good, but hope springs eternal and until somebody clinches the wildcard, I’ll be doing the math and looking at possible scores.

    If, come October, my heart remains broken, I’ll have all the ’07 highlights, of which there were many. Verlander, Grandy, Maggs – awesome events, records.

    Oh, and: damn Yankees.

  51. Mark in Chicago

    September 20, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Great post, Billfer. You’ve said things a lot of us probably couldn’t quite articulate, so thanks for that.

    The disappointment from this season makes me appreciate last year so much more, and look even more forward to 2008. And whether we win 72 or 102, I’ll be watching most nights and posting alongside my fellow bloggers.

    As for the remainder of this year, I too intend to relax and watch, and just enjoy some baseball. I haven’t done that for a while. I live near Wrigley, so there’s plenty of pennant fever around me. I miss it, but I admit it’s nice to not be all wrapped up.

    I’m looking forward to a winter of your insights, Billfer, whether it’s about the shortcomings of this year or the promise of next summer.

  52. Matt

    September 20, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Billfer:

    I’m sure it’s been said time and time again but thanks for doing the blog thing. You’ve got quite a community here.

    I was pretty bummed when the Tigers dropped the opener of the Cleveland series. Now, with a few days behind me, I’m a little more clear-headed.

    I understand that only one team can win the World Series and that leaves a whole lot of disappointment out there for the other teams.

    But I’m not disappointed that we didn’t win the World Series. I’m disappointed that this team played so far beneath their potential.

    It seems to be a common theme… especially among Detroit teams.

    The ’06 Tigers played far beneath their potential and lost the World Series to an inferior team.

    The Red Wings have bowed out of the play offs earlier than expected over and over again.

    The Pistons played far beneath their potential by letting Cleveland come from behind and take the series.

    And now the ’07 Tigers, once picked as the “team to beat” this year played so far beneath their potential that they won’t even make the playoffs.

    To drive home my point, consider the Golden State Warriors basketball team. Last year they gave their fans a thrill ride by defeating the #1 seeded Mavericks in the first round of the play-off.

    Of course, the Golden State Warriors didn’t win the entire championship. But do you think their fans are as heart-broken as we are now?

    Hell no. Because the Golden State Warrior fans got to watch their team play above (or at) their potential. Contrast that with watching our Detroit Tigers (a team with all the talent in the world) nose dive from first place and ultimately fall out of the play off picture.

    Again, I understand there were injuries. And I’m not saying that our team lacked effort. I’m just saying that at the end of the day this team played beneath their potential.

    As a fan, that’s what hurts the most.

    Matt

  53. Kurt

    September 20, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    But the Golden State vs. Tigers analogy ends with the Tigers 06 season. They were playing above their heads to some extent.

    Not that I disagree with the premise that some Tigers players (who were healthy) underperformed. But it’s complicated. Every year, some overperform (Maggs. Grandy? Polly?) some underperform (Inge, we hope, left field in general). If you ask Baseball Prospectus’s supercomputer’s opinion, the season turned out pretty much as it saw, minus the Twins. Detroit was in the mid-upper 80s for wins. The White Sox were in the tank.

    Maybe it’s our perception of how the season should go that was in err.

  54. Matt

    September 20, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Kurt:

    That’s interesting about the Baseball Prospectus’s supercomputer’s opinion. I was not aware of that.

    Maybe you are right. Maybe our perception of how this season should have gone was in err.

    But to be honest… last year’s Tigers made it the World Series. This year, we added a professional hitter (Sheffield) to the line-up.

    It’s pretty reasonable to expect a better season… or close to the same season. To not even make the play-offs certainly hurts.

    When you started to name the players that “over-performed”, it’s a little weird to think that we couldn’t get to the play-offs.

    In retrospect, I think the “under-performers” on the team this year under-performed sooooo badly that they wiped out the “over-performers” actions during ball games.

  55. Kurt

    September 20, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    Matt,

    I was on board with this being a better Tigers club too. But reasonably speaking, it’s an aging team, injuries were going to happen. There were some career years last year that were going to taper off. And Sheffield was coming off quite an injury.

    http://www.baseballprospectus......cleid=6023
    (and bilfer’s original post on it: http://www.detroittigersweblog.....-round-up/ )

  56. Kurt

    September 20, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Whoops. It’s going to ask Bilfer to confirm since there’s two links. In any case, here’s his post on it and a link to BP.

    http://www.detroittigersweblog.....-round-up/

    I found it unreasonable at the time myself, and yet, well, it’s pretty close to the truth.

  57. Mike R

    September 20, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    But how do I close it off–just throw in the same tag again?

    Sorry man, but I put in the codes with spaces and it went ahead and put it altogether.

    basically it’s (i)text(/i), only with

  58. Illy-P

    September 20, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Amen Billfer. While this year was a bit disappointing, it was ten-fold better than what my kids have ever experienced until the last two years.
    So much af a team’s success is defined by the vagaries
    of chance. It seems to me that what makes baseball so great is that, for all its statistics and the weight we give them, the potential for surprise trumps our deep certainty and that dichotomy is what makes baseball so much more entertaining than any other sport for me. It’s better to be lucky than good, but its best to be lucky and good. Even though I am disappointed with our finish, we had a great year and I am satisfied with that because we were good…again.

  59. Chris in Nashville

    September 20, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Man….that really made me want to cry. Well put Bilfer. I’ve been so frustrated the last few days that I don’t even know how to handle it. But the realization has set in, but we really have a lot to be thankful for. This is still a team that is young in the right spots and with some better luck next year, I think we have the tools to make an even stronger playoff push. But that is going to be a LONNNNNGGGGGG 6 months wait to start it over again. That picture of Porcello kind of brought things full circle for me.

  60. Slashpyne

    September 20, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    I hope in 20 years the things I remember about this season are
    Magglios great year, Grandersons 20,20,20,20, Poloncos error-free streak and Verlanders no-no-not how frustrating the end was…

  61. Ronnie DeLaura

    September 21, 2007 at 12:36 am

    Wow, thats al I can say. What a great post. \X/00T 2 that.

  62. billfer

    September 21, 2007 at 8:15 am

    Thanks to all those who left comments and to those who emailed. I’m glad this post resonated with many of you on some level. I didn’t write it to try and influence or sway anyone, it was just an expression of my fan experience.