I love the morning after. My morning coffee and the sports page ~ one of the joys of my life. This morning I read the sports page with great intensity, devoured every word and then turned to my trusty PC, starting with the major sports media and ending up with the baseball blogs. And here’s the one that really struck my fancy. “Letter from a Disappointed Fan.” It was a good read and I could relate. I’ve been there. But in 2010 my team won the World Series and my perspective changed. I was ecstatic, in heaven, loved everything and everybody. Life was good, no it was great! I’ll never forget that feeling because I still have it, it’s still there. So this year to be perfectly honest when we made the playoffs it was really nice, but it wasn’t the same, especially when we were down 3-1 to the Cardinals and it was okay. I mean we’d already won the World Series so I was okay with that. I really thought the Nats or Reds would take the Division this year anyhow and that was my mindset and it was okay, since they had the better records.
So we made it to the World Series again and, to tell you the truth, I really like the Detroit Tigers. I like their players, their manager and their fans. I’ve been a Miguel Cabrera fan since, as a rookie with the Florida Marlins, he helped whoop the Yankees into submission in the 2003 World Series, and now this year he’s won the Triple Crown. How cool is that? The same goes for Justin Verlander. I think he’s a real asset to baseball. He’s a great role model for our kids and his persona during the first game of this World Series says it all. I wrote about him last week “Paper Tigers Tamed by a Panda and a Bear”. And of course Prince Fielder. Seems like he’s always been around, always has and always will be. Just a lot of fun to watch. And these Detroit fans are the same ones who gave Umpire Jim Joyce a standing ovation the day after he blew a call that cost the Tiger pitcher, Armando Galarraga, a perfect game, because he was forthright and honest to immediately ‘fess up to his error. Class.
So last night during the post game shows (sometimes they’re more fun than the game) I heard Jim Leyland say this.
“They were better than we were,” Leyland said, “and you can’t say anything different. I mean, if it goes seven games and you lose the seventh game on a freak play or something, you might say, well, we were as good as they were. But in this series, we were not as good as they were. The Giants beat us. They did a fantastic job. They’re the world champions and they deserve to be the world champions.”
And you can’t forget Jim Leyland. How can you not love these Tigers? Did you ever during one play, one at bat, during this World Series see or hear anything negative or unsportsmanlike out of any of these guys? I sure didn’t (well, maybe after the game or in the dugout, but nothing for public display). Here’s a team that beat the stuffing out of the New York Yankees in the ALCS chase for the pennant. They beat them bad. They beat them four games in a row in a best of 7 series. So of course there was genuine disappointment on the Tigers team but they played with class and they lost with class.
So this morning I was really super happy that my San Francisco Giants had won their second World Series in three years. It was great! And, from this fan’s perspective, it was equally great (well, almost) witnessing the first class Detroit Tigers standing tall in their defeat, gentlemen to the end. And,really, isn’t that what it’s all about? It is from this fan’s perspective.
- Leyland’s career comes full circle (triblive.com)
- Leyland: This Is What You Try To Get To (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- Game 1. Paper Tigers Tamed by a Panda and a Bear (Barry Zito that is)! (garlicfriesandbaseball.wordpress.com)