Over the last 3 years, I've watched the most baseball of my whole life. I went out for an amazing opportunity with the MLB, made life long friends, and watched the Tigers reach the World Series. It's been ridiculous to see the turn around for this team since 2006. So much goes into the team being competitive again, it's easy to take for granted just how hard it is to reach this stage. Back in '06, no one thought they'd get as far as they did. From there, the team knew they could hang with the titans of the game. They brought in the best hitting and pitching and proceeded to string together a current streak of 4 straight Central Titles, 2 A.L. Championships, Back to back MVPs, and Cy Young winners. And still, a Championship title eludes a team that many deemed most worthy. This was a different year from the previous few. The winds of change blew and most knew what was coming, but had no idea of the ripple effect it would have. While it was a thrilling year, it was a frustrating one as well. For every big moment, there was doubt and frustration, plus letting a few key games get away. And for the first time, I got mad. Like, stupid mad about Baseball. For so many years I watched my dad jump off the figurative cliff when it came to the Tigers. (He still jumps that cliff with the Lions.) But I was always upbeat, always looking on the bright side. While that will never change for me, somehow the workload increased. At the end of the day, it's just sports. But it's weird to see how much importance we put on them. I should be mad, cursing, swearing this team off, and throwing my hat down into the dirt.
But I won't do that.
This team still had an amazing season, capped with a division title. There are positives to be acknowledged, but I understand it'll take a while to see them. Today hurts, no doubt about it. But there's work to be done and they'll get right back at it.
I'll paraphrase a really good comic strip I saw the other day:
The human mind wants sports to work so much because the mind works best when it can comprehend. So often we assign narratives to games, so that we have something to go back to, to solve the story when it ends. But sports is chaos. Nothing is guaranteed, despite all the players, stats, projections, and numbers. When the game starts, it's a free for all. It's almost futile to even try to comprehend Sports. Which is why when these moments DO pay off......They are so very very Awesome.
I believe in Detroit, I believe in the Tigers, And I believe us. The championship will come. I just hope we aren't charred, cynical, and heartless husks when it happens. Because when it does happen, IT WILL BE SO VERY VERY AWESOME. I end this note with my all time favorite quote after a loss.
"You Lost Today, Kid. But That Doesn't Mean You Have To Like It."