For the last two DECADES now, Detroit has been a baseball town of many, and I do stress many lows and unrelized highs. We have suffered through the losingest years in franchise history to being a World series contender, only to just be denied, in just a few years inbetween. ]
For new fans you might be one of those new fair weather ones we picked up two years ago. I myself cannot lie. The first game I ever went to was in the 1984 post season in Detroit. I had never been to a MLB game before and this was a defining moment in my life. I know, when I began this long and ardious journey as a Tigers fan to get to where I am now. I began it as a fair weather fan. You can't aviod em, they're everywhere. For the most part they're cubs fans simply repatrioted to the club affiliate no one saw coming. Eventually people get tired of being disappointed.
I myself suffered a great deal of brutality at the hands of school mates that all rooted for the winners on a regular basis. You know- the ones that would have the new Starter parka of what ever team just won the world series. Yeah, they killed me.
Never the less, although I started on an unworldly high, I like so many other felt new lows every year. I think we have been rebuilding since oh what 87... Up until 2005 I was really wondering if it would ever happen. But then pieces started to come into place. Every year we were discredited for picking up bulky contracted older players from Pudge (who should think about retireing before he tarnishes his fantastic career because he just doesn't know when to fold) to a past his prime Maggs, for some Polanco guy from the Phillies to a pitcher who's only hard throws are at camermen, Kenny Rogers...
Last year we traded 3 pitching prospects for Sheff that everyone got up in arms about to the Yankees... Funny- I havent heard anything about those three since then. And if Sheff and Polanco hadn't run into one another that day at Comerica he might have been okay all season. And even more productive than he already was.
Now- again. We hear that in the off season after we missed this last post season. Readers and what not either cry foul or swear it's the return of a dominating team in the Midwest. Umm- hello- this is the frickin AL central right? The ony thing more competitive than this league is the line for the toilet at the Dennys after everyone eats their Grand Slam! It's feast or famine for everyone when it comes to commentating.
I am a tride and true fan, and I am excited and scared the whole time. But what we have to remember about this whole thing. They were PROSPECTS- as in not proven, but PROSPECTS. Andrew and Cameron (heaven forbid cause I still love those guys) but the could have each slipped on one of the usual frozen Detroit puddles still found in early June and both blownm a knee- broken a shoulder and bam... They're both never even proven... Just PROSPECTS. As for Miguel and Dontrelle? PROVEN... BONIFIDE... THE REAL DEAL... They both have things to bounce back form but Miguel is in the opportune place to lose weight... Hell in that line-up they just run bases all day. That's an Army Rangers line-up, never leave a man behind. Or in this case on base... Then Dontrelle, D-Train. Will he be great good or terrible? I'm no scout but I am pretty darn sure Brandon Inge wasn't the only defensive player on the team. Detroit has a good if not excellent defensive line-up and that in itself should lower Dontrelle's ERA a poit or so. Then the fact he no longer has the pressure of the entire game riding on his shoulders. He's happy and healthy. Two things he wasn't with the Marlins. I see this as a man with a rebirth coming.
It's not in stone yet. The Indians have a huge farm stock of the kinda position players that are making the A's salivate at the idea of picking up in exchange for Haren. And they really have a shot at it. But until spring training gets here, I can't lose sleep over it. Why you ask? Because I was there at Tiger Stadium and each year at Comerica before the 2006 season when things really started to turn around. And I spent too many sleepless nights back then wondering how it felt when I was young to believe in a club that won. I have that now. World Series ring or not. I wear a my ballcap with a pride knowing no one is really laughing at my club anymore. And they can't cause there are few teams that can compete with it any more. So I tell this to everyone, stop speculating, stop postulating, and for godsake stop perspiring! We have a good club again of people not just committed to winning but people that know how to do it as well.
Lets not jinx ourselves friends byt sizing up the World Series rings yet, and sure as hell don't write off Detroit future without Maybin and Miller. Players want to play on teams that win championships. Not just teams with prospects. And you can bet further aquisitions are going to look at who we have now for them to play with- not in the next 5 years.
Good night fellow Tigers fans! Feel free to drop in a line as to your feelings on the topic. This is my first time ever doing this so any advice or corrections are more than welcomed!