Sunday, August 13, 2006

EVERYBODY PANIC!!! - Message board edition

Over at Mack Avenue Tigers, Kurt had a very levelheaded post about the Tigers current slump. The slump that all teams have, but the Motor City Kitties managed to avoid...till this week.

You’ll have some problem for awhile. Then you’ll have another problem for awhile. And you’ll find a third problem. And sometimes, you get a storm cloud where all your damn problems come out at once and you lose a bunch. And then it passes, things get back to normal, and you’re fine. We’re losing. It sucks. It’s hard to watch. It was bound to happen.

Unfortunately, that isn't what most fans are currently thinking. Just spend 10 minutes lurking on a message board. On second thought, if you want to keep your IQ from dropping to Skip Bayless' level, I would advise against viewing message board lunacy.

If you did happen to take a gander, once you look past bad grammar, horrific spelling, avatars with 1280x960 pics, signatures with 50 point fonts, and taking into consideration the mental health of some posters, you'd see some of the most asinine obsevations this side of, well, any message board.

"Carlos (Stonehands) Guillen should be removed as the shortshop! Get someone who can cacth teh ball1!" Brilliant! The odds on Tiger MVP, and a top 5 offensive shortstop, should be moved to DH or 3rd base. In other words, lets get worse at multiple positions by jerking around your best position player.

"Shawne Casey isn't enuff! Dave Dumbrowski should have made the big trade!" Of course, these are the same "Fans" who didn't want Dave Dombrowski to do anything at the trade deadline.

"The Tigers showed no heart against the White Sux! They are playing like they don't care!1! bunch of qwitters!" Pudge Rodriguez sure seemed like he was just going thru the motions in the 8th inning, ya think? He looked like a man without a care in the world...

"Kenny Rogers must be removed from the rotation and replaced with Chad Durbin!" I'm sorry, that wasn't a pissed off fan, that was a columnist. Never mind...

"Maggs and Pudge are teh suck!" Sorry, wrong panic post, that was another columnist...

"We never shoulda released Carlos Pena, he was the lefy bat we needed!" Does that even deserve a reply?

"Todd Jones is the Anti-Christ!" Uh...That was me. I know, I know, stones, glass houses, and all that...

You get my drift. It's been so long since anyone cared about Tiger baseball this late in the season, we've forgotten how to act. Of course, there is an entire generation or three that just don't know how to act.

There was a great comment at MAT by Mike of The Daily Fungo that put the Tigers current trials and tribulations in much needed perspective.

On occasion I’ll look through Sparky Anderson’s 1984 diary “Bless You Boys” to see how the Tigers fared after the 35-5 start. They had several stretches in which they lost both ends of doubleheaders, got swept by bad teams, lost four in a row, let the Blue Jays get too close, etc. Certainly Sparky had his share of ulcers that year but he understood, as Jim Leyland does, that it’s a haul.

It takes an old school fan to bring the logic, which is much more preferable to the current over the top hysterics. People tend to forget that it wasn't all peaches and cream for the '84 Tigers, even after the 35-5 start. There were plenty of times during that glorious season that we fans got uptight. We cursed the dreaded Blue Jays more often than not.

Thing is, back in those crazy 80's, we didn't have the Worldwide Leader, the internets, blogs, message boards, sports talk radio, Wobb Parker, Fox Sports Detroit, and John Kruk fanning the flames of panic. Luckily, we had Ernie Harwell and George Kell around to soothe our frayed nerves. It was a much simpler time, to say the very least. Now? There's just one small Tiger misstep, and within 5 minutes, you can be assured that someone, somewhere will be having a conniption fit. A badly spelled conniption fit...

As for this long time fan, do I want to panic? Deep down inside, there's my inner James T. Kirk Tiger fan that is soooo on edge, ready to violate the prime directive. But I try to emulate Mr. Spock, and let baseball logic rule over my base emotions. And I can't believe I just used a Star Trek: TOS to baseball simile...


  1. I've been reading the "Bless You Boys" Sparky diary too and it's amazing how many times they struggled in the second half of the season. Of course a big lead will help that, just like our 2006 Tigers. They will hold on!

  2. Yeah, I remember in early August when the Tigers lost four straight to the Royals at home and had to play five games in Boston in three days. They got beat up, but won two of the five. It was just enough to keep the Jays 7-8 games away. Sparky said it was that Boston series that made him the most proud of his team that year.

  3. And you call me nerdy for liking Superman.


  4. LSG, I'm confident too! Yes, I am! did I say that I'm still confident?

    Eno, I remember that series too. We all were on edge, as those damkn Jays kept hanging around. If the Tigers take 1 during this Boston series, I think that they'll be OK. Anything but a sweep.

    Ian, I perfer "Trekker." ;-)

    My best friend once told me that the only things that kept me from being a geek, and he's as un-geeky as they come, was that I was a good athlete and could drink copious amounts of beer! lol I learned long ago to hide my geekiness, especially from the chicks, well.

    So yes, I do have a nerd streak, ST is one of the few things that brings it out. At least ST: TOS, ST: TNG, and ST: DS9. I have issues with Voyager and Enterprise... You have to agree that James Tiberious Kirk is a bad ass man.