Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Gambler was dealing, and the Yankees busted out

I've seen more Tiger baseball over the years than I'd care to admit. Over the past 2 decades, most of it was awful. But Kenny Rogers' performance last night may have been the best pitching performance I've ever seen from a Tiger starter, when you factor in all the intangibles.

And those intangibles were all over the place. The entire hopes of a desperate Tiger nation, if there even is such a thing, were riding on the Gambler's ancient left arm. You had Rogers' postseason history as the Roaster, especially with both New York teams. Before the game, the media, Yankee fans, pretty much everyone but Tiger fans, had dismissed the idea that Rogers could even hold the Tigers close, let alone give them a chance to win against God Jeter and the Joe Morgan approved "Greatest lineup of all time." Even Tiger fans best case scenario was in hoping for a Verlander-like performance, just giving the Tigers an opportunity to win in the late innings.

What did we get instead? We saw a wiley, crafty (insert cliche' here) veteran pitcher at the height of his powers, pitching an absolute masterpiece, in the performance of his life. Considering the circumstances, with such high stakes and drama, it was a better performance than his perfect game. The Gambler has never been better.

Watching a triumphant Gambler walk off the mound, with a hysterical crowd chanting "KEN-NY KEN-NY," would give even the most cynical and jaded fan, chills. It's what October playoff baseball is all about.

As awesome as last night was, it's a new day, and another "Biggest game of the season" is to be played. An elimination game at that...

It's now the "Greatest lineup of all time" turn to be desperate. They are so desperate, someone named Melky is in their lineup, the Giambino is sitting his 'roid bloated ass on the bench, and A-WOL A-Rod is batting...8th? What the Hell? That lineup reeks of Joe Torre trying to shake things up.

The Tigers are sending out Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Jeremy Bonderman, who's consistent in his inconsisentcy, and in frustrating Tiger fans. The series may hang on which Bonderman shows up this afternoon. The Bonderman that blew a 6-0 lead, and the division title, to the Royals last Sunday, or the dominating Bonderman that went 11-4 to start the season, who has number 1 starter stuff.

Odds are, if Bonderman does his Mr. Hyde impression, the Marlboro Man will channel his inner Sparky "Captain Hook" Anderson and have a very quick hook. When you have the Yankees on the ropes, you do NOT NOT NOT want to give them any life, and allow a game 5 at the snake pit that is Yankee Stadium.

I'm thrilled the Tigers are on the verge of going to the ALCS, scared to death that the Yankees bats will awaken, giddy with anticipation, and loving October baseball.



  1. A-Fraud batting EIGHTH?!? hahahahahahahahahah!!!

    PLEASE, please, please provide the knock out punch. PLEASE!

    and then...


  2. Going to the ninth...oh baby!

  3. That was the best, classiest home crowd I've ever seen in Detroit tonight. I was waiting for the fans to rush the field but they made the whole city proud- and then the Tigers rewarded them. And that ovation Rogers got last night gave me chills. This is a special moment in Detroit. Somehow this already seems better then '84, no matter what happens next.

  4. One small gripe though... cna we get a generation of announcers who respect the tradition of not mentioning that a no-hitter is in progress? It's just a little thing that makes the game fun. It adds to the excitement of the moment and there is no damned good reason to flout it. Okay, i'm off to celebrate now... Go Tigers!

  5. congrats on the tigers win... they just dominated the yanks in games 3 and 4.

  6. I remember 84, but 85 was more memorable for me...I was lost in a sea of Royal blue during that time. Since converting to Tiger-ism 7 yrs ago, I have lived and breathed Tiger baseball. Last night was the over the top high to last Sunday's over the edge low. I don;t care how crazy I looked jumping up and down at work after the last out, it was so worth it!

    Go Polly!
    Go TIGERS!!