Yesterday, unfortunately, I was on the road when a multitude of good things were happening for the city of Detroit and it’s sports teams. I had all but given up on the Lions when they were down 23-13 to the Eagles, not being able to stand the Matthew Stafford misfires anymore that I had been watching all day. Well, it seems that Stafford and company like it best when they are way down, and the Lions came back to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Tigers I was less concerned about. After all, I have been of the opinion before the series started that the Yankees don’t stand a chance. The Tigers just seem to have the Yanks number when it comes to the playoffs. And while I got sporadic updates, I do regret missing Anibal Sanchez‘ wonderful outing. I always like myself a well pitched ball game. Especially by the home team.
When I got home though and turned on the national sports shows, all anyone could talk about was missed calls and the Yankees manager Joe Girardi’s objection from the game. Hey ump! You clearly blew the call man. Did you have to eject the guy for his frustration too? Thing is, I am sure the umpire didn’t want to, but Girardi undoubtedly pushed him to his outer limits. Girardi probably wanted to get ran at that point, I wouldn’t want to watch my offense if I was him either.
Lost in all the post game talk about replay, and the Yankees crying about bad calls, is the fact that the Tigers just have a good pitching staff. Instead of focusing on that, the media is largely going to discuss Derek Jeter and his injury. I have no doubt when the Tigers win this series, it will largely be in part because Jeter’s leadership and on field play was missed. Or at least that’s what the talking heads will say. Me? I don’t think Derek Jeter was going to hit Tigers pitching either.
The starting pitching is in a tremendous groove. There isn’t one start so far this post-season in which a Tigers starter has given up more than two runs. That’s how you win games.
Did the missed call by the umpire at 2nd base cost the Yankees two runs? It sure did. Were the Tigers winning the game anyway? They sure were, and there is nothing to suggest that lifeless Yankee offense would’ve done anything different, unless Jose Valverde had come into the game. He didn’t, and the Tigers now lead the series 2-0.
Nobody outside of New York is going to care that the Yankees got screwed on a call. This is the franchise that has been operating at a competitive advantage for what seems like a lifetime. Their payroll dwarfs everybody else, trying annually to buy themselves to a World Series title. And as ESPN writer Jim Caple so ably pointed out in an article today, the Yankees have gotten their fair share of calls in the past, so any sobs coming from that dugout are going to fall on deaf ears.
I hope the Yankees keep focusing on things other than their jobs, which is playing baseball. Because in general, the Yankees tend to do that well.