Maybe This is The Tigers Rallying Point
By Editorial Staff
I’m going to tell you something that you’ve probably never heard before. Believe it or not, but every year since Jim Leyland got here (well, except the disastrous 2008 season), the Tigers have challenged for the division for the first 100 games or so of the season, just to collapse down the stretch. Has the shock worn off yet…oh, what? You mean you’ve heard that the second half Tigers have choked more than Rosie O’Donnell at a Golden Corral?
Well, then you know that each of those second halfs just seemed to fade into obscurity. Never was there any real signature positive moment for the team to come together. Just plenty of them to fall apart. Joel Zumaya’s arm issues, Placido Polanco’s shoulder injury, Miguel Cabrera’s drinking binge, Magglio Ordonez ankle, Brennan Boesch and Brandon Inge’s second half collapses…all these were negative points over the past several seasons that likely contributed to the late season struggles. You’re hard pressed to find any points where the team came together.
Thus far, the 2011 Tigers have been a difficult team to root for. Other than a couple of “high-spirited” relievers, the Tigers rarely show emotion. How can the Tigers, after all their stretch-run foibles, and apparent lack of emotion expect the fanbase to rally behind them. Maybe yesterday, the team finally gave the fans the reason to truly stand behind them and think that maybe this year is different.
Today on local sports radio, there seemed to be a near unanimous opinion from Tiger fans that: A. Carlos Guillen is the man and; B. Jered Weaver is a punk. Guillen was sticking up for his teammate. His bat flip and taunting of Weaver (while over the top) was a direct response to the disrespect he showed to Magglio Ordonez and it stated that, yes, this team does have each others back and, yes, they do want to win. Oh, and by the way it was pretty cool, too, and luckily it didn’t lead to an injury to Alex Avila.
Like the 1995 Wings victory over the Avs, maybe this is the point where we can say the 2011 Tigers finally put it together.