The 6’ 8’’ Doug Fister pitched another gem last night, as his performance was the driving force aiding his team to a 3-1 division clinching victory in Oakland last night.
It wasn’t the game itself Friday, or the fact the Tigers clinched a division that intrigued me so much. Sure, I’m a Michigander and I enjoyed it. But I don’t consider Josh Willingham and the A’s to be must-watch television. Of all things it was the awkward and humble nature of Doug Fister that I couldn’t take my eyes off of.
As Jose Valverde was on the mound trying to close things out in the ninth, a majority of the Tigers were sitting down in the dugout. The looks on their faces were all pretty much identical. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror while your girlfriend took a pregnancy test? Ha – then you know what I’m talking about.
The skipper Jim Leyland stood there watching on, looking like either he was about to s#@& himself or have a heart-attack.
Meanwhile, there was Doug Fister on the top step, pumping his fist for each strike Valverde poured over the plate, yelling “C’mon pop!” With a passionate half smile on his face, you could tell he was cherishing every second of that inning.
After the aforementioned Willingham rolled over one to Brandon Inge, and the longest tenured Tiger made the final out, the Tigers as a whole could finally relax and get down. As the Tigers celebrated and made their way into the dugout, Fox Sports Detroit anchor Ryan Field pulled Fister aside for a interview.
First of all, there couldn’t have been anymore of a contrast between Fields and Fister. Ryan Fields is good guy. He works very hard, and I’m sure most people in his industry have respect for him. But let’s face it – he’s a pretty boy. He likes to dress up, date smoking hot chicks, and drink wine in lame towns like Royal Oak. Lol. I’m kidding R.O. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in the running for prom king in high school.
Then there is Fister. A guy who probably had a group of friends in high school similar to the dudes from the movie “Superbad.” A player who encompasses everything Major League baseball should be about – fantastic athletes playing a kids game and having fun.
Fields lobbed him the “How does it feel” question. Then he asked him what it meant to be brought in to win the Central, then actually accomplish it. Fister gave him the standard answers. “This is a great group of guys”, yadadda yadadda.
But then Fields asked him about his personal performance in the game. This is the moment where I fell head over heals for Fister. His response included nothing about his performance. Instead he passed all the credit on to his teammates.
“It was a team effort out there tonight, whether it was fly-balls or groundballs, guys were playing hard. You got Ingey flying in the stands and guys selling out. It’s a world of emotions, these are tremendous guys.” He also said he loved all his teammates like brothers all ready, and he wouldn’t trade any of this for the world.
Leave it to a guy putting his team on his back and making the league minimum to be the humblest guy on the field.
As the Tigers sprayed each other with champagne and aluminum bottles of Miller Lite, the other guys on the team resembled a frat house looking to go nuts. But there was Doug Fister, a fish out of water almost, having not known most of his teammates for very long. He awkwardly sprayed a couple guys with booze, gave a few hugs, and became my new favorite baseball player in 2011. Cheers to you Doug.