Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2013 ALCS game 5, Jim Leyland, and World Series rooting interest


Went to my first ever playoff baseball game last Wednesday, and boy was it a great time.  I got my rally towel (which I waved til my arms hurt) and enjoyed my view from the left field upper-deck near the fair pole:
(Yes, my pictures suck this time since I used my phone)

The crowd's energy and noise and the overall atmosphere was incredible, exactly what I was hoping for based on games I'd seen on TV.
The Tigers strung some walks and big hits into a nice inning against Jake Peavy leading to very little late drama.  After the disappointment from most of the previous games in the series, this was a refreshing change of pace.  Starter Doug Fister (my third different Tiger starter this year) was very good for the few innings he pitched and a resurgent Austin Jackson was the star of the evening.
As it turned out, this was the last game in the series the Tigers won.  Oh well, maybe next year?  Anyway, I had a blast and can't wait to make it to another playoff game in-person.

FIRE LEYL--oh, cool, he stepped down:

I'm not particularly sad to see Jim Leyland no longer managing the Tigers.  Too often I took issue with his strategies (or lack thereof) and refusal to see when changes needed to be made (i.e. moving Prince Fielder's fat ass down in the order).  I do give him credit for a great record, multiple playoff appearances and two Pennants over his eight seasons in Motown, and he comes off as a good guy who was obviously proud to be part of the Detroit tradition.  He just always struck me as a guy whose teams just couldn't get over the hump and often disappointed, falling below expectations at times.  With a team this talented I just can't believe he couldn't win a ring with the Tigers.
The story of Detroit's season in one animated GIF
Still, I know I should be careful what I wish for.  I definitely don't want an awful situation such as the Mattingly-Dodgers feud, an embarrassment like Bobby Valentine, or a hateful idiot like Ozzie Guillen.  Time will tell who the Tigers hire as their next manager, and I'm holding out hope for new blood instead of some retread--it's worked out well for a number of teams recently.  Good luck to Leyland on his future with the Tigers and outside of baseball, and best wishes to the team as they try to find a leader to get the team its first ring since 1984!


When Detroit threatened to bow out of the playoffs (and then did that), leaving Boston as the AL's representative, I pinned my remaining hopes on St. Louis defeating LA because I couldn't stand the idea of a completely unwatchable World Series featuring two villains.  I mean Boston has pretty much become the Yankees' barely-less annoying younger brother since winning titles in '04 and '07.  Plus they've got those stupid beards and look like idiots.  For me they have no redeeming qualities and I will happily root against them, not out of a sense of revenge for beating the Tigers (hell, I could have pulled for Tampa or Oakland in the Series) but because I just can't stand them and what they've become since finally winning in 2004.
This right here?  This looks stupid.  You look stupid doing this.
I have less of an annoyed attitude towards the Dodgers, really, but the dysfunctional way their front office and manager interacted, plus the attempt to throw a ridiculous pile of money at a title (which the Tigers are guilty of, just not all at once), were really huge turn-offs.  I haven't rooted for the Dodgers since Kirk Gibson's limited time with the team, and I really haven't had any reason to pull for them in a long, long time.  That's not to say that I don't hope some of their guys win it all at some point in their careers, especially Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp.
This look familiar, Dodgers fans?
The Cardinals, meanwhile, are a natural fit for my World Series rooting interest.  I can't think of anything I hate about them.  St. Louis is a venerated baseball town with great fans and an excellent history.  It's become a model for draft strategy and success (see:  Wacha, Michael, plus the 2009 haul), and the way they've performed since refusing Albert Pujols' king's ransom is amazing.  This is a Midwestern NL team playing NL ball the way it's meant to be played.  And of course I'm plenty biased since their second-year manager is a Michigan grad, so I'm wishing Matheny and his team the best of luck.  Hopefully this won't be a boring repeat of the very blah 2004 Series; I'd bet against it as this year's games have generally been entertaining.  With sincere apologies to all my Dodger-blogging buddies, I've got St. Louis in six.



  1. The main reason to root for the Cards are their super sweet uniforms. Easily the best in the bigs. And yes - better that the Tiggers and ChiSox.

    1. Well, of course I'm biased towards the Tigers, but the Cards do have awesome unis! Also, the White Sox unis suck, so that wasn't saying much :P

  2. "Since my team is the American League, I will root for the American League" is what I would have said if it was anybody but the Red Sox or Yankees. Instead, I'm rooting for the Cardinals as well. Technically, I probably should anyways. My grandparents lived outside St. Louis so I've been to a bunch of Cardinals games and like you, I've never really had anything against them. Plus, they hate the Cubs, so there's that as well.

    1. Haha, there's NO good reason to root for those East Cost teams at this point. And as usual, I find the Cubs hate hilarious, but since they're so dysfunctional at this point I don't really have much love left for them either.