Up North And Personal-Politics vs. Tigers
By Ken DeLaat
Here’s why it is much more desirable to follow the Tigers than the political races.
The Tigers rarely if ever make promises they know they can’t keep.
No one in their right mind guarantees a pennant. Look, you can have a blockbuster team then get hit with a couple of key injuries, have a player or two underperform and the next thing you know your awesome team has slid into...
...mid-August struggling to climb over the .500 mark. Or even worse you can be in Spring Training in March looking at Congress….oops I mean your team, and knowing the talent just doesn’t exist to get the country… uh, I meant your franchise, any significant success so you downplay it. You downplay it because you know there’s only so much the Presid… umm… manager can do without a lot of talent.
“We’re pretty young and inexperienced and lack much depth but if everything falls into place and there’s no injuries and a couple of guys put together career years…”
You get the drift. Realistic expectations.
The Tigers generally have a few players who possess interesting personalities.
Miguel Cabrera can be a joy to watch as much for his way of making the game an interactive exercise between him and the fans other players, teammates, and whoever else is around as for the way he can hit a baseball. When in a slump he can be a bit less high-spirited but hey, when you’re having a bad week….
Mark Fidrych the inimitable youthful breeze that all too quickly passed through Tiger Stadium was an absolute joy to watch. Of the hundreds of Tiger games I have been at over the years (the summer I met Lil I took her to around 6 or7 I believe and yet she still married me) there are 5 that make up a personal Hall of Fame all-time favorite baseball games attended. The Series clincher in ’84, The All Star game in ’71 and 3 games tossed by The Bird in ’76.
Other characters from the colorful Papa Grande to late bloomer and consummate brawler Champ Summers have given Tiger fans more than just a ballgame to watch when tuning in the Bengals. Jim Leyland's post game interviews were the best reality television on the tube.
Now I’m not saying politics has a complete dearth of intriguing folks but seriously, most times these folks have been so manufactured, tweaked and honed that they seem absent of any true persona whatsoever and when not, just seem to be appealing to a particular element.
There’s no bellowing about immigration on the Tigers.
5 players come from Venezuela, and others are from Cuba, Canada, Mexico and Texas which may not technically be another country but….
And though his parents are American, Alex Wilson was actually born in Saudi Arabia where his father was working at the time.
But few I know would complain about a guy from another land who can belt game winning dingers taking the job away from an American guy who can’t hit his weight. Most ballclubs would bring in Kim Jong-un if they thought he could pitch them out of a late inning jam or deliver a clutch hit off the bench.
When you watch a Tigers game you’re seeing real stuff, not kind of real stuff.
In baseball the outcome can be unpredictable. A large lead could evaporate in the late innings, a dramatic walk-off hit can propel a lesser team to the win. There are often heroes of the game and the drama is genuine.
Politics seems more like Big Time Wrestling where the competition if it can be called that, is scripted and just playing to an audience of believers. And heroes? Well, let’s just say that watching people wear out their arms patting themselves on the back for minimal and mediocre results is just not all that inspiring.
So the choice seems rather clear. Not only do the advantages of following the Tig’s far outweigh those to be had following politics, but every now and then (though considerably more then than now these days) they capture a little lightning in a bottle and take us on a magical playoff run.
A run where if all the stars align ends with them winning it all.
Now I’m not saying it’s going to happen this year or in the near future perhaps but it could, it definitely could.
And if it did? Well perhaps it just might….
“Make Detroit Great Again”
Kaline For President!
Letter to the Editor Policy
Near North Now welcomes original letters from readers on current topics of general interest. Simply fill out the form below. Letters submissions are limited to 300 words.