The Tigers: So Close, Yet So Far Away
I've been on the Tigers trip to Cleveland, and it's been a strange experience.
Tuesday night was typical of what I'm talking about. The Tigers beat the Indians 8-5. They got a good start from the team savior this season, Armando Galarraga. A couple of their maligned veterans, Gary Sheffield and Edgar Renteria, came through with clutch two-run hits. The bullpen didn't blow the game. In the process, the Tigers moved to within 5 1-2 games of the A.L. Central lead with two months remaining in the season.
Yet, you can sense no emotion - from the fans, the media, the team itself - that the Tigers are going to reach the postseason.
It's because neither Joel Zumaya nor Fernando Rodney looks particularly sharp. It doesn't seem like they will hold up to pressure beyond holding big leads against a struggling team such as the Indians. It will be a lot different in Tampa Bay over the weekend. The Tigers may have to go to Todd Jones again, perhaps as soon as tonight. How is he going to react? Certainly he is well-rested. Can the Tigers expect solid starts from Kenny Rogers, Nate Robertson and Zach Miner?
We've been waiting four months for Sheffield and Renteria to break loose. Who is holding their breath for that to suddenly happen? Besides, isn't pitching the Tigers real problem?
Still, it's difficult to look at the standings and not believe the Tigers have a chance.
- Like the rest of the world, I have always been underwhelmed by Kwame Brown. But he is a big body the Pistons desperately need inside, he does have obvious talent, he is about to enter his prime as a player and he wasn't cost-prohibitive to sign. So it was a pretty good deal.
- Look, I tire of the "Drama King" aspect of Brett Favre, too. But there is no way the Packers are better without him than with him.
- I drove by Tiger Stadium the other day. From the freeway, you can see the inside of the park now. To say it brought back memories would be an understatement. So would it be to say it brought a true sense of sadness. Some things are just difficult to let go. Tiger Stadium is one of them.