BASEBALL FINDS A WAY INTO OUR SUMMER

By:  Kurt Snyder

When your team, the Detroit Tigers, emerges from the All-Star break, you would expect something different. It’s the chance to re-rack the starting rotation despite injury. But, we have suffered as a team when we start the first 2 games after the break with our dynamic duo of Verlander-Pelfrey, right? We got half right anyway. But is this what we have grown to expect?

So I divorced myself from the Tigers Saturday night. Sure I kept track. You know Michigan summers. They are to be cherished. As a baseball fan, people find a way to enjoy the Michigan weather, their cottages up north, a family bonfire, or maybe just a day on their boat.

But the Tigers seem to force their way into the picture regardless of the circumstance. Holly would be appalled but I left our team to enjoy family and friends at the bonfire, but spent my time thinking about the Tigers amid the conversation.

If you have grown up with the obsession that is baseball, everyone seems to share the same story, where baseball must compete with the Michigan summer. You can’t just sit in front of the TV and commit to the Tigers; they need to share the season.

I remember my grandma used to sit in her chair with the warm air blowing through her windows, in the dark, slumped over her radio, listening intently to the wonderful Hall of Fame tones of Ernie Harwell. She would never miss a game.

It’s an example of how the fabric of baseball is woven into our lives. Families gather, friends congregate, but for the people engrossed in the sport of baseball, the question ultimately comes up; “how are the Tigers doing?” We used to tune into the radio, but now we just check our phones. The medium is different, but the interest never wavers. Not here. Not in Detroit. Not in Boston. Not in New York. These are baseball hot beds, regardless of the size of the market. And I would imagine the fans are all the same.

Music takes a backseat to the radio broadcast. It’s a pennant race, folks, regardless of your confidence in the team or your disdain for the manager. It’s all still baseball, Summer’s game.

It’s unique in every way and when we break from the All-Star weekend, there is a renewed optimism for teams within striking distance of first place in their division or the hopes of any kind of playoff spot at all. Fans will dig deep for hope. But they wouldn’t care at all if they didn’t love the game so much.

The real fans sacrifice a lot, beginning from a very young age when we used to abandon sleep to listen to a West Coast radio broadcast underneath the covers of our beds. These are baseball fans. And they are fostered from a very young age.

But, thank God for the summer fun of vacation spots and cottages and bonfires and the good old backyard pool to rescue us from the team that can’t seem to get out of their own way. A team that actually thinks the odds favor a starting rotation that begins with Verlander and then Pelfrey.

 

14 thoughts on “BASEBALL FINDS A WAY INTO OUR SUMMER

    • A drastic move to dispose of Kinsler, but only if the team could find another Fulmer. The most likely move by Avila will be to add a starter in a trade for a minor league prospect. Anybody interested in a strikeout-prone outfielder who can’t field? If so, Moya is your man.

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    • Sell for what? This isn’t 1975. Worst thing to try to sell good players for prospects…rarely works. Get 2 or 3 good players and try to contend…isn’t that why we’re watching and paying insane ticket prices? To watch a contender? Fans who don’t think make me feel sick.

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      • I agree with you Patrick. Can’t figure out this obsession with Tigers fans with finding a great young player. The chances of us hitting on another Fulmer again are a real long shot. People need to enjoy the 5th year out of 6 watching competitive baseball.

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  1. What I find odd is that most fans of the Wings and Tigers prepared to set the reset button, unload key veterans for youth and cheaper contracts, and basically go forward with a plan; but the management of both teams is stubbornly resisting this course of action.

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    • Tigers should NEVER hit reset in a division that they spend $80-100 million more per year than each team. Dombrowksi changed roster 3 times in 8-9 year span. The Tigers have most starting position players in division under age 30. Tigers set-up better for future than any team in division.

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  2. Just who would you start instead, Kurt, considering Fulmer will pitch today? Zimmerman and Norris, it was written. will most likely going to miss one more start? So, I ask, what difference does it make unless you want to drum up more negativity for another article, Kurt?

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    • They have been doing it all season, splitting up their 2 best starters with someone not worthy to pitch in the number 2 hole. Under the current circumstance, Fulmer and Verlander need to pitch back to back. Thanks for the comment. Kurt

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  3. Locality goes both ways in my camp. JV is Detroit’s and his performance is justifying that huge salary. He stays. Victor and Kinsler, love them to death. Play ball EVERY day the right way. But…if someone is interested in them, I’d listen. Both should fetch a couple of very good prospects.

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  4. Hit the save button on this article Kurt. You nailed it. A great one. Classic. Enjoying family and summer with the Tigers are a major part of it. Now living in Nashville, every year we pilgrim Up North in summers where all those memories await on the lakes and cottages. Our family still has our heart in the mitten and the Tigers are part of it.

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  5. Kurt, you’ve struck a cord. Never missed a game, a tv sits on the pool deck, watch on our phones when traveling, Tiger gear tops our gift lists; we’ve got it bad! Love baseball with a passion. Emotionally invested. Hope runs deep but it’s fading fast.

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  6. After watching the weekend series with KC, I am so disappointed with Miggy and his lack of clutch hitting. There was a time I was so confident when we had the bases loaded and Miggy was due up. Not anymore! I would much rather see Nick C in that scenario. Never thought that would happen😦

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