Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Painful to read, perhaps, but worth a peek

If you're interested in some more national opinions on our Detroit Tigers, check out Stephen Rodrick's article from yesterday's Slate. It's a recap of recent Tigers history, so there's probably not a lot in there that you haven't already read or didn't already know. But I thought Rodrick's choice of tipping point, from which it all started to go downhill, was interesting.

When did it all go south for the once-proud franchise? I'd say about 9:45 p.m. on Oct. 11, 1987. The Tigers were down two games to one to the humdrum 85-77 Twins in the ALCS. In Game 4, Detroit was a run down in the sixth inning with one out and Darrell Evans on third. This was pre-X Files, mind you, but Evans was known to bore teammates with his UFO beliefs. Some kind of extraterrestrial kerfuffle is the only thing that could explain what happened next: The 18-year vet was picked off third. Who gets picked off third?! It doesn't even happen in the Special Olympics.

It's a bit depressing to see so many of the Tigers' missteps assembled in one article - or in the case of Randy Smith's tenure as general manager, distilled to one paragraph. But it also makes this season that much sweeter, when you see what the current regime had to overcome and how they did it.

Plus, the article's written by "one of us" - someone who grew up watching the team, who's lived through the oh-too-long down cycle, and is only too happy to stick out his chest with pride now.

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