Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Monday, October 16, 2006

El Magglio Poderoso!

I don't suppose they're referring to Saturday night's hero as "Magglio F---ing Ordonez" out in Oakland, eh? Probably not. There's just not the same pent-up animosity between the Tigers and Athletics. But if Maggs was persona non grata in Oakland for the rest of his career, that'd be kind of cool, wouldn't it? Don't worry, Maggs - we'd have your back.

In this fantastic season that we'll be talking about for years around here, when fairy dust from the baseball angels continues to sprinkle down upon Comerica Park, was there anyone else who should've been at the plate in the bottom of the ninth on Saturday besides Magglio Ordonez?

That was some serious affirmation. Or redemption, if you think Magglio was something of a disappointment during the regular season, with diminished power numbers and a creaky knee in right field. But with one whip-like swing, Detroit's mighty Samson became the hero we'd all hoped for when he signed that huge contract with the Tigers.

Talk about a no-doubter of a home run. That thing absolutely soared toward the left-field seats, taking 22 years of frustration into the sky, hanging in the air just long enough for the reality to completely sink in.

All the worries and fears that this season wasn't "for real," that we'd have to settle for "Well, if you told me back in April that the Tigers would've made it to the playoffs" justifications, that stuff disintegrated like a meteor entering the atmosphere. And when that baseball landed, far past the original Comerica Park fences, it was like the world exploded - in a good way. In the best of ways.

And from home plate, the man who sometimes seemed like the loneliest man in Detroit last season - nursing a sports hernia, then rehabilitating in Toledo, before joining another disappointing Tigers team - while watching his former team win the World Series, slowly stepped toward first base like he was living a dream, like he couldn't believe, as Jack Buck would say, what he just saw.

Then the walk became a jog, a triumphant trot around the bases for a victory lap that we've all dream about whenever we picked up a bat. And if Magglio did indeed feel lonely last season, he had an entire team (and city) awaiting him back at home plate this year for the warmest of hero's welcomes.

You, Mr. Ordonez, will never be lonely in this town again. Cerveza libre para usted the rest of your life, if you know what I mean. (I remember reading that Magglio's more of a wine guy, however. Okay - make it vino libre.)

Do we really have to wait an entire week for the World Series to begin? That's okay, I suppose. (Especially if it means Joel Zumaya and Sean Casey have time to heal up.) This could be the best kick-back-and-enjoy-it week we've ever had in this town. Besides, that was a moment that truly deserves to be savored, and watched over and over again.



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