Life and Times

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's been a surreal day. I'm not going to say anything that hasn't been said already, but I'm going to anyways. Bo Schembechler was, besides my Dad and Grandpa, my main role model growing up. Quite simply, he was a man who believed in living a certain way...and instead of just talking about what he believed in, as many do in today's world, he actually lived his beliefs. He was loyal. He had integrity. He demanded nothing but the best from himself, which allowed him to do the same with others...not just as a football coach, but in all areas of his life. Many stories have come out today from people that didn't play football here in Ann Arbor who had their lives touched by Bo...people who had only met him briefly, and then seen him again years later, to have him remember something personal about their brief encounter. He would remember specific details about these encounters such as someone's hometown or their family...and ask about them. Aside from showing his meticulous attention to detail, these stories also exhibit the geniune interest he took in the well-being of others.

As an example, Free Press columnist Chris McCosky wrote a nice piece about an encounter he had with Bo:

http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061117/SPORTS08/611170461/1004

Sure, he wasn't perfect...he could be a mean son of a gun at times...but he was a guy who pushed people to accomplish feats that they might not have originally thought they were capable of...a true coach in every sense of the word. Honest, loyal, disciplined, hard-working, LOVING. Those are a few of the many attributes that describe the old coach. Speaking personally, he is the main reason I developed such a love for this University as a kid...a love that has only grown with time as I have been fortunate enough to spend time here. The integrity with which he ran the program here can't be questioned. Neither can the results. And most importantly, neither can the simple fact that he touched many, many, many lives simply by sticking to a standard of excellence in all aspects of his life and never wavering.

And let's get another thing straight...Bo wouldn't want to watch the game with anyone else other than Woody Hayes!!! If ever there were some higher forces at work surrounding a sporting event, this would have to be the one. I'll be leaving for Columbus in 4 hours and, like other Michigan fans all around the globe, have felt Bo's spirit in me all day long...AND LORD KNOWS EVERY SINGLE MICHIGAN MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IS GOING TO NEED IT TOMMORROW IN COLUMBUS!!! BO WOULD WANT US TO REPRESENT MICHIGAN IN A MANNER WORTY OF BEING CALLED "LEADERS AND BEST" TOMMORROW! FROM EACH AND EVERY PLAYER STRAPPING ON THAT WINGED HELMET TO EVERY SINGLE FAN MAKING THE TRIP DOWN!!! WEAR YOUR MAIZE AND BLUE WITH PRIDE AROUND COLUMBUS!!! HANDLE YOURSELF WITH DIGNITY AND CLASS!!! AND HELP US BRING HOME A VICTORY THAT WOULD BE THE BIGGEST VICTORY SINCE NOVEMBER 22ND, 1969!!! GO BLUE!

"The team, the team, the TEAM!!!"
--Bo

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A couple quick links about Saturday to check out before I actually sleep for over 6 hours tonight:

a great blog entry -- http://http://umichedme.blogspot.com/2006/11/marvel.html

youtube MVP...i may or may not have cried while watching this (each of the first 3 times) -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBYpS1ZLf2w

that's all for now...hope everyone's week is going well...GO BLUE!!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's been awhile, eh? I am going to try and make a post everyday this week. Why? BECAUSE IT'S MICHIGAN-OHIO STATE WEEK!!! If you are wondering, I do have a ticket to Saturday's game and will be in Columbus to watch. At this point, I truly can't imagine what it's going to be like down there. This will be my 3rd Michigan-Ohio State game in Columbus, and the previous two were absolutely crazy. The 2002 game featured all of the horror stories you hear from Michigan fans visiting Columbus. If you recall, 2002 was the Buckeyes' championship season, and their victory gave them a birth in the national championship game...and after the game, I had to walk 4 blocks (on High Street) by myself to give my friend his keys (don't ask why, long story). Anyways, on the 8 block round trip walk, I had the following objects thrown on me: FULL beer bottles, cigarette butts, empty beer cans, and something that I believe was an already eaten buffalo wing. I also was shoved by some guy walking with a bunch of his buddies (it takes some real balls to push the one Michigan fan amongst a mob of hundreds of Buckeye fans, right?) and was flipped off by approximately 50 people. All of this happened simply because I was wearing a Michigan jersey and hat. I didn't say one word. True story.

The 2004 game wasn't as bad. We received the usual verbal bashing...which you expect at any school you go to with Michigan gear (with the exception of Northwestern). We had some stuff thrown at us, but nothing came close to hitting us...and none of the thrown objects had the potential to hurt us. And many of the Buckeye fans we talked to were very cordial and friendly. The verbal bashing is definitely more severe then at any other Big Ten school...which is why I can understand Michigan people not wanting to take any young kids to a Michigan-Ohio State game in Columbus. I had this conversation with the owner of Moe's today. You hear language down there that kids just don't need to hear. Is that sad? Yeah, it is...but I DO think that the reputation that Buckeye fans have developed is overblown. I think that there are more Buckeye fans that act like idiots than at other schools (and believe me, I know we have our idiots here in Ann Arbor)...but I still think that the majority of Buckeye fans, particularly the alumni and most students, are good fans. They are passionate about their team and give you some friendly digs, but nothing over the line. It has been my experience that the people acting like idiots down there are not alumni...they are the random Ohioans that are Buckeye fans but don't go/never went to school there...and that includes people from schools like Bowling Green and Miami of Ohio...I had people from those two schools throwing stuff at me in '02.

Those experiences bring me back to what I am anticipating this Saturday. I really have no clue. I would expect something similar to '02...you could definitely feel the tension and hostility the Bucks have towards Michigan walking around campus on Friday night (when I didn't have any Michigan gear on) and before/after the game on Saturday. On Friday night in '02 we were driving around campus (New York plates, of course) and could hear F*%k MICHIGAN chants every other block...with matching spray painted signs with the same sentiments hanging from 3 other houses around campus. And that was just when the Bucks were undefeated! Saturday's game is truly going to be the biggest, most hyped non-bowl game in the history of college football! And it's a 3:30 kick! You better believe I am going to be avoiding High Street at all costs! I am hopeful that the excitement and anticipation surrounding this game will outweigh the hatred that SOME Buckeye fans have for us Wolverines...and I believe that it will. This entire Michigan football season has been really special...and Saturday's game is truly one that could be classified as "once in a lifetime." I think that both sets of fans will rise to the occasion.

Shifting gears, I know I didn't post anything about the World Series. It sucked. It sucked to lost doing things we hadn't done all year. Heck, in the entire history of the Detroit Tigers we had never had 3 game in a row where our pitchers had committed errors...and we did it in 5 games in a row! In the World Series! So the Series was disappointing because we didn't play well. And that's all I have to say about that.

Regardless, this past season was simply unbelievable. The Tigers made the World Series. I had great seats to watch Kenny Rogers' gem against the New York Yankees in the playoffs with my Dad, brother, and uncle. Just an electric atmosphere. I witnessed a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th to send the Detroit Tigers to the freaking World Series. I got to celebrate with my friends that night. I have goosebumps as I'm typing this. I was fortunate enough to attend the only World Series victory we have had in the past 22 years with my Dad, sister, and friend. Simply incredible. I was at games against the White Sox, Cardinals, and Yankees in the regular season where we won in dramatic fashion. I simply could not have asked for anything more than what I received from the Detroit Tigers this past summer and fall. I will always have the sweet memory of watching Craig Monroe's grand slam cutting through the July night and landing in the left field seats to put us ahead agains the White Sox. Magglio's walk off. Kenny in the playoffs. Verlander. Zumaya coming in from the bullpen. Granderson sending us to extra against the Reds. I can replay those feelings in my head whenever I want to. I can feel the adrenaline running through my veins when I think about them. Heck, I'm sweating right now because I'm so fired up. Rooting for a good baseball team has been everything I thought it can be and so much more. After Magglio's walk-off put us in the Series, Sean Casey was asked how he felt. He said, "You kind of go numb with excitement and joy...it just touches your heart." That describes the way I feel about the 2006 Tigers perfectly.

One final note: I love the trade. Sheff is going to have a HUGE year. Book it.

GO BLUE! BEAT THE BUCKS!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Detroit Tigers are going to the World Series.

How cool is that? Even the most optimistic Tiger fan couldn't have seen this coming when Spring Training started in Lakeland earlier this year. I consider myself as optimistic as anyone, and I was hoping for 85 wins...maybe 90 if things REALLY came together. But the WORLD SERIES? The Tigers? Before this season, we haven't even had a winning season that I can remember! And now we're going to be playing in the World Series? As an overwhelming favorite? I still don't know if I can wrap my head around that.

Regardless, I think I'm finally ready to articulate some thoughts on the past week and a half of Tigers baseball. Game 3 agains the Yankees was without a doubt the best baseball game I have ever attended, and that includes last night's clicner agains the A's...and the reason is that the series against the Yankees was still in doubt in Game 3. We had grinded out a close win the day before in the Bronx (where A Rod "went up against Zumaya and peed his pants", according to Simmons) but no one was really sure if that was a fluke. Combine that with the fact that Game 3 was the first playoff baseball in Detroit in 19 years, and the atmosphere truly was electric. I mean, we were playing the New York Yankees! 26 world championships! October baseball! It was something that I had thought and dreamt about many times over the past decade and a half.

The weather that night was absolutely immaculate, perfect for a playoff baseball game. It was cool and crisp, with temperatures in the low 50's most of the night. A full moon hung from a clear sky that provided a perfect overhang for the 3 hours of theater that were about to unfold on the diamond. And there is something about playing under the lights that really puts a perfect touch on the atmosphere. I don't even know how to explain it. But playing at night under the lights in football is the same way. It just makes the game seem a little bigger.

The baseball that was played that night was beautiful. Kenny pitched as well as anyone could have possibly imagine. I really did believe he would feed of the energy of the crowd and put together a good outing. But to go 7 and 2/3 and shut out what "experts" were calling the greatest lineup of all time? No way I saw that coming. The performance he put on that night exemplified many of the things that I love about sports. Is Kenny Rogers the most talented pitchet out there? Heck no. Conventional wisdom would tell you that the Yankees' all-star laden line-up would have knocked him around the diamond all night. Kenny's history against the Yankees and in the postseason certainly supported that school of thought. How in the world is a 41 year old soft tossing lefty going to keep a lineup like that off balance all night? You certainly can't blame the TV analysts (and many Tigers fans, I might add) that were predicting a Yankee romp.

Yet from the first pitch, Kenny had a different script in mind. The crowd was electric and into the game from the first pitch, chanting "Yankees suck!", "Jeter sucks!", and welcoming Jason Giambi to the box with a drawn out "Steeeeeeerrrrrrrrrroiiiiiiids Steeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrroiiiiiiiids..." It felt like I was in Fenway! And Kenny came out and fed off this energy. Don't get me wrong, he came out focused and intense...but I have no doubt that the crowd lifted him to another level....and he lifted us to another level with each strikeout, leading to louder and louder chants of "KENNY! KENNY! KENNY!" The intensity and emotion with which he pitched was truly a sight to behold. The way he channeled all of the emotion and energy he was feeling out there into his performance was awesome. It seems like it would be really hard to have that much adrenaline pumping inside and still be able to hit your spots out there...and he was hitting his sports like few ever have agains the Yankees in that big of a situation. Here was a 41 year old pitcher that no one gave a chance against this invincible Yankee lineup...and he was making THEM look like they didn't belong. The Yankees truly looked befuddled up there. At one point, Kenny threw 3 straight fastballs to Jason Giambi...and he struck him out! Kenny Rogers was doing this!

After Sean Casey's double that put us up 5-0, the upper deck was shaking. Literally. People jumping up and down. Strangers hugging each other. October baseball is back in Detroit! Detroit IS a baseball town! It was beautiful to see.

The energy that night went all 9 innings. Last night against the A's, it was a little different. We knew the A's were done...especially after the Tigs came back to tie it 3-3 after Oakland jumped out to an early lead. It was only a matter of time before we won that game last night...but the way we won it? Whooooo baby...THAT was something. Two outs? Bottom of the ninth? Walk-off? Sending the Detroit Tigers to the World Series? The baseball gods smiled on Detroit last night...all of the losing over the last decade and a half didn't really matter anymore...it only made it that much sweeter. After that ball went off Magglio's bat and he watched it sail into the October night, I swear my heart skipped a beat...and I took a deep breath...and put both arms over my head...and watched the flight of the ball...and quickly looked at the left field fence from seat in the right-center field bleachers...and realized that once that ball landed in seats beyond the left field wall...the Tigers would be in the World Series.

The moments after the home run are kind of a blur. I jumped up and down once...and then Kenny, Ben, Matt (my friends I went to the game with), and I did this crazy group hug where we were jumping up and down...and some people around us joined in on the jump/hug...and then I just starting hugging everyone in sight...complete strangers...I felt some tears streaming down my cheeks...I hugged some more complete strangers...I looked around the stadium...I wasn't the only one with tears coming down...I saw the players celebrating around home plate...I took some pictures...and all of a sudden the players were starting to come out to our area of the park on their victory lap...and people are just jumping up and down...everyone has a smile a mile wide on their face, looking down at that little miracle that was happening right before our eyes....THE TIGERS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD FREAKING SERIES!!!

We stayed and watched the presentation of the American League championship trophy...and then walked outside Comerica and entered the sheer euphoria that was in the streets surrounding the ballpark. The streets were jam packed. You really couldn't move. People were lined up on the other side of a fence that seperated the throng of people in the streets from the crowd in the patio of Chelli's Chilli Bar, which is right across the street from the ballpark...and people were running along that fence line and high-fiving each other and embracing...I was hugging more complete strangers (especially the cute ones...just kidding!)...and it felt perfectly normal...almost healthy....we were united in our baseball team....THE TIGERS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!

And that was what I will remember about last night. It's actually what I love most about sports. That is, the ability of sports to draw people together...to unite people. Last night, it didn't matter if you were black, white, blue, green, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, rich or poor. EVERYONE was hugging each other. And sports can unite people like that...and maybe get us to realize that we have some things in common after all. If we can come together for something as trivial as the outcome of a sporting event, why can't we come together for the more important things in life? At the very least, it gives us an opportunity to see what things can be like when we all put aside our differences and focus our collective energy on a common goal, a common dream...and that is something that you don't see too often.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I just wanted to state a simple fact...just put it in writing to see what it looks like: The Detroit Tigers need to win one of the next four games to qualify for the WORLD SERIES! That's right...the WORLD SERIES! The TIGERS! WORLD SERIES! TIGERS! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I still don't think I can put what has happened over the past 10 days or so into words between six October victories in a row for the Tigs and complete and utter domination over Michigan State last Saturday...the Tigs game at Comerica last Friday was, without a doubt, one of the greatest events I have ever attended. I'll have to write about it when I can full wrap my brain around the past couple weeks. For now, I'm just enjoying the ride...

I'll be at the game tommorrow...if the Tigers win, we are going to the World Series...and I will be there. In person. Wow!

Another huge game tommorrow for the Maize and Blue tommorrow...probably the most challenging road block standing between us and Ohio State for an undefeated showdown on November 18th. Happy Valley is going to be rocking. They want payback for ruining their perfect season last year. And their loss the year before that. And the year before that. And everytime we've played them since 1996. Bottom line, these things have a way of catching up with a team. They owe us one. And it's not going to be easy tommorrow night. Penn State DOES have a great linebacking corps. And they DO have a good back in Tony Hunt. And this Anthony Morelli character IS supposed to be some kind of a star. And if Penn State is going to play a great game this year, tommorrow IS going to be it. Crazy home crowd. National television. A chance to knock off a top 5 team with national title aspirations.

Do I think it will happen? Could we lose to a Penn State team that has already lost to Notre Dame and Ohio State?

No way.

There is something special going on with this football team this year. We have talent all over the field...sure it hurts to have Mario out, but we have depth at that position. We have guys that can make plays. Adrian Arrington. Tyler Ecker will be back. Mike Massey will get some looks. We will get our first serious look at Greg Matthews. And Steve Breaston will have an opportunity to perform in his native state...and I think he is going to have a special game tommorrow. Look for Steve to get at least one touchdown. Oh yeah, you might not want to forget about #20 either. He's pretty good. Chad will also be out there with something to prove under the bright lights in Happy Valley. He also hails from PA and he still has a lot to prove, particularly with Mario out. He will also rise to the challenge tommorrow night. Look for him to throw for over 225 yards and a score.

With our defense, we just need to score 20 points. As long as we don't give up any turnovers that lead to easy points for PSU or any special teams touchdowns, Penn State will not score 20 points tommorrow. Our offense is fully capable of scoring more than 20 points whether Mario is out there or not. It's quite simple...it's just a matter of rising to the challenge and seizing the opportunities that are laid out before you. Tommorrow we are going to take another step towards making this season all that it possibly can be in an environment that will no doubt be electric. WE WILL NOT BE DENIED!!!

Michigan 27 Penn State 10

Go Tigs! Go Blue!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

quick thoughts following game 2:

Didn't get to watch too much of it due to school and lab, but what I did watch was ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR!!! I got out of a lecture to watch Zoom pitch the bottom of the eigth...just an incredible performance. 102 on the outside black at the knees? I mean, WOW! During the summer, Simmons ranked the World Series (i.e. American League) contenders from top to bottom and the said that Zoom might be capable of hitting 105 with the adrenaline of the playoffs...with multiple pitches at 103 today, maybe the Copa gun and 42,000+ delirous Tigers fans can bump him up to 104 on Saturday. But it's one thing to throw that hard...it's another to have the control that he showed in his two innings today. I don't even know what to say.

I also got to watch the bottom of the 9th. Jonesy has been awesome since the all star break (1.80 ERA?) but I don't know many people that feel even remotely confident when he comes in...particularly against this lineup. But I think he is a great guy to have in the clubhouse and he genuinely seems like a phenomenal human being...and I think being a Tiger really means something to him. He felt bad about the way he stunk it up and the end of his first tenure here and I think he feels a special bond with the team and the city. I still like to believe that good things happen to good people, so maybe his success since his awful start is a product of that. Lord knows I was one of the people that was calling for Rodney or Zumaya to be the close in late May/early June...but Jonesy has perservered through some really tough times this season and pitched well the past 3 months or so. Now hopefully he doesn't blow a ninth-inning lead tommorrow (reverse jinx)!

As for game 3, I can't wait to get a feel for the atmosphere around town tommorrow. I'm planning on getting there around 4 pm...I hope the ovation these guys get tommorrow is going to be special. Coming off of a win in the Bronx against the most storied franchise in baseball history is truly special...I don't think I've ever had goosebumps for this long after anything! But just think about it: a crisp October night...the bright lights of Comerica shining down on the diamond...a buzz in the stands (I'm sure a lot of people in the stands tommorrow have never even seen the Tigers play a playoff game...myself included) as people try to figure out what to do and how to act...and the 2006 Detroit Tigers run out and take the field to face the New York Yankees. My suggestion? Listen to that part of you that just wants to let loose and become a part of something magical, something special...and SCREAM AND CHEER AS LOUD AS YOU CAN!!! Will us onto victory tommorrow! The Yankees obviously have been here before and won't be intimidated at all, but they do have chinks in their armor. Randy Johnson has dominated us this year...but is he even remotely healthy? And let's see if Kenny can spin some more magic tommorrow night and hold the powerful Yanks in check.

I can't wait...probably will have a tough time sleeping tonight. I am one of the most optimistic sports fans out there, but if you told me in April that this Tigers team would have a chance to win two games at home to win a playoff series against the New York Yankees, I probably wouldn't have believed you...I was only hoping for 85-90 wins! But hey, we're here and it has been a great ride so far. Let's see where it takes us tommorrow!

Let's go Tigs! Eat 'em up!

I'll see ya from Sec 332, row C!

By the way, sPARTIES...I haven't forgot about you. Unfortunately the Tigers game for Saturday is scheduled for 4 pm, giving you a distraction from the football game...but I am looking forward to that just as much as the Tigers! It's amazing how a team's fortune and attitude can change over the course of the last 9 minutes of the ND game and 1 game against Illinois...at home! The University of Michigan is looking forward to seeing you on Saturday! Go Blue!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Quick Game 1 Thoughts:

Tough luck start for Nate. The 5 run inning started off with a play he should have made on that dribbler from Damon. Can't give these Yankees any extra outs. They have 9 all stars, for cripes sake. After that, Nate was up 0-2 on Jeter and threw two great pitches...the 1-2 pitch especially looked like it should have been strike 3...but it wasn't. Unforunately, Jeter (a Michigan fan, at least) battled back and got a hit, and I think Nate might have lost focus a little bit...and when you lose focus against these guys they will take advantage. That's why they're great. So they got a little lucky in those two situations...but they capitalized on their breaks and made us pay. Again, that's why they're so good. We had opportunites to score earlier and didn't take advantage. Later, Maggs had two opportunites to drive in some runs and didn't. Also, the Yankees got their last two runs against Nate on a Abreu's seeing-eye hit past Placido. But that's baseball.

The Yankees bullpen is awful. We CAN take advantage of that.

Mussina going tommorrow...going to be tough, but we just need to get one in the Bronx. It will be fun to see how Verlander performs in Yankee Stadium in the postseason. It will be a good experience either way and hopefully the first of many October starts for him in his career. He has obviously struggled lately but maybe these 9 days off have helped him.

Does anyone like Joe Buck or Tim McCarver?

I liked the way Leyland handled the pitchers tonight. If we would have gotten a couple of hits when we had RISP, I bet we would have seen Zoom or Rodney. As usual, Nate showed guts after the 5 run inning and was able to save our bullpen. Grilli came in and did his job. And how our lefty specialist Jamie Walker only gave up one run in the 2 or so innings he pitched against some of the right handed bats he faced, I don't know. So we have our top 3 relievers absolutely ready to go in Game 2.

Let's go get one in the Bronx tommorrow...I gotta go study

If the Tigers' first playoff game in 19 years isn't worth me blogging about, I don't know what is!

So nearly everyone I've talked to...or overheard talking...or listened to on the radio...or interacted with any way over the past 24 hours has said the Tigs have no shot against the Yankees. They keep telling me that they lost their last 5 games of the year. They keep telling me that they got swept by the worst team in baseball to finish the regular season. At home. They keep telling me that playing the Yankees is like playing against an All-star team...heck, after listening to people talking about this series, I don't even know why the Tigs are making the trip to New York...seems like a waste of time for a team that has no shot at winning.

WELL I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU, AMERICA!!! THE TIGERS ARE MAKING THE TRIP!!! AND THEY ARE BRINGING SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY CAN WIN YOU SOME OCTOBER BALLGAMES!!! PITCHING!

Yeah, the pitching struggled down the stretch...but the great thing about baseball is that it only takes one outing to turn that around...and Nate Robertson has been our best starting pitcher down the stretch (with the exception of that last outing)...and then we have AL rookie of the year Justin Verlander pitching on 9 days rest in game 2! Yeah, Justin has struggled down the stretch, but maybe this 9 day break is just what he needs to get back on track...

And who are the Yankees throwing in game 1? Ching Ming-Wang? You're telling me this guy is someone we should be afraid of? Last time I checked, power pitching wins games in October. I'll take our chances against this guy. Next, they throw Mussina in game 2. Great pitcher, lots of experience...hopefully will end up being a great game against Verlander. But who rounds out their staff? 43 year old Randy Johnson and his creaky, overworked back occupy the 3rd spot in the rotation. Scary. And Jaret Wright finishes out their vaunted rotation. Whoopie.

So let's say we split in the Bronx...I'm hoping Nate can take Game 1. I like his fire and I think he'll rise to the occasion. We come back to Detroit tied 1-1 and Friday night Comerica Park is absolutely electric. Frenzied fans lift Kenny Rogers to another level on the hill and we jump on Randy Johnson early. The place is absolutely going nuts. For cripes' sake, it's our first playoff game in 19 years!!! And we roll over the Yankees in Game 3.

That would leave Jeremy Bonderman to pitch game 4...and make no bones about it, he has been a disappointment since the All Star Break. He just hasn't been able to put it all together yet. Even so, he is still top 5 in K's in the AL. He has the stuff to be an ace. A 2o game winner. And that is what October is all about. Remember Josh Beckett in 2003? He still hasn't put it together for an entire season...but in October 2003 he was the best pitcher on the planet and he led the Florida Marlins to a World Series title. He even beat the Yankees to do it. True story. Anyways, Jeremy Bonderman has the potential to be a Josh Beckett type pitcher for the Tigs over the next month. Heck, he HAS to be if we are going to do anything.

So in Game 4, Bonderman pitches a gem. Strikes out 8 Yankees in 7 innings. Gives up 1 run. Meanwhile, the Tigs get to Jaret Wright (remember, we have been hitting the ball well lately)...and going into the top of the 8th we are up 4-1. Crowd is just going crazy. CRAZY. They can't believe the little miracle that is taking place right in front of their eyes. Bonderman comes out for the 8th and walks the first batter. The crowd turns silent as it feels like the collective air is being sucked out of the park as another historic Yankees comeback is probably about to happen. But Jim Leyland ambles up the dugout steps and takes a cool, confident stroll out to the mound. He talks to Bondo for a minute, looking him in the eye and telling him how proud he is of him, asks for the ball and slaps him on the butt. Bondo walks off to a standing ovation. As Bondo is walking off, Leyland makes the call to the pen...and Joel Freakin' Zumaya comes running out, causing the decibel level in the park to get cranked up to jet fighter pilot level. The place is literally shaking as he warms up. After his last warm-up pitch, Jason Giambi steps into the box. Zumaya's first pitch comes in at 100 mph and is taken for a strike. Next pitch comes in at 101 and Giambi swings and misses. Comerica is abolutely insane. ABSOLUTELY INSANE!!! Next pitch hums in at a cool 102 mph on the radar gun. Giambi swings and misses. Zoom pumps his fist. Comerica Park explodes. The next two outs come easy. Jonesy comes in for the 9th and secures the series win. Game over.










Hey, it could happen!