Tigers' division title hard to put into words - Through The Fence Baseball

Tigers’ division title hard to put into words

by JJ Stoppard | Posted on Sunday, September 18th, 2011
| 512 baseball fanatics read this article

Jose Valverde celebrates after putting the finishing touches on Detroit's first division title since 1987. (fresnobee.com)

Monumental? Nah, doesn’t get it. Colossal? Sounds like a mistake. Historic? Sure, but that’s not all. Epic? Well, we use that for Justin Verlander.

Just when writers and bloggers all over town were running out of adjectives to describe the Detroit Tigers, the team goes and wins the division.

Maybe for those of you from places such as Philadelphia and New York, this is old hat. Maybe you’ve got pages written in advance because you know what’s coming. You’re ready for it. From Day 1.

But not here. Here, we’ve learned to moderate our hope. Regulate our enthusiasm. Negate our anticipation. And I’m not just talking about baseball. We don’t expect good things. We don’t plan parades before the final out. And we sure as hell don’t write storybook endings before, well, the story ends.

So I’m sure there are words to describe this feat — this moment — but I didn’t have them ready. Am I overstating its importance? Maybe. Is it only the first step in a long playoff season? Definitely. But did anyone really think we’d be here — 2011 American League Central Division champs?

The Tigers hadn’t won their division in 24 years — and back then, in 1987, it was a different division altogether.

A better division. Sure. But we can talk about that tomorrow, can’t we? All you people who feel the need to piss in our Corn Flakes this morning — to run down Detroit at the slightest hint of hope and joy — you can hold it for a day, can’t you? (I wouldn’t know — I don’t get this urge. But I’m sure there’s something you can take for that.)

We’re going to celebrate here for a minute. Feed off the momentum. Write a new story.

The haters are all around. Some are among us. Rooting for us to fail. It’s not entirely their fault. Detroit isn’t an easy place. And misery certainly loves company. But you know what else loves company? A sellout crowd, even?

Yeah. Let’s feed off that for a while.

Amazing. Incredible. Unbelievable. Emotional. Perfect.

We really need some new words around here.

We might have to start making them up.

Because this year.

These guys.

This team.

And the story isn’t over yet.

Post By JJ Stoppard (24 Posts)

JJ Stoppard is a Detroit-based writer with strong beliefs in the Church of Baseball, Ernie Harwell and the Detroit Tigers. jjstoppard@gmail.com



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