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redsmetz
10-16-2006, 08:49 PM
From today's New York Times comes this story about the Tigers pushing each other to win. This is what I'd like to see on the Reds.


October 16, 2006
At Key Moments, Tigers Turn Anger Into Pluck
By JACK CURRY

The Detroit Tigers were flailing at Dan Haren’s split-finger fastball Saturday and then muttering about their anemic swings. They were 15 outs from fumbling an opportunity to sweep the Oakland Athletics in the American League Championship Series, which would have been more of an annoyance than a catastrophe.

Still, the Tigers were mad. Outfielder Curtis Granderson said some of the players grew weary of being halted by Haren and confronted one another in the dugout. The message was stern and simple: It was time for the Tigers to perform the way they had for most of October, and it was definitely time to subdue the Athletics.

“Guys started getting on everybody, saying, ‘Hey, we got to swing the bats,’ ” Granderson said. “ ‘This isn’t what we’ve been doing. Why aren’t we swinging the bats the way we’re capable of?’ ”

Whether it was magically or routinely — words that have become intertwined with the Tigers in the playoffs — they nicked Haren for two runs in the fifth inning. The Tigers scored another run on Magglio Ordóñez’s home run in the sixth and scored a berth in the World Series when Ordóñez’s three-run homer with two out in the ninth propelled them to a 6-3 victory at Comerica Park.

While it took smart at-bats, dependable pitching and Ordóñez’s awakening from an offensive slumber for Detroit to win, it was revealing that Granderson cited the smack in the face the Tigers gave themselves as being relevant, too.

That the Tigers had enough confidence to implore each other not to let Haren spoil their potentially memorable day showed how self-assured they felt about what they should accomplish in the postseason. Haren did not continue taming the Tigers, and they reached the World Series for the first time in 22 years.

“It’s interesting how everything has fallen into place,” Granderson said. “We hope things keep falling into place.”

The Tigers, who lost 31 of their last 50 regular-season games and seemed tense against the Yankees in Game 1 of their division series, have won seven consecutive games. They have won the past six games by at least three runs; aside from Ordóñez’s winning home run, the Tigers have been draining any late suspense from their contests.

Since the Tigers thought they were minutes away from playing Game 2 at Yankee Stadium, then were miffed when the Yankees knew before them that the game had been rescheduled for the next day, Detroit has been perfect.

Even though Manager Jim Leyland publicly minimized the controversy about the Yankees’ first learning that the game had been rained out, some Tigers said it united them.

“It’s just a great team,” said Kenny Rogers, who has turned emotional on the mound and turned himself into an October force. “These guys, every one of them, play this game the way you’d want every team to play. It’s just a special group of guys that does whatever it can to win a ballgame.”

Rogers could have called the Tigers a special and diverse group. Brandon Inge, the No. 9 hitter, was a triple short of the cycle to help power Detroit past Barry Zito in the A.L.C.S. opener. Alexis Gómez, the little-known designated hitter who was twice designated for assignment this year, drove in four runs in Game 2. He had knocked in six all season.

The new and invigorated Rogers ran his postseason scoreless streak to 15 innings while pumping his fist, shouting and dominating Game 3. Ordóñez, the $75 million man who had often been deemed an overpaid disappointment, gave his 11-year-old son two birthday home runs in the clinching game. He also helped give Tigers fans, who have seen years of pathetic baseball, further hope that they would soon witness a championship.

“It’s a great moment for the city of Detroit,” said Iván Rodríguez, the catcher who signed a four-year, $40 million deal with the Tigers before the 2004 season. It was considered a money grab because the Tigers were so terrible. But that was then.

Three years after losing 119 games and hearing themselves compared to the comical 1962 Mets, the Tigers have become the best team in the A.L. Detroit’s starting pitchers are 5-1 with a 3.33 earned run average, and the relievers are 2-0 with three saves in three opportunities and a 1.80 E.R.A. Plácido Polanco, the A.L.C.S. most valuable player, has at least one hit in all eight playoff games.

Because the Tigers swept Oakland, they will have six days off before playing host to the Mets or St. Louis in the opener of the World Series on Saturday. When the Chicago White Sox won the World Series last year, they had five days off before Game 1.

The rest should help reliever Joel Zumaya (inflamed right wrist) and first baseman Sean Casey (torn calf muscle). They probably would not have played if the A.L.C.S. had lasted longer. But Granderson, sounding like Leyland or one of the bossy Tigers from the dugout, stressed that the team could not relax.

“We got to go back to work in a day or so,” Granderson said. “We’re not on vacation.”

TeamBoone
10-17-2006, 02:53 PM
This is what I'd like to see on the Reds.

I don't think we'll ever know what goes on in the Reds dugout. They may have done this for all we know... it's just didn't work!

Unassisted
10-17-2006, 04:41 PM
The perceived slight that sparked their "anger" doesn't even strike me as that big of a deal. One of the two teams is going to learn first that a game is rained out. It seems logical that it would be the home team, since the grounds crew and stadium operations people work for the home team. :dunno:

The Tigers WS opponent better make darn sure to keep those guys in the loop on things during those games in the NL city. :laugh:

redsmetz
10-17-2006, 04:45 PM
The perceived slight that sparked their "anger" doesn't even strike me as that big of a deal. One of the two teams is going to learn first that a game is rained out. It seems logical that it would be the home team, since the grounds crew and stadium operations people work for the home team. :dunno:

The Tigers WS opponent better make darn sure to keep those guys in the loop on things during those games in the NL city. :laugh:

I don't read an "slight" in to their anger. Are we talking about the same game? The article talks about the Tigers being mad at themselves for doing so poorly against the A's pitcher and not putting the series away. Can you clarify a bit more because I'm lost.

Topcat
10-18-2006, 03:03 AM
The perceived slight that sparked their "anger" doesn't even strike me as that big of a deal. One of the two teams is going to learn first that a game is rained out. It seems logical that it would be the home team, since the grounds crew and stadium operations people work for the home team. :dunno:

The Tigers WS opponent better make darn sure to keep those guys in the loop on things during those games in the NL city. :laugh:



The question is how long in advance did the Yankmee's know? If They knew in advance lets say like 2 hours then yes that is a huge slight. Btw check it I was one of the divided loyalty's for the playoffs pulling for the Tiger's;)

Unassisted
10-18-2006, 08:16 PM
I don't read an "slight" in to their anger. Are we talking about the same game? The article talks about the Tigers being mad at themselves for doing so poorly against the A's pitcher and not putting the series away. Can you clarify a bit more because I'm lost.

Sure. I thought the pivotal section was this one...

"Since the Tigers thought they were minutes away from playing Game 2 at Yankee Stadium, then were miffed when the Yankees knew before them that the game had been rescheduled for the next day, Detroit has been perfect.

Even though Manager Jim Leyland publicly minimized the controversy about the Yankees’ first learning that the game had been rained out, some Tigers said it united them."

blumj
10-18-2006, 08:54 PM
The question is how long in advance did the Yankmee's know? If They knew in advance lets say like 2 hours then yes that is a huge slight. Btw check it I was one of the divided loyalty's for the playoffs pulling for the Tiger's;)
The Yankees knew long enough ahead of the Tigers that Mussina never went out to warm up, and Verlander did, which could have had an effect on his ability to pitch the next day. But Verlander or a coach noticed Mussina's absense, and they sent someone to go make sure the game was going to start, and only then were told it wasn't.