Tuesday Night Therapy Session: Game 163 A Week Later

therapist.jpgIf someone with a stopwatch had timed my lightning-quick zap of the TV last Tuesday evening after Game 163, my guess is that the stopwatch would’ve read less than three seconds.

I couldn’t watch the Twins celebrate, again, on their turf. (Still can’t.)

Think about it: the last time the Tigers were a division champion, they (and we) had to watch Dan Gladden and the suddenly despicable Twins celebrate on Tiger Stadium’s infield.

And the time the last two times the Tigers got close (2006 and ’09), we had to watch Joe Nathan and Co. dance a jig on the Metrodome concrete.

Sickening, really. This time I showed a rare combination of maturity and resignation all at once. Sort of.

So anyway, after a week of stewing and fretting, devouring three servings of sour grapes, followed by a weekend of Schadenfreude, I’m almost ready to move on. More or less.

Three things are still rattling around in my head a week later:

  1. Andy Van Slyke. What a weird development this was. At first, I assumed it was not unlike when Don Slaught resigned after ’06: He didn’t want to be away from his family anymore. But the more we read about Van Slyke, and the less that was articulated, it became clear: he was fired. Why fire him? Because Curtis Granderson got picked off in a crucial moment of Game 163? Let’s hope not.

    If any coach were to be canned I would’ve guessed it was hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. Still, I liked Van Slyke as a player and liked having him on the staff; let’s see if the outfielders suddenly get better next season.

  2. Placido Polanco. Reading Lynn Henning’s recap of Dave Dombrowski‘s postseason “address”, one comes away thinking we’ve seen the last of Placido Polanco in a Tigers uniform. Read John Lowe’s version in the Free Press, however, and we’re led to believe the door isn’t closed tight on Polanco’s return. I sure hope it’s not. This is one player who I do not want to see the Tigers cut loose. I think they’d regret it in the short term. Yes, some change has got to happen eventually, but is Scott Sizemore the answer? And are the Tigers prepared if the answer is “not quite”?

    I admit that I’m change-averse when it comes to roster overhauls — which usually equate to the dreaded rebuilding period — and when they involve good players that are also good guys. Then again, I do not want the Tigers to be in a position they were 10 seasons after the 1984 championship: still penciling Lou Whitaker in as their everyday second baseman. What do you think?

  3. Tigers Pitching. I might be delusional, but even if the Tigers squeezed into the postseason last week I believe they could’ve given the Yankees more of a battle than the Twins did. Sure, the Tigers could’ve been the victim of some horrific calls as the Twins were, and the offense would’ve continued its slumber, but I simply don’t believe Detroit would’ve been swept away by New York. But we’ll never know.

But enough about me. How are you coping?

4 Comments

  1. Did the same as you, Mike. When the Twins were in a spot they could win, I put the remote in my hand to change the station before they could celebrate. Darn near missed Raburn throwing the runner out because of it!

    A week seems to be enough time. Seeing the Twins lose Sunday was the first inning of baseball I watched. I feel like I can gingerly get back to the sport. Though I’ve watched hockey. And I still don’t want to do any most looks at the season, I just want to look forward.

    Just want to get to next season already.

  2. I’m not ready for hockey. I watched way more of the Yanks-Twins series that I probably should have. LOVED seeing the Twins get awept. ANd seeing the Cards get swept also helped my mood (Yeah, I’m still bitter about 2006 too).

    Polanco: I love what he’s done here, but he’s gone. Has to be. No way can they afford him, plus, he’s 34, and his skills diminished somewhat this year. At bat and in the field. I’d rather see someone else write the check when ‘somewhat’ becomes ‘completely.’ If they bring back Everett for SS, then Santiago, and possibly Raburn, can handle 2B if Sizemore is overwhelmed.

    I have to think the Tigers’ pitching wins at least one game in the ALDS.

  3. Maybe the reason the Tiger’s got rid of Van Slyke was because they were afraid he would write another book similar to the one he wrote last year. “The Untold Inside Story of the 2008 Season.” They were afraid we might find out the real reason why they crashed and burned.

  4. Since the last out of Game 163, I haven’t watched an inning of baseball. Just can’t do it. Never held a facepalm so long in my life.

    As for Polonco, I’d love to see him back for one more year if the price is reasonable. With a runner on third and one out, is there any Tiger on this team other than possibly Cabrera that you’d want up at the dish?

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