Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tiger Town

I started following major league baseball sometime in the middle of the 1983 season, so the 1984 campaign was the first one that I followed from start to finish. While I became interested in baseball in 1983, I became a true fan in 1984. It was pretty hard not to be a fan in the Detroit area that year, with the Tigers starting off the season 35-5 and cruising to the world championship. When the Tigers won the American League East again three years later, I began to get the feeling that the Tigers were going to be making fairly regular appearances in the playoffs. I don't remember much about the 1987 ALCS between the Tigers and the Twins. Had I known that the Tigers wouldn't reach the playoffs again for another 19 years, I probably would have tried to savor those games a little more.

I doubt that last night's 8-4 loss against the Yankees provided much comfort for the long suffering fans of Detroit. I don't really include myself in that group anymore. The Tigers are still my favorite baseball team, but I abandoned them and the game of baseball for a long time before slowing creeping back over the past few years. No sports team will ever be as important to me as the Tiger teams of my youth. My 10 year-old self would have truly believed that the Tigers could recover from their end-of-season train wreck and last night's beatdown to win the series. Since I can't muster that kind of devotion anymore, I don't know if I can call myself a true fan. I'm still going to watch them play and root them on, since I know that when it comes to the Tigers, playing in October is not something that can be taken for granted.

1 comment:

MDS said...

I have basically abandoned Major League Baseball as well, at least as far as watching games goes. I would say I've seen less than nine innings of Major League Baseball this year -- I didn't go to any games, and I'd guess all the TV I watched adds up to somewhere in the six-inning range. I'm sure I'll watch more during the playoffs, but still not a lot.

I think I'm pretty much like the rest of America, though. The World Series draws about one-third the viewers it did when I first started watching. TV executives sure are hoping the Yankees beat the Tigers.