Monday, June 26, 2006


51-25?? Tigers Still Not Ready For Prime Time

(my weekly take on the Tigers)

Last Week: 5-1
This Week: (6/26-28: HOU; 6/30-7/2: at Pit)

Last night the Chicago White Sox were -- AGAIN -- on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. Although it was against the Houston Astros, a repeat of last year's World Series. So all is forgiven -- this time.

The Tigers are 51-25. They are on pace to leave the 100-win mark far behind in their rearview mirror. Yet their likeness hasn't adorned "SNB" once this season.

The players will tell you that it's all okay with them; that "flying under the radar" mentality. And, they ARE the ones playing the games, so why listen to a curmudgeonly old Internet blogger and magazine editor?

But I'm not speaking from the players' point of view. All I'm saying is that it would be nice if the Worldwide Leader (as Big Al says) would show our Blessed Boys some love.

Astros-White Sox is hard to argue with. So is Yankees-Red Sox. But I've seen far less compelling matchups than that on Sunday nights. Not many of them have held my interest for longer than an inning or so.

A look ahead to the Tigers schedule -- the next month of Sundays, if you will -- shows the following opponents on Sundays:

Kansas City.

Okay, so those aren't the most thrilling of opponents, granted. But certainly if one of the teams playing on Sunday night is the team with the best record in the game, then I'd say you're halfway to a good game already.

This isn't about who the Tigers are playing -- not anymore. It's about the Tigers themselves. I'd bet a good portion of folks are curious to see this team that's resuscitated a baseball city and its fans all across the country. Besides, I'm one to share. I'll be thrilled to let the rest of the nation enjoy a snippet of what we've been presented with during these first 76 games.

Let 'em see Jimmy Leyland and his managing of daring. Show 'em the whirling dervish that is Curtis "Never Nervous" Granderson. Watch as they are thrilled by the renaissance of one Magglio Ordonez. Grin as the 100 MPH pitches of Joel Zumaya and Justin Verlander give chills up their spines.

There's plenty to go around for all.

Wake up, ESPN. Sunday nights could be a whole lot more boring without the Tigers on. Trust me.


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