Friday, August 11, 2006

Here They Are: Your Meaningful August Games

The Chicago White Sox cannot win the AL Central this weekend. They cannot pull into a tie. They cannot even get within a stone's throw of the lead. Unless they can figure out a way to make this series with the Tigers worth nine games, instead of three.

But that won't stop the denizens around here from declaring this weekend's tilts at US Cellular Field on Chicago's south side "must win" -- for the Tigers. If you think that's an odd stance to take, considering the Tigers hold an 8 1/2 game lead on the Chisox, well there you have it. "Must" wins for the leaders. Can you imagine?

But yet that's exactly how lots of folks around town view the Tigers-White Sox throwdown this weekend.

"The Tigers have to win to show they can play with the 'big boys.'"

"They haven't sold me until they play the White Sox on the road and beat them."

All that, and more.

The Tigers, in my mind, only need to win but one of three games this weekend to put a monkey wrench in the White Sox's plans for a Central title in 2006. That would give them a 7 1/2 game cushion. Still comfy. But even a White Sox sweep keeps the lead at 5 1/2, which ain't bad.

The problem is, a Chicago sweep would give the Tigers a five-game losing streak heading into Boston, and that's why the fans would be a little nervous. Can't blame them, I suppose. The last things you want in August are losing streaks beyond four games.

But this is the way it should be: mano-a-mano. Head-to-head. You, me, and NOT Dupree. The Tigers will be getting it on with the White Sox and the Twins a lot more before this season ends, which means ample opportunities for those teams to make up direct ground, instead of relying on help from their fellow American Leaguers. These are the games we all begged for in spring training. "Let's just hope the Tigers can play some meaningful games in August and September," our standards were in March.

Well, here they are: meaningful games. It's August. And they'll get even more meaningful in September.

Just a prelude to meaningful games in October, I'd say, but I'm getting ahead of myself (but not really).

Play ball!


Blogger Ozz said...

It would be a nice statement on the part of the Tigers if they win this series. Proving that they're capable of beating the White Sox does hold some importance.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Lee Panas said...

I can't say I've enjoyed the series too much so far! The Tigers have not played well at all. It is great to have meaningful games in August though and there's lots more to come.

12:04 AM  

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