Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Mighty Caseys of Detroit



What a game.


The regular season playoffs against the Twins was one of the greatest games I ever watched.


One of them.


After twelve innings of play – the Twins squeaked in a run from second on a short fly ball to right field - a gork ... a dying quail that landed gently over base path from first to second – and the throw to the plate was not even close.

A real battle.


But you can read a recap of the game on any news service. You don't need me to replay it over for you.


I just don't have the heart to relive it all right now.


Maybe in December.


But if the truth be told, the better team won.


I wish it wasn't true.


The Detroit Tigers went on a power slide of a losing streak just when they needed to win the most.


They split two with Minnesota at Comerica, and then lost two of three to the White Sox – all in their home yard – Comerica Park.


I was at the final home game against the White Sox – the one they won. My Lovely wife Darlene and I were thrilled as the Tigers handily took the White Sox in the 162nd contest of the 2009 season.


The Tigers had to win that game, and the Twins had to lose – but watching the scoreboard in right-center field – the Twins were just pounding the Royals 7-0.

That left the Twins and the Tigers tied for first place.

The following day, the day that was supposed to be the rest up day before the start of the playoffs against the Yankees, but instead became the limbo day before the single game playoff with the Twins.

News broke that morning that the Friday night before – superstar slugger and American League candidate for MVP Miguel Cabrera had been out drinking with friends from the White Sox - the opposing team we had to beat the next day and the day after that to secure the American League pennant - until five in the morning – and had an altercation with the missus as he drunkenly returned (somehow) to his house.

In Saturdays game – unquestionably still affected by the partying and the embarrassment of police intervention that forced Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski to Pick Cabrera up at a suburban Detroit police station – during that ever critical game that if won, the Tigers would have made the playoffs, Miguel Cabrera – superstar slugger and MVP candidate for 2009 went-oh- for four at the plate and looked like a wet rag.

But the Twins kept on pounding away. Chipping away at a lead that was once seven games with a month left, and was three games up with four to play – caught the Tigers on the 161st game of the season to finally force the single game elimination – at Minnesota's Metropolitan Dome – the dome from hell.


And of course after one of the most exciting twelve inning matches I ever witnessed – the Twins of Minnesota danced around the dome joyously as the AL Central Division pennant winners .

On that night – for the first time since May 10, the Tigers were no longer in first place.


We've all heard the poem "Mighty Casey". The last stanza sums it up:

Oh! somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville -- mighty Casey has struck out.

That about sums it up.

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