Saturday, October 14, 2006

..and the Tigers win the pennant.

Yeah, well.
Anyway, the question isn't whether or not the Tigers will win the World Series. They will. The real question here is, who do you pick out to come out of the AL Central next year? There's four scary teams there that you'd hate to bet against. The two favorites missed out this year, but they are still strong teams, and as Chicago and others have shown, this perfect blend of team pitching and well used role players is a fleeting thing. Bullpens disappear, starters regress, standouts become problems. Honestly though, the 2007 situation in this division is one of complete chaos. There's a just recently vaulted rotation in Chicago, the promise of a monstrous two-headed rotation in Minnesota, Pronk and his underperforming dwarves in Cleveland, and Jim Leyland's fellows, the latest balanced sportswriter's dream to succeed in October.
(Of course, there's a fifth team in this division, the Kansas City Royals, who will turn out to be the last team to take a series from Detroit in 2006. In fact, their case for contention is not as farfetched as one might think; they did play .500 or so ball in the second half of the season. The Royals finally have a real general manager, and at least some young talent in Teahen and Dejesus. Perhaps '07 is the year that Runelvys puts it all together? Or will Zach Greinke return from his season-long personality crisis exile and suddenly become Greg Maddux? These days teams come completely out of nowhere - can't you see Alex Rodriguez striking out on a sweeping Andy Sisco curveball to finish off the ALDS next year?)

Terror has a new face?

But that is how it has to be now-a-days. We as the educated, cynical segment of the baseball fanbase have to learn to pick out future surprises. So Taguchi hitting a home run? Kenny Rogers just completely inhabiting the 'gritty veteran' moniker? Just today Jeff Suppan hit a home run. We have to start expecting these things, and if that means a Detroit 06 title or a Florida 07 pennant then that's just how it has to be. Abandoning reasoned prediction based on statistics or overall talent has no place in the 21st century. Expect the unexpected? Expect the flabbergasting.

(Edit: Although FJM flogged him for it, Simmons made a similar point today about sleepers, and expectations and things. Not that I'm advocating reading his football columns. They're impossible.)


Anonymous Harry said...

Mon Oct 16, 03:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger David Bowie said...

Hey, Mike Watt!

Mon Oct 16, 04:55:00 PM EDT  

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