Magglio Ordonez lived every baseball player's fantasy yesterday by hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth to give his team the pennant. The Detroit Tigers are absolutely clicking on all cylinders right now, with a clean sweep of the Oakland A's, after an ALDS annihilation of the Yankees last week.
The Mets played a lifeless game against the Cardinals after the Detroit game concluded, and lost 5-0. Steve Trachsel was terrible, and the offense was non-existent against Jeff Suppan. (Jeff Suppan?) The only saving grace for the Mets was that Darren Oliver, who came in after Trachsel's bomb out, saved the bullpen with six very good shutout innings to rest the pen. The Mets are now down 2-1, and Oliver Perez takes the ball tonight against Anthony Reyes. I expect a REALLY high score tonight, and the Mets HAVE to find a way to get the series tied.
I watched the game yesterday at Professor Thom's, which is the unofficial home for Michigan Wolverines football fans in New York. So that means a lot of Tigers fans were in the bar watching the conclusion of the game. They went bananas after the win, and it brought back memories to me of the Red Sox World Series win in 2004. The bar wasn't as crowded as the Riviera was that night, but the Tiger fans surely enjoyed it.
And good for them. The Tiger fans deserved it. They've been through a lot since their last title in 1984, especially when the Tigers lost 119 games in 2003. Detroit has always been a good baseball town, even through all the down years.
After the Tigers game ended, the bar got really packed with Michigan fans, for the Penn State game. One of my friends who owns PT's went to Michigan, so he put up a huge Michigan flag at the back of the bar, and the word got out that it was a friendly place to watch their games (like the Red Sox games are during the rest of the year). As the game got going, it was as crowded as I've ever seen it before.
And the Michigan fans had plenty to cheer for. Their boys beat Penn State, 17-10, to complete "the doubleheader sweep." There was plenty of chanting for Michigan throughout the game, with one guy banging on some glass object with a knife leading the crowd, "Go Blue!"
Makes me very glad I wasn't there for the Notre Dame game last month, where ND got routed by Michigan. I sure didn't let anyone there know my allegiance to the Fighting Irish yesterday.
Discretion is always the better part of valor.