By now we all know that Wendy's Tigers did not make the playoffs. Don't feel sorry for me, I've had time to get used to it. But it doesn't mean the entire season was a wash, and there were actually very many good highlights:
- Magglio Ordonez's Incredible Year - Maggs won the American League batting title having wrapped up the regular season with a .363 batting average, 139 RBIs, and 54 doubles. He would easily be the MVP if it weren't for the gaudy year gAy-Rod put up with the Yankees (54 homeruns, 156 RBIs, maintaining his douchey-ness). What tended to get lost in the Great MVP Debate this year is that Magglio did all this after coming back from the knee injury from Hell. By all accounts he shouldn't be walking around normally, let alone playing baseball. And I don't care what anyone says, Best Hair In Baseball (but I'm the girl who always wanted naturally curly hair).
- Curtis Granderson's 20-20-20-20 year - That's 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 homeruns, and 20 stolen bases. Only the third player in history to do it and the first one since the Willie Mays. For those idiots out there who whined "Well he plays in Comerica that's why he has so many triples!" it ended up being a damn near even split (morons). 10 triples in Yellowstone, 13 on the road.
- Carlos Guillen made it to 102 RBIs and played a very competent first base (I actually like him better at first than at shortstop) all while nursing his notoriously bad knees.
- Placido Polanco is, I think, still one of the more underrated players in the game and the kind of player I love to watch. He doesn't hit 50 homeruns (and never will), but always tries to find a way to get the ball in play. This year he got to 200 hits.
- Justin Verlander's no-hitter. In a year when our pitching was our downfall, this was the one highlight. Nothing more exciting than a no-hitter unless it's a perfect game (no hits, no walks, no errors).
- Pudge Rodriguez is now third on the list for most games "caught." He also caught Verlander's no-hitter.
Other baseball highlights - I am so not a National League girl, but congratulations to Jimmy Rollins for getting triple #20 and thereby matching Granderson's feat this season. Nobody's done it since Mays and now two players do it in the same season. Pretty darn awesome.
Congratulations for former Tigers Dimitri Young and Carlos Pena for winning Comeback Player Of The Year honors. Both left Detroit under a cloud - Young for his multitude of personal problems, Pena for his inconsistent play (He'd hit 3 homeruns in one game, then go on a 0-25 slump). Sometimes all ya need is a change of scenery.
Congratulations to former Tigers Alan Trammell (bench coach for Cubs), Craig Monroe (traded to Cubs) and Kirk Gibson (bench coach for Diamondbacks) for making the playoffs.
And speaking of the playoffs, here it goes. I wasn't going to root for the Indians because they're in the Tigers division (it just feels disloyal) and they have a slugger whose nickname is "Pronk." Worst. Nickname. In. Baseball. It's just stoopid. But they're playing the Yankees in the first round, so obviously the gods are conspiring against me. Go Indians!
My teams for the playoffs will be the Angels (I live in Southern California, I can't help it) and the Cubs (because I'm a masochist). But honestly? I see the Yankees winning the World Series. My original thought back when they were a gazillion games out of first place (way back in May) was that they would make the playoffs, but not get very far. Now? I think they win it. But it all hinges on how well their pitching does and if gAy-Rod can maintain his stellar season - and history isn't on his side. They don't call him "Mr. April" for nothing.
Now that's a good baseball nickname.