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October is a great month every year, as long as there is some baseball to celebrate.  For years I cheered on our Detroit Tigers.  Others had warned me not to do it.

There was no inquiry on why that warning was repeated by so many locals when I journeyed to the mitten state.  Instead, people just told me consistently, “They will break your heart.”  That explanation proved to be prophetic.

At the beginning of each season the anticipation of an improved team was all over the news.  Conversations picked up on our hopes and dreams for a pennant.  Spring training was promising and the young talent picked up during the off-season seemed to fill the holes in our roster.

But, reality set in when the umpire cried, “Play ball!”  There were stumbles and groans.  Mishaps followed other errors.  Trades were made and the new names became no-names.  Another season ended with dashed hopes.

Then, there was a change in the air.  A manager with a craggy face, stoic eyes but a remarkable knowledge of the game signed on with the team.  A fresh face took over the talent hunt for this historic team.  Wins began to mount up and surpassed the losses.

The play-offs were now on the horizon.  We went.  We played.  We won!

For years our Tiger team keeps changing faces but the head guys are still the same.  They are playing chess with pieces to find the combination to win it all.  We have been close but still have not been able to clinch the championship ring in a long time.

But, frankly, I still love my Tigers.  Twice in recent years we have been to the Big Dance but each time have not won.  Instead, we made it a wonderful memory for another team.

We will lick our wounds.  Then we will nurse our aches.  It will be time to rest. 

Then, the braintrusts will get to work.  How can the team adjust to make the chemistry work even better.  We want to get back to the dance again.  But, we want to win it the next we are there.

Until those decisions are done, we will watch the TV like everyone else.  The Giants are celebrating and we are happy for them.  Some day, though, rejoicing with those who rejoice will come to an end.  That’s when Detroit fans will celebrate with their Tigers for a series win one more time.

The Tigers lost game six.  The Rangers have won.  I cheered loudly but they must not have heard me.

This past weekend was tough.  Several of the teams that I cheer on in the arena of sports met with defeat.  One is defeat is tough; but several on the same weekend is a big downer.

My Detroit Tigers losing the ALCS was tough enough.  But, the weekend did not stop there.  On Sunday my Detroit Lions lost as well.

That loss was deeply felt since it was the first loss of the season.  Not was it the first loss of the season, it was a loss at home.  To make it feel even worse it was a loss against the San Francisco 49ers; that’s the city where I currently live.

The 49er fans are rabid.  They are fierce, loyal and rampant about their team.  I was frequently reminded of the SF victory by teasing fans.

It made their victory so much sweeter with a defeated foe to razz.  I understand that.  My being here helps them celebrate even more enthusiastically.  It is a pleasure to help others rejoice. 

Nevertheless, I am a fan too.  My team did very well this season.  Entering into the post season championship run to the World Series is always exciting.  It is a tribute to the excellence of the team.

I have been away from Detroit for two years.  When we lived there, a Tiger’s game was always on the calendar.  Our trek to the ballpark with good friends was a memory-making venture.

We lived in the Motorcity for years yet the Tigers kept losing.  Each season our hopes would soar but we saw more losses than wins.  But, we kept cheering on our men wearing the English D.

This past season our Tigers did very well again.  With the ups and downs of professional sports the mean growth up the charts was exhilarating. We had a lot to cheer and celebrate this year.

Pitches were laser-sharp.  Bats cracked at just the right times.  Defense in the infield was acrobatic.  Outfield heroics snagged fly balls like a bat snatching bugs with radar precision.

Losses come with the game.  None are planned.  Each one leaves the heart a bit sad.

But, the wins were just at the right time.  They were just the right amount.  We went a long ways this year.  Thank you Tigers for another great year!

photo credit: google image

Living in Michigan made the choice of embracing the Detroit Tigers natural.  Yes, I was warned that they would break my heart if I gave them my loyalty.  But, few things in life promise a bond like one born out of adversity.

For years I was a happy fan.  Each baseball season I would make a trip to watch the team play.  The atmosphere of a professional sports park filled with optimistic fans is electrifying.

The Tigers started getting good.  From there they kept getting better.  They entered the month of October consistently.

This year they beat the Yankees in New York and advanced to the ALCS.  That win in the Big Apple was huge.  Coming out on top against the perpetual powerhouse pinstripe machine was worth celebrating.

But, the party was short-lived.  Texas brought reality into the picture.  They hosted the first two games of the ALCS and beat the Tigers.

Then, the series moved to Detroit.  Another loss in this series would have been discouraging.  All of the writers published every angle on the outcome of this game.

It’s amazing how being a fan makes pessimism the attitude of choice.  But, when you’re good you’re good.  And the Tigers are good.

There is a percentage option on my PDA.  It was tracking each inning and pumping out the probability of who was favored to win game three.  Through the first several innings, the Rangers were hands down favorites.

Things changed when the baseball bat cracked loudly in the hands of a Tiger hitter.  The hardened hickory found the sweet spot and the ball was launched out of the park – three times!  Suddenly, the odds tracker changed and favored the host team.

With the passing of each inning, the odds of the Tigers winning grew and grew.  Agony, doubt and fear melted away.  Now, it was time to cheer again.

We fans are so fickle.  Worry is our first and most used emotion.  Hope is our dream but we dare not become too cocky.

Victory for the moment is as far as we want to allow our hearts to taste.  Every run is vital.  Each defensive play is a celebration.  Counting pitches solidifies our reservoir of gladness.

Once the scoreboard lights up we scream.  After the last out is earned our moods is as much relief as it is joy.  That rollercoaster is called baseball.

photo credit: google image

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