We'll get to the Cardinals in a second, but first, here's Jalopnik's Ray Wert on the Tigers win against Oakland last night:
My brother Logan and his buddy Steve, took the camera by the strap yesterday camping with Momma Wert and brother Corey in section 148, while I made do watching the amazing game from the comforts of luxury suite territory. But before I get to the pictures, I need to take a moment and talk about the city of Detroit and the jungle of suburban sprawl surrounding it.
This is a city which, when the Tigers won in 1968, had 3.5 million residents, and just under a million living on the north side of eight mile. In 1984, it was a city with 1.5 million on the city side and 3 million on the suburb side. It's now a city with 3.5 million in the suburbs and just under a million residents living on the south side of eight mile. It's a metro area which is more segregated than any other city in the United States — Detroit's 90% black, and the suburban communities ring it like a lace doily of whiteness. Both sides think the other is full of shit, and both sides are more racist than they'd admit to an outsider — and both the suburbs and the city claim that fault is not their own.
Drop on top of that the city's (not the sprawling suburbs) stratospheric unemployment rate, and you can see how something taking our minds off the everyday and mundane is so welcome. That's because despite these problems, Metro Detroit's found a way to be unified — a singular purpose by which all can cheer for. Now I'm not one of those people who thinks sports hold the key to solving all a community's problems — but I am a believer that a city's sports teams tell a lot about the city spawning it. I've said before I think this city uses sports teams as surrogates — doing battle in arenas where the citizenry can't always tread, or where the city can't always win, and again I've found it to be true.
But on top of the the Detroit Tigers being Detroit's surrogate gladiators, these boys have gone and proven yet again that although it often helps, you don't need a $200 million payroll to win a league championship. And when you put all this together, I stongly believe that they, more than any other team in sports today, deserve to be embraced as America's team. That's right, fuck the Yankees and Red Sox, fuck the Dallas Cowboys, fuck U of M (doubly when they play MSU) — this team is a team that represents America — or at least the America that was and the America that we should all strive to see. It's a hard-working team, a team that embraces the dual requirements of success in any enterprise here in the good ol' US of A — that of leadership — something the Yankees, and their vaunted lineup, couldn't seem to muster — and a desire to put winning as a team above winning as an individual — something the Oakland A's never seemed to show. But the Tigers, whoa nelly, they showed throughout this season they've got both in spades.
Whether it was from a guy like Pudge Rodriguez, who took owner Mike Illitch at his word when he told him "I will give you the tools this team will need to win." Whether it's the guy Pudge came in to replace, Brandon Inge, who was such a hard-chargin' athlete, the team said "You know, we don't need him at Catcher, but damned if we don't think we'll find a place for him" — and thus moved him to almost every non-pitching position until finally letting him settle in at third base. But it isn't just them — it's also guys like the game winning home run hittin' Magglio Ordonez — a free agent who came here because he thought they'd have an opportunity "down the line" to make the playoffs.
So I guess what I'm saying is that people outside of Detroit should be cheering on this team, because they should be cheering on this great city. It's a city that despite the problems and despite the hardships, helped give this nation's dreams the wheels to take them where they needed to go. More importantly, it's a city that did it without the big bucks, without the big words of the big sports folks, and without any help but that which they received from their own hard-working and hard-knock fans. So feel free to cheer on this Tigers team — and hop aboard the fan-bus, because you're more than welcome. And if it gets filled, don't fear — we've got the wherewithal to build another one. But if you decide not to hop on, we're ok with that too, because you know — that's just how we roll here.
Ray's a passionate guy. And turning to the Mets/Cards series, let's take a walk through the world of Jeff Suppan, evidently the world's greatest athlete. The Cards took a 2-1 series lead on the Mets last night, winning 5-0 behind eight brilliant innings from Jeff Suppan, on top of a solo home run, and a pair of nifty sacrifice bunts.
The Mets have picked a bad week to have one of those weeks. Steve Trachsel took a Preston Wilson comebacker off the thigh in the second inning - after he threw 43 pitches and never once got a swing and a miss. The Mets now find themselves in the position of having to rely on Oliver Perez in a crucial game four.