Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Don't pull the tail Tigers

It's a long held belief in sports that you should do anything you can to avoid tempting fate.

You do not talk about your good fortune, other than to be explicitly thankful for that good fortune, recognizing it as that. 

You do not taunt your opponents when you receive that good fortune.  If you are the receiver who catches the Hail Mary to win the game, you do not taunt your opponent as if you had just outrun them, or broke their ankles with a ridiculous move.  If you are the basketball player who banks in a 3 pointer to win the game, you do not scream in the face of your opponent.

You do not do these things because sports has an amazing way of evening things out.  You become a target and, more often than not, your opponent receives the good fortune that they need to even the score.

If you are a relief pitcher in a pressure spot who has the good fortune to snag a sharp comebacker, you DO NOT KISS THE BALL BEFORE THROWING FOR THE FINAL OUT OF A PLAYOFF GAME.

I know we have heard more this year about the 'unwritten rules' of baseball this year than we have in most, but it is becoming very clear that the young players in baseball either do not know them or do not respect them.  It comes down a very simple rule, show respect for the guys on the other side.  They are working just as hard as you, and have to deal with being on the opposite side of fortune.  Your rubbing their face in your good fortune is just temping fate, and you do not want to tempt fate.  Why not you ask?  Because it will bite you in the ass.

Case in point, the Tigers' Al Alburquerque (yes, that's really his name), kisses the ball and throws to first to give the Tigers a 2 game lead in their ALDS with the Oakland Athletics, and then the Tigers have to fly out to Oakland.

What happened in Oakland?  Well, you piss them off and then go to their house, what do you think is going to happen?

Oakland put a pitcher, Brett Anderson, on the mound who hadn't pitched in 3 weeks and was not fully recovered from the Oblique injury that sidelined him.  Combine that with their lineup full of players that noone else wanted, if they had heard of them, and surely they are in trouble right?

Wrong, Anderson Pitches 6 innings of shutout baseball before handing it over to the bullpen who finished off the 4 hit shutout.  And then, as they are prone to do, the A's got just enough with a couple of timely hits to bring in 2 runs.  We can't overlook the defense that backed up the staff and CoCo Crisp led that charge by robbing Prince Fielder of a homerun, which was just the most dramatic of a game full of sterling defensive plays by the A's.

This team is confident and feels like it does not received the respect that it's performance deserves, and that was before Al A. showed them the disrespect of kissing the baseball.

So, a less to the Tigers, don't pull the tail.  Not if you want to make it through this series

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