You can slice it or dice it any which way you want, but Game 6 of the ALCS was a good old-fashioned ass-whupping. As in cut your own switch and head to the woodshed. The Rangers scored 15 runs on 17 hits. Plus, they left 11 guys on base. With a few more timely hits, it could have become even more ugly.
This was an elimination game. All hands are supposed to be on deck. Instead of throwing in other pitchers, why wasn't Justin Verlander in the bullpen and ready? He's the best they have and he'd had a couple days rest. Maybe he could have come in and stifled the 3rd inning rally before things got out of control. It might have settled down the Tigers and gave them a boost of confidence. I doubt he would have dropped dead from exhaustion, and what good is it to save him for the World Series if there isn't going to BE a World Series for the Tigers? Finally, manager Jim Leyland offered up a sacrificial lamb. Brad Penny. His initials are right. BP. Batting practice.
Other thoughts Dept.
Brandon Inge got a few hits in the series. After being so bad all year that he finally got demoted to the minor leagues, will he get another 7- 8 million for that? What is it with that guy anyway? In my opinion, not counting David Beckham, he's the most overrated, overpaid athlete for his production in all of sports, but fans can't seem to get enough of him. I don't get it.
What's the deal with the Texas Rangers popping all the champage in the clubhouse? We're not talking Boonesfarm or Mad Dog here. They were breaking out the good stuff and they don't even drink it. It seems like such a waste. Didn't their mothers ever tell them there's sober people in Africa, or China, or somewhere? Besides, they did the same thing last year, then went to the World Series and got beat. So why spray all that fine bubbly around prematurely? This should be reserved for championships only. Further, I think the Commissioner should step in and make a rule. No more champagne, period. Why wouldn't beer suffice? Shake it up and open it, the result will be about the same, and it's a whole lot cheaper. His name IS Bud, right? And he used to own a club called the Brewers? Well, there you go. How about Milwaukee's Finest? Nobody I know wants to drink that stuff anyway.
Kudos to Tigers' manager Jim Leyland for saying in a post-game interview that the Rangers belong in the World Series. He knew Texas was better going in, and made no excuses when his club lost going out. No sour grapes, no whining about injuries, lucky breaks, bad calls, or anything else. A class act.
Top-to-bottom of the line-up, Texas has better hitters, a lot more speed on the base paths, outfielders with more range and better arms than the Tigers, and a vastly superior bullpen.
Even given the Rangers' physical superiority, one never knows about baseball. Strange things have been known to happen. People talk of the "baseball gods" and who they might smile or frown on.
I'm having trouble getting one of them on the phone for an official statement, but I dare say they had 2 major reasons to bounce the Tigers out of the playoffs.
Who's the President of the Rangers? A guy named Nolan Ryan. Mr. Fastball Express himself. A Hall of Famer. Who's the President of the Tigers? Dombrowski. He shuffles papers and players. If you were a baseball god, which one would you smile on?
Yet, even if all else was the same, there's one obvious reason the immortals preferred Texas over Detroit.
Tiger manager Jim Leyland stands in the dugout and mumbles. Texas manager Ron Washington does the boo-ga-loo.
Even mere mortals can appreciate that.