That would be the Detroit Tigers, of course. It's laughable how gullible their fans and the local scribes that keep feeding them the Kool-Aid remain.
Since before the season started, yours truly has been preaching these guys aren't any good. Playoffs? Forget about it. They might -- MIGHT -- be a .500 club if everything goes their way.
But the Motown sappies just keep on coming. Amazing.
After getting broomed at home by the visiting KC Royals a little more than a week ago, things seemed to die down a bit. Even the hard-cores started to recognize the possibility their beloved Tigers might not be a very good team.
Then bam. The puddy-tats improbably won 2 games at the Yanks and the first two games at Baltimore. Presto, a four game winning streak. Enter the dreaded hope again.
After all, as one scribe put it, the Tigers were ONLY five games out of a wild-card berth. And I laughed again. Fool.
Just as quickly, the O-Birds took the next two games and the Tigers went to Pittsburgh where they've lost the first two games in that series as well.
BAM. Right back to 10 games under .500 and taking on water fast.
The pollyannas still see the Tigers having a shot at a post-season berth.
I see them as slugging it out with the Oakland A's for 14th place out of 15 teams in the American League, with only the woeful Chisox being any worse.
In fact, out of 30 total Major League teams, the Tigers check in at #23. Ten will make it to the playoffs.
With only 50 games remaining, does any sane person REALLY think the Tigers are capable of rattling off a big-time winning streak to get back into semi-contention?
Look at their roster. What few decent players they still have are aging and obviously on the back sides of their career bell curves. Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, and Ian Kinsler for starters. Plus, these players have whopper contracts the Tigers are evidently stuck with. They've gone from "stars" to "journeymen", and why would any other team be interested in their services when they'll surely continue to digress as they get even older?
In the meantime, the Tigers have been plugging in a few no-names, basically whatever they can drag up from their looted farm system, and hoping they can contribute.
To be fair, some of these guys have had shining moments. But just as often, if not more so, they appear overwhelmed by the Big League atmosphere and will likely fade back into oblivion before long.
The Tigers seem to be one of those teams, rarely successful, that refuses to acknowledge it's time to blow it up and start over. Other highly successful professional sports franchises have done just that over the years. See the Dallas Cowboys, and mostly recently the Boston Celtics. They both took trips into the nether regions, only to emerge stronger than ever.
Yet the Tigers and Detroit faithful are never willing to wave the white flag of today, so tomorrow can be more promising. Pride rules the day, if horribly misguided.
In sum, these guys are going nowhere this year, or in any year soon given the current make-up of the team. It will only get worse.
True, they went for the proverbial gusto not long ago, spending big bucks on temporary free agents passing through town, but also shot their future in the foot by depleting their farm system to obtain them. They never quite made it over the hump and now they have to pay the price for such short-sightedness.
Was it worth the shot? Maybe. But given it didn't work, now they have to face a large dose of cruel reality.
And that is -- just like I've been saying all along -- these guys just flat out aren't any good.
Only in Detroit could the ever-elusive "hope" remain. Kind of like the Lions. Every year just might be the one they make it to the Super Bowl -- but it never is, of course. Nor will it be this year.
Tease, tease, tease. Chug, chug, chug the Kool-Aid.
But it is what it is, and it ain't pretty.
P.T. Barnum was absolutely right. There's one born every minute.
But they seem to be breeding even faster in Detroit.
Pity, but laughable.