The Roar Has Been Restored

The last time the Detroit Tigers played a post season game was my senior year of high school. During that period baseball was still an integral part of the city of Detroit. As a matter of fact I recall sitting around with my high school buddies plotting how we would ditch school to head to Tiger Stadium to catch the season opener armed with bleacher seat tickets that went for a whopping $5 at the time.

In the years since I have lived in two NL baseball cities, Atlanta and Pittsburgh, but have still not lost my love for the Tigers – as gauged by the dozen or so Tigers caps I have gone through since. As each hat has found it’s way to the landfill the Tigers and fans like myself suffered through nearly 20 years of miserable basement dwelling seasons. Tiger Stadium gave way to Comerica Park and we all wondered when Mr. Illich would devote some of that PizzaPizza cash to other team he owned.

Fast forward to 2006. No one, I repeat no one gave the Tigers a chance against the might Bronx Bombers. The question on the table at the beginning of this series was whether the Tigers could at least win one game and make it respectable. Then the Tigers manage to win one of two in NY. Kenny Rogers has a Kurt Warner moment and proves to everyone he has the stuff to win.

Then came the roar.

Brandon Inge…

“I can’t tell you how many times the last two games that I’ve been on the field and every hair on my body has stood up because they’re yelling and cheering so loud,” Inge said. “That’s a pretty good feeling, when you get that adrenaline rush and your hair stands up.”

Sean Casey…

“This is a baseball city, man,” Casey said. “They’re fired up for baseball. These people are going crazy, and we need them to keep going crazy.”

That’s right Mr. Illich, “if you build it (they) will come,” and come in droves – 2,595,937 to be exact. And last night the Tiger faithful and Mr. Illich were rewarded for their efforts with an 8-3 Yankee drubbing and a trip to the ALCS. Just ask the Yankees Alex Rodriguez…

“Plain and simple, they dominated us,” Rodriguez said. “It’s not like we lost by one or two runs. They actually kicked our ass.”

Yes they did, and for the first time in over two decades I find myself happy about something other than Michigan football in October. I have no idea how this thing will end but it really doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters to this long suffering Tiger fan can be summed up in five words, the roar has been restored!

Photo Credit: Taylor Flees, 10, of Rochester Hills, Mich., tries to get the attention of Tiger players on the field during warmups prior to the start of Game 4 of the American League Divisional Series between the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees. AP

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