The Good Fan/Bad Fan Routine


There are several different types of fans in this State.  There is the optimist, who, no matter what is going on, will always find something positive to say.  You know who these people are; you’ve probably wanted to punch them in the face at some time or another.  Then there is the pessimist; the type of person who is all doom and gloom.  These are the fans that have nothing to say when all is well.  It almost seems like the pessimist hopes for bad things to happen.

Tiger fans are feeling all sorts of emotions right now.

Most of us fall in the middle; we complain and get angry often, yet find a reason to turn on the next game with a flutter of excitement.  This is where I fall in.  Despair after a tough loss, yet somehow I convince myself before the next game that there is still hope.  I ride a roller coaster of emotions throughout the season.  Right now, following a series loss against lowly Cleveland and a sweep at the hand of the Angels, this roller coaster is underground.

There are two ways to look at the Tigers’ situation right now, on which side do you fall?

Good Fan: Boy, this has been a tough stretch.  But can you believe we are only two games back?  How fortunate is that?  Despite not playing well, we have a chance to go to Chicago and take control of this division.  The way we’ve been playing them lately, I think we’ll take three of four!

Bad Fan: You’re an idiot.  We swept the Sox twice in the 2nd half and are still two games back!  We are blowing it!  The Sox are 4-9 in their last 13 games, but we’ve hardly made up any ground.  Too many hitters are pressing right now, and Chicago is going to be a tough place to play, especially since they are so hungry to kick our tails.  There is no way our dominance against Chicago can continue.  We’ll pick up one game, but the season will be over when we leave.

Good Fan: You’re looking at it all wrong.  We have the better players.  Fister, Scherzer, and Verlander are all pitching!  Dunn and Youkilis are both hurting for the Sox, and we’ve got Cabrera and Fielder in the middle for each game.  Despite how we’ve played recently, talent will win out in this series and the rest of the year.

Bad Fan: It will be nice to not have to face Dunn and Youkilis much, but there is still Konerko, Rios, and Pierzynski.  Not to mention De Aza and Wise, who have been big against the Tigers this year.  Verlander has been figured out.  Teams are jumping on his fastballs early in the game and he has not adjusted.  Cabrera and Fielder cannot do it by themselves.  Peralta is struggling, and lefties for the sox will neutralize Boesch, Avila, and Dirks.  Raburn might play three games in this series!  DOES THAT INSPIRE CONFIDENCE???

Good Fan: Ok, so its not good to rely on Ryan Raburn at this point in the season, but he has had great success at US Cellular Field in his career.  His only home run this season and four of his RBI’s came in Chicago earlier this year.  Raburn will “run into one” as Leyland likes to say, and it may just win us a game.  Think about it from an intangibles standpoint: despite a horrendous, forgettable season, Raburn has a chance to come through big and make up for it all.  He will relish the opportunity!

Bad Fan: You want to talk about intangibles?  Do the Tigers look relaxed and loose right now?  They are pressing, that’s obvious to anyone.  How much fun were the Angles having?  How loose does Oakland look?  The Tigers had that look last September, but now they look like they did in 2007: a team crumbling under the weight of expectations.

Good Fan: You’re right, but that is precisely why we are so fortunate right now.  Everything you have said is true, and yet we are still right there!  Have you forgotten the 90’s?  Do you wish Randall Simon and Robert Fick were still in the middle of our line-up?  Would you prefer to be handing the ball to Willie Blair and Steve Sparks this week? Have you forgotten when avoiding 120 losses was the most excitement we had as baseball fans?  Enjoy the ride!

Bad Fan: Touché, Good Fan . . . touché.