Tigers fans deserve standing ovation
A friend called today to ask if I am happy that the Tigers season is finally over.
I told him my emotions are mixed.
Part of me certainly is happy because I am tired of writing about losing.
However, part of me still cant believe this season unfolded the way it did.
I saw it. I lived it. But I cant believe it.
And I cant explain it. Nobody can.
I have covered a lot of crummy Tiger teams in my time. I have been on hand for the somber endings to a lot of losing seasons as the team and the seasons sobering limped to a melancholy close.
But I never witnessed anything like the scene I saw at Comerica Park during the final two games this year.
A total of 81,129 tickets were sold for those last two home games. Of course, those tickets were purchased when pennant fever was rampant. Nevertheless, that was almost half as many tickets as the Tigers sold for the entire season in 1904 and again in 1906 at old Bennett Park.
I know because I covered those two losing Tiger teams, too.
Tens of thousands of fans showed up for the final two games this year _ not to boo or grouse or second guess, but rather to laugh and to cheer and to have a good time.
Under the circumstances, considering this seasons colossal disappointment, it was incredible.
Jim Leyland was so moved he teared up in his office after the next-to-last game.
I couldnt believe that, the Tigers grizzled manager admitted.
I looked around the park and I was thinking, Were in last place _ and look at all these people.
For the second year in a row, the Tigers lured more than three million people through the turnstiles _ 3,202,645 to be exact.
They deserved a better show than the one they got.
They were the only ones who didn't embarrass themselves this year.
But I wonder how many of them will rush out to buy tickets next season.