High Anxiety Hits Detroit as Tigers Season Winds Down

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”  So said the great Rogers Hornsby.

RogersHornsbyAnd that’s the way many baseball fans feel when the season ends.  The last week of the Major League campaign is usually a sentimental time for die-hard fans.  Many of our lifelong customers stop by one last time to say their goodbyes until next year.  The last weekend is a time for reflection as the last flicker of summer begins to fade into fall.

But the end of the 2009 season is different than any other I can remember in a very long time.  Instead of feeling nostalgic, most Tigers fans are feeling high anxiety.  There are two games left and no one knows if they will be the last two — or if the Tigers will participate in the post season for only the second time in 22 years.

The rythme of the season has been broken.  There may be lots of champagne in our near future — or none at all.  Comerica Park may be the epicenter of the sports world in Michigan — or it will be padlocked until next April.  The Tigers may have played their last game at the hated Metrodome — of they may be on their way back there for a one game, winner-takes-all match up against their arch-rivals, the Twins.

There seems no good way to enjoy this.  What had the makings of a memorable season now has the potential for one we would like to soon forget.  Even if the Tigers make the playoffs, will the last week of the regular season prove to be too much to overcome physically and psychologically?  Will the pitching rotation be completely out of whack while the Yankees, Red Sox and Angels have all had a chance to rest and regroup?

If Mr. Hornsby were around, I think even he’d feel severe anxiety over the way this Tigers season is ending — or not ending.  The die-hard baseball fans of Detroit will either be dancing in the streets within the next few days or, like Mr. Hornsby, we’ll all be staring out our windows waiting for spring.