Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Last Gift To Boston

This is how you lose a trip to the World Series.

You take a first-and-third, no outs situation with the other team's starter on the ropes, and you turn it into a Fine/Howard/Fine-level production on the bases that gives away two outs.

You give up a questionable walk to a kid with all of 44 major league at bats prior to the playoffs.

You get over-cute with your relievers.

You have your glove-wizard shortstop boot an obvious, easy double play ball and load the bases.

And then, when the grand slam that puts you behind inevitably comes, you've got nothing left to fight back with.

In the end, the Tigers just gave it away. A reliever got a little too excited, and a killer changeup got overthrown into a batting practice fastball that got turned into a Big Papi grand slam, and there goes a game Detroit should have won. A team full of transcendent talents just got worn down by a relentless opponent that made them pay for every mistake.

Would it have been different if Miguel Cabrera, staggering around third base with a groin injury so bad it's going to require surgey, had been healthy? Maybe. But you play the cards you're dealt, and Jim Leyland, sensing the sands running out of the hourglass, overplayed his.

It was a great season. It was a magnificent run. But if this year's playoffs have taught us anything, it's that charity kills World Series dreams.
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