Expecting the worst as Tigers head to Boston

By Web Master

By JARED PURCELL

You Editor

Looking back at the hype surrounding the Detroit Tigers prior to the 2008 season, it’s safe to say that excitement has been replaced with panic.

As the Tigers prepare to head to Boston, many are expecting the worst.  With the worst record in the league at 0-7 as of Tuesday, it’s hard to disagree with the doubt.

Still, this is no time to sing the blues. The Tigers just need someone or something to spark a new energy — anything to restore the roar.

Luckily for the Tigers, they have to look no further than their MP3 players to find inspiration in the 2006 radio hit “Boston” by Augustana. The lyrics should be a message to the Tigers and should help them forget their current struggles and resurrect the season.

“I think I’ll go to Boston/I think I’ll start a new life/I think I’ll start it over…”

Of course starting over against the defending World Series champions is not exactly the ideal situation. But if not now, when?

Everyone is trying to find a certain aspect of the team to blame. The starting pitching isn’t lasting long enough. Relief pitching is shaky. When is the hitting going to show up? The infield is not making plays. The Tigers are losing because Curtis Granderson is out. Too many runs are left on base.

All are valid arguements.

Wonderboy Justin Verlander has been anything but wonderful with a 6.17 earned runs average through his first two games.

Jason Grilli has an ERA of 20.25 with only 1.1 innings under his belt, and the team that was supposed to have opposing pitchers running for the hills is batting just .245 and ranks 28th in total bases with 73. Miguel Cabrera, one of the Tigers’ major off-season acquisitions, has just two hits so far and has a .111 batting average.

Something needs to happen. No team has started 0-7 and gone on to win  the World Series. In fact, no team has started 0-4 and won it all. So the Tigers are just a bit behind.

The best thing the Tigers can do is to start over. They need to start fresh and, as the song continues, “leave this all behind.”

“Boston…/Where no one knows my name.”

With so many headline names on the roster, it’s hard for the Tigers to go anywhere without people knowing their names.  Yet, Clete Thomas has been a surprising unknown in such a “stacked” line up.

Through five games, Thomas is batting .467 and is beginning to make a name for himself, batting better than Carlos Guillen, Placido Polanco and Pudge Rodriguez. The 24-year-old rookie is showing up even last year’s AL batting champion, Magglio Ordonez.

Being relatively new may be an advantage for Thomas. Pitchers would rather pitch around other batters as best they can and take their chances with Thomas. So far, that plan doesn’t seem to be working out.

Maybe a young upstart from nowhere is what the Tigers need to get their heads out of the clouds and into the batter’s box.

“Carry all your thoughts across an open field.”

This line from the song simply is a message of what not to do.

It is hard to explain why such a talented line-up is having such a hard time producing.

They’ve got the big name hitters and yet the Tigers are ranked 28 of 30 teams in the league for most runs scored with just 15. Milwaukee and Atlanta rank first in runs scored with 40.

Whether the Tigers got caught up in all of the hype or they are in a mental rut, they’ve got to enter the field with a new mentality.

“I think that I’m just tired/I think I need a new town to leave this all behind.”

Six home games, six losses. The Tigers are probably tired of Comerica Park and the slump that has evolved while playing there.

There are those who travel to find themselves and, with 12 of their next 14 games away from Comerica, hopefully the Tigers will find their identity as a winning ball club — an identity that fans expected them to take on.

If Boston doesn’t work out, they can try Chicago, Cleveland, Minneasota and Toronto.

The one thing that should help relieve the minds of players and fans alike is that there are still over 150 games to turn things around.

Have fun at Fenway Park, Tigers. Here’s to the team leaving with some new life.