Page 16-The Michigan Daily, Friday, August 7, 1987
THE SPORTING VIEWS
Tiger losses deceive...
...pennant theirs in 1987
By REBECCA BLUMENSTEIN
Not everyone can win all the time.
But Detroit sports fans have had it pretty good lately.
The Tigers won the World Series in 1984 and have continued to be
contenders ever since. Red Wing mania was finally rejuvenated this year
when they made it to the semi-finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs. And
the Pistons managed to shake up a bit of playoff excitement, taking the
Boston Celtics to a seventh game in the Eastern Conference finals.
It's easy to jump on a bandwagon full of enthusiastic fans when the
home team is winning, yet are Detroit fans really as faithful as they
might claim to be?
Fans' reaction lukewarm
Presently the Tigers are well within striking distance of first place,
but the fan reaction in Detroit doesn't reflect that success. The team's
poor start has had its fans looking behind their backs, almost expecting
another haunting losing streak to wreck this year's dream.
Recent losses to the Yankees and Royals already have caused many
fans' hopes to dwindle. If it was Baltimore, and not the Yankees,
coming to town, this weekend at Tiger Stadium would be just another
Of course I would like to think it were different. Whoever heard of
fair-weather fans around Detroit - the city that lives and dies for its
There's definitely something special about winning in the Motor
City. Everyone always seems to be picking on Detroit. The list of what
Detroit is worst in almost never seems to end - we've got the highest
murder rate in the country, the most teen-age shootings, one of the
biggest drug problems, one of the worst urban development dilemmas
in the nation, and so on, and so on.
An outlet for Detroiters
But somehow when Detroit fans root for their teams, all of the
problems seem to temporarily go away. We need our teams to keep us
going, and when they win, it's almost our way of saying to the rest of
the world - "Look, we're doing something the best. And this is far
from the only good that's happening around here."
Maybe this is why we appear to have more "die-hard" fans than most
teams. Yet that doesn't make losing any easier when our team doesn't
perform to its potential.
This year it took the Tigers nearly half the season to reach their
prime. Despite the recent losses and angered fans, the Tigers still have
an excellent chance to overtake the Yankees and Blue Jays if they
continue to learn from their early season woes.
Losing in order to win
A similar situation arose recently at The Daily. As the Daily Libels,
we entered a co-ed softball league during the spring and summer terms.
The competition included teams like the South Quad Sanitation Crew,
and the Defense Mechanisms.
Spring term we amazed ourselves with our beginners' luck and ended
up with a 3-1 record. But losing became a hard reality during summer
term, when we lost our first three games to groups of engineers,
nmusicians, and psychologists, respectively.
Maybe we began to lose because we just weren't concentrating so
much on our playing, only on how we could possibly be losing to all
of these teams.We managed to stick it out, though. And in the last
inning of our last game, we somehow squeaked out enough runs to
finally win. In the end victory had never tasted so good.
After all, to appreciate winning we had to know what it was like to
lose. It's a hell of a lot easier to win, but losing makes you confront
some problems and challenges and makes the job quite a bit tougher.
Hopefully, that's exactly what the Tigers are leaming now.
The Tiger losses won't last long, but they will pay off.
I still think this is the year for the Tigers. Once again the Tigers and
their deserving fans willbe celebrating another pennant victory this fall.
Even President Shapiro says so,
A mighty roar
By ALAN PAUL
DETROIT - The Tigers sent a sharp message to
the Yankees last night, blasting off to a 1-1 lead after
three innings before coasting to a 12-5 victory.
The victory moved the Tigers to within two games
of New York and one and one-half of Toronto, which
lost to Cleveland.
Tiger starter Frank Tanana breezed through seven
innings, allowing only Gary Ward's towering solo
home run deep to left in the second inning.
Yankee starter Ron Guidry lasted just two and one-
third innings, giving up seven runs. Guidry was
plagued by control problems, issuing three walks and
constantly falling behind Tiger hitters.
In the third, a sharp single by Darrell Evans scored
Herndon and Chet Lemon, causing manager Lou
Piniella to pull Guidry.
out 12-5 win
Before the Yankees relief corps got out of the
inning, the Tigers had a nine-run lead. Steve Trout,
recently acquired from the Cubs to shore up the
rotation and already floundering in the bullpen, entered
with two on and one out. He walked Mike Heath and
Jim Walewander, the Tigers' number eight and nine 4
hitters, and wild pitched in a run.
Al Holland was next, coming in with the bases
loaded, the bleachers chanting "New York sucks," and a
Willie Hernandez looked like he belonged in the
New York bullpen, entering in the eighth and quickly
giving up four runs, including a three-run homer by
light-hitting Roberto Kelly, his first of the season.
Tiger rookie Mike Henneman put an exclamation
point on the Tigers' message, quietly retiring the last
four Yankee batters.
Former Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh signed a four-year 1.3 million dollar contract.
with the Chicago Bears Monday. The first-round draft choice set single-season passing
records for yardage and completions at Michigan and finished third in Heisman Trophy
voting last season. Harbaugh joins-Mike Tomczak, Doug Flutie, and Steve Fuller in the
fight to back up Jim McMahon.