To: Mike Ilitch
CC: Dave Dombrowski, Jim Leyland, Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Brandon Inge, Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson, Rick Porcello, Brandon Lyon, Fernando Rodney
Re: Please save baseball from the impending apocalypse
Dear Detroit Tigers,
Last night at approximately 11:35pm eastern time, I pronounced the San Francisco Giants playoff hopes dead. When your 2nd best pitcher is on the mound with a 3-0 lead (2 of the runs driven in by the pitcher, himself), and less than 45 minutes later you're losing 9-4....your playoff hopes are basically DOA. The Giants were largely considered the team that could make the baseball playoffs fun again - with Lincecum and Cain and Kung Fu Panda and a bunch of blue collar guys that were scrappy enough to cheer for. They're out. Now, you guys claim the throne of America's team. Why? Here's why: If the Twins overtake you guys for the AL Central crown, they will get thumped by the Yankees in round one. It won't be pretty. The Royals would put up a better fight. At least in that case, Zack Greinke could keep the Royals in a game. If the Twins face the Yankees, the Bronx Bombers will put up 30-35 runs in a boring 3-game sweep. And then, since the Red Sox have the Angels number in the post season for reasons that nobody can figure out, we will be headed for yet another Yankees-Red Sox ALCS, that quite frankly bores the hell out of 90% of America. If you live or lived in the northeast at some point in your life, you love it. If not, you're tired of it. ESPN's Jim Caple even wrote about it. The Yankees-Red Sox "rivalry" is a media-hyped illusion. Would it be a highly rated ALCS from a TV standpoint? Of course. So would the Yankees vs. the Tacoma Rainiers. New York is the biggest TV market in the US. People either watch the Yankees to see them win or to see them lose. But, you, the Detroit Tigers can save us from all the hyperbole and over-hyped media love a Yankees-Red Sox ALCS would bring with it. How? Simple - win the AL Central and beat the Yankees in the ALDS.
But we went 1-5 against the Yankees in the regular season, you say. No worries. In 1997 and 2003, the Giants went 5-1 against the Marlins in the regular season both years (and in 2003, the Giants had the best record in baseball). The Marlins promptly ended their season in the NLDS both years. So, you have history on your side. You also haven't played the Yankees since July. Your offense is better now than it was then. Their pitching is wearing down. Andy Pettitte's arm looks more tired than Brett Favre's. CC Sabathia has a career ERA of 3.62 in the regular season and 7.92 in the post season. In other words, he's eminently beatable. And AJ Burnett is the New York Yankees version of Nuke Lalouche. He has a million dollar arm and a 5 cent head. He's also never pitched in the post season. And we all know Alex Rodriguez just lives for the post season. And you guys have beaten the Yankees in this situation before. Remember 2006? You weren't supposed to beat the Yankees then. And after dropping game 1, you guys dropped them faster than Mike Tyson dropped Michael Spinks. Justin Verlander is good enough to shut down the Yankees offense. Edwin Jackson has nasty stuff and Rick Porcello is just young enough and just dumb enough to not understand the gravity of the situation - think Josh Beckett in Yankee Stadium in game 6 of the 2003 World Series.
You guys can do it. You can save baseball. Granderson and Cabrera and Inge and Ordonez. It's up to you guys to save baseball. Save us from the hyperbole. Save us from the media hype. Save us from an ALCS that nobody wants. Save baseball. Don't make me write a letter to the Angels. I'm still bitter from 2002.
David Krakower.....and the rest of baseball fans outside of New York and Boston