The Tigers are serious business.
Having said that, I have to something to share with you all. A friend of mine thought it would be hilarious (SO FUNNY!) to convince me today that Austin Jackson had been traded (TRADED!) to the Padres (the PADRES!!!) I don't know how he managed to convince me. It was stupid, I know. It didn't make any logical sense, but I was consumed with the all-consuming terror that the loss of another star, black, badass, center-fielder brings to true tigers fans like myself. In my desperate need to find a computer and prove that his lie could not possibly be true, I actually started to cry. It was only after he realized that I was actually having a panic attack that my so-called-friend revealed he was lying. Needless to say, I was humiliated, furious, and relieved, but more than anything, I realized how much I really do love Austin Jackson.
We all remember when Curtis Granderson left... I'll admit that I was skeptical about the trade. I was actually devastated, and I swore never to love another as I had loved him. I mean, for crying out loud, he was perfect! With his 20-20-20-20 season and his charity work and his chiseled good looks, but Action Jackson soon made everyone forget who Curtis Granderson was. He had a rookie-of -the-year season last year, (I'm not bitter or anything), and he had a much better season than even Curtis Granderson had. He may have had a ridiculous amount of strikeouts, but he came into a place with incredibly high expectations and exceeded them all. Detroit loved CJ. Detroit loves Austin.
I had high hopes for Austin this year. He's a big part of the reason that I think that the tigers have a genuine shot at winning the Central. However, the first 9 games of the season were super slow for Ajax. In the Baltimore series and the Kansas City series, he went 5 for 27 with just a single RBI. This was terrifying for me. I want so badly for him to do well, and the criticisms that I didn't say out loud were floating around my head--"He strikes out so much! The leg kick is so stupid! He can't hit the ball!" But now I have hope. After sitting most of the first game of the Texas series, the Skip brought him in to pinch hit, and he hit a single. That might have been my favorite single of the year so far, and more than anything I just want him to keep hitting. His defense is beyond stellar, and with better offense, he really could be one of the greatest assets that this team has!
The above is a photo of Jackson from Spring Training 2010. We knew he would be a big star even then. He looks slightly horrified because a baseball is about to hit the boy next to me. He would end up with a huge bruise on his face, a lot of embarssment, and a free hot dog courtesy of Joker Marchant. I love Austin Jackson...this is a terrible picture, but I was literally this close to him, guys! He signed my baseball!
So in short, people. No Jackson-hating around me. It would be very unwise.
Also, some notes.
Can I just say that Miguel Cabrera and RyRy Raburn kicked major butt today? I know that Ryan isn't the best in the outfield, but his catch today saved our bums, and he is hitting super well. Give the kid more playing time! Miguel is an opposing pitchers recurring nightmare. "Bottom of the ninth...two outs...bases loaded...and...dear God now...not...MIGUEL CABRERA! The look on O'Day's face after he walked Ryan Raburn was priceless, priceless people, because he knew that his worst nightmares were coming true. It was a sight for sore eyes.
Also, a big sorry to Texas for fracturing Josh Hamilton's shoulder. I know that it kind of feels awesome to know that our catcher took out one of the most feared hitters in baseball, but imagine if that were Miguel or Maggs? A little sympathy people...Texas is pretty upset right now.
Great win today folks. It was the kind of win that can turn a team around. Let's hope that we keep bringing those runs in!
Always a Tiger,