(Toledo, OH) As a long-suffering Tigers fan, it pleases me no end to see that my team has commencd the 2006 season by winning all four of its first games.
The Tigers have strung together 12 consecutive losing seasons, and in that span have fielded some of the worst teams in baseball history. Only by winning 5 of their last 6 games in 2003 did they avoid the ignominy of a 120-loss season, finishing at 43-119.
The past two seasons have witnessed a return to, well, mediocre status. The Tigers hovered around the .500 mark halfway through each season, faltering in the second halves of 2004 and 2005. For a few months of the the previous seasons, at least, the team offered fans fleeting hopes that they might sneak into a wild-card berth.
2006 brings the beginning of the Jim Leyland era at the helm, plus the addition of Kenny Rogers as a legitimate pitching ace. And, lo and behold, the Tigers lead the major leagues in home runs this morning, swatting 17 round-trippers in the first four games.
Of course, the sheer fact that I write this hopeful missive probably dooms the team to an 8-game losing streak, but for the first time in many, many years I have real hope that my team is a legitimate playoff contender.
Can you say 35-5, anyone?