Earl and I are big believers in karma.
When something bad happens, I look for lucky pennies on the ground, buy all the rabbits' feet I can find, and purchase as many lottery tickets as I can afford. When something good happens, I'm on the lookout for black cats, broken mirrors, and any ladders that I could possibly walk under.
Everything seems to even out in the end no matter how high the highs get or how low the lows get.
That's why I'm looking forward to the upcoming baseball season more than any other season that I can remember. The Tigers' 2008 season was a complete disaster. Without going into too much detail, here's a short list of what went wrong:
- Curtis Granderson broke his hand in Spring Training—taking him on a little vacation for the first few weeks of the year, as did every Tiger on the roster.
- Newly acquired Dontrelle Willis signed a fat contract to go along with his fat body that he showed off during the season. (A true story: I saw him at a local Chipotle last year during the season. I tried to talk to him, but he stopped me mid-sentence and denied that he was Dontrelle Willis. I could tell it was him though when he threw away his leftovers and missed the trash can by six-and-a-half feet. Maybe that's why he failed so hard last year. Karma will getcha.)
- The pitching staff turned out to be the weak link. It seemed like everyone's velocity dropped, and they were forced to get by on only smoke and mirrors. The only problem was that Leyland's Marlboros were the only things allowed to give off smoke in the Tigers' clubhouse, and all the mirrors were bought up by new pitching coach, Rick Knapp, to put in the Tigers' bullpen in 2009 in an incredible display of predicting the future.
As hard as it was to endure that type of season, I knew that better times were on the horizon. 2009 is bound to be a much different year.
Early reports out of Spring Training had Bonderman on his way to full recovery, Zumaya throwing gas, Willis on the comeback trail, and the hitters and defense looking better than ever.
Finally, after a long offseason, I was ready to put 2008 behind me and move onto a 2009 full of built-up good karma.
And then the Spring Training games started.
Zumaya was wild as ever in his first appearance, Willis was pulled before finishing his second inning of work, and Bonderman's first start was pushed back and ultimately canceled.
What have we done to deserve this? Have the karma gods decided that another year in the AL Central basement is in store for the Tigers? Why?
Only time will tell. But in the meantime, I urge each and every Tiger fan out there to go do as many good deeds as you possibly can before Opening Day on Apr 5th.
Take the trash out without complaining. Look your wife or girlfriend in the eye the next time you mumble a response when she asks you if she looks fat in that dress. Maybe even put the toilet seat down after you go.
We have just over a month to build up as many good karma points as we can so that maybe, just maybe, 2009 will be like 2006 and not even close to 2008.
And hey, if it doesn't work, and the Tigers flirt with last place this year, there's no need to worry—we can just cash in our good karma points in 2010.