MLB Playoffs 2011: 5 Reasons the Detroit Tigers Thankful To End Yankees Series
Phew, well aren't you glad that's over?
After five games packed with blowouts, down to the wire saves and blown opportunities, every fan's anxiety level was built all the way up to the third tier in Yankee Stadium.
For the die-hard supporters, it wasn't pretty.
Well what do you know Detroit Tiger fans, we get to do it all again next week too! Except this time we have to hang on for one more win in the best-of-seven format that could send the Motor City to the World Series.
Yes, I just knocked on wood.
Don't get too nervous just yet though, because this series will be a whole lot better than what we had to endure last round.
It will still have fans at the edge of their seats, living and dying with every pitch, but these are the five reasons why we are glad the ALDS is behind us.
1. No More Yankee Stadium
I could not be any happier to get away from that high school field. With the fence in right field just 314 feet away, and the left field fence 318 feet away, I get a mini-heart attack whenever there is a pop up down the line.
For example, in the eighth inning of Game 5, Derek Jeter hit a lazy pop fly with two outs and one runner on.
Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, we get out of the inning with no stress right?
When the camera panned out to Don Kelly backing up closer and closer to the fence and the fans bracing for a home run that would give them the lead, every Tiger fan's stomach turned into a pretzel for a brief moment.
Heck, Kelly even said he could "feel the fans breathing" he was so close to the short porch.
At a normal major league field, like Comerica and the Ballpark at Arlington, there is no stress whatsoever.
And the less stress the merrier, especially in playoff baseball.
2. Time for Avila to Get Back on His Groove
If I didn't know any better I would have thought Avila got called up to the big leagues just last week.
So far this series the All-star catcher has done close to nothing at the plate—his only hit was a ground ball that rolled out of the infield.
This is obviously not the .295 hitter we are used to seeing.
The mentality must be that this is a new series coming up, and will be only make Avila better.
Because let's face it, he couldn't be doing much worse in the batters box.
Note: I'm not here to absolutely dog on Avila, he did play a great role on the defensive side of the plate. Behind the dish he resembled the Great Wall of China, and nothing passed him the whole series. Now that is the All-star defense we are used to seeing.
3. Easier Lineup To Face
The Yankees were a frightening lineup from top to bottom. Gee, come to think of it, even Brent Gardner kept me up at night.
That's right, Brent Gardner!
I bet some people didn't even know of his existence before the series started.
Instead of developing a facial tick every time someone (except A-Rod) walks up to the plate, Tigers fans will feel a little more relieved in the fact that only three Rangers hit over .300 in their ALDS, and only one of those players hit more than ten times.
For starters to go deep into games, and for Tigers fans to cool down when the other team is batting, saying goodbye to the Yankees series benefits both parties.
4. Can You Say Roster Change?
If I had to get rid of three players from last series' roster, it would probably be Wilson Betemit, Wilson Betemit and Wilson Betemit.
When Betemit stepped into the box, he looked more lost than an Amish person strolling around in a Best Buy. If you don't believe me, go look at his stat sheet that will read 0-for-8 with four strikeouts. If you don't think paper says it all, look at the tape.
Betemit isn't even swinging at good pitches, and he isn't letting the bad ones go by.
On at least two occasions he swung and missed at two pitches that started low and inside, and then broke even lower and inside. Those were both strikeouts, and they were also an udder embarrassment.
I don't care who comes in to replace Betemit, but I don't think it should be a third baseman.
We already have Don Kelly and Brandon Inge, who by the way had a great series, so I would have to say Andy Dirks would be the best call-up to the next roster.
He has a good bat and can play a solid outfield if Delmon Young's injury bothers him any further.
5. No More TBS!
If you are like me, than you enjoyed Game 5 with a muted television.
For the whole series these joke—sorry, announcers, were behind the Yankees all the way.
If the Tigers scored, you got a dismal tone and they changed the subject immediately. If the Yankees scored, get ready to watch the replay 18,000 times. Multiply that by five for the Cano grand slam.
We also don't have to be reminded that Curtis Granderson is a former Tiger 57 times per game. How great will that be? And speaking of Granderson, how solid was TBS's editing job to make Granderson's first catch in game four look flawless? Heaven forbid they show his misjudgment and terrible path to the ball, because that would just be unfair to the Yankees.
Even after the series was won they took time out of their post-game show to talk about how the celebration could have been better. Seriously? Did these guys give massages to the Yankees after the game too?
If you didn't see any Yankee bias during the series, than you probably weren't watching. It was bias, unprofessional, and the best way to lose viewers in the Metro-Detroit area.
Sorry TBS, but that was an absolute joke.