BY STEVE DUNN
I just finished watching the Baltimore Orioles sweep my beloved Detroit Tigers and eliminate their World Series dreams. I really still cannot get my mind wrapped around a team with Cy Young pitchers and the powerful bats of that of venerable law firm of Cabrera, Martinez and Martinez succumbing to anyone. Yet it has happened. In recent weeks the general diagnosis is that the Tigers suffered a fatal infection of “bullpen meltdown syndrome.” I know I was frustrated along with 40,000+ fans in Tiger Stadium each time those guys could not get anyone out as lead after lead slipped away. I am probably not as frustrated as the likes of Max Sherzer, David Price and Brad Ausmus; but the exasperation borders on the homicidal.
Yet I am not giving up on baseball and for the next few weeks will shift my loyalty to the Orioles as they seek to win a World Series that has long eluded them. The 2014 season was incredibly entertaining and the expanded Wild Card kept that excitement alive until game 162 for many teams. With the Tigers and Royals still alive in the AL (I am pretty sure that the latter will ultimately put the Angels away); I will watch it through until last World Series out.
For a true baseball lover, it is the game–not just a player or a team. It is the tradition, the strategy, the skill and the surprise that occupy that diamond each day from April through October that compels us most. It’s called “the love of the game..”