Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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The 2006 October Surprise Detroit Tigers

George Foster - October 19th, 2006
Random Thoughts by George Foster
The 2006 October-Surprise Detroit Tigers
If this season’s Detroit Tigers wins the World Series, it may be the most unusual club to do so. Their run through the regular season and playoffs has brought unusual drama to the sport.
How can a team stampede toward the World Series only three years after compiling the 2nd worst record in Major League Baseball history? Even a year ago the team lost 19 more games than it won. It would be different if the Tigers spent mega-millions for several stud players before the season, but - no. This baseball team somehow wins without a bonafide superstar.
This year Detroit charged to one of the best starts in history, winning 76 of their first 112 games - then, finished the season by winning only 19 of the final 50 contests. After losing their last five games of the regular season and getting thrashed by the Yankees in their first playoff game, the Tigers seemed to be barely breathing. Yet, they haven’t lost since.
Playing in one of the largest and most difficult stadiums to homer, the Tigers are a free-swinging club that hits too many fly outs to seemingly be effective in the cavernous Comerica Park. It would have been smarter to construct this team to play “small-ball” - a speedy club that hits line-drives into the gaps provided by such a big park. Against all such wisdom, the Tigers batters prefer to swing hard for the distant fences.
For all of the above reasons, few predicted that the Tigers would dominate the Yankees and their vaunted All-Star lineup in the first round of the playoffs - but they did. The entire sports world expected New York to treat Detroit like the Junior Varsity.
Next, they beat Oakland two straight games despite the Tigers losing the only legitimate first baseman on the team, Sean Casey and their best reliever, Joel Zumaya, to injuries. The Tigers lost Mighty Casey because of a leg muscle tear while batting, a freak injury to say the least.
Even the sympathy factor is in Oakland’s favor due to the bizarre death of a former A’s player who flew into a New York skyscraper. Also, on the day this column is being written, Detroit and Oakland will apparently be playing in the midst of a historically early snowfall. What else can happen?
Maybe the strangest thing about the Tigers is their manager - Jim Leyland. Talk about a throwback to another era... Leyland wouldn’t look out of place playing shortstop with a Ty Cobb-era Tigers team. If anyone should be considered for membership in the Sparky Anderson Old School Managing Fraternity, it would be Jim Leyland.
A chain-smoking, bantam-rooster type, Leyland is crusty enough to deter many would-be critics and just emotional enough to show he is a regular guy. He is also the main reason for this turn-around Tigers season. He has willed this largely pedestrian team to the brink of a championship.
In a modern age of millionaire players and managers who succumb to their squad’s temperamental egos, no one questions that Jim Leyland is running this Detroit Tigers club. He commands everyone’s respect because he has already won a World Series and his unorthodox managerial moves usually work to the Tigers’ benefit.
But don’t expect Detroit to advance to the playoffs again anytime soon. We are enjoying a strange Tigers team magically winning in a “once in a lifetime” baseball season.
 
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