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Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

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Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

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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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