Monday, August 22, 2005

Tigers Creeping Toward .500, But We "Won't Get Fooled Again"

What is that old saying -- "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me"?

Well, this would be about the tenth time this season you've been fooled if you think the Tigers are on their way over the .500 mark.

This nifty little 7-1 streak has brought the Bengals to 60-62, and has included a little bit of everything: two wins over miserable KC, two of three from the World Champs, and a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays, the first in Detroit since that memorable final weekend of the 1987 season. It has included nailbiters and blowouts. It has also raised hope that the team is finally going to post an overall winning record for the first time since 1993.

Don't count on it.

We've seen this before, haven't we, over and over again with these '05 Tigers? They fall way below .500, then go on a little streak and bob around it, then fall back again. And so on. And so on.

So what's to say that this flirtation with the coveted break even mark is any different?

I think the Tigers are simply rolling with the law of averages. They are, quite frankly, a 77-80 win team, and those types do exactly what the Tigers are doing: dancing around .500 like it was a bonfire out of control. And in the end, they have their 77-80 wins.

This is not to say that I think the Tigers have 77-win talent. I think they could very well have an 84-78 record, or thereabouts, based on the talent that I see on their roster. But unfortunately they haven't shown me that they can sustain success for any period of time.

"We play good baseball and lose, and play bad baseball and win," third baseman Brandon Inge said after the Tigers' 3-2, 13-inning win Saturday night.

Yep, that's about what happens when you treat .500 like a communicable disease.

Anyhow, get excited, if you'd like, that the Tigers are on another one of those "See, we really ARE a good team" streaks. But guaranteed, when the dust settles after the 162nd game, the true phrase will be, "See, you really ARE under .500 -- for the 12th year in a row."

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